Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E12 – Prophecy Girl

In the final episode of the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, we learn just how much Joss Whedon is willing to destroy everything we love. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

Well, if Whedon can get away with this so early on in the existence of the show, I’m pretty sure that it’s only going to get more real as I venture further into this story. Multiple storylines that have been unfolding throughout season one are finally wrapped up, and what I enjoyed about “Prophecy Girl” was that the two major plots were both just as fascinating as each other.

I’ve been harsh on Xander, and my opinion of him hasn’t changed a whole lot, but I think this finale addresses his feelings in the best way possible. Xander is inherently an awkward character, and it’s why he fits in so well with Willow and Buffy. Both of them are pretty awkward themselves when you think about it. While I totally get why Whedon had Xander develop a crush on Buffy, there really was only disaster at the end of that road. I don’t think Xander’s awkwardness is necessarily going to disappear, either, but this was a way for the show to close the chapter on this even being a possibility.

It was inevitable from the cold open that Xander was going to have his heart broken, yet I was worried how the show would handle it. We all know at this point that Willow really likes Xander more than a friend, but she is such a good friend that she’s willing to sit there and listen to him practice asking Buffy out. Sure, there’s a part of it she can use to fantasize about the idea of Xander asking her out, but that only goes so far, doesn’t it?

I think I just didn’t want this played out as a huge joke or as something that’s portrayed as Buffy’s fault. I don’t blame Xander for making an attempt, though; he felt that it would get to him if he didn’t at least try, and you can’t hold him at fault. Plus, he never really knew how Buffy felt about him, and asking her to the Spring Fling was a way to confirm her feelings for him. Obviously, though, the man was oblivious, and it’s one of the character features of Xander that season one has done well. Xander is totally unaware of himself and how others perceive him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t really done good things with that, but here, he’s finally honest. That is what I appreciate about him; at the very least, the honesty is what he’s needed all along, especially after the events of “The Pack.” (And I still kind of hope that it comes to light that he does remember what happened when he was possessed, though now I don’t think it’ll come up beyond season one.)

At the same time, Buffy is honest with Xander, and she has to be. And look, even if Buffy does feel bad about rejecting Xander, I don’t feel like Whedon blames her at all. If anything, he portrays Xander’s reaction as the negative thing here. I think it’s totally in character that he would overreact, to make completely rude comments to Buffy about Angel, and to stomp off like a child having a temper tantrum. Even if Xander’s actions are really likable sometimes, he’s given a treatment by the writers to make him a whole person; his heartbreak here is still depressing regardless, and we see how it affects the entire group of friends. I really loved the idea that even after this, Willow has enough self-respect to reject Xander despite how much it hurts the both of them. WELL WAIT I don’t love that this happens, but I just meant that it’s good writing. Willow wants Xander to be more than her friend, but I found it to be a powerful thing to have her say she wants to be his first choice. Of course it sucks for Xander, but the guy has to learn to treat people better than he does or he’s going to continue hurting them. And that goes for himself, too! I don’t really want to see him hurt or see him depressed. (Well, unless that always means he chooses to listen to Patsy Cline. That is something I’d watch over and over again.)

This entire story is incredibly well done, opening up the chance for Xander to either pursue Willow or someone else in season two. However, let’s be real here: The entire plot regarding the Master is overwhelmingly the best thing about “Prophecy Girl.” I just assumed the Codex would say that the Slayer would have to fight the Master, so I didn’t think it would have much to do with the inevitable. I didn’t expect the Master to live beyond this episode, but…oh holy god, this goes off into an area I never anticipated. First of all, it’s great to have Jenny Calendar back in the action, and I hope to see her a lot more in the next season. But I knew Whedon was ready to DESTROY ALL THINGS when he opens the episode with a giant earthquake that caused a whole lot of damage to Giles’s library. (HOW DID I NOT FIGURE IT OUT THAT THIS WAS THE CENTER OF THE HELLMOUTH???) It was time for Whedon to deliver, and GOOD LORD, he certainly does.

So, Buffy would be tricked by the Anointed One, right? And she’d never figure out what the prophecy was, right? And she’d face the Master and beat him in some victorious display of cleverness and power, right? And no one else in Sunnydale would ever figure things out, right? And everyone would live and it would be wonderful, right?

This whole episode, Joss Whedon spent forty-five minutes somewhere in the world laughing at me. I know he was doing it, and I know he derived nothing but joy from my shock at how many tropes were upended and how many plot twists took me entirely by surprise. Buffy rejects her role as the Slayer in one hell of a scene showing how talented Gellar was even back in 1997.Β  SHE REJECTS BEING THE SLAYER IN EPISODE TWELVE. Oh god, then there is more Joyce Summers being adorable and the best mother imaginable and giving Buffy that amazing prom dress and I just melt from how cute everything is. God, she really is the best television mother, isn’t she? I adore the subtext of Joyce thinking she knows what’s affecting her daughter, and on a small level, she’s actually right. It’s a desire for normalcy that Buffy wants; you can tell how heartbroken she is when she tells Giles that she’s just sixteen, that she shouldn’t have to face the horror of death when she’s so young. But we’ve also seen over the course of season one how Buffy just wants to have the experience everyone else does in high school, and in a way, her mother’s words are what helps her feel better about her predicament. Maybe she can control some of her future if she really wants to.

In contrast to that, Willow, who has had a much more typical life than Buffy, loses that joy in “Prophecy Girl.” Even since Buffy has shown up, she has managed to keep the horrors of Buffy’s existence away from her own life. But the vampires, influenced by the growing strength of the Master, have stopped obeying any sort of boundary. I was completely horrified when it’s revealed that the Audio/Video Club was murdered, and that Cordelia and Willow found them. For Willow, it’s far too personal to lose people she knew so well, and it’s the final thing to convince Buffy she can’t just let the Hellmouth open.

With that thought in her heart, Buffy walks slowly to her death, knowing who the Anointed One is, knowing that she’s probably not going to survive this. But she couldn’t actually die, could she? It’s the first season. The name of the show is the name of the main character!!! AND JOSS WHEDON DOESN’T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK. Because the prophecy in the Codex? Yeah, IT DIDN’T TELL GILES EVERYTHING. It may have left out the part about Buffy’s death being the thing to free the Master. I seriously just sat agape at my laptop when the Master controlled Buffy with…what? How could he do that? Either way, he drinks her blood, and I thought, “Oh, he’ll just disable her for the time being.” Then he drops her facedown into a pool of water and she drowns. And….what. What????? WAIT WHAT ARE YOU DOING. YOU CAN’T DO THIS, RIGHT? WHAT THE FUCK HOW CAN SHE DIE WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON.

Oh, god, the Hellmouth isn’t at the Bronze and OH MY GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY VAMPIRES. Oh shit, CORDELIA SAVES THE DAY. WAIT. Did Whedon just bring Cordelia completely into the group just now? Oh, I can hardly breathe because Xander and Angel just showed up to find Buffy dead and Xander is trying to do CPR on her and SHE’S DEAD DUDE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

What the hell HOW CAN SHE COME BACK TO LIFE. Is there something in the Codex that explains this? What happens when she dies? Is she still the Slayer? HOW THE HELL DOES THIS WORK. Oh, fuck yes, she’s heading back to kill the Master. THIS IS GOING TO RULE. Why does she look so different? WHAT DID HER DEATH DO???

WHAT THE HELL IS COMING OUT OF THE GROUND IN THE LIBRARY OH MY SWEET SUMMER CHILD THAT IS TERRIFYING PLEASE HELP ME. No, you don’t understand, I LOVE MONSTERS LIKE THIS. Just weird and fucked up and non-CGI puppetry and costuming. PLUS THERE IS A GIANT CREATURE FROM HELL IN THE LIBRARY I WOULD NEVER HAVE GUESSED THIS IN A MILLION YEARS.

I swear, this is one of the most satisfying season finales I’ve seen, and I actually liked that it wasn’t this huge cliffhanger. Most important, though, is that Jenny Calendar and Cordelia Chase sort of have to play a bigger part in the story in season two. Obviously, I’m most excited for Cordelia over anyone else, as I’ve seen a whole new side to her in this episode and the last one. When she puts aside her selfish ego, she can be so much fun while still being sassy, and that is what I want to see more of.

Though I suppose what sticks most for me is the fact that this story was fascinating, emotional, and terribly frightening, a huge leap over a lot of what made up the first season, and it’s like a hint of what can come in the next six seasons. Because “Prophecy Girl” is fucked up. And that’s really what I want from all this. BRING IT, JOSS WHEDON.

Wait, I shouldn’t say that, should I?

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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484 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S01E12 – Prophecy Girl

  1. Welcome to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which the title character DIES in the first-season finale.

    But mostly, this:

    Buffy: They say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think it'll hurt? Don't touch me! Were you even gonna tell me?
    Giles: I was hoping that I wouldn't have to. That there was…some way around it. I…
    Buffy: I've got a way around it. I quit!
    Angel: It's not that simple.
    Buffy: I'm making it that simple! I quit! I resign, I-I'm fired, you can find someone else to stop the Master from taking over!
    Giles: I'm not sure that anyone else can. All the…the signs indicate…
    Buffy: The signs? READ ME THE SIGNS! TELL ME MY FORTUNE! YOU'RE SO USEFUL SITTING HERE WITH ALL YOUR BOOKS! YOU'RE REALLY A LOTTA HELP!
    Giles: No, I don't suppose I am.
    Angel: I know this is hard.
    Buffy: What do you know about this? You're never gonna die!
    Angel: You think I want anything to happen to you? Do you think I could stand it? We just gotta figure out a way…
    Buffy: I already did. I quit, remember? Pay attention!
    Giles: Buffy, if the Master rises…
    Buffy: I don't care! I don't care. Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die.

    Seven years, no Emmy.

    • IceBlueRose says:

      "Seven years, no Emmy. "

      Which is just so craptastic, I can't even. *shakes fist at Emmys*

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      That scene was amazing. Seriously, Gellar broke my heart in that scene.

      • I AM ALMOST TEARING UP JUST THINKING ABOUT THAT SCENE.

        • Mary Sue says:

          Moi: *reading the scene above*
          Cow Orker: Hey, we're about ready to move your computer… are you crying?
          Moi: NO SHUT UP JUST GIVE ME A MOMENT.

      • claretstock says:

        It's even more heartbreaking on the re-watch, because you know that SHE'S RIGHT! Even though she didn't know it at the time… If she just quit and didn't go, the master wouldn't have risen and they wouldn't have hellmouth tentacles growing in the library.

        • RoseFyre says:

          Though I do wonder if he would have found another way. It's implied that he wouldn't, but…we don't know. So she's right, but at the same time, fate will make things happen no matter how much you try to avoid it sometimes – like in Greek mythology, with Oedipus and such.

    • cait0716 says:

      Frira lrnef, ab Rzzl

      Jung cvffrf zr bss zber vf gung Orre Onq jnf gur rcvfbqr gung tbg abzvangrq sbe na Rzzl (sbe unvefglyvat). Hz, znlor lbh pbhyq jngpu gur erfg bs gur fubj?

      Man, that scene gets me every damn time. Just reading the dialogue makes me tear up

    • misterbernie says:

      She is amazing there. Amazing.

    • ambyrglow says:

      Rot-13ed because I still hold out hope that Mark will read Diane Duane's Young Wizards series, even though I know it's currently on the rejected list (just the original trilogy, Mark! You can ignore the rest!), and spoilers for those books:

      Guvf rcvfbqr nyjnlf znxrf zr guvax bs Avgn va Qrrc Jvmneqel. "Abg byq rabhtu gb ybir nf lrg, ohg byq rabhtu gb qvr, vaqrrq." Gurfr lbhat tveyf znepuvat va nf jvyyvat fnpevsvprf. . .nyy gur grnef, zna, nyy gur grnef. Naq V guvax jung qbrf vg sbe zr vf gung vg'f n fhoirefvba bs gur byq ivetva fnpevsvpr gebcr, gur tvey obhaq gb gur ebpx. Gurl unir ntrapl. Gurl unir pubvpr. Naq gurl rkrepvfr vg, rira jura gur pubvprf fhpx.

      • Zoli says:

        ….. can it really be spoilers if the book was published in 1983?

        I know we're over-cautious about spoilers on this site, but srsly. If it was on the to-read list I'd understand, but for one that's been rejected? I feel like I need to dig up that comic about a statute of limitations…

        • Genny_ says:

          I don't think anyone is *obligated* to do spoilers for something so old, but I appreciate people who *choose* to, personally. Sure, it was published in 1983, but I only heard about these books sometime last year. Books continually attract new readers, and if they're not ones as commonly talked about outside certain circles, it can actually be perfectly possible to avoid spoilers for old stuff. So… why not?

    • NB2000 says:

      Seven years, no Emmy.

      So unfair!

    • Karen says:

      SMG did some really fabulous work over the years. Too bad being on the WB meant that she never really got recognized for her work.

    • guest_age says:

      Amen. When Mark commented about the acting being bad earlier on in the season–I mean, he was obviously right, it WAS bad and I don't want to diminish that by any means, but it took every thing I had not to comment, "NO. JUST WAIT. JUST WAIT UNTIL PROPHECY GIRL. AND THE SCENE. THE SCENE!"

      SMG is desperately underrated as an actress by mainstream critics.

      • Another of my favorite SMG moments is gur raq bs "Vagreiragvba," jura fur cergraqf gb or gur Ohsslobg sbe Fcvxr. Orpnhfr fur qbrfa'g cynl gur Ohsslobg. Lbh pna npghnyyl frr gung fur vf cynlvat Ohssl cynlvat gur Ohsslobg. Gung fhogyr ynlre vf ivfvoyr; vg'f fb vzcerffvir.

      • Elexus Calcearius says:

        Isn't that just the fate of most fantasy and sci-fi actors? I mean, there are a few exceptions, but there's still a lot of stigma against speculative fiction.

      • RoseFyre says:

        Yes, and the one with her dad in Nightmares! That one always gets me.

    • Genny_ says:

      This scene just took my breath away when I first watched it. Perfection. Cnegjnl vagb frevrf guerr, gur bayl fprar gung pbzrf pybfr sbe zr crefbanyyl vf 'gnxr nyy gung njnl naq jung'f yrsg/zr' fprar, gou.

    • Dee says:

      I completely teared up. I swear that's the moment when this show got into my heart and never let go.

    • The_Consultant says:

      Oh God. This scene. THIS scene.

    • Kari18212 says:

      Seven years, no Emmy.

      ROBBED. So depressing.

    • Dru says:

      SMG for Buffy and Katee Sackhoff for Battlestar Galactica are the two greatest Emmy nomination omission goofs of the last decade – as are their respective shows. (because by Emmy-logic, a show for teenagers and a show set in space cannot possibly be among the best of the year, can they?)

      (and this while Jennifer Garner got nominated THREE TIMES during that spell for a role that rarely involved anything more challenging than pursing her lips, furrowing her brow, and running in high heels. Yes, I am bitter about this and not sorry for that.)

    • Tavyan says:

      They were nominated for 2 Emmys once, at the very least.

      Vebavpnyyl sbe Uhfu, gur 44 zvahgr rcvfbqr juvpu bayl unq 17 zvahgrf bs qvnybthr. (Bhgfgnaqvat Jevgvat naq Bhgfgnaqvat Pvarzngbtencul)

    • core013 says:

      Nice to see I'm not the only one who tears up just reading that scene.

  2. arctic_hare says:

    Best episode of season one, easily. Shit just got so real, and you were never, ever prepared, Mark. It's list time.

    – Oh, Buffy. SMG breaks my heart in the scene where she finds out about the prophecy and tries to quit, especially when she says that she doesn't want to die. It is incredibly fucked up that when she should be concerned with nothing more weighty than grades and going to the dance and hanging out with her friends, she is instead apparently "fated" to die battling an ancient, evil vampire. But in the end, she does it anyway, and takes another step on her heroic journey. She is an epic badass in this episode, and it cemented my love for her forever.

    – Ah, earthquakes. One of my least favorite things about this state. (That must be a pretty big one to cause that much damage to the library, and obviously they're at the epicenter. I remember once there was a 7.0 where we were well away from the epicenter, and the house was swaying, but no damage like THAT.)

    – Cordelia's awesome is off the charts in this episode. LOVE. HER. She rescues Willow and Jenny, DRIVES THROUGH THE SCHOOL TO GET THEM SAFELY TO THE LIBRARY, and then helps fight off the vampires. My favorite part is when she bites the one vampire's hand and says "See how you like it!" OMG I LOVE YOU, CORDY. <3

    – The Master's snarky line about the "feeble banter portion of the fight" will never not be an amusing bit of lampshade-hanging to me.

    – LOL ANGEL and the return of the velvet coat. That is all.

    – I'm not going to mince words: I think Xander's reaction to Buffy rejecting him is utterly disgusting. Yes, I get that he's unhappy about being rejected and that's natural, blah blah blah. Nobody needs to helpfully point that out to me. Here's the thing, though: that does not ever, EVER justify slut-shaming Buffy for her choice to date Angel. Not remotely. Nor does it make his "try, I'll wait" statement any less gross. It's textbook Nice Guy: thinking that if she just tries, and gives him a chance, he'll wear down her resistance and she'll ~come around~. Thinking that she should try. He is essentially asking for something along these lines and who the hell wants THAT? And no, I do not believe that his apology to Buffy for the slut-shaming was genuine. Not just because of the delivery, but because he qualifies it with an excuse for his behavior that's designed to make Buffy feel guilty about turning him down. Plus he follows it up by rudely cutting her off when she tries to say something in response, and storms off leaving her unhappy. So no, he is not sincerely apologizing to her. It's also pretty awful that he then asks Willow to be his date, his last resort. I'm glad she turns him down and rightly points out that it wouldn't be at all fun for her to go to the dance with him and watch him wish he was with Buffy instead. Not cool at all, Xander. But major thumbs-up to Willow for not taking that shit. It's also skeevy that he has her pretend to be Buffy for his practice in asking her out, when he knows how Willow feels about him.

    And just to head off any comments on the matter I know I'll get: yes, I'm well aware of the fact that he later saves Buffy's life with CPR. That does not have any bearing on his reaction to the rejection, it does not invalidate it and I am not required to gush about his actions there in order to criticize his behavior towards her and Willow earlier. So don't bring that up to me.

    – I continue to adore Joyce. And I want to hear the story about her and Buffy's dad at the dance when he had a date and she didn't! COME ON, YOU CAN'T HOLD OUT ON ME LIKE THAT, SHOW!

    – I actually have no idea which Porky Pig cartoon that is, but I don't think I could ever watch it without remembering this scene and the bloody handprint on the TV. That is so completely chilling and awful. Willow's sadface after just hurts. πŸ™

    – I love Buffy's dress too.

    – YOU ARE NOT PREPARED FOR SEASON TWO.

    • cait0716 says:

      The cartoon is actually "The Three Little Pigs" and it's the scene where they're singing "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" which is incredibly appropriate, even though you can't hear the music. I guess I just saw that cartoon enough as a child that it imprinted on my memory, which is probably what Joss was counting on.

      • arctic_hare says:

        EEEK. Yes, that is appropriate. D: Funnily enough, I've never seen it myself, and I've seen a LOT of Looney Tunes. I guess because there are so many, it's only natural.

        (Side note: I just want to rant for a minute about Cartoon Network and when they run Looney Tunes. I was recording them for a while, but then stopped because it seemed like they were showing the same handful OVER AND OVER and there were some favorites of mine I really wanted to see that they NEVER ran. WTF, CN?)

      • LindsayFunke says:

        Even if not, it's still creepy as fuck! Although to be fair, how many teenage boys chill out watching old school Loony Toons? They must be out there, but still, no Beavis and Butthead or Daria?

        • cait0716 says:

          I assume they died before the cartoon came on and weren't actually watching that one. They probably were watching Daria or Beavis and Butthead when the vampires attacked and the girls just happened to find them after the programming had changed to Saturday morning cartoons.

        • lawrence_s says:

          Probably not a characterisation issue so much as a rights one. It was probably easier for them to get something old than relatively current.

          Plus, it was morning, so the massacre probably happened at night when they were watching something else, and it turned to early morning cartoons later.

          </fanwank>

    • Karen says:

      IA with you about Xander. He is Nice Guy-ing all over the place.

    • lawrence_s says:

      I'm not going to address most of the bit about Xander, because I think you know I disagree with many of your conclusions, if not the actual basis for them.

      However, I think he doesn't know how Willow feels about him – he's genuinely clueless. I think if he were perceptive enough to know how Willow felt, he'd be able to know how Buffy didn't feel. He may be clueless, but he's not a bully (except when he's a hyena). He wouldn't go out of his way to be mean to people, especially Willow, who has been his best friend for years. If he really knew how she felt about him, I don't think he would toy with her like that.

      Ur jbhyq cenpgvfr va sebag bs n punve, yvxr Tvyrf qbrf va Fbzr Nffrzoyl Erdhverq.

      But I'm also curious as to how you define 'slut shaming', because I don't see what he does as the same thing, and I feel like if such a thing is to be fought, it has to be defined rather narrowly, so that it retains meaning – if any criticism of a woman's desired partner becomes slut shaming, then how can we delineate between that and say, calling someone a hooker?

      He's not judging her for assumed or actual sexual behaviour, he's just being a jerk for her choosing someone other than him. I don't see him implying promiscuity or 'easiness', just that he doesn't like Angel. (Jung nobhg jura rirelbar pevgvpvfrf uvz sbe qngvat Naln? Abg bhg bs wrnybhfl ohg whfg "Ernyyl? Ure?" Ubj vf gung qvssrerag?)

      • arctic_hare says:

        He did have that line during "The Pack", though, about when Willow would "stop kidding herself" about her chances with him, and he remembers everything about that time, so I don't think it's such a wild intuitive leap to assume that yes, he now knows how she feels, and may have before.

        Maybe slut-shaming isn't technically the right term, but he's still shaming her for her choices, and that is still not cool.

        • lawrence_s says:

          Oh crap, I had forgotten about that line. There's probably a fanwankish way around it, but even if he didn't remember his time as a hyena, that still must have been something that was kicking around in his head anyway.

          (I think his cluelessness still works at least somewhat here – he's not being mean to Willow, just clueless and careless about her feelings, which is still bad, but a different level of bad than if he were actually trying to lead her on – at the very least, he's insensitive and doesn't think about other people's feelings before speaking, but I think that's easier for a person to eventually correct than some kind of deep-seated misogyny.)

          Maybe slut-shaming isn't technically the right term, but he's still shaming her for her choices, and that is still not cool.

          True, and at least Buffy calls him out (somewhat) for it, so it's not like the writers are condoning or endorsing his behaviour.

          And while the CPR itself isn't redemptive, I think the scene that shows more character growth potential where Angel and Buffy are concerned is his line to Angel:

          "I don't like you. At the end of the day, I pretty much think you're a vampire. But Buffy's got this big old yen for ya. She thinks you're a real person. And right now I need you to prove her right."

          He at least shows some willingness to put his petty jealousy aside to let Angel help save Buffy and the world (even if the former is for presumably selfish reasons.)

          • arctic_hare says:

            See, the thing is, I already said that the CPR thing does not invalidate his earlier gross behavior. It doesn't magically make it okay, the way people previously suggested that some of his good actions somehow made up for his other bad behavior. I'm not interested in talking about him saving her, I wanted to talk about how awful his reaction to the rejection was. And there's nothing wrong with that.

            • Danielle says:

              No, it doesn't invalidate but it provides a counter-balance(?). If you want to focus on all the crappy things he does, that's fine. Then Xander is indeed a big mysoginistic jack-ass who deserves our scorn. But if you want to put it in context, look at his character as whole and consider both the good and bad things he does, then he is normal, confused teenager who isn't in touch with his feelings or of those around him. I think its why he get's possesed in so many of these early episodes–of the three he's the least mature and least comfortable with himself.

              I'm not saying that it excuses it or makes it ok. But it is a realistic character flaw and it works well in the balance of the show. I don't think you are supposed to watch him and think, "Gee,that Xander is a swell guy." but "Dangt it Xander, why do you have to be such an idiot?" I think Mark has really summed it up perfectly above.

              • lawrence_s says:

                THIS. 1000% THIS.

              • arctic_hare says:

                I'm getting really sick of being told that I have to ~consider the good things~ about this character every time I DARE to bring up something bad he's done (abg gb zragvba nyy gur fcbvyrel zragvbaf bs guvatf bgure punenpgref qb va gur shgher, juvpu V qba'g jnag gb qvfphff gvyy Znex trgf gurer), because it takes the focus off the bad behavior I want to talk about and puts it on how I'm not nice enough to this sexist character. That's why I tried to address that in my original comment, to try and head off that sort of thing. And yet it happened anyway. There is nothing wrong with my disliking this character, and being interested in discussing the bad things he does without dwelling on those instances where he behaves like I would expect a decent person to behave. If people want to talk about those instances, fine, but I'm tired of them being brought up to me and others as if they somehow cancel out the bad moments and/or like we're somehow at fault for wanting to call out the problematic actions/dialogue without softening it by mentioning that he also did something not so bad.

                • Danielle says:

                  Not saying the good cancels out the bad, rather that Xander is a complex character. My point is that he's somewhat of what a professor of mine called a "negative rolemodel" in that he's a character doing the completely wrong thing to illustrate how wrong it can be.

                  I like to think that Xander is a metaphor for men who've never encountered feminism. He's a descent guy whose never challenged the status quo. Then whoosh, feminism enters in the form of Buffy. His worldview is thrown on its head and he has to adjust. And he does a very poor job of it.
                  (V pna guvax bs znal fcbvyrel guvatf gung pna or qvfphffrq ohg vs lbh zrna Fcvxr jryy gung vf n jubyr 'abgure xrggyr bs svfu naq lbh'yy cebonoyl svaq zr zber va nterrzrag jvgu lbh. Nf sbe Knaqre, V svaq ur trarenyyl trgf orggre naq ybfrf gur avpr thl flaqebzr yngre ba. V guvax gung'f jung V'z gelvat gb cbvag bhg gung Knaqre unf tebjgu cbgragvny jvgubhg orvat gbb fcbvyrel.)

                • notemily says:

                  This reminds me of that fucking awful movie Crash, where apparently I'm supposed to have sympathy for a racist rapist (Matt Dillon) just because he saves someone from a burning car and his dad's sick. Sorry, but you doing good things does not invalidate your SEXUAL ASSAULT of Thandie Newton earlier. I could NOT like his character no matter how hard that movie tried to make me.

                  Sorry if I spoiled the movie for anyone, except I'm not because it is a horrible, horrible movie and the fact that it won the fucking oscar will always bother me.

                  • Kari18212 says:

                    Ugh, yes, that scene was terrible, I spent the rest of the movie waiting for him to die in a damn fire. And then at the end, I was like, I'm sorry was I supposed to like him? UM, HELL NO NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.

                    Totally off topic, but we watched that for class once and literally NO ONE hated that guy at the end (obviously I couldn't tell the entire class what I thought, although I remember ranting to my friends about it) and it has been bugging me ever since lol.

                    • notemily says:

                      yeah the general public's reaction to that film seems to be "oh man, that's DEEP, we're all racist deep down, right??" and I'm like THAT MOVIE WAS HORRIBLE WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT

                  • Dru says:

                    Isn't it pretty much common concensus that that movie only won Best Picture because the Oscar voters were too cowardly to give it to Brokeback Mountain (RIP, Heath Ledger πŸ™ πŸ™ )

                • @sab39 says:

                  "Good and evil are words for what people do, not what they are" – His Dark Materials (how awful is it that I forget which character said that line? It's one of my favorite lines, too)

                  I can't think of a character in fiction who rises to higher heights at his best, and sinks to worse depths at his worst, than Xander. He's a character who is alternately amazing and horrific. In the end the only opinion of Xander as a character that I've been able to settle on permanently is that he's a character who you cannot reach judgment on as a whole. You can only judge each thing he does separately.

                  I suspect the reason that these conversations get so acrimonious in general is because we as humans in general find it really hard to *not* make some kind of overall judgment on a person, and to assume others are doing the same.

                  It's *difficult* to separate "I really hate the way Xander acted here" from "I really hate Xander's character". It's similarly difficult to hear "Xander really did something courageous and good later" and not assume the person saying it is making it as an argument in defense of Xander's overall character.

                  But Xander's overall character is so completely inconsistent, such a mix of the really good and the really bad, that an argument between someone defending his character and someone attacking his character can never be won. Both sides have too much evidence on their side.

                  To quote somebody very wise: "The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things. But, vice versa – the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant."

                  That's as true of things people DO as it is of things that happen TO them. Xander just happens to have a rather bigger pile of bad things and a bigger pile of good things than most.

              • Genny_ says:

                I totally disagree on the concept of counter-balance.

                The saving thing? Has nothing to do with the rejection thing. At all. If I was a dick to a friend about their boyfriend, but later, I helped her with her homework, it doesn't magically negate my having been a dick about their boyfriend! I'm really just tired of this concept life works on a points system; it doesn't. A person may decide, 'well, they did a good thing as well as a bad thing, and it contributes to my *overall impression* of them'. But that isn't the same as, 'so the bad thing doesn't count!', right?

                Xander and the saving issue does not negate Xander and the being a dick to ladies issue. It is therefore not something that needs to be brought up when discussing his sexism, or issues with the show's female characters in general.

                Because that's what's been happening the past couple of weeks, really. Every time someone tries to critique a male character's sexism, an attempt is made to make them feel obligated to ALSO mention totally irrelevant good qualities, or it's 'not fair' or 'not balanced'. Reorienting discussions of a male character's treatment of women to be about being fair to the bloke is derailing, and it makes me side-eye that this concept constantly pops up.

                Basically, I see it like this. When I'm talking about sexism, or treatment of women, I'm talking about those things. If the good shit he did has nothing to do with either of those, *why* would I go out of my way to bring them up? And if it's to 'be balanced', well, I'm getting pretty sick of being obligated to be 'balanced' in every single comment in every single discussion about a fictional character. He's not real, guys, he doesn't care if we aren't being nice about him. Sexism isn't about making sure everyone knows he's a good guy *really*. The whole WORLD assures us that men are good guys deep down. It's about… calling out sexism!

                • settlingforhistory says:

                  I understand your point about sexism, but we are discussing a character and not only an aspect of men in general. So yes, his good points do not negate is flaws, but when people here explain why they don't like him or certain aspects of him, others can point out why they like him or why they think he is not only his flaws.
                  This has nothing to do with Xander beeing real or not, people overlook flaws in others they like a lot (even fictional characters) especially if they only noticed the flaws much later. I liked Xander from the start and still like him more than ten years later, even though I know see him in a different light.

                  • Genny_ says:

                    But… we're not discussing Xander as a whole. This isn't the, 'your thoughts on Xander as an entire character!' thread, now, is it? We're discussing *an element* of Xander as a character, and that element in this particular issue relates to sexism/women's issues.

                    If somebody is talking about how they don't like his sexist behaviour, and somebody ELSE comes in and says they DO like his heroic behaviour, that's derailing. It's attempting to take a discussion about the sexism in his character, and reorient it towards his heroism, which basically screws over the discussion of his sexism. Given the difficulty in general of having discussions about sexism, that is A Bad Thing.

                    If someone wants to talk about his good qualities, they can do so in an appropriate place. Don't wander into a discussion about something totally different, and act like it's relevant, you know?

                    (Seriously, we GET HE IS NOT ONLY HIS FLAWS. I am taking it for granted people will not assume if I only bring up his flaws in individual comments that I think that is all he is.)

            • t09yavosaur says:

              The way I understood lawrence_s's post, he wasn't saying that the CPR invalidated anything, just that Xander's interaction with Angel showed character development.

          • RoseFyre says:

            I love that line! Yes, Xander has issues. Not going to argue there. But he goes out to save Buffy's life, and he's the driving force there. HE is the one who says "we have to do something." HE is the one who gets Angel. HE is the one who suggests – and performs – CPR.

            So…issues, yes. But it's sadface inducing when people focus on only the bad things he does, because I prefer to focus on the awesome – for everyone, not just Xander.

            • arctic_hare says:

              WE GET THAT HE IS NOT JUST HIS FLAWS. Please assume that from now on when people criticize his behavior. I am sick and tired of being told that I'm not focusing enough on the good when I bring up valid criticism of his sexist behavior. I can focus on whatever I want, and everyone else is just as free to focus on what THEY want. Do you see me going to comments where people praise Xander and complaining that they're not seeing the bad along with the good? No. Deal with the fact that some people just don't like Xander for whatever reason.

              • RoseFyre says:

                I am trying not to get involved in this argument again.

                I love everyone, flaws and all. I'm just going to end with that.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  Goody for you. If you really don't want to get involved in this argument again, stop posting things about how it's ~so sad~ that people aren't seeing the good in Xander along with the bad. I'm going to quote Genny_'s comment again: "If somebody is talking about how they don't like his sexist behaviour, and somebody ELSE comes in and says they DO like his heroic behaviour, that's derailing. It's attempting to take a discussion about the sexism in his character, and reorient it towards his heroism, which basically screws over the discussion of his sexism. Given the difficulty in general of having discussions about sexism, that is A Bad Thing. "

                  So stop doing that, and you won't be involved in this argument again.

                  • RoseFyre says:

                    I am sorry you see it as derailing the conversation. I saw it as responding to the part of the comment that interested me, which was that line in particular – and a thought I had in response to that line.

                    I consciously chose not to respond to your original comment, which I believe was the right choice, because it would have likely made both of us angry and upset, which is not a state I particularly like to be in, or a state I particularly like to see others in.

                    At which point is the conversation already so derailed that responding isn't necessarily derailing it anymore. I don't know the answer to that question, but it's a thought I've had.

                    I'm trying to be less…I don't know, I'm having trouble thinking of a word. Jerky? The word that's not okay? Assholic? Not always nice? But it's hard when I get snapped at anytime I say something purely positive as well.

        • ladililn says:

          I definitely don't think slut-shaming is the right term. I'm not disagreeing with you about Xander in general, necessarily, but I think it's important that that sort of thing be used correctly–when there's a comment made directly against a woman's perceived promiscuity–because it IS a serious problem, and if it's used as a catch-all term for any time a woman is insulted or talked about in a negative light I'm afraid it lessens the weight of when calling out someone for slut-shaming is actually appropriate.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Jung nobhg jura rirelbar pevgvpvfrf uvz sbe qngvat Naln? Abg bhg bs wrnybhfl ohg whfg "Ernyyl? Ure?" Ubj vf gung qvssrerag?)

        I agree with you on all things Xander.
        Vg'f fb naablvat gung crbcyr znxr fhpu n ovt qrny bhg bs Knaqre ungvat Natry jura gur tveyf qvqa'g ernyyl jrypbzr uvf pubvpr va eryngvbafuvcf rvgure.
        Gurl jurera'g gung unccl nobhg Pbeql naq Jvyybj qvfyvxrq Naln n ybg.
        V guvax vg vf nyjnlf n ceboyrz jura bar bs lbhe sevraqf qbrfa'g yvxr lbhe obl-/tveysevraq, ohg dhrfgvbavat gung pubvpr qbrfa'g znxr gung sevraq rivy be zrna. Lrf, jung ur fnvq jnf hapnyyrq sbe, ohg ur ncbybtvmrq evtug nsgre gung naq fubjf ur fnvq vg fvzcyl bhg bs sehfgengvba. (Naq ur vf hasbeghangryl evtug nobhg ure.) Fcvxr unf fnvq zhpu jbefr guvatf gb Ohssl nobhg ure pubvpr bs zra naq V jvyy or fhecevfrq vs jr urer gur fnzr pevgvpvfz gura.

        • Genny_ says:

          Knaqre unfa'g UNQ nal eryngvbafuvcf lrg. Vg vfa'g lrg eryrinag. Naq naljnl, gur vqrn vg'f yrff n ovt qrny gung ur ungrf ba Natry orpnhfr gurl ungr ba Pbeql vf evqvphybhf. Vg whfg zrnaf gur tveyf nera'g cresrpg nobhg gur znggre rvgure.

          Gurer'f n qvssrerapr orgjrra dhrfgvbavat n sevraqf' qrpvfvba, naq n thl jub unf whfg orra erwrpgrq vafhygvat n jbzna sbe gung snpg ol vzcylvat ur xabjf orggre guna ure jung vf be vf abg n tbbq vqrn sbe ure. V unir n sevraq jubfr OS V pna'g fgnaq naq jub V guvax pna or rzbgvbanyyl znavchyngvir. V znantrq gb rkcerff fbzr jbeel gb ure nf n sevraq jvgubhg erfbegvat gb jung Knaqre qbrf urer, juvpu vf onfvpnyyl… jryy, yvxr V fnvq. Vg'f n oybxr trggvat naablrq ng n jbzna sbe ure pubvprf yvxr fur fubhyqa'g or znxvat gurz.

          …V unir gb nqzvg, V nterr nobhg Fcvxr gubhtu. Fvtu, V yvxr uvz naq nyy ohg V jvfu snaqbz jbhyqa'g or fb sbetvivat bs gur thl, ur pna or na nffubyr naq jbefr.

          • James says:

            Just wanted to say I agree with everything you said here.

          • @Ivana2804 says:

            Ertneqvat Fcvxr, V'z n znwbe Fcvxr sna naq V trg fb naablrq jura crbcyr jbbovsl uvz naq juvgrjnfu uvz naq znxr vg frrz yvxr ur jnf nyjnlf n terng thl naq oynzr Ohssl naq gur bgure punenpgref sbe gerngvat uvz "unefuyl".

            Gur jubyr cbvag bs Fcvxr'f nep vf gung ur fgnegrq bss ernyyl, ernyyl onq thl, naq uvf jubyr nep fubjf n pbzcyrgr punatr va uvf nggvghqr gb fgebat jbzra, ercerfragrq zrgncubevpnyyl ol gur Fynlref naq rfcrpvnyyl Ohssl. Va n srzvavfg fubj, n ybg bs bgure zra frrz "avpr" ohg gura fubj gurve qnex fvqr be nffubyvfu graqrapvrf, naq jvgu Fcvxr, vg'f fbeg bs erserfuvat orpnhfr uvf wrexnff graqrapvrf ner nyy evtug gurer va gur bcra. Ur fcraqf ng yrnfg gjb frnfbaf va gur terl ner jurer lbh qba'g xabj vs ur'f tbbq be onq orpnhfr ur pna fubj fbzr irel cbfvgvir naq cbfvgvir dhnyvgvrf naq gura or n gbgny nffubyr, hfhnyyl va gur fnzr rcvfbqr, fbzrgvzrf rira va gur ynfg fprar. Gur erny ornhgl bs uvf nep vf gung ur *punatrf* uvzfrys, ervairagf uvzfrys – jura gur byq znfphyvar vqragvgvrf ur gevrq orsber snvyrq, ur sbetrf n pbzcyrgryl arj vqragvgl naq, vafgrnq bs xvyyvat ure, vafgrnq bs gelvat gb cbffrff ure frkhnyyl naq rzbgvbanyyl, orpbzrf n zna jub trahvaryl fhccbegf gur srznyr ureb.

            Knaqre'f nep zvtug abg or nf qenzngvp, fvapr ur vfa'g tebjvat sebz gur ebyr bs Onq Thl nf Fcvxr vf, ohg sebz gur ebyr bs Avpr Thl (GZ), ohg vg pna nyfb or frra nf n fgbel nobhg n lbhat zna jub'f yrneavat ubj gb qrny jvgu fgebat jbzra naq jbzra va trareny va gur pbagrzcbenel jbeyq, yrggvat tb bss gur penc ur'f orra gnhtug.

        • arctic_hare says:

          Qba'g chg jbeqf va zl zbhgu be nffhzr gung V jba'g pevgvpvmr gur guvatf lbh zragvba jura jr trg gurer. Gur xrl jbeqf urer ner "jura jr trg gurer". V'z abg vagrerfgrq va qvfphffvat nalguvat rkprcg guvatf gung unir unccrarq va gur rcvfbqrf Znex unf frra. V jnag gb xrrc gur qvfphffvbaf V'z vaibyirq va pheerag gb Znex'f gvzryvar. Gung vf zl pubvpr. Jura Znex trgf gb gubfr bgure guvatf, V sbe bar jvyy unir cyragl gb fnl.

          • settlingforhistory says:

            V qvq abg chg jbeqf va lbhe zbhgu, V jnf gnyxvat nobhg snaf trarenyyl orrvat zber sbetvivat nobhg Fcvxr, V qvq abg zragvba lbh va nal jnl.
            Jul pna'g V fcrphyngr nobhg yngre rcvfbqrf? Jr ner jevgvat va ebg nsgre nyy?
            Jung V qba'g trg nobhg nyy gur Knaqre ungr urer: Knaqre arire uhegf nalbar. Ur vf qbexl naq vafrpher naq ur chgf uvf sbbg va zbhgu n ybg, ohg vg'f abg nf vs ur vf n gbgny znpub. Sbe fbzr snaf (naq ntnva V qba'g zrna lbh) gurer frrzf gb or abguvat cbvgvir nobhg uvz naq senaxyl V whfg qba'g haqrefgnaq gung.

        • Karen says:

          V guvax gur znva qvssrerapr orgjrra Fcvxr naq Knaqre vf gung hc hagvy frnfba 7, Fcvxr vg fgvyy n Onq Thl. Ur'f n inzcver jvgubhg n fbhy juvpu zrnaf jr'er fhccbfrq gb ivrj uvf npgvbaf naq jbeqf pevgvpnyyl. Ohg jvgu Knaqre, ur'f senzrq nf bar bs Bhe Urebrf naq uvf onq orunivbe vfa'g hfhnyyl pnyyrq bhg ol bgure punenpgref fb vg'f zber vzcyvpvgyl bx, lbh xabj?

        • Pseudonymph says:

          Gur ernfba Knaqre ungrf Natry unf nofbyhgryl abguvat gb qb jvgu Natry'f punenpgre naq rirelguvat gb qb jvgu gur snpg gung Ohssl pubfr Natry bire uvz.

          Jurernf Ohssl naq JVyybj'f qvfyvxr bs Naln unf gb qb jvgu ure crefbanyvgl juvpu zbfg crbcyr jvyy nterr vf fbzrjung tengvat. (V fgvyy ybir Naln).

          • Partes says:

            V qvfnterr jvgu guvf. Vg'f znqr cerggl boivbhf gung Knaqre qbrfa'g whfg qvfyvxr Natry orpnhfr Ohssl pubfr uvz, ohg orpnhfr Natry vf n inzcver. Qbrf wrnybhfl cynl n ebyr? Cebonoyl. Ohg pbzcner orsber Knaqre sbhaq bhg ur jnf n inzcvher gb nsgre: ur jrag sebz zbpxvat naq crggvarff gb bhgevtug qvfthfg, jbaqrevat jung gur uryy Ohssl jnf qbvat jvgu guvf thl. Ur unf n pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag ernpgvba gb Evyrl, sbe rknzcyr. Naq gur fnzr bar jvgu Fcvxr, nygubhtu gur ynggre vf zber pbzcyrk.

            "V qba'g yvxr lbh. Ng gur raq bs gur qnl, V cerggl zhpu guvax lbh'er n inzcver. Ohg Ohssl'f tbg guvf ovt byq lra sbe ln. Fur guvaxf lbh'er n erny crefba. Naq evtug abj V arrq lbh gb cebir ure evtug."

            Vafhygvat gur snpr gung fur guvaxf ur'f n erny crefba (juvpu Knaqre pyrneyl qbrf abg) vf n irel qvssrerag glcr bs pynvz guna jbhyq or znqr vs gur jubyr guvat jnf nobhg wrnybhfl. V'z abg qralvat gung vg'f n snpgbe, gubhtu.

            V ubarfgyl whfg guvax Knaqre unf vffhrf jvgu inzcverf. Ur'f fubja nf orvat cerggl qnza fbpvny nebhaq qrzbaf, ohg arire rkgraqf guvf gb gur bevtvany onqqvrf. Gung jnf zl vagrecergngvba jura V qvq zl ynfg er-jngpu, naljnl. Vg'f orra njuvyr fvapr gura naq V pbhyq ivrj guvatf qvssreragyl nf V'q arire ernyyl nffrffrq traqre vffhrf onpx gura, ohg jub xabjf.

      • Genny_ says:

        Unf nalbar rira *fnvq* vg'f qvssrerag? V unira'g tbggra gb gung cbvag zlfrys lrg (gubhtu V'ir frra ovgf naq cvrprf naq orra fcbvyrq sbe n ybg), naq lrnu, vg… qbrf fbhaq yvxr crbcyr ner xvaqn qvpxf nobhg vg. Ohg gung unf ab eryrinapr jungfbrire gb guvf. Gjb jebatf qba'g znxr n evtug, naq nyy.

        Anyway. I agree it's not slutshaming, but there is a seriously nasty tone of a guy 'deciding' what is and is not appropriate for a woman re: her dating tendencies when, really, not his business. He's being a jerk, but I think… IDK, I've just known too many guys who pulled that on women to quite leave it there, myself. It's a little beyond just 'jerk' to me, NGL.

        • notemily says:

          Especially the way he says it, "I guess a guy's gotta be undead to make time with you." He takes the thing he likes least about Angel (or you can see it as, he takes Angel's biggest flaw) and says that that's WHY Buffy likes Angel. Which is kind of awful. And it plays into the whole bad boy/nice guy trope with Xander painting himself as the Nice Guy as opposed to Angel's Bad Boy, when frankly, Angel has been nothing but kind to Buffy so far.

          • Genny_ says:

            Dang, seriously. Like, okay, Angel is a vampire, which is kind of terrifying and potentially A Bad Idea! And risky, and dangerous. But as *a person*, as the person he is *right now*, he does not *act* 'bad' towards Buffy. He's kinda broody and serious, but he's the sort of guy who you can actually trust to keep his back turned when you're changing, he's the kind of guy who knows when to shut up. (And I don't even *like* Angel much, for the record!) In terms of how Buffy actually views him, since she's never seen all the things that'd possibly stick him in the 'Bad Boy' slot- it's very clear she's really interested in him because he's *not*. Xander is being really kind of… I don't think manipulative, but not a million miles away from it, when he frames it like that. He's ignoring the fact that Buffy hasn't actually seen any of his ~dangerous~ stuff, really. It was, after all, long before her time.

          • RoseFyre says:

            Well, Angel has been all mysterious and confusing and stuff – and what's with the messages and the not wanting to help in the first two episodes? But true, he's not been mean.

      • celestineangel says:

        I think if he were perceptive enough to know how Willow felt, he'd be able to know how Buffy didn't feel.

        Except he doesn't want to know how Buffy doesn't feel. I'm pretty sure he does know, in the same perceptive way he knows about Willow, but he's less willing to admit it to himself.

        • notemily says:

          Jacob Clifton has his problems, but I will always remember this quote of his:

          Where the fuck did we, as a people, get the idea that climbing up on the coffee cart and declaring our undying love for people was a good idea? It's the stupidest, most solipsistic thing I can think of. I mean, romantic gestures are one thing, but if you're trying to answer a complicated question like this, I can't think of anything more pointless. If you honestly don't know how somebody feels about you, take a moment to remember that actually you totally do, and proceed accordingly. (Source)

          It's mostly just that last sentence that relates to Xander here, since he didn't publicly declare his love of Buffy, thank the gods.

        • Pseudonymph says:

          Exactly. He knows how Willow feels and he knows how Buffy doesn't feel he's just in denial.

        • tigerpetals says:

          Buffy told him he was a girl friend in Witch. And she displays interest in at least two guys onscreen who are not him.

      • kristinc says:

        Bah. Guys are always getting passes for being "clueless", conveniently enough when said cluelessness lets them avoid either interpersonal relationship work or culpability for their actions. (There's actual research demonstrating that men read subtle or indirect interpersonal cues every bit as well as women can, except in areas concerning romantic requests and refusals — where they suddenly become "clueless". ) It's gross to see it perpetuated with Xander's characterization. Being "clueless" is a privilege, as is having a shit fit when your cluelessness is forcibly removed from you.

        And "just" being a jerk to her about liking someone other than him is also really, really gross. With literal slut-shaming the message is shame on you, woman, for daring to think you can choose who has access to your vagina! Here it's shame on you, woman, for daring to think you can choose who you want to be with! Not a whole lot better really.

        • Genny_ says:

          "Being "clueless" is a privilege"- exactly. Guys are told they can get away with whatever because boys will be boys, so why bother learning the rules when nobody will punish you for breaking them?

          • Katie says:

            That is such a cool thought, with much wider application, I think. For example, men get to be clueless about raising babies or housework and therefore dump it on their wives and girlfriends while they go to work and gain power and reputation. Whereas if you actually measure their ability to feed a baby or mop a floor, they do it every bit as well as women.

            • Genny_ says:

              Yes! Exactly! And to turn it around, women *don't* get to be clueless about being the breadwinner. Not because they're expected to be one themselves- they're not- but because they are *insulted* for not being the breadwinner, for not being 'good enough' to be one. Work, in my experience, is prized above childrearing (not to mention the expectation women do both nowadays, while men are still only expected to do one). If you're a woman who ignores all that… well, you're 'allowed', but expect an insult for it.

              Likewise, any man who does then deign to help out is seen as SO AMAZING!!! for defying that concept. Because men have the privilege of being ignorant, and giving that up is soooo noble or… something. (This whole concept is weird to me, because I was raised with these things being divided very neatly, so I simply don't get the, ahem, 'logic'…)

        • lawrence_s says:

          I'm not giving him a pass for being clueless, but the world is not divided so simply into people who are or aren't misogynists. The fact that he says sexist things does not make him an awful person or a bully or a woman hater. The reason he says them is cluelessness about the correct behaviour or cluelessness about people's feelings, and I think it's valid to point that out without it being assumed to be an attempt to excuse it.

          I bring it up because people seem to want to assume the worst of him. There's no benefit of the doubt, or any assumption that he can possibly learn to behave better. There seems to be a belief that he's automatically irredeemable because he makes sexist comments, without any regard to why he makes comments that are sexist.

          And in reference to what I wrote above, I'm saying if he had realised how Willow or Buffy felt, he would have gone about it differently, which is very different from realising how they feel and just not caring. (And I don't mean realising on a superficial level, but truly realising and understanding. He may have hints of it but not really 'get' it.) But again, people seem to want to assume the worst of him (and the writers, for that matter) and believe that he really is being overtly mean as opposed to just clueless and insensitive.

          Here it's shame on you, woman, for daring to think you can choose who you want to be with!

          Wait, why does it have to be because she's a woman? Where does he say or even imply that? Can't he just be being an ass because she, as a person, is choosing to be with someone other than him? That's the part I don't get. Would it be different if a) Willow told Buffy she shouldn't try to be with Angel, or b) Willow told Angel he shouldn't try to be with Buffy, or c) Xander told Angel he shouldn't try to be with Buffy?

          And I don't think any of those cases is different. It's someone judging another person's choice of relationship, and that alone makes it inappropriate, but it's not because of any person's sex.

          • kristinc says:

            "It's someone judging another person's choice of relationship, and that alone makes it inappropriate, but it's not because of any person's sex"

            And yet women, not men, are subject to it the vast majority of the time.

            I don't do feminism 101 anymore because it makes the veins in my temples throb but maybe someone here who handles it better will explain how you're minimizing the realities of misogyny and male entitlement.

            • lawrence_s says:

              And yet women, not men, are subject to it the vast majority of the time.

              While this is true, correlation does not equal causation. It is not automatically sexist when a man says what Xander says to Buffy. It may be, but I think that it minimises the realities of misogyny a lot more to assume he's being sexist when he's really just being jealous and stupid.

              There are a LOT of reasons this has happened more to women historically, and some of it is because of sexism, and some of it isn't.

              But just because he's male and she's female does not make it sexist to tell her he'd rather she be with him than Angel. It's rude and definitely selfish, but simply being male does not make any judgement or criticism of a female (however accurate or not) automatically sexist or misogynistic.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, no, it's not the same. There's not the same history of men being shamed for their choices in the same way women are, and misandry, unlike misogyny, does not actually exist. Maybe I'm making too many assumptions based on your username, but if you are in fact male, I advise you to knock it off with the mansplaining.

            • Michael says:

              I'm sorry, but this comment itself strikes me as kind of sexist–he's not allowed to attempt to make an explanation unless he's female? Then again, it is possible that there is a specific definition of 'mansplaining' other than the obvious (a man trying to explain things?) that I am not aware of. If so, I apologize.

              I'm not trying to turn this into some raging debate of feminism, but there are a few points here I'm genuinely a bit confused or concerned about. I appreciate that there's a lot of history of misogyny, and that it still obviously goes on today. I also appreciate that as a male, I probably can't really understand what it's like to face that sort of discrimination–I lack the context. As a white male heterosexual Christian living in America, I'm not very familiar with being on the receiving end of discrimination at all. So, if anything I say comes across as stupid, I'm very sorry–I'm trying to understand this, and my own feelings and ideas about discrimination, a bit better. The thing that gets me right now is that the history of what other men have done and said before us prevents us from being able to make the same comments women would make. You say that it is not the same thing for Xander to advise Buffy against dating Angel as it is for Willow? I don't see how the presence of misogyny in history makes that distinction fair. Shouldn't the goal be equal rights as friends for both Willow and Xander? I'm not saying Xander should have any control over what Buffy does, but as a friend can't he give advice just as Willow could?

              • awildmiri says:

                While I don't disagree with what you say entirely, and I am a fan of Xander myself, I will point out that there is a world of difference between 'giving advice' and 'making pissed-off comments about choices in men specifically because the choice is not him'. Xander isn't trying to give advice against dating Angel as a friend – put it this way. Hypothetically, think of Giles telling Buffy it's a bad idea to date Angel. He'd lay out the reasons why it's a bad idea, why Angel could be dangerous, why a Slayer dating a vampire is a recipe for disaster, etc etc. Think of Willow doing the same, or Cordelia. They might lay out that what kind of life could they really have, when Angel can't go out in the sun and is kind of, y'know, dead, even if he's hot? Xander doesn't do that. He lashes out. It's not advice, it's making hurtful comments because he's hurt and angry and embarrassed.

                There is a lot of baggage in guys telling girls who they should and shouldn't date, but in this day and age – what it comes down to is the reasons behind it. Giles giving genuine advice to Buffy because he fears for her safety in her choice wouldn't be icky. Xander having a fit because she likes Angel and not him is not for Buffy's sake, it's all about him and his feelings. He's making it about himself by calling her out, and he's doing it in a really below-the-belt reactionary angry way, so it's icky. Does that make sense?

              • shoroko says:

                The term "mansplaining" refers to the tendency by some men (who due to male privilege are accustomed to having their opinions valued and credited in a way that those of women are not – though they often don't pick up on this because, again, it's a privilege, and therefore something you often don't notice if you have it) to tell women how they should be feeling, or explain their feelings to them, particularly with regard to things like sexism or their sexual activity. It doesn't mean men can't explain anything ever (we are all, after all, here because we like reading the reviews of the person who runs this site, who is a man); it means that those with male privilege should be careful about dictating to a woman when she should feel offended or how she should act while being dismissive of her feelings and opinions.

                Look, here's the thing: I've been Buffy in that scene with Xander. I've done it more than I would like because I'm gay, and at first wasn't really able to accept it, and then wasn't open about it. I won't lead a guy on, so I reject them. A lot of the time, they're actually pretty great about it – I think I've been lucky on that count. But sometimes they're not. Sometimes their jealousy and heartache get the best of them and they lash out, and sometimes they do it in a very gendered, sexist manner. Now, I think you honestly meant it, but characterizing what Xander did to Buffy in this scene as "giving advice" comes off as willfully ignorant. That's not at all what happened. The show is perfectly aware that this isn't what happened, given that Buffy notes how what he's saying is harsh, and Xander goes from one rejection to another, with both women noting his uncalled-for behavior. The narrative is letting you know that what Xander's doing here is not okay.

                Because this is what Xander is doing: he's angry that Buffy doesn't return his feelings, and he's handling it by insulting the person for whom she does have feelings. There are valid reasons to dislike or criticize Angel (I personally don't like him that much, but that's a different issue), but Xander isn't doing that. He's criticizing Buffy for liking someone who isn't him. He's lashing out at her because she's not behaving in a way that he'd like, and it's all the more colored by the fact that what he's talking about here is her sexual behavior. There are a whole lot of reasons why those kinds of comments can sound out alarm bells for women, because its purpose – whether Xander really intended this or hoped this would be the result of his comments – is to shame women into following certain conducts of behavior – in this case, be with me, the Nice Guy, not him, the Bad Guy. That's not okay. The show knows it's not okay and makes a point of that. So it feels kind of awful to hear it mischaracterized as "giving advice."

                (That all being said, I actually liked that the show had Xander do it, because sexism isn't confined to Those Bad Sexist Guys. All sorts of people can be sexist, including people who may otherwise be nice and likeable. I thought it was a good to show that, given that it's often not portrayed that way, and it was something I could personally relate to.)

                • Michael says:

                  No, you're entirely right–Xander is not giving advice here, he definitely has other motivations at the moment. I think the thing that bugged me was the term mansplaining being used to describe Lawrence's actions, since he never implied it was good for Xander to dictate Buffy's actions. As far as I could see, Lawrence was just arguing that Xander wasn't being sexist, just selfish. And I can sort of agree–for example, if Buffy were a man but Xander and Angel were both romantically involved with him, and Xander were rejected, I could see him behaving the same way and attempting to shame the male version of Buffy. One of the standards I first heard to describe sexism was whether or not someone is treated differently because of their gender. I don't think this situation is happening because Buffy is a woman, I think it is because Xander is terrible at handling relationship situations maturely. It just so happens that, as a heterosexual male, all of these situations he is not good at handling are going to involve women. I don't know, maybe that's just getting into unnecessary sophistry.

                  • arctic_hare says:

                    A man trying to explain to me why something isn't sexist will always come off to me as mansplaining.

                    • Michael says:

                      But what if the thing the man is attempting to explain actually isn't sexist?

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      It really isn't up to a (cis) man to decide if something isn't sexist, because they don't experience sexism like women do, due to their male privilege.

                    • Michael says:

                      I've been thinking about this for a while, and I can't say that I agree with it. I'm totally on board with the idea that men can't understand what sexism feels like to experience, having no equivalent, but I don't think it's true that men are incapable of recognizing sexism, or distinguishing between what is and isn't sexist. We might need to make more effort to be aware of it, because of our own privilege, but I don't see either gender as having the sole responsibility to determine what is and isn't sexist. It seems to me that it lies with both–men have a part to play in stopping sexism, as male behavior constitutes a large part of sexism. I don't see how we can do that if we lack the ability to distinguish between what is and isn't sexist.

                    • Michael says:

                      Why?

                      I'm sorry, that came off as kind of abrupt. Let me clarify.

                      As I've said before, I get that as a man, I can't understand what it feels like to be on the receiving end of sexism. I don't have that experience. But sexism has to have some definition, some recognizable behavior. And I don't think that someone's gender determines whether or not they can recognize sexism when they see it. Something is either sexist, or it isn't. I don't see why being a man prevents me from being able to tell whether or not something is sexist.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      But it does. Because sexism affects women, not men. Your privilege prevents you from seeing it all in the same way women do. Therefore you don't have any right to tell a woman that something she perceives as sexist isn't. It isn't your call, as notemily said.

                    • Michael says:

                      Sexism can affect men too. Men are held up to unfair standards just as women are. I'm not going to argue about degree, because in this instance I don't think it really matters–sexism is not a one way street. Your way of handling sexism makes the assumption that not only are only women the victim of sexism, but also that it is impossible for a woman to ever be wrong about whether she is discriminated against. Making the assumption that no woman can ever be wrong while men are incapable of recognizing sexism seems sexist to me.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      No. It's not remotely the same. You are derailing.

                    • Michael says:

                      All right. You are certainly correct in that any sexism men have faced pales in comparison to what women have and do experience. I suppose that whether or not men experience any form of sexism is irrelevant in this case anyway. Back onto the rails, then.

                      My main sticking point on the way you present sexism is the lack of any allowance for the fact that women might mistakenly identify sexism. I don't want to get bogged down in hypotheticals, but if I were an employer who hired a man over a woman because the man was better qualified, and the woman accused me of being sexist, do I not have the right to say that I wasn't? I entirely agree that it is extremely important for women to be able to identify sexist behavior without being shamed or pressured out of calling people out on it, but I feel like if any progress is to be made on the issue everyone needs to be able to identify offensive behavior–it's either that, or men will constantly be relying on women to identify when they are being sexist, which puts all the pressure on women to be vigilant for sexism, and none on men to improve their behavior.

                      I'm sorry if I'm coming across as hostile here, I'm really not trying to be. I am, however, sometimes bad at reading how my tone comes across in text. This site has made me do a lot of thinking about privilege that I had never really done before I came here, and I'm glad that I might learn something from it. I looked at the derailing list, and do not intend to use the "If You don't Educate me, how can I learn?" card on you, but still–thank you for being willing to have a civil discussion about this.

                    • echinodermata says:

                      There's no need to make hypotheticals when the topic started with Xander's behavior.

                      Flat out, Xander's behavior was disrespectful to Buffy's feelings and choices. It was a failure to respect her agency.

                      What makes that sexist is that we live in a patriarchal society. You cannot simply switch gender and sex in a situation and have it read in exactly the same way every time because that is to ignore millennia of history. A man devaluing a woman's agency and ignoring her choices about her own sexuality and romantic/sexual attraction to others is indeed a sign of sexism because it fits the pattern used to oppress women. Coupled with the fact that this is not an isolated incident from Xander, but is in fact one in well-established pattern of Nice Guy behavior from him, then yes, people – women – will call his behavior sexist.

                      When it comes to a matter of someone calling out privilege and marginalizing behavior, the people who lack privilege and who are marginalized are better equipped to see something as sexist (or racist or cissexist or etc.). Not understanding this is to not understand the concept of privilege as used in these discussions.

                      To actually understand why it is not your call on what is or is not sexist is to understand your male privilege. To that, I ask you look into the matter yourself because this is a feminism 101 matter. Literally, google feminism 101 and you'll get a good start on where we're coming from.

                      It's not a matter of men unilaterally not being able to make the call on what is and is not sexist, but rather that someone with male privilege has been taught not to see sexism.

                    • notemily says:

                      What makes that sexist is that we live in a patriarchal society. You cannot simply switch gender and sex in a situation and have it read in exactly the same way every time because that is to ignore millennia of history.

                      this this this this this.

                    • notemily says:

                      Thank YOU for being willing to learn, seriously.

                    • notemily says:

                      Men ARE held up to unfair standards just as women are. Sexism affects men too, absolutely. But this is an argument for fighting sexism in general, not insisting that men be able to define sexism. I invite you to read this blog post in its entirety. Especially these bits:

                      Sexist male norms and sexist female norms aren’t separate things in our culture, which can be fought separately and one-at-a-time; they are one and the same thing, codependent norms from hell, flip sides of the same poisonous coin.

                      Although sexism affects (and hurts) both women and men, in the end it’s almost always women who end up with the short end of the stick, politically, socially and materially (compared to men of the same race, class, etc.). So most of the time, when we fight for equality and justice, that means improving the status of women.

                    • notemily says:

                      Cis men don't get to define what is sexist and what isn't. Just like cis people don't get to define what is cissexist. White people don't get to define what is racist. Able-bodied people don't get to define what is ableist. Straight people don't get to define what is homophobic/heterosexist. So how do you tell? You LISTEN to the people actually affected by these things, because they know far more about it than you ever will.

                      Here is a good post about mansplaining, if you'd like to learn more. I also recommend Finally a Feminism 101 Blog, which explains a lot of the concepts we're talking about here. They have pages on the definition of sexism, "reverse" sexism, and the Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

                • notemily says:

                  *Orson Welles applause*

            • lawrence_s says:

              I'm going to try to address this in as neutral a way as possible, because honestly, I don't want the discussion to get acrimonious, and I don't want it to be about the commenters as individuals, and I can see it leading there. We should discuss the words, not the people saying them, right?

              I'm not trying to explain your feelings or reactions. I'm not trying to judge your feelings or reactions. And I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, or tell them what to feel – I apologise if I was unclear about that. I generally try very hard in my posts to frame things other people have said as just my perception of the debate, but it's definitely possible I didn't use the best words to describe that it was only my understanding of what people were saying ("Tvyrf, ab bar vf hfvat gur 'V' fgngrzragf!"), plus, I could be (and seem to be) misunderstanding what some people are saying. It happens, we're all human. (Unless you are, as your username might imply, actually a rabbit. πŸ™‚

              I'm only explaining and yes, defending my own point of view. My opinions are mine and I'm certainly not trying to project them on to anyone else, but I'm just giving my perspective, which is that I don't think in this particular case, that Xander is being overtly sexist, or that his actions here come from sexist thoughts, and that I don't think it's necessarily sexist to say what he said (in some cases it may be, and in other not, but I don't really believe in that many absolutes, so I'd rather find the grey area and suggest that while his words could be perceived as sexist due to the history of sexist behaviour, they don't have to be, and my explanation is simply the alternative to that – because again, we agree that what he said to Buffy was way out of line, as did Buffy herself, for that matter, we just have differing opinions as to exactly why it was out of line).

              I do not, however, appreciate attempts to shut me down just because my opinion may be unpopular or because I don't fit the profile of someone who should have an opinion on an issue.

              I would like to know how I can participate in a discussion of sexism and other issues without being perceived as 'mansplaining', because I think this is an important issue (not just in the context of Buffy, either) and I don't think I should be disqualified from having or sharing an opinion on it (or any issue relating to privilege) just because I'm part of a historically privileged group.

              At the end of all this, my point is, we've got 131 episodes to go, and there's going to be a lot of discussion of a lot of different subjects (vf nalbar ryfr rntreyl nagvpvcngvat gur, gb chg vg zvyqyl, 'phyghenyyl vafrafvgvir' rcvfbqr, Vapn Zhzzl Tvey?) some of which may hit home for people here, some of which may be controversial, ALL of which, though, will likely spark, for lack of a better term, 'intense debate', in which everyone should be able to participate.

              • arctic_hare says:

                I'm going to explain this as concisely as possible: men do not have the right to tell women that something they perceive as sexist is not sexist. Period. It's no different from how I, as a white person, do not get to tell a person of color that something they perceive as racist is not racist. Your responsibility as a privileged person to listen to marginalized people, not to try and tell them they're wrong when they see something as oppressive/offensive.

                • lawrence_s says:

                  I understand what you are saying. And I hope I'm not splitting hairs by saying this, but here goes:

                  I am not telling you you are wrong. I never was, I never intended to. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was correcting you or trying to marginalise your perceptions and feelings. That's never been and never will be my intention or desire.

                  I don't believe in such absolutes in the first place, and I wouldn't have the objective authority to set them down even if I did.

                  I can only offer my own perceptions, and I only ever intend for those to become part of the discussion, not a replacement for the rest of the discussion, not an absolute counter to everyone's opinion that is different. And again, I'm sorry if I came off as trying to sound authoritative, because I'm not trying to be.

                  I present my thoughts in the hopes that they will in some way augment the overall conversation, even if that ends up being via a very circuitous route to this kind of meta-conversation, which has helped me better to understand your and others' points of view (even if I haven't always expressed mine in the best way possible).

                  If I am just splitting hairs and there really is no distinction between offering my own opinion and correcting someone else's, then I'm sorry, I won't bring it up again.

                  And while I'm here (and reading downthread a bit), I do want to apologise for the derailing comment I made about Xander's line to Angel earlier – I mostly brought it up because I really liked the line and it felt at least somewhat relevant to the discussion, but now I realise I should have just posted it at the top level, because it was largely unrelated to what we were discussing here.

                  • echinodermata says:

                    I'm going to give you some context because I think you may be missing it.

                    This is largely a feminist space. Mark started by reviewing Twilight and ripped the series to shreds because of its sexist, racist, heteronormative messages. That's the original audience base.

                    The set-up of the websites is such to foster critical discussion about social issues in media, where people addressing the media as problematic are encouraged to share. If I'm looking for places to talk about Buffy or Doctor Who or whatever, there aren't many places where I can lay down my thoughts about how these shows don't deliver on race or gender or sexuality issues without getting harangued by people who don't want to listen and who will accuse me of being PC and will give me abuse and essentially won't let be view a show through socially-conscious lenses. So Mark's sites are one of the few places I've ever felt like I could discuss these things and not have to be on the defense about it. And yet, here I am feeling defensive about finding Xander's behavior sexist and calling it such.

                    You are coming into this environment, where it's custom and expected for people to call out *ist behavior, and consistently playing devil's advocate or something like it where we have to defend our belief that Xander is behaving in sexist ways. What may seem an interesting discussion to you is a grating feeling of 'not this again, please please not this again why must I always have to defend myself when I'm calling out gross shit?' to me.

                    Basically, please let us have this space where we can call out sexism as we see it and not have to defend our views constantly. Because we get that everywhere else. Please consider the fact that we actively don't want to be having these discussions that you're bringing up.

          • Tavyan says:

            I just want to mention that by veering off from the ideas of binary gender into the grey areas of "personage", as a group we're not going to get very far since most of the population only seems to be looking at and enforcing the essentialist segregation between binary genders.

            From what I've been reading, most of Lawrence's posts tend to look at Xander through the lens of behavior and personality, instead of the identity that most other people are putting on Xander. The problem is that the two are fundamentally different topics that exist on separate levels. By labeling Xander as a sexist male, that is defining him in essentialist terms. Lawrence, however, seems to be using words like "person" and "behavior", which reads as though Lawrence is attempting to use social constructionism to explain the character instead.

            As a quick and dirty wikipedia involved explanation, essentialism is the belief that gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, or other group characteristics are fixed traits, discounting variation among group members as secondary.(1) Xander identifies as a white male and is possibly sexist and misogynist. This is unlikely to change, as it is who he is internally. Essentialism thrives on identifying with certain binaries.

            On the contrary, social constructs are understood to be the by-products of countless human choices rather than laws resulting from nature.(2) There is no identity, there is behavior. There are no binaries, there is personality. Xander's behaviors are products of certain situations and are able and likely to change depending on external factors.

            I don't believe Lawrence is attempting to minimize the realities of male entitlement and "mansplaining". I think this discussion is attempting to rationally argue two completely separate and incompatible lines of thinking. And I don't think either side should feel forced to "knock it off", but I feel we should come to an understanding that there is little that can be agreed upon unless first agreeing on a singular baseline of discussion.

            Then, in the words of Mark, "we all take the time to be respectful of the varied and diverse people who come here; that means collectively doing our best to think about the things we say so that all people who want to discuss these shows can do so without feeling like the very essence of who they might be is not welcome at all."

            Because let me tell you the ways in which I've been feeling not welcome as a Genderqueer individual during the repeated ongoing binary gender Xander-characterization discussions. Especially with the incredible amounts of covert gender related bigotry.

            (1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Essentialism#Essenti
            (2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_constructioni

            • arctic_hare says:

              This is hard to answer because… I don't want to cissplain? And I think you bring up a good point about essentialism and I'm genuinely sorry you haven't felt welcome here. But at the same time I don't think we can ignore centuries of sexism and misogyny and the way that women IRL get treated the way Buffy gets treated by Xander every day, etc. I thank you for commenting, though. And I do mean that.

        • tigerpetals says:

          Actual research? I mean I knew it was true, but not that there was actual research. Gee, I wonder why it's not widely publicized. Whatever could the reason be.

    • Genny_ says:

      Agreed on Xander being a Nice Guy. He has this attitude of changing her mind, because clearly any situation that doesn't match up to what *he* wants is wrong and needs fixing, and it's just… gross. And I do actually feel this episode showed it as a flaw on his part better than the rest of the series, because he never gets validated and Buffy is never put in the wrong for it which suggests that she's perfectly entitled to turn him down and that if he reacts badly that's therefore wrong? And then there's obviously the stuff with Willow. But after the way most of s1 has handled him, it still just leaves this bitter taste to me.

      However, I will admit: I always assumed he actually doesn't know about Willow. Because his biggest flaw is his self-absorption, and I think he'd assume that because *he* only saw Willow as a friend, then she'd obviously only ever see him as a friend? Is there anything to actually imply otherwise?

      • arctic_hare says:

        Well, after his line in The Pack about Willow "kidding herself", I figured he knew at that point, or knew afterwards, since he remembered everything.

        • Genny_ says:

          …Hm. You have a point there, but maybe he's in denial? I feel like Xander would be genuinely weirded out at the concept of his BFF Willow being in love with him, so it feels odd to me to read him as knowing at this stage, tbh.

          Maybe it's inconsistencies between episodes, idk?

          • arctic_hare says:

            It probably is just inconsistencies at this point, yeah.

            • sporkaganza93 says:

              You could maybe handwave it as having not considered himself to be "himself" while possessed by the hyena spirit, and thinking that the hyena spirit must have been wrong, that no way it could really be true. But I'll have to admit that's really shaky.

            • Hyaroo says:

              Actually, I think it works. In "The Pack," Xander was not only MEAN, but also appallingly smug and self-obsessed. Hyena-Xander cared nothing about friendship and saw other people only as sources for meat or sex, and so it's not that surprising that he would look at Willow and think "she totally wants me."

              When Xander is freed from the hyena, he is deeply ashamed of everything he said and did while under its influence — so much ashamed, in fact, that he pretends to have amnesia in order to distance himself further from the person he briefly was. It makes sense to me that when thinking about that moment with himself and Willow, he'd say to himself: "That was the Hyena, that wasn't me. The Hyena's a jerk and doesn't know anything about anything, of course Willow doesn't want me, she's my best friend, the Hyena was wrong about her, just like he was wrong about anything else."

              And so, he really doesn't know that Willow has a crush on him — he might have known if he'd been willing to accept his Hyena interpretation as anything but a bunch of rotten lies, but he's rejected the idea completely. I don't know whether this counts as denial, self-delusion or something else, but I do believe Xander genuinely did not think Willow had any feelings for him.

              Does that make sense?

    • notemily says:

      I want to hear that story too! Joyce & Hank: The Prequel!

      • Dru says:

        I know what you mean, though in my case it's an Early Years of Qnja Fhzzref that I want.

        (and if I want to see the story of Joyce and anyone, it would def. be Wblpr naq Tvyrf: Ohssl'f Serfuzna Lrne. V zrna, lbh XABJ gurl obgu tbg rzcgl arfg flaqebzr bs n fbeg, rfcrpvnyyl pbafvqrevat Qnja qvqa'g rira rkvfg lrg.)

    • Katie says:

      It's list time, but is it also prediction post time for season 2? C'mon Mark, you know how much we love [laughing at] those.

    • sundaycoma says:

      I just want to say, even though I know I'm lightyears behind everyone else in this blog, that these kind of conversations are the reason why I love Mark Does Stuff. I know it may have gotten heated and I'm sorry for any stressful reactions any of this conversation may have aroused or caused in the actual participants but it is truly wonderful to get to read so many varied viewpoints and be forced to run them through your own thought-filter so that you're forced to think about things you previously hadn't considered when you were originally watching this show when you were at the tender, innocent age of 8. __Thank you guys all so much for sharing and existing and being so passionate about those first two. And at least a round of applause to our moderators for getting personally involved in conversations and actually CONVERSING in them as opposed to abusing the authority they're given. Somewhere in the universe, I've a batch of freshly baked cookies for all us cut into the shape of gold stars. (Gluten free, vegan options available – trying to be all inclusive here).

  3. enigmaticagentscully says:

    -Last episode of the season woooooo…
    -Awwww Xander why are you always doing this to Willow?
    -Does Giles LIVE in the library?
    -Reading out loud from these books never ends well
    -Oh shit earthquake!
    -Awwww Giles all concerned for Buffy is adorable
    -Oh Xander! He finally did it!
    -Well this is tragically awkward
    -HEY!!! It’s Miss Calendar! I was hoping we’d see her again!
    -Apocalypse stuff? Shit.
    -Oh god Xander, don’t make Willow your pity date
    -YUS Willow tell it like it is
    -EWEWEW blood instead of water
    -Oh my god
    -This is heartbreaking
    -Stop making me cry
    -Stopitstopitstopitstopitstopit
    -Crying actual tears now
    -Oh no Buffy’s mom is so cute and supportive and HOLD ME
    -Are Willow and Cordy BFFs now? Because that’s adorable
    -HOLY SHIT
    -Oh my god that’s pretty horrific
    -Oh Willow
    -Let me hug you please
    -No Buffy don’t die this episode is going to KILL ME
    -GILES
    -LET ME LOVE YOU
    -I am dehydrated from tears
    -Omg she punched Giles
    -That is spectacular
    -Did Xander just refer to Locutus of Borg? He just went up like two spots in my favourite characters list
    -Annnnddd….he was mean to Miss Calendar so he’s sunk back down again
    -Ok, it’s kind of awesome that he stood up to Angel and all
    -So the kid’s job wasliterally just to lead her to the Master?
    -Seems kinda pointless
    -BWAHAHAHA Angel checking out Xander’s neck = weirdly funny moment in very dramatic episode
    -Oh sweet Vampire prom tiem!
    -Or not
    -EEP
    -WHAT
    -WHAT
    -WHAT
    -WHAT
    -NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO
    -She’s DEAD???
    -CORDELIA TO THE RESCUE YUSSSS
    -Ok, she’s alive for now
    -Won’t she be a vampire now?
    -I want to watch an entire show of just Willow, Cordelia and Miss Calendar stunt driving
    -WHAT THE FUCK
    -ASDFGHJKLSDFGHKL!!!!!!!!
    -I CANNOT HANDLE ANY ASPECT OF THIS EPISODE
    -THEY’RE COMING IN THROUGHT THE STACKS
    -This is like my mum’s worst nightmare
    -She’s a librarian by the way
    -CORDELIA BITES VAMPIRES
    -ASDFGHJKLASDFGHJKL
    -ASDFGHJKLASDFGHJKLASDFGHJK
    -THE HELLMOUTH IS UNDER THE FUCKING LIBRARY????
    -KICK HIS ASS BUFFY
    -YES
    -YES
    -The library is so trashed
    -Save the world, then go to the prom. LOVE IT.

    So…there are no words for this episode. You may have guessed this by the fact that almost all of my notes dissolved into CAPSLOCK near the end. I’m not going to go as far as saying this is now my FAVOURITE SHOW OF ALL TIEM or anything but…it’s gotten a spot in the top ten. Maybe even the top five. I mentioned in ‘Mark Watches Avatar’ that I can always tell if a show is going to be a favourite by a simple criteria – if it makes me actually cry and actually laugh out loud in the same episode. This did both. It also made me scream hysterically for about ten minutes straight, jump up and down in my chair and basically make a complete idiot of myself. I feel emotionally drained after watching that. I am genuinely exhausted. I mean, Jesus take the wheel you guys, this episode was FUCKING FANTASTIC. I can’t even…I’m just gonna let everyone else talk about it because I am so done.
    Sign me the fuck up for the rest of this show.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      "Won’t she be a vampire now?"

      No, she'd have to drink a vampire's blood and die and not be brought back to life. Vampires' bodies are dead in human terms, it's only the supernatural that's animating them.

    • James says:

      Won’t she be a vampire now?
      No, it's in the first episode that you have to feed from the vampire to be turned in this lore.

    • Jenn says:

      "I can always tell if a show is going to be a favourite by a simple criteria – if it makes me actually cry and actually laugh out loud in the same episode."

      Two mega spoilery words: Gur Obql

    • MelvinTheBold says:

      "-Omg she punched Giles
      -That is spectacular …"

      "When he wakes up, tell him… I don't know. Make up something cool, tell him I said it." Buffy, last words to a human before she dies.

      The whole drama and pathos thing is good, and the shows high-school-is-hell metaphor's nice and all, but that line is the point when I was decisively hooked.

  4. Karen says:

    This episode opens with an earthquake! I lived about 8 miles from the epicenter of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake which happened when I was six years old, so yes, I have had experience with the joys of earthquakes. (I did LOL super hard when the Master turned to the Anointed One after the earthquake finished and guessed what it would be on the Richter scale because that is EXACTLY what my friends and family- and probably everyone else who lives in an area prone to earthquakes- does. Also the idea that the school would remain open with that kind of damage to the library is kinda ludicrous, but I’ll roll with it.). At least the Northridge Earthquake wasn’t a portent for my death. Poor Buffy, but more on that later.

    WOW, XANDER. “I guess a guy’s got to be undead to make time with you.” That was kind of uncalled for. Buffy was really kind when she let you down. No need to throw what happened with Angel in her face. You’re right, Xander. You don’t handle rejection well. Then Xander asks Willow to the dance and the fact that Xander just assumes that Willow will agree to go to the dance with him speaks volumes. No Xander, you DON’T think. You’re kind of incredibly self-absorbed. And the way he’s really tetchy around Angel when Buffy’s life is at stake is kind of annoying. BIGGER PROBLEMS HERE, XANDER. But lucky for him he knows CPR and is able to save the day!

    Giles is completely on edge because he’s come to really care for Buffy. He isn’t just a detached Watcher anymore. The word “Watcher” implies that he’s supposed to be on the outside. He’s not supposed to get personally or emotionally involved, but he has. He wanted to find a way to save Buffy because he cares. That scene where he’s decided that he’s going to go instead of Buffy is super touching.

    Meanwhile, Cordelia is really in to her new guy. She’s not even mad that he flaked! That’s definitely some character growth for Cordy and it seems like she’s maturing a bit, being less self centered. Cordy is even being nice to Willow! I mean, yeah, she’s also using Willow for her AV skills, but her interactions with Willow seems to have a lot of genuine warmth. And then Cordelia finds her new boyfriend dead. And like, I know Cordelia has dated a lot of guys in this one season, but she REALLY seemed to like Kevin and is understandably incredibly upset. This is the turning point for her, I think. She can’t stay on the sidelines anymore. She jumps in and saves Ms Calendar and Willow from the vampires and has officially become part of the action. In the last episode, she was still just someone who needed to be saved, but now she’s fighting alongside Willow, Ms Calendar and Giles.

    • Karen says:

      And now on to Buffy. Oh Buffy. I love her so much. I just LOVE how Buffy rages against the dying of the light and refuses to go gentle into that good night. She doesn’t want to die. She didn’t choose to become a Slayer. She’s had this destiny thrust upon her and she doesn’t want it. It’s made her an outsider. It’s made her different. And now it seems like it is going to be the reason she dies. So when she finds out that her death has been foretold, she just laughs bitterly and wonders who the next lucky girl will be. Oh God. When her voice breaks as she asks “Do you think it will hurt?” a part of me dies inside. And then she’s hurt and angry. She quits. She’s done with it. She lashes out at Giles. I love that she does not just accept her fate quietly and nobly and heroically. Her anger feels so much more real and thus it hurts my heart. She a sixteen year old girl and she doesn’t want to die. Sarah Michelle Geller just guts me in that scene. The hurt, the anger, the fear, the vulnerability- it all feels so very real. I think that scene in the library where Buffy yells at Giles and Angel might have been the moment where I knew that I was going to stick with this show.

      Later, when Joyce comes in to check on her daughter because she’s worried about her, Buffy tries to get Joyce to run away with her. Buffy wants to run, and even though Joyce obviously doesn’t know what is actually going on, she tries to connect with Buffy. Joyce thinks that it is Buffy’s lack of a date to the prom that is bothering her, so she bought her the dress Buffy wanted (the symbolic white dress of purity and sacrifice which also echoes the white clothes that a person would wear to their execution back in the day), and tells her a story to encourage her. IDEK. I just love that mother-daughter moment.

      When Buffy sees how upset Willow was by the murders, Buffy knows what she has to do. She doesn’t want to die, but she sees what will happen to those she cares about if she doesn’t. She can’t stand by and watch people she cares about get hurt. So she’s resolved. Maybe she’s going to die, but she’ll die fighting, and hopefully kill the Master.

      The best part about Buffy’s first fight with the Master is this like: “Oh good, the feeble banter portion of the fight”. LOLLLLL I love it when Whedon lampshades tropes like that. Anyway, they fight and Buffy dies (via drowning), but is brought back to life by Xander’s CPR.

      Buffy feels strong after she’s been brought back to life. She knows she’s beaten the prophecy. She knows she can take the Master now and can win this thing and save the world. Buffy’s power walk to the school is brilliant and empowering. “Oh look, a bad guy.” LOL AMAZING. And then Buffy kicks the Master’s ass because that’s what she does.

      Then in spite of all the horror in this episode, it ends with everyone heading off to the prom- one of the most trope-ish high school events ever. This episode really is the perfect end to the first season.

      With the use of the prophetic passage from Isaiah, I just want to do a brief meta about the Christian imagery and themes in this episode. Buffy’s rant to Angel and Giles in the library reminded me of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, praying to God the Father and asking the cup to be taken from him. Jesus didn’t WANT to suffer on the cross either, but like Buffy, they both do what has to be done to save the world. I think the Messianic imagery is further alluded to in the choice of Buffy’s white dress. To me it conjures up the imagery of another prophecy in Isaiah where the Messiah is described as being led like a lamb to the slaughter. The white dress conveys a sense of innocence that I think Buffy embodies as she goes to fight the master and face her death. And then of course, we have the fact that Buffy dies, making it look like the bad guys have won before she comes back to life and is able to be ultimately victorious, defeating the Master for good. I’m not sure if those themes and imagery were intentional or if I’m just being an English major who likes to read into things, but idk. I think it adds a certain feel to the episode.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Giles is completely on edge because he’s come to really care for Buffy. He isn’t just a detached Watcher anymore. The word “Watcher” implies that he’s supposed to be on the outside. He’s not supposed to get personally or emotionally involved, but he has. He wanted to find a way to save Buffy because he cares. That scene where he’s decided that he’s going to go instead of Buffy is super touching.

      I never thought of it that way, but that's really interesting! I don't know how young the slayer usually is, but 16 seems young to me, so I wonder if it's pretty unusual for a Watcher to have that kind of relationship with the Slayer. It's so sweet that Giles feels it's his duty to prepare her for this stuff, but he personally also wants to protect her as much as possible.

    • robin says:

      Random, but I was a teen in the Northridge Earthquake of '94, so I agree it definitely made the quake in this episode have more resonance when this episode aired. I was like: earthquake! SCARY. And yeah, lol, everyone immediately guesses the Richter scale so that was classic.

    • BornIn1142 says:

      It was "lucky for Xander that he knew CPR and was able to save the day?" That sounds really sarcastic/dismissive of Xander's contribution to the group for some reason.

      • Karen says:

        It was more of a comment on the fact that people on TV shows always seem to know CPR which is awfully convenient, whereas I think in real life, you'd be hard pressed to find many 16 year old boys who could successfully perform CPR.

        • misterbernie says:

          …sbe fbzr ernfba (jryy, gur ernfba orvat gung V unq guvax nobhg evo-oernxvat naq znlor lbh pna snajnax gung ur jnf bayl fhpprffshy orpnhfr Ohssl vf gur fynlre naq guhf ur qvqa'g oernx ure evof naq cvrepr ure urneg be fbzrguvat) V abj unq gb guvax bs Gur Obql naq ubj gur PCE gurer vf, jryy, zhpu zber ernyvfgvp naq bu, nyfb nofbyhgryl urnegoernxvat.

        • t09yavosaur says:

          To be fair he only knows TVLand CPR. Though I was impressed by the clever camera angles used to hide the fact.

          • RoseFyre says:

            True. It was way too short for real CPR. But…maybe it's mandatory learning in a high school on the Hellmouth?

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      KAREN. I MOVED TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA IN 1992. MY FIRST QUAKE EVER WAS THE NORTHRIDGE QUAKE

      I MEAN THAT SHIT FUCKS YOU UP.

      • Karen says:

        I was only 6 at the time, but omg. I have such vivid memories of the quake and the days following. I remember that some of my friends said they slept through the quake, but I definitely did not. And I remember being super scared and staying in my bed throughout all the aftershocks because my parents told me to stay there so I didn't step on any potential broken glass. And it was dark and I was already afraid of the dark as a kid. SUPER TRAUMATIZING, TBH. My family was lucky in that our home had minimal damage despite being really close to the epicenter, but it was still scary as fuck. I'm pretty sure my sister and I slept in my parents bed for a week after the quake. BUT MY PARENTS HAD A WATERBED. OMG. THAT DOES NOT MAKE AFTERSHOCKS MORE FUN. LET ME TELL YOU. And my great-grandma had to move in with us for a few weeks because her retirement community was red-tagged, so I had to share a room with my sister. And the building that my kindergarten class was in had to have repairs done, so we had to meet in an alternate building. And for years afterwards, I had a fear that there was going to be another quake an the ceiling light over my bed was going to fall on me and crush my legs and paralyze me (I HAD A VERY ACTIVE IMAGINATION AND I READ TOO MUCH AS A KID).

        That was a lot of feelings about Earthquakes. SUFFICE TO SAY, THEY CAN BE VERY SCARY.

    • egao-gakari says:

      I… was in Tokyo this past March. Since "home" for me is on the East Coast, the sixth biggest earthquake in history was my first earthquake ever. Scary scary stuff….

  5. Jenny_M says:

    It takes some cojones to literally kill off your main character at the end of season one. I really love this episode, and I love what it sets up Season 2 to become.

    I've seen lots of people complain about Gellar's acting (not here, but on other boards) and I just don't get it. She's phenomenal in that scene with Giles and Angel, full stop.

    And random scheduling thing, are we starting season 2 tomorrow, or is there going to be a prediction post?

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Ooooh I hope there's a prediction post! I want to do some predictions!

      πŸ˜€

    • settlingforhistory says:

      FZT vf ng ure orfg va urnegoernxvat fprarf gung erdhver n ybg bs rzbgvba.
      Cnffvba, Orpbzvat, Gur Obql, gurl nyy fubj jung n terng npgerff fur vf.
      V thrff gur ceboyrz ernyyl ner gur ubeebe zbivrf fur fgneerq va nsgre Ohssl, gurl jurer greevoyr ohg gung'f abg ure snhyg.
      Fur fubhyq unir nterrq gb na rvtugf frnfba, be ng yrnfg fbzr zber rcvfbqrf ba Natry.

    • LindsayFunke says:

      Maybe the people who complain about her acting are really taking issue with the character itself? I know a lot of people like Buffy less than the other main characters, or think she's too ditzy, or annoying, but I disagree. I think her characterization is completely necessary in a show like this that can get VERY dark at times (which is so evident in this episode). Also it seems to me that Geller really does grow into the character she is playing. I mean, just in this season, she already seems to be a better actor than she was in the pilot.

      • Jenny_M says:

        Most of the complaints were from a board that is notorious for subtly hating on female characters/actresses and minorities (especially female minorities). They pride themselves on being really intelligent and elite about their media consumption habits, but they slut-shame and say vaguely racist things with alarming frequency. I had to stop going after the few topics that I liked there devolved into the typical thinly-veiled racist misogyny.

        So, in other words, I think you're right.

        • LindsayFunke says:

          Oh yea, that too, but then I suspect the biggest misogynists would hates this show in general because, I mean, a female main character AND she's the hero? WHAT?

          • Jenny_M says:

            This place is like…one of those enclaves of people who are liberal "but" so they really think they like a show about an empowered female "but" and then they'll give you a list of 10 really horrible reasons they hate Buffy.

            Sigh, so much hate for that place! It is/was a pretty major entertainment site (though maybe not at its peak anymore). I shall not speak its name but…blerg.

            • Genny_ says:

              Ah. People who loooove strong female characters, except for the ones that exist! I hate those people.

            • arctic_hare says:

              Would you rot13 it? LOL, I'm just reaaaaaaaaaaaally curious as to whether or not I'm right about which site it is.

            • Dru says:

              christ, that sounds like (rot13ed) Wrmrory. You're well shot of the place, believe me.

            • Pimento says:

              I pretty much knew instantly what board you were talking about, because yeah, seriously. They hate female characters.

              But! I did find this place because of that board. Someone posted how Mark was doing Avatar recaps and I am so glad I checked out the link. The Avatar board there is actually really good about posters being decent, non-horrible people.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            Yeah I have a male friend who doesn't like this show and…it's kind of the sort of thing he would usually love? Like, cheesy action, people kicking ass, great monsters…
            It makes me a little uncomfortable to admit it to myself, because he's a really nice guy, but I think the reason he's not into it is simply because the main character is female. The men in this show are far more supporting roles.

      • Dru says:

        I think the skill in SMG's performance is all the more amazing considering she was so young at the time.

        Yeah, we're basically looking at an actual teenager who just wrung our hearts.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Well he can do a prediction post and a review post smushed into one, right?

    • theDMG says:

      I don't get complaints about Gellar's acting either. I am not a big fan of Buffy the character – if Buffy was perma-killed in this episode, I'd have definitely kept watching the show. But her acting is top-notch – second only to Hannigan's on this show (albeit a distant second.)

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      To confirm your last question, you're getting both predictions and the start of season 2. BOOYAH.

      • arctic_hare says:

        YAY!

      • notemily says:

        MARK YOU NEED A FAQ

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          I DO

          WAIT WHAT WOULD BE IN IT

          • arctic_hare says:

            SCHEDULES

            AND WHAT VERSIONS OF THE LOTR MOVIES YOU'RE GOING TO WATCH AND WHEN

            AND STUFF

          • notemily says:

            MARK
            I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED

            General:
            – What are you planning to read after Lord of the Rings?
            – What are you planning to watch after Buffy?
            – What is your reading/watching schedule? (This could be updated on a weekly or monthly basis)

            Buffy:
            – Will you be watching Angel?
            – Will you be reviewing Angel for Mark Watches?
            – Won't you be spoiled by the DVD menus and art?

            LOTR:
            – Can I post images from the movies?
            – When will you be watching the movies?
            – Don't you know that movie X is spoilery for book Y?
            – Will you be watching the extended editions?
            – Can I talk about stuff that is only mentioned in the Appendices or is that a spoiler?
            – What about stuff from the Silmarillion or Tolkien's other work? Is that a spoiler?

            And other questions to be added/removed as they are relevant (which I would totally be willing to do BTW). I've actually been making this list since you were doing BSG ("Will you be liveblogging the extended edition of X episode?") and Looking for Alaska ("Since it doesn't have proper chapters, how will you be splitting it up?") and I'm sure there will be more questions for future projects. And yes, most of these are Questions that I have seen Asked Frequently!

      • Noybusiness says:

        Cool. That'll shave off six or seven days that would be solely prediction posts, lol.

        About Angel, and in relation to what Notemily posted, I want to reiterate that either doing it all later or watching and reviewing in chronological order with Buffy, but on separate days so you're not overworked, even though it would take a year, would be preferable to skipping over non-crossover episodes. Without specific expectation spoilers, there are so many episodes of Angel you'd love to discuss that aren't crossovers. We'll get to the point of spinning off eventually and you'll decide then, but I think you'll agree.

  6. misterbernie says:

    Wait, I shouldn’t say that, should I?
    Well, it's already been broughten, but yeah, you shouldn't because. Preparation. You have it not.

    Also, in honour of this being the season one finale, I actually just rewatched the ep again and these are my thoughts:
    – Oh Willow, you’re so pathetic, I absolutely know your pain here, you need to get some gerl
    – This may be one of my favourite uses of slow mo ever.
    – Is that supposed to be Latin?
    – HOW DOES THE SCENERY TASTE, MASTER?
    – Concerned!Giles and Sassy!Buffy
    – Oh, Xander. As Willow’ll say, now you know.
    Demons on the internet will never not be funny.
    – Actually, Willow probably looks her best in s1 here.
    – Also, Willow &lt;3
    – The music of pain, indeed.
    – Thinking back to some of the school restrooms I’ve been to, blood from the faucets is not your biggest concern.
    – You’re very RP-y there, Giles.
    – No other comment on that scene because omg all the sads
    – bu jnvg, Xraqen sberfunqbjvat!
    – lol rotary phones
    – Joyce be my TV mom. also go you bad girl
    – Cordelia and Willow sorta-bonding &lt;3
    – ‘Zra. V qba'g xabj jul jr chg hc jvgu gurz.’ Tvir ure guerr frnfbaf naq Jvyybj jvyy gryy lbh bs na nygreangvir.
    – plot catalyst massacre time!
    – hey Master can you chew up the annoying brat while you’re busy with the scenery
    – Giles and Buffy I love you two in this ep
    – I would’ve lolled forever if Buffy had just staked the pointless bratpire before going all the way down.
    – Xander and Angel, just shut up and go play cavalry.
    – Good thing the vamps turned into zombies for this ep, eh?
    – THE POWAH! By the way, I like your dress. oh you rascallion
    – the powah… of TV CPR!
    – action Cordelia please stay with us
    – TENTACLES! (tentacles!)
    – Jvyybj, fgnl njnl sebz gur obbxfuryirf bu jnvg gung’f bar zber frnfba gb tb
    – epic theme song walk
    – I really wish they had given the women some more direction than “scream” πŸ™
    – that’s a very convenient sharp pointy wooden thing!
    – let’s hope nobody comes into the library while there’s a big skeleton lying around. just saying
    – ‘V’z ernyyl ernyyl uhatl’ – havagragvbany “fynlvat znxrf lbh uhatel naq ubeal” sberfunqbjvat?

    The German title? “Das Ende der Welt” (The End of the World), showing that our dubbing isn’t really much with the creativity. Naq nyfb abg jvgu gur sberfvtug.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I really wish they had given the women some more direction than “scream”

      Maybe it's weird, but I actually really liked that? Instead of making every character into some instant action hero, they just had them do what I would have done in that situation – panic and scream the fucking house down.
      πŸ˜‰

      • misterbernie says:

        That would be my reaction, too, ngl.

        Also I think they may have hit the thing AND screamed? I basically listened to the episode while sitting at my computer (stupid lack of laptops) so it was just lots of shouting in my eardrums which I don't like.
        Nyfb nyfb bar bs zl znva ernfbaf jul V qvfyvxr Qnja fbeel ZG ohg V ungr lbhe ibvpr/npprag πŸ™

    • arctic_hare says:

      Thinking back to some of the school restrooms I’ve been too, blood from the faucets is not your biggest concern.

      SO MUCH THIS. The ones in my elementary school in particular were so bad that I've actually had weird recurring dreams about them as creepy, gross places. Not really nightmares, so much as cracked-out dreams.

      • misterbernie says:

        I know what you mean; one of my standard weird-dreams sets is basically Hogwarts, but with giant supergross school-ish restrooms, ngl.

        Also, at my last school in my clique, one of our ways to say "piss off" was "go shit on the walls", guess why

        • @liliaeth says:

          As a cleaning woman in real life, that makes me ashamed of the janitors/cleaners at your school. they should never let it get that far.

          I spent a week replacing the regular cleaning woman at a school once, getting the school ready for first day of classes, and though sure there was plenty of work (ake two months of nothing being done), the toilets were overall decent even with the faucets having run over during summer.
          (and considering there was still last day of school writing on the blackboards, and hair on the floor in the hair dressing class, I don't think that anyone cleaned the school after the last day of classes two months earlier)

          Not saying that kids as well as adults can't dirty up a place in little to no time, but in my experience, the more you disregard your work and the less care you put in your own job, the less the people using the toilets (or you know other rooms) will care about keeping the toilets/halls/offices clean as well…

          • misterbernie says:

            Well, at my last school, you had to factor in that the budget didn't cover a regular cleaning person, so there was only enough money for someone to come in every other day to do a general sweep of the classrooms and a superficial bathroom sweep.

            To that you have to add that we had a huge gender imbalance (something like 80% girls v 20% guys), so the girls' bathrooms were simply not equipped to deal with how much usage they actually got (plus there was too little space allocated for them to begin with).

            • @liliaeth says:

              good point, I did replacement for another cleaning woman at our firm once who had a post at a factory, she had to clean the toilets on a daily basis. I remember seeing those toilets the first time and thinking: "what the hell has she been doing that they could get that bad.", so I spent half an hour extra on getting those toilets clean, only when I came back the next day, I found the toilets just as bad as they'd been the first time.

              Turns out they had two toilets in the building, one for men and one for the women, at a factory with over 200 workers… you can do the math…

              • misterbernie says:

                *shudders* And yeah, that's pretty much how it was at my last school, one toilet for guys, one for women, ~300-400 students…

                (My high school had more students, but also more facilities and more monies, so it was much less bad)

    • settlingforhistory says:

      The German title? “Das Ende der Welt” (The End of the World), showing that our dubbing isn’t really much with the creativity. Naq nyfb abg jvgu gur sberfvtug.

      I never understood the changes in the episode titels. Why couldn't the have just called it 'Das Mädchen der Prophezeihung' or something like it?

      Naq nyfb abg jvgu gur sberfvtug.

      Lrf, gur gvgyr jbhyq unir orra zber svggvat sbe "Raq bs Qnlf", abg bayl orpnhfr bs gur gvgyr bs gung rcvfbqr ohg orpnhfr ivrjref jbhyq unir npghnyyl oryvrirq vg cbffvoyr gura gung vg jnf gur raq.
      Gurer jurer zhpu gb unfgl, nsgre nyy guvf vf abg gur bayl ncbpnylcfr gurl unir gb snpr.

      All in all the original titles are usually more ambiguous while German ones let you guess what will happen in the episode way too soon.

      • misterbernie says:

        Yeah just… just yeah. And also gems like "Qvr Anpug qre yroraqra Gbgra" (Qrnq Zna'f Cnegl) v. "Qvr Anpug qre yroraqra Yrvpura" (Gur Mrccb) which just no u

        I mean, for the latter, I totally understand why they have to change the title (yby nzrevpnaf naq gurve Znek oebguref bofrffvba), but on the whole, yes, they're just way too spoilery (or just plain silly – "Qnf Wrafrvgf yäßg teüßra" (Gur Urernsgre fnlf uv) for Cnffvba!? W. T. F.)

        • settlingforhistory says:

          Qnf Wrafrvgf yäßg teüßra sbe Cnffvba

          Orpnhfr bs gur nobir zragvbarq genqvgvba bs fcbvyrel gvgyrf V npghnyyl gubhtug gur rcvfbqr jbhyq unir tubfgf va vg be oevat onpx n punepgre gung unq cerivbhfyl qvrq, fb gur npghny cybg gbbx zr pbzcyrgryl ol fhecevfr.

          Nabgure trz "Qnf Ovre qre oöfra Qraxhatfneg" JGS? Jung jnf fb uneq va whfg pnyyvat vg "Ovre oöfr" Vg'f Ohssl'f yvar nsgre nyy, rira va gur qhoorq irefvba.
          "Unyybjrra" jnf nyfb shaal, orpnhfr gurl pnyyrq vg "Qvr Anpug qre Irejnaqyhat"
          naq yngre pnyyrq "Nyy gur Jnl" "Unyybjrra" va Trezna. Gung znxrf ab frafr ng nyy.

          • misterbernie says:

            Qnf Wrafrvgf yäffg teüßra/Cnffvba naq Rva Qäzba anzraf Yvror/V Bayl Tbg Rlrf Sbe Lbh npghnyyl znxrf zr oryvrir gurl fbzrubj zvkrq hc gubfr gjb rcvfbqrf jura nffvtavat gvgyrf, gb or ubarfg.
            Naq rira vs abg, lbh'er evtug gung vg'f qryvtugshyyl aba-fcbvyl, ohg vzb vg'f whfg gbb yvtugurnegrq sbe gur pbagrag. WRAAL :'(

            Frnfba 4 jnf jura V fgnegrq genafvgvbavat gb whfg jngpuvat gur haqhoorq irefvba, fb V unir ab vqrn nobhg fbzr bs gur yngre gvgyrf. Ohg yby@Unyybjrra *funxrf urnq*

        • notemily says:

          Well, that was an interesting mix of rot-13 and Google Translate I just did to decode your comment πŸ™‚

          OGJ, Tbbtyr genafyngrf gung ynfg bar gb "Gur Orlbaq terrgf." Nygubhtu abj V ernyyl jnag gb ernq fbzrguvat, nalguvat, jvgu gur gvgyr Gur Urernsgre Fnlf Uv.

          • misterbernie says:

            Let's see if I can remember to give German titles/retranslations from now on. Some of them are quite fun in their silliness (oh, another one which is less silly and more overwrought with pathos – Gur Obql = Gbq rvare Zhggre = Qrngu bs n Zbgure).

            Lrnu, Wrafrvgf zrnaf orlbaq va rirel frafr, ohg 'urernsgre' vf gur grez V'z zber snzvyvne jvgu sbe, hu, gur urernsgre :C
            …naq V nterr, gung fbhaqf yvxr fbzrguvat gung fubhyq or znqr.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      On another topic:
      ‘Zra. V qba'g xabj jul jr chg hc jvgu gurz.’ Tvir ure guerr frnfbaf naq Jvyybj jvyy gryy lbh bs na nygreangvir.

      Qvq lbh nyfb abgvpr Knaqre'f jbaqreshy sbefunqbjvat:

      "Jryy Jvyybj'f abg ybbxvat gb qngr lbh, be vs fur vf fur'f cynlvat vg cerggl pybfr gb gur purfg"

      V tvttyrq fb zhpu nsgre urnevat guvf.

    • James says:

      Is that supposed to be Latin?
      It's Ancient Greek. It's the "Pergamum Codex", and Pergamum (Pergamon) was an ancient Greek city πŸ™‚

      • misterbernie says:

        that makes sense
        Given the pronounciations we tend to get it's kinda a moot point anyways. Vs zrzbel freirf pbeerpgyl, Uneel Tebrare unf gur bayl tbbq Yngva.

        FWIW, the script for this ep I found gives Ho korias phanaytie toutay tay nuktee.
        …yeeeeeeeeah. If korias is meant to be κύριος… srsly, lern 2 ipa, people :'(

        • James says:

          Oh god, yeah, the pronunciation is awful but at least they're trying? It says "korias", seriously? If that's how things are being romanized in the script, no wonder the pronunciations are so bad!

          • misterbernie says:

            Trying is def worth something, and well, anglophones and monophthongs, never the twain shall meet πŸ˜›

            I'm not sure if it's a copy of the original script or a transcript of the episode, to be fair (I got it from buffyworld.com, and I can't find info on which of the options it is).

    • Pseudonymph says:

      I haven't even finished reading your comment and I have to tell you I will love you forever for:

      "Well, it's already been broughten"

    • notemily says:

      I almost rot-13'd the German title and then I was like wait what am I doing

    • threerings13 says:

      you need to get some gerl

      V whfg ernq gung nf "Lbh arrq gb trg fbzr tvey" vafgrnq bs "Lbh arrq gb trg fbzr, tvey." Naq V'z yvxr JUL VFA'G GUNG EBG13rq? GUNG VF N FCBVYRE. Bu…jnvg.

  7. BRING IT, JOSS WHEDON.

    Wait, I shouldn’t say that, should I?
    Be careful what you wish for, Mark.

    IT"S ALREADY BEEN BROUGHTEN.

  8. Noybusiness says:

    I take it tomorrow we get the Predictions post for next season?

  9. echinodermata says:

    "We are in the final days! My time has come! Glory! GLORY! …Whadaya think? 5.1?"

    That forever remains one of my favorite lines from this show.

    On to real things.
    Oh, Buffy. Her crying makes me cry, and kudos to SMG because I thought she was perfect in that scene where she finds out about the prophecy. I also love that it's talking to Willow and seeing who she's fighting for that compels Buffy to face the Master. She has a destiny, and it's not one she wants to carry, but it's her responsibility so she'll do what she needs to because she's the one that can protect the world.

    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/280phfp.gif&quot; alt="Buffy saying to Giles, 'I'm the slayer.'">

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/2dmfc07.gif&quot; alt="Buffy's power walk in the white dress.">

    <img src="http://i40.tinypic.com/rwuplf.gif&quot; alt="Buffy saying 'Oh look, a bad guy" then="" pushing="" him="" over="" in="" one="" move.'="">

  10. Raenef_the_5th says:

    BRING IT, JOSS WHEDON. Wait, I shouldn’t say that, should I?

    UNPREPARED. SO VERY. THERE IS A MAJOR LACK OF PREPARATION.

    Cordelia smashing through the doors with her car was one of my favorite scenes after the intense dialogue during Buffy saying she quits being a Slayer, and Willow's reaction to finding the club murdered. These things hit hard.

  11. Hannah says:

    YAYYY!!! Just posting here because I can finally start my rewatch!! Like many BTVs fans , I choose to start only at season 2. I'm so glad you liked this episode..let me just say today that you are NOT PREPARED. NOT PREPARED. If you think shit gets real here……………
    for real though, I love this episode because it's our first indication that joss whedon isn't going to be shy when it comes to shocking events. I mean, he killed Buffy! Granted, she comes back to life but still. STILL. I can't do any more of a review because I haven't seen this episode in forever. But OMG yay. I love Buffy soooo much. I'm still SO thrilled that you're watching it.

  12. Mez says:

    Failure of Secret Identity Count:

    10 + 1 (Jenny Calendar) = 11

    • dasmondschaf says:

      Bhg bs phevbfvgl, ner lbh tbvat gb fhogenpg sebz gur pbhag jura crbcyr jub xabj fgneg qlvat? (Zf. Pnyraqne ;_;)

      • Mez says:

        Abcr. Bapr lbh'er ba, lbh'er ba.

        (Zl trareny ehyrf ner: gurl unir gb or uhzna, naq gurl unir gb fheivir gur raq bs gur rcvfbqr.)

        • RoseFyre says:

          Bxnl, gung znxrf frafr. Orpnhfr grpuavpnyyl nalbar n inzcver npgviryl xvyyf jbhyq xabj, evtug? Ohg gurl'er nyernql qrnq, fb…gurl xvaq bs qba'g pbhag.

    • Smurphy says:

      Lbh fubhyq fgneg n "Ubj Znal Gvzrf Ohssl Qvrf Pbhag".

  13. canyonoflight says:

    SHIT JUST GOT REAL.

  14. cait0716 says:

    Joss does a good job of tying up plot threads here, mostly because there was no guarantee that the show would get picked up for another season. He wanted to tell a complete story with these 12 episodes, and I think he did a fantastic job.

    Buffy kicking ass in that prom dress makes me so happy. It's the perfect juxtaposition and summation of her character. The high school girl who saves the world.

    Other great images from this episode:
    -The bloody handprint on top of the three little pigs
    -Xander laying in bed and taking the phone off the hook
    -The first shot of the prom dress in Buffy's closet
    -The Master's skeleton impaled on the table

    And so many more I can't even think of. I just love this episode, ok? for me it's when the series really steps up to the next level. Even though there wasn't a cliffhanger, I was super excited for the next season to air so I could see what else Whedon had in store.

  15. plaidpants says:

    Okay, so I really enjoyed this episode. For once, the heroic character didn't immediately think that their sacrifice would be worth it for the greater good, but instead had a rather human reaction – uh, no, I don't want to die, I'm only 16!

    I wasn't quite sure just why Buffy was suddenly stronger upon returning from death – was this the "if you strike me down I'll be more powerful than you can imagine" type of death?

    I wasn't expecting the hellmouth to have a creature that is basically, a mouth. I also wonder what exactly they say to explain it all to Cordelia (who, incidentally, appears to have passed her drivers ed class) – do they explain what the master is/what all happened, or is she just like, whatever, we're all still alive – lets go dance.

    Finally, if I was a parent with a kid who attended Sunnydale, I would definitely get the hell out of dodge. I shudder to think what the death rate among students will be next year!

    • todd says:

      Oh my god did you really just quote Obi-Wan Kenobi and make him parallel to Buffy Summers on the Scale of Awesome? *smoochy kiss*

    • RoseFyre says:

      "I wasn't quite sure just why Buffy was suddenly stronger upon returning from death – was this the "if you strike me down I'll be more powerful than you can imagine" type of death?"

      Yeah, that's one of my (few) issues with this episode. I mean, why is Buffy susceptible to the hypnosis before her death but not after? Did it change her? Is she immune because she was tricked once? And if she just had, like, a few mouthfuls of blood taken from her body…doesn't anemia usually weaken you? I know when I was bleeding out (yay ruptured cysts [/sarcasm]) I felt incredibly weak. Is this a Slayer thing? *shrugs* I feel like that's the one thing that's really not answered in this episode.

      (Though there is the minor thing of how Willow and Xander ended up at the library when Buffy told Willow not to leave her house and Xander had already taken his phone off the hook. Did someone go get them?)

  16. NB2000 says:

    "i may be dead, but I'm still pretty." Oh Buffy, the episode is full of so many wonderful little moments for her. That first slow motion fight with the vampire outside Cordelia's car (love the contrast between the two that scene gives us), letting Xander down as gently as she possibly can and making sure Willow's okay after what she went through. Her reaction to overhearing the prophecy is amazingly well done. The "I quit remember! Pay attention!" manages to be hilarious and heartbreaking. Her outfit when she goes to confront the Master, like the false bottom trunk in The Harvest, says so much about her character. The light and girly dress under the leather jacket and her crossbow.

    Sebz gur svany fprar nf rirelbar'f yrnivat: Ohssl: "V'z ernyyl, ernyyl uhatel." "Vfa'g vg penml ubj fynlva' whfg nyjnlf znxrf lbh uhatel naq ubeal?" Bu Snvgu

    Cordelia driving her car through the school…just….THROUGH THE SCHOOL! It's awesome.

    Jenny! You're back! Yay! "The part I don't get is where Buffy is the vampire Slayer. She's so little!" hee

    • claretstock says:

      ""Sebz gur svany fprar nf rirelbar'f yrnivat: Ohssl: "V'z ernyyl, ernyyl uhatel." "Vfa'g vg penml ubj fynlva' whfg nyjnlf znxrf lbh uhatel naq ubeal?" Bu Snvgu ""

      unun V nyjnlf ybirq snvgu, V jnf fnq gb frr ure tb ng gur raq bs frnfba guerr. V YBIRQ gur whkgncbfvgvbaf bs ohssl naq snvgu nf gjb qvssrerag xvaqf bs fynlref jub nqncg gb fheivir va qvssrerag jnlf. Naq gurve fhccbeg flfgrzf nf gurl fcyvg jnlf, Ohssl unf ure sevraqf gung pbafvfgragyl uryc xrrc ure tebhaqrq, Snvgu raqf hc jvgu gur znlbe…:(

  17. Frankincense says:

    Joss Whedon has an alarm. It goes off whenever someone gets to one of the great “FUCK YOU!” moments in his works. It gives him more joy than anything we mere mortals could ever dream of.

  18. Tx_Cronopio says:

    OK, I wasn't the only one refreshing and refreshing and refreshing waiting for this, was I? πŸ™‚

  19. fantasylover120 says:

    Say what you want about Whedon, the man delivers on finales and I still say this is one of his best. Now any Buffy history gurus out there, did the cast and crew know at this point that there was a season 2 coming? Because to me this felt like a good closer if there wouldn't be any more eps so I've always sort of felt that Joss and the crew just ddn't know if Buffy would return so they did as much as they could with the finale which is why it's so satisfying. But I don't know for sure if that is true.
    On the Xander issue…I've always been sort of conflicted by Xander. I've enjoyed his character (mostly because he has some awesome one-liners) but at the same time he handles things extremely poorly. But he has a lot good points too such as his loyalty to his friends and willing to go the extra mile for them. So I've never really been a HUGE Xander fan but I've never hated him either. I guess you could sort of say I'm indifferent to him really.

    • Mez says:

      Because to me this felt like a good closer if there wouldn't be any more eps so I've always sort of felt that Joss and the crew just ddn't know if Buffy would return so they did as much as they could with the finale which is why it's so satisfying. But I don't know for sure if that is true.

      True. The entire season was filmed before any of it was broadcast. They didn't have a clue if they'd end up with an audience or not.

    • hilarius11 says:

      From what I understand, the cast and crew didn't know at the time of filming if there would be. Joss filmed everything basically back to back in order to maximize their time. It wasn't until the success of the show that the WB gave them a second season. Please, other fans, correct me if I'm way off base.

      • RoseFyre says:

        I believe you're correct. I think they've mentioned stuff about that in the DVD extras? It's been a long time since I've watched them, though, and I don't have time to do the extras on top of the episodes AND reading the comments and stuff.

        I remember something about refilming large parts because they originally made Buffy too angry, though.

    • @liliaeth says:

      I remember reading an interview with SMG once, where she mentioned how she told a friend/familymember that she was going to be on a show called buffy the Vampire Slayer and said person then told her. "don't worry, you'll find a real actingjob soon." or something like that.*g*

    • Dru says:

      It was originally a midseason replacement based on a flop movie, I don't think anyone involved expected it to last past these twelve episodes when they began working. And iirc, Buffy's death was how Joss was going to end it if they didn't get the Season 2 pickup, though thankfully they got it which is why she was brought back to life.

      But Buffy finales in general are either devastating or badass or COMPLETE MINDFUCK, this is only the beginning πŸ™‚

  20. Ryan Lohner says:

    The entire first season was filmed before it began airing, so Joss had no idea if it would catch on. Hence, he needed to construct this episode as something that could serve as a satisfying conclusion to the whole story if it didn't get past this season, but still leave the door open for future stories if it did. And he really did a great job of that.

    • cait0716 says:

      Speaking of the whole season being filmed before it aired, there's actually a shot from the season 2 premiere that's been in the credits since the first episode, which really speaks to how long this show was hanging out before it ever got aired. The shot vf bs Ohssl fgnxvat n inzcver sebz oruvaq naq uvz rkcybqvat vagb qhfg naq erirnyvat ure. Vg unccraf qhevat gur prerzbal gb oevat gur znfgre onpx gb yvsr naq V nyjnlf ynhtu jura V abgvpr vg va gur perqvgf va gur svefg frnfba.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Man, it's awesome that this post got in directly after the above one purely by accident.

  21. robin says:

    The 'I'm sixteen and I don't want to die" speech is perhaps my favorite in the whole of the series. That whole scene is so powerful.

    It certainly was a joy to see Cordelia really in the mix for one of their monster missions.

    This is really when the show begins to really be BtVS to me, the BtVS that I know and love. Everything beforehand is kind of an awkward (but sometimes endearing) prequel.

    In TV and the movies, almost everyone gets brought back from death by CPR when they drown. I sincerely doubt it's so easy in real life, but then I'm not a medical professional… Can it/does it really commonly happen?

    • LindsayFunke says:

      You know it's good dialogue when you can have an emotional reaction just reading it! Another favorite scene in this is the one between Buffy and her mom. When her mom says her whole like was in front of her, and Buffy whispers "Must have been nice", my heart really does break for her. Poor Buffy, and her poor mom! Buffy really has been dealt an unfair lot in life, but this episode is about growing up and accepting unfortunate fates. In many ways, this is what the end of Harry Potter should have been. "I'm just 16. I don't want to die!" Crushing, Joss. Truly crushing.

      Also you're completely right about CPR. Many times (in fact usually for the procedure to be done successfully) you'll end up breaking the other person's ribs (Whfg yvxr Ohssl qbrf gb ure qrnq zbz va Gur Obql. FBO.) More than anything else, CPR is used to buy time until a real medical professional can make it to the scene. It rarely works out like in television where someone gasps and comes back to life.

      • @liliaeth says:

        isn't there a page on tv tropes about that?

        • LindsayFunke says:

          There sure is! (obviously the entries under this link are potential spoilers, including a major Buffy one) http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CPRCle

          The thing that kills me most (pardon the pun) is how darn FAST CPR is portrayed to work. I know there are time constraints a TV show has to work within, but there is no way CPR will work within 3 seconds.

          • notemily says:

            Haha, see, what annoys ME is when they spend like ten minutes beating on someone's chest and it's obvious the person is dead, and then they finally come back to life. They did that on LOST, and it was ridiculous. They also did it with Amy and Rory in the pirate episode of DW, so my head-canon is that it was really the POWER OF LOVE that brought Rory back.

            (ETA: and then these people never have any brain damage despite having their brains deprived of oxygen for several minutes.)

            • LindsayFunke says:

              Omg, I haven't seen Lost, but the Doctor Who example is SO BAD.

              1) How many times can Rory die/get hurt on that show?
              2) Way to give up after 2 seconds, Amy! (I like her, but that goes back to people doing CPR for the smallest amount of time possible on TV)
              3) For a nurse, Rory sure hasn't saved many lives on that show, has he? He barely saved himself that episode!

              In my head cannon, that episode just didn't happen, haha. It was ridiculous.

            • For a real world perspective, I know someone who was in a major car accident (she was T-boned by a large truck) and was pronounced dead-on-scene. Because one of the paramedics recognized her, he continued to perform CPR even after he was told to stop (I believe the total duration was somewhere around 15 minutes). Her heart did start beating and she ended up making a full recovery.

              In relation to television, he was a trained professional and they were able to hook her up to all the right equipment as soon as her heart started, so it's not an exact parallel, but it's still kind of interesting to consider.

      • robin says:

        Thanks for commenting on the CPR! I'm so out of my depth in this area but thankfully there's fandom to help me out on such things.

        Yeah, there's these few dialogue moments from Buffy that just stick with you and when you hear them ALL OF THE FEELINGS pour in. Even other people just alluding to them ups the emotional tone of a topic.

    • guest_age says:

      "Everything beforehand is kind of an awkward (but sometimes endearing) prequel."

      That is a perfect way to describe the bulk of season one.

      • notemily says:

        Haha, it's kind of how I feel about The Hobbit. It's not QUITE Middle-earth to me, but it is a sweet prequel.

        • guest_age says:

          Amen. Maybe it's because I read LotR first, but The Hobbit feels, uh, charming? in comparison.

          I kind of feel the same way about Buffy, in a way. When I got into it, I watched the pilot and didn't like it, and then somehow found out there was a musical episode and saw that. That episode was the one that got me into the show. So the show really becomes "My Buffy" (if there is such a thing–sort of like how people have "My Doctor" in Doctor Who fandom) when it gets to season six and seven, because that was my introduction.

          Naq lrf, orsber nalbar cbvagf vg bhg gb zr, V'z shyyl njner gung frnfbaf fvk naq frira ner nyzbfg havirefnyyl ungrq. Gung'f bxnl! Rirelbar yvxrf guvf fubj sbe qvssrerag ernfbaf! Qbrfa'g punatr gur snpg gung vg'f jrveq sbe zr gb frr Jvyybj chefhvat oblf, be Natry rkvfgvat ng nyy, be ab Fcvxr orvat nebhaq, naq ab Naln be Gnen be Qnja. V'z bxnl jvgu orvat va gur zvabevgl fb gurer'f ernyyl ab arrq gb pbzr qbja ba zr yvxr gur svfg bs na natel tbq gb gryy zr ubj Irel Jebat V Nz!

          • notemily says:

            The musical episode was the one that got me watching, too!

            • claretstock says:

              me too!

              I actually was never into horror elements in stories(overactive imagination, get scared easily, nightmares… etc…), so I didn't like watching zombie or vampire or demon movies, and the Musical Buffy was the first anything slightly horror that I ever watched that I completely loved.

              It helped that everyone was singing. And that the blonde girl was chasing down the bad guys instead of running up the stairs.

          • MrsGillianO says:

            Npghnyyl, gurer'f n fhofgnagvny fhotebhc bs gur snaqbz gung guvaxf vg tbg frevbhfyl oevyyvnag sebz F5 bajneqf. Zl snibhevgr frnfba vf F6 orpnhfr vg vf fhpu na nznmvat rkcybengvba bs gur angher bs pyvavpny qrcerffvba. Tnoevryynoryyr ba YW qvq n jubyr frnfba bs nanylfvf bs F6 sebz gung crefcrpgvir – jbegu ybbxvat hc vs lbh rawbl zrgn.

            Naq Fcvxr vf whfg jbaqreshy. V nz fb irel zhpu ybbxvat sbejneq gb Znex zrrgvat uvz naq Qeh arkg jrrx!

            • misterbernie says:

              I think the main camps pretty much are Bar-Svir and Svir-Frira, with svir forming a substantial overlap and a big subgroup of the first only accepting gur Uvtu Fpubby Ren.

              I'm pretty firmly in the former camp because shpx lbh, zntvpny penpxubhfr :C

              Nyfb, lrf, FCVXR VF ARKG JRRX OMG EXCITE

              • notemily says:

                V'z va gur sbezre pnzc gbb. V'z n uhtr Uvtu Fpubby Ren sna naq V guvax gur fubj ybfrf fbzrguvat nsgre f3. V fgvyy ybir gur fubj yngre ba, ohg V'z abg VA ybir jvgu vg, vs lbh xabj jung V zrna.

                • misterbernie says:

                  V pbzcyrgryl naq hggreyl xabj jung lbh zrna. Uvtu Fpubby Ren vf zl snibhevgr, gbb, gura vg tbrf hc naq qbja sbe Sbhe/Svir naq… lrnu, hu, V guvax zl nzovinyrag eryngvbafuvc gb fvk naq, hu, re, qvfyvxr sbe frira nera'g n frperg ng guvf cbvag

            • guest_age says:

              Lbh'ir cvacbvagrq bar bs gur ernfbaf jul V ybir gung frnfba–V pna eryngr gb vg. V'yy or senax: V pna'g eryngr gb ybfvat zl ivetvavgl gb zl oblsevraq naq gura uvz orpbzvat haerpbtavmnoyr, ohg V pna eryngr gb qrcerffvba. V pna'g eryngr gb zbfg bs gur guvatf ba guvf fubj, pbzr gb gung, orpnhfr V'ir unq na bqq yvsr, ohg V pna eryngr gb nqqvpgvba (abg zl bja, ohg V'ir orra pybfr gb crbcyr tbvat guebhtu vg), be univat gb raq n eryngvbafuvc orpnhfr lbh xabj vg'f sbe gur orfg rira gubhtu lbh fgvyy pner sbe rnpu bgure, be rira orvat n areq jub fvgf nebhaq univat ivpvbhf nethzragf bire jub jnf gur orfg Obaq. (Bxnl, zber yvxr jub jnf gur orfg Qbpgbe be Qhzoyrqber, ohg fgvyy.) Frnfba fvk vf gur zbfg eryngnoyr sbe zr.

              Ohg V'ir ubarfgyl arire zrg nabgure crefba jub nterrf. Fb gunaxf sbe znxvat zr srry yrff nybar!

              • MrsGillianO says:

                Glad to be of service!

                Frevbhfyl, ernq guvf cbfg naq gur bguref jvgu gur fnzr gnt – naq gur pbzzragf gb vg (V'z TvyyB gurer, OGJ) naq V guvax lbh'yy svaq vg urycf dhvgr n ybg. uggc://tnoevryyrnoryyr.yvirwbheany.pbz/118747.ugz….

                Tnof ernyyl rkcyberf ubj gur" frnfba gung tnir hc ba zrgncubef" vf bar uhtr zrgncube, naq gung'f jung znxrf vg fb terng. Naq rzcbjrevat, orpnhfr Ohssl yvgrenyyl svtugf ure bja jnl bhg bs gur tenir bs qrcerffvba.

            • lyvanna says:

              Gur yngre frnfbaf ner zl snibhevgrf nf jryy. V ybir gur jubyr fubj, Ohssl'f nep va cnegvphyne, ohg vg'f frnfbaf svir guebhtu frira gung bja zl urneg.

          • UnstrungZero says:

            THANK YOU, oh my god.

            I started watching when season 5 or 6 was on air, and would catch the reruns of the earlier seasons on FX at the same time, so I was getting backstory in flashbacks mainly. lol I hadn't watched it when it premiered because I'd loved the movie and figured a TV show would be subpar teenage fodder. HOW WRONG I WAS.

            F6 & 7 ner FGVYY zl snibevgrf. Yvxr, V unir fb znal cbvagf naq fprarf naq nepf gung V ybir guebhtu nyy gur frnfbaf, ohg gur qrcgu bs jevgvat naq punenpgre qrirybczrag naq FUVG TRGGVAT ERNYARFF vf whfg ng vgf crnx curabzranyyl va fvk naq frira. Naq yvxr lbh'ir fnvq, fb znal crbcyr pna'g fgnaq gurz be ng yrnfg guvax gurl ner uvtuyl ynpxvat va pbzcnevfba. V srry yvxr gur jubyr Uvtu Fpubby ren vf whfg cerdhry, naq Sbhe vf Puncgre Bar, naq Svir vf jurer vg fgnegf trggvat CYBG.

            SO MUCH LOVE for your comment. &hearts;

        • LindsayFunke says:

          Yep! Personally, I like season 1. Not every episode is a winner, but I still enjoy about 70% of the episodes enough to rewatch. Also, even though the season proves to be tonally different, this season, and in particular this episode, manages to set up themes that carry through the end of the series.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Wikipedia says only 5-10% of people who receive CPR survive, and many times they need immediate defibrillation. CPR is supposed to get circulation going and keep the brain alive until advanced care -including starting the heart- can begin.
      http://andromeda10.hubpages.com/hub/CPR-for-Drownhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardiopulmonary_resu

      Maybe they reached her almost immediately after the Master tossed her into the pool, and he didn't notice because he left really quickly?

    • Genny_ says:

      As I understand it, CPR tends to have roughly a 60% success rate, though that's overall and not specifically for drowning. It tends to fail because what TV never considers is that it's REALLY, REALLY HARD TO DO. There's the risk that you can do all sorts of stuff, like break a rib and puncture the lung too apparently. And also TV always omits the tendency to vomit afterwards.

      …Basically CPR is kind of horrible in real life and wouldn't make for good TV?

      • Jenny_M says:

        Having seen real CPR performed on someone in front of me, I will say that it honestly looks like the person doing the CPR is trying to murder the person receiving it. It's horrific looking, and it really does break ribs and leave horrific bruises. It takes a LOT of pressure to keep a heart beating.

        However, I will take broken ribs and bruises over being dead any day, and if one can be certified, it's a good idea.

        • Genny_ says:

          I've heard that if you HAVEN'T broken ribs, that can actually be a bad sign, and that you should aim to in spite of all risks because otherwise you're just not getting to the heart.

          So yeah, it's one of the more disturbing pieces of first aid I can think of. 'Here, let me heal you by punching you in the chest and breathing through your nose!'

          (Another thing: TV always shows it through the mouth, but apparently the nose is better. Ew.)

          • Jenny_M says:

            Oooh! Oooh! I have even NERDIER knowledge! (Forgive me, I produce medical news stories for a living and we just did one on CPR.) APPARENTLY the latest information says that the mouth-to-mouth stuff is not actually all that necessary and it's more important to keep pounding on the chest continuously.

            It's super physically exhausting, and if you have to wait a long time for an ambulance sometimes you have to take turns just to keep the person going. I'm getting certified but I sincerely hope I'm never in a situation where I could be called upon to use my skills.

            THE MORE YOU KNOW. *NBC Music playing, stars shooting through the sky*

            • Genny_ says:

              Wow, really? You know, I guess that makes sense. You can hold your breath for a while without dying/survive on depleted oxygen for a while, but your heart stopping means *nothing* is going *anywhere*, which is way more serious.

              THE MORE YOU KNOW INDEED. Hahaha, this is what I love about this site, everyone knows fascinating random stuff!

              • Jenny_M says:

                I think the mouth-to-mouth stuff is still important if someone has gotten water in their lungs, though I may be remembering that incorrectly. Therefore, Xander was doing the right thing. IPSO FACTO Buffy was right about everything IN THE FUTURE.

                This, of course, means that 90s fashion is coming back in a big way.

                • Dru says:

                  Oh it's been back for a couple of years now. I full expect the early 2000s to have their moment in the fashion sun at some point in the early 2010s (what does one call this decade?) i.e. SOON.

            • threerings13 says:

              Yeah I had to take CPR every two years for my job and the guidelines changed 3 times in the five years I was there. The last time it had REALLY reduced the amount of breathing because there's no point in having oxygen if your heart is not beating.

    • LucyGoosey says:

      Its my understanding that resuscitating a drowning person is a little different in outcome than other arrests (I don't if better/worse….I know people who drown in cold water can be revived after a much longer period than others because of the diving reflex, but that's neither here nor there) the chest compressions aren't just to continue circulation, but to also help force water out of the lungs. But realistic revival or not, those were some wimpy compressions Xander was giving.

    • notemily says:

      Well, according to my roommate (who has worked as a lifeguard and is CPR certified), the vast majority of the CPR cases on TV are TOTALLY inaccurate. CPR is apparently just a stopgap treatment that you're supposed to do WHILE waiting for the actual medical professionals to arrive, not something that will bring a person back to life by itself. Also, people who suffer near-drowning don't really need the chest compressions, just the "rescue breathing" part because their lungs have water in them. Then again, those people's hearts are still beating, and Buffy supposedly actually died so that can't have been true. I chalk it up to Slayer super-healing powers or something. *handwave*

      • PhsntPlkr says:

        I think you're absolutely right: her heart stopped (hence the chest compressions), and she sprang back to life with none of the short- or long-term consequences of oxygen deprivation because of a combination of her super-slayerness, a magical drop in the ambient temperature in a Californian sewer system, and the surprisingly effective improperly administered CPR. Yay TV.

    • threerings13 says:

      From my CPR training, from my mother who is a nurse, and from anecdotal evidence, CPR rarely works. I think there's a better chance of it working on drowning victims, if they are pulled from the water immediately and CPR is administered immediately. For heart attacks, I know that it is VERY unlikely to help unless there is a defibrillator (AED) nearby able to very quickly restart the heart. But yeah, I kinda wish TV and movies would give it up with the CPR. It seems like it builds an expectation that people should be able to save anyone, and when they don't it could be very traumatic.

  22. tigerpetals says:

    Well, didn't vampires write the prophecy to begin with? Like in NKBD.

    I don't have much to say that I haven't already read ever since I got on the Internet.

    V qb jvfu ure pbzvat onpx fgebatre naq xabjyrqtr bs gur Znfgre'f jurernobhgf, nf jryy nf ure erfvfgnapr gb uvf ulcabgvfz, unq orra rkcynvarq va gur frevrf. Whfg n yvggyr ovg, yvxr Uneel'f vzzhavgl gb Ibyqrzbeg jnf rkcynvarq nsgre ur qvrq(V'z fgvyy abg rira fher vs ur qvrq ol gur jnl). Fcrnxvat bs juvpu, gra lrnef orsber Uneel Cbggre!

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Gur fgenatr guvat vf gung fur vf bayl vzhar gb gur Znfgre'f, ohg abg gb Qenphyn'f
      ulcabgvfz, fb znlor fur fvzcyl pbzrf onpx zber pbasvqrag guna orsber, orpnhfr fur qrsvrq gb cebcurfl (be orggre fheivirq). V thrff fheivivat jura lbh ner fher lbh unir gb qvr pna or cerggl hcyvsgvat.
      Gur arkg rcvfbqr vf zber pbashfvat gb zr, gubhtu ntnva, nyzbfg qlvat pna nssrpg lbh n ybg.

      • tigerpetals says:

        Gur arkg rcvfbqr vf orpnhfr fur vf fvzhygnarbhfyl univat yvatrevat hcfrgf bire qlvat, hcfrgf bire ure nybar univat gb qvr – naq univat gb qvr nybar – fur nybar jnf zrnag gb svtug naq qvr – naq jnagvat gb cebgrpg bguref sebz univat gb or vaibyirq va qnatre. Fur onfvpnyyl qbrfa'g jnag gb or nybar ohg fgvyy guvaxf fur unf gb or, naq fur gevrf gb znxr gung srry zber evtug ol whfgvslvat vg nf orvat sbe gur tbbq bs bguref.

  23. Inseriousity. says:

    There's so much happening in this episode and lots of different emotions tugging you in different directions that can only be described as 'fucked up.' Xander acts a jerk after rejection, Willow finally understands the personal heartache being associated with the Slayer can cause, Cordelia likes to bite vampires (woo go cordy!) and after the end of a hard day, it is probably for the best to err… leave a vampire skeleton in the middle of the school library.

    What is most heartbreaking though is Buffy's natural human survival instinct to stay alive and yet she rises above it and walks to what is likely to be her death going down fighting. Btw… nice dress πŸ˜€

  24. Meenalives says:

    I think everyone said what I had to say about this episode (definitely best episode of season, and it's a personal favorite of mine from the whole series, except that there is NO WAY that earthquake was a 5.1. 5.1 is just enough to wake up a sleeping person. Given West-coast building codes, it shouldn't cause any damage to buildings. To cause that much shaking and that kind of structural damage, that earthquake must have been at least in the middle 6's. I always laugh at the Master guessing the magnitude right after the shaking stops, because it's very true to life for people in an earthquake-prone area, but if he's nonchalant enough to do that, he should be informed enough for an accurate guess.

    • arctic_hare says:

      LOL, that is always where my mind goes too when I see that part: "Either the Master is off in his guess, or that building IS REALLY NOT UP TO CODE!"

    • whedonzombie says:

      I remember watching the episode when it aired, and shouting, "What?!?" when the Master guessed the strength of the earthquake. I thought, these writers must not be from California! That is the first thing we all do (as Californians) after an earthquake, so that part was accurate, but for as long as he lived underground his guess should have been reasonably higher!

    • tigerpetals says:

      I don't know why, but I assumed that he caused the earthquake and that that made him nonchalant. But I guess it was just another portent. Which reminds me of what I completely forgot to say:

      Baby born with eyes turned inwards! I never noticed that before but it's completely horrific. What is that, that it was rolling it's eyes so the whites were facing the world, or is it what I first imagined, that the eyelids and everything are on the inside of the head? Oh god that poor baby.

    • Shiroikami says:

      Wait… a 5.1 is just enough to wake up a sleeping person?!? I don't buy that. Even WITH West-coast building codes. I do agree that there's way more damage done than would reasonably be expected with that magnitude, but even so…

      … of course, living on the East Coast, the biggest earthquake I've ever felt was about a 2.0-ish a few hundred miles from the epicenter, which sort of shook everything noticeably if you were sitting still, but wasn't enough to do any kind of damage, but if I remember correctly, for each point on the scale, the severity of the earthquake goes up by a factor of 10 or multiplies by 10 or something like that, right? So a 5.1 could reasonably be expected to be moderately destructive…

    • PhsntPlkr says:

      I always took it as the opening of the hellmouth caused the damage, not the earthquake.

      Of course, on a purely scientific level, the damage a quake inflicts is also related to the depth of the earthquake, not just the Richter magnitude. This earthquake, being only a few meters deep (after all, the Master was only at the depth of the sewers), would have appeared to be far more powerful than most 5.1 quakes, as they are generally centred several kilometres underground.

    • Aly says:

      I don't know anything about earthquakes, but every time I hear the word "Magnitude" I want to shout "POP, POP!"

      Pbzzhavgl vf gnxvat bire zl zvaq. V hfr "fgerrgf nurnq" va qnvyl pbairefngvba.

  25. Karen says:

    LOL I THINK IT MIGHT BE. Buffy did it soooo much better though.

  26. kmz says:

    This is by far the best episode of Season 1, and I think it's no coincidence that it's the first one both written and directed by Joss.

  27. hassibah says:

    it's been 12 hours or so since I watched this so these thoughts might not be in chronological order:

    I'm kind of weirded out that they'd make Willow out to be masochistic enough to want to listen to Xander rehearse asking her out, but she turned him down for the dance so at least that's something.
    I totally forgot that this love triangle with Xander was such a big thing in the first season. Maybe just cause it's not great writing and maybe just because I don't find those things that interesting, especially when one of those things is Angel, but that's just me. I love country music though!
    Joyccccccccccce<3 She totally gets her kid even though she doesn't.
    Yay Jenny's here to remind us about her internet demon.
    Angel's here too zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
    At least Giles tried to do the right thing before he was knocked out, so that's a start.
    I know she needed the kid to find the Master but I would've at least killed him once she got there. If you're gonna die, you might as well take everyone that you can with you.
    I know this has probably been said a bunch of times by now but it really bothers me that they all set up base inside a public building that vampires have access to.
    Cordelia's here though so whatever.
    Somehow I have no memory of that 3 headed worm or whatever the fuck that was so I was unprepared for that. WTF.

  28. Avery says:

    This whole episode, Joss Whedon spent forty-five minutes somewhere in the world laughing at me.

    If there's ever a 20-year anniversary DVD boxset of this show, this needs to be in giant font on the front of the box.

    Oh Buffy, I love you and your rage and your dress and your fears and your determination so so so much. Favorite girl in all the world. SMG consistently did such great work, and I think that scene in the library is the first compelling bit of evidence that they had cast an actress equal to the range the show would ask for.

    Since the first season was scheduled as a midseason replacement, they'd already shot all the episodes prior to airing; Prophecy Girl was written without a cliffhanger so it could serve as the end of the series in case it was cancelled. There's probably an alternate universe where that happened. I'm so thankful I don't live there.

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Though maybe it's also one where Firefly and Dollhouse lasted longer.

      • RoseFyre says:

        There's a fanfic I read once which had a throwaway line about characters arguing over whether something had happened on the 5th or 6th season of Firefly, and I was all "WHY DON'T I LIVE IN THAT VERSE?" but then I remember everything ELSE that was going on in the fanfic world and didn't want to anymore.

        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          OMG why would someone even go there

          πŸ™

          • RoseFyre says:

            It was a great fanfic, though. Of course, I'm possibly one of the few people who can say that I came to Buffy via fanfic? I mean, I read HP/BtVS crossovers and then watched the show. So I knew a lot of the plots ahead of time.

            But then again, I guess I don't watch like you do – I'm a "wants to be spoiled" person and you're a "wants to avoid being at all spoiled" person. Which is okay, as long as I don't spoil you! Which I am seriously being careful not to do.

            And I am a fanfic-aholic. And I am proud of that. πŸ˜›

            • notemily says:

              I'm someone who usually doesn't mind being spoiled either. Except for the death at the end of HP book 5. I was SO PISSED OFF about being spoiled for that.

              • RoseFyre says:

                I heard about people who shouted about the major death at the end of HP book 6 – and who did it – as they were LEAVING THE STORE. From the MIDNIGHT BUYING TIMES (there is probably a real word for that but it is 3:22 in the morning and I am blanking).

                No. Just no.

                If you want to spoil yourself, that is your prerogative. I sometimes read the ends of books before I finish the middle. I sometimes look up plot summaries for TV shows online. But that's okay, because I do it to myself.

                I used to not be good at not spoiling my sister, I will admit. I'd sometimes ask "did you get to the point where…" and spoil her. I think I've improved on that. rot13 helps, too, because that way you can spoil only those who want to be spoiled – those who don't can avoid it. Whoever found that for this site was awesome, btw.

                • notemily says:

                  Yeah, totally, those people are assholes. I was spoiled in a similar way for book 5–I went on a Harry Potter usenet group and someone had posted it IN THE SUBJECT LINE of their post so there was no way to avoid seeing it.

                  But yeah, I will often be so curious about a fandom that I will read an entirely spoilery post about it just to see why people like it so much, but that's MY choice.

                  I agree about rot-13. I have no idea who came up with that for this site, but they did a wonderful thing.

              • Dru says:

                I had SO MUCH RAGE about being spoiled for Book 6, it came out on a day when I had classes at college and chose to go to it like a good girl instead of skiving off to read. I'd been on Internet lockdown for ten days to be safe, was avoiding the papers, and didn't even talk to anyone about it.

                Well, guess what I find written on the whiteboard when I get to the classroom? ***RAAAAAAAAAAAGE***

          • Dru says:

            Mark, don't judge all fanfic by My Immortal/Twilight! (latter is basically fanfic on paper)

            Joss Whedon once hired a fanfic writer on one of his shows, so i think he's plenty ok with people going there πŸ™‚

            • randomisjen says:

              ROT13'd to be on the safe side

              Gurer'f na rnfgre rtt ba bar bs gur yngre frnfba'f QIQ'f va juvpu ur gnyxf nobhg snasvp naq fnlf ur'f bx jvgu vg. Gura, nsgre fbzr argjbex "qvfphffvbaf", ur onpxgenpxrq naq onfvpnyyl fnvq, "Vg'f jebat" jvgu n jvax.

              • Dru says:

                That isn't even a spoiler, but honestly, lol at the wink πŸ˜‰

                And if Joss Whedon and Jo Rowling say they're fine with fanfic writers, who am I to disagree?

                I think people are far too judgey of fanfic and its writers (they seem to think everyone is a Twihard or something, which is most def. NOT the case), sometimes it is just the simple result of an attempt to fill in a gap – for me in the Buffyverse it was Giles's past.

  29. kasiopeia says:

    I love this episode to bits. It has several scenes that are just perfect, and on the top of that list is The scene with Buffy, Angel and Giles where she rejects being a slayer. It's just so powerful, so raw and it almost always makes me tear up :'( SMG is amazing in it, and I love how she's grown with the role since the first episode.

    Can't wait for all the rest πŸ˜€

  30. Genny_ says:

    That scene where Buffy overhears that she's supposed to die is basically the moment this series grew up, for me. SMG is just spectacular in it, and it's such a jarring shift from a lot of the comparatively campy/light-hearted horror we've been treated to so far. It's a lot more terrifying and upsetting, to me, than any of the actual monsters in s1; Buffy having to stand there *listening to* the fact that she's going to die, and feeling powerless to stop it, and knowing that it's completely out of her hands (or so she thinks) is just… gah. That scene is just so powerfully written and acted.

    I'm also very fond of the fact that we see Buffy and Willow… I guess this is where, for me, I got the impression they are truly GREAT friends. Before, I knew they genuinely liked each other and I thought they were sweet. But it's in this episode that for me it really gets driven home that they've formed one of the strongest bonds yet on the show. (I'd pretty much say the only one stronger is Buffy and her mother. Whee, female friendship!) And like you, I love that Willow has the strength to understand that saying yes to Xander would have been a bad, bad, bad idea. Not just for Willow, but for Xander too. (Personally I am as 'ehhh' on Xander in this episode as I ever am, *but* I think it would have turned out terribly for him too if Willow had accepted being second-best to Buffy? And I wouldn't have wished that on him.) She's very mature about it, and it's impressive.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Willow saying no was absolutely the right choice, because he was asking for all the wrong reasons. I think it would have been terrible for both of them.

      As it is, it's nice to see them all go in a group at the end – no relationships, no pairing off. Just seven friends, hanging out together.

  31. Ryan Lohner says:

    The episode does have one rather unfortunate moment that the fans love to laugh at: David Boreanez is audibly winded after running to Buffy's side, and yet he still has to try to sell the line about having no breath to give CPR with. I thought he was in better shape.

  32. guest_age says:

    "Jung unccraf jura fur qvrf? Vf fur fgvyy gur Fynlre? UBJ GUR URYY QBRF GUVF JBEX."

    V guvax jr'ir nyy frra rabhtu bs Znex'f cerqvpgvba cbfgf gb xabj ubj uvynevbhfyl (naq jbaqreshyyl) bss gur znex ur hfhnyyl vf, ohg qnza, ur ernyyl cvacbvagrq vg gurer, qvqa'g ur?

    "I quit, remember? PAY ATTENTION." All the awards to SMG for that line.

    In all seriousness though, I was watching this last night in between doing other things, so I kept having to pause and then pick it back up again later. Someone needed me while I was watching that scene and I told them they would have to wait until it was over because YOU CAN NOT PAUSE THAT SCENE. IT IS SACRED.

    • Mary Sue says:

      Lrnu, orpnhfr ng gur gvzr V jnf nyy, "Bu, fur qvrq. JNVG JUNG XRAQEN JUB JUN UHU?"

      Naq gura V ybirq Xraqen.

      NAQ GURA Wbff Jurqba fnvq, "UNUNUNUN LBH PNA'G UNIR AVPR GUVATF."

    • notemily says:

      The pay attention line is amazing, and also the way she says "I don't care" twice in two extremely different ways. I JUST LOVE THAT SPEECH AND EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

  33. lawrence_s says:

    Zbfg vzcbegnag, gubhtu, vf gung Wraal Pnyraqne naq Pbeqryvn Punfr fbeg bs unir gb cynl n ovttre cneg va gur fgbel va frnfba gjb.

    V unir abguvat cebsbhaq gb fnl orfvqrf "BU, FB HACERCNERQ."

  34. stargaterejects says:

    OH GOD FINALLY THIS EPISODE.

    So my favorite thing about this episode is how Buffy reacts to the prophecy. She's selfish and angry about it first (and totally has a right to be, BTW). I'm so sick of heroes in other movies/TV/books just accepting their death right away and I think Buffy's reaction was way more realistic.

    As bad as I felt for Xander when Buffy rejected him, I was kind of glad they got that out of the way finally. Cyhf vg bcraf gur qbbe sbe uvf eryngvbafuvc jvgu Pbeqryvn va frnfba gjb, juvpu vf NJRFBZR.

    Also, CORDELIAAAAAA. <3

    Also also, R.I.P. The Master. You were awesome </3

  35. dasmondschaf says:

    Can I just say that I love that ANCIENT PROPHECY is defeated with the power of MEDICAL SCIENCE? I mean, sure, Buffy still technically died, but you gotta love the power and effectiveness of TV CPR!

    Nyfb, V whfg ybir jura guvf fubj qbrf gung xvaq bs guvat, trarenyyl fcrnxvat (gur hfr bs arjre zvyvgnel grpuabybtl gb qrsrng gur Whqtr, sbe vafgnapr).

  36. tardis_stowaway says:

    I was so excited for you to get to this episode see how very unprepared you were for a series that will KILL THE TITLE CHARACTER. Even if it's just a few moments of the heart not beating, something that she can be brought back from with ordinary CPR, that is pretty much Joss Whedon's statement that he'll do what he wants, and fans will just keep coming back for more.

    BRING IT, JOSS WHEDON.

    Wait, I shouldn’t say that, should I?

    Hey, look, Joss Whedon has baked a plate of cookies just for you!

  37. beckaboomer says:

    This episode really gets to me, from the very beginning. I have been on both sides of that conversation Buffy and Xander had, and it is NOT FUN EITHER WAY. I hate watching Xander be depressed; I hate that Buffy has to hurt a friend. But they are both honest here, and I like that.

    "I may be dead, but I'm still pretty." …I love SMG with a love that will not die. It's horrific to watch her face death, and SMG deserves all the props for her amazing performance in that scene. I think Giles is very impressive too; you can see how completely useless he feels while his Slayer faces death. The Slayer fights and faces death, the Watcher… watches. And guides. He probably feels guilty about that, and you can tell he wants to be all pro-active, but in the end it really is Buffy's fight. Sadness!

  38. LindsayFunke says:

    Some vamps hit me, almost bit me
    I know that's not OK
    If they don't give me proper credit
    I'll dust them any day

    They can bite and they can kill,
    But I will never run
    Cause any vamp who crosses me
    Will be the first whose done. Cause I am

    Living in a prophecy world
    and I am a prophecy girl
    Cause we are living in a prophecy world,
    and I am a prophecy girl

  39. canyonoflight says:

    Buffy telling the Master he has "fruit punch mouth" will always be one of my favorite lines.

    • randomisjen says:

      I tell my kids that all the time and they know that it's a Buffy line… I am clearly raising my kids right. LOL

  40. Patrick721 says:

    Some of my favorite lines from this episode.
    "Yes! Yes! Shake, Earth! This is a sign! We are in the final days! My time has come! Glory! Glory!…Whaddaya think? 5.1?"
    I just love how he goes from utter scenery chewing to talking about the weather. (Hey, he's underground, so Earthquakes count as weather.)

    "I'm just gonna go home, lie down, and listen to country music. The music of pain."
    I like this line for two reasons. One, it's funny. Two, it sums up how country music should sound. I actually like some country music, but most of the stuff that comes out now is too self satisfied and…happy. Country music shouldn't be happy. I mean, did Johnny Cash sound happy in most of his music? Hell no.

    Sorry about the tangent, but that's a subject that I feel somewhat strongly about.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      THANK YOU. I LOVE MY COUNTRY MUSIC TO BE DEPRESSING.

      • misterbernie says:

        Depressing and/or about whiskey.

      • Patrick721 says:

        So if country music gets better the more depressing it is, does that make Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt" the greatest country song of all time?

        • cait0716 says:

          YES

          Not just because it's depressing, but holy crap that is a great cover of a good song. And the way he sings it is just amazing and wonderful. And so depressing.

          Though I do think you can have non-depressing country music. I'm mostly thinking of the Dixie Chicks here. A lot of it is depressing though. And some of it surprisingly upbeat while still being really depressing when you actually stop and listen to the lyrics.

    • LindsayFunke says:

      The master really gets no credit as a villian on this show. I think his character fits the feeling of the first season perfectly. Really campy and fun. I was surprised how much more I enjoyed him rewatching this season.

    • MrsGillianO says:

      Tybel! Tybel!…Junqqnln guvax? 5.1?"

      Naq fhqqrayl V guvax guvf vf rkcbaragvnyyl sberfunqbjl, orpnhfr Tybel vf va F5.

      Naq Ora.

  41. bookworm67 says:

    HEY GUYS. One of my friends wrote a Buffy thing to the tune of Jingle Bells and I just had to add on to it.

    So in the spirit of the holidays, here it is (my friend did the first chorus). Be warned, it is very spoilery.

    Jingle bells, Ohssl xvyyf,
    Qehfvyyn'f znq ng Fcvxr.
    Gnen qvrf, Jvyybj pevrf,
    Naq Knaqre trgf n ovxr.

    Qnfuvat guebhtu gur fabj
    Frnepuvat ornfgf gb fynl
    Guebhtu tenirlneqf jr tb
    Fanexvat nyy gur jnl

    Pebffrf ohea naq fgvat
    Ivrjref pbjre va sevtug
    Inzcverf fynva, jr’q ybir gb fvat n fynlvat fbat gbavtug! Bu,

    Wvatyr oryyf, gur zbhgu bs uryy
    Pnhfrf ybgf bs cnva
    Gnen qvrf, naq Jvyybj pevrf
    Naq Ohssl’f qrnq ntnva.

  42. Genny_ says:

    Oh man, suddenly thinking of Amy and Rory in Doctor Who here. Rory, the 'scene stealer', who is a fairly low-key character who has few really emotional moments- his actor is good and all, but still. And Amy, whose actor apparently has 'one face', despite having a shitload of intensely emotional scenes in her opening series! Rory, whose entire character revolves around Amy, but who is 'deep'. Amy, who gets her own arc, who 'isn't independent enough' (or is… *too* independent. Whaaa.)

    Female characters are held to absurdly high standards, and it's viewed as a blessing because 'we just want them to be great!', but it's just a double standard in the end. I HATE it.

    • ladililn says:

      Ugh, yes, so much this. I love Rory, of course, but it bothers me how little attention she is given from fans compared to Rory, who isn't as major of a character. I know, I know, "estrogen brigade bait" and all that, but it seriously bothers me that Amy doesn't get more love, because it seems to be on the whole a she's-a-female thing rather than something stemming from her as a person (okay, character).

      • Genny_ says:

        Honestly? The fandom reaction to him, coupled with some of the possessiveness, kinda soured me on him. It's a shame, because I WANT to like him, but… fandom is just so cruel to Amy and wonderful to him. Ugh. (It doesn't help Amy is far and away my fave DW character ever.)

        • ladililn says:

          Yes, THIS. Honestly, when I say "love" for him, it's mostly my love for his awesome moments and his relationship for Amy–on his own, I like him okay, but I don't really care one way or another, and I think it's probably a reaction to everyone being all OMG RORY <3 <3

          Can I hug you on the astral plane? Amy is far, far, far and away my favorite DW character too! *high five* I just don't understand how anyone could NOT love Amy. She's so awesome!

        • sporkaganza93 says:

          I've seen a different phenomenon in Who fandom, myself. Amy doesn't get much hate, but River? Tons of it, for literally anything she does. And people say that it's got nothing to do with her being a strong female character, but honestly, it really is a lot of the time.

  43. ladililn says:

    re: your Supernatural comment: Lrnu, V ernyyl qba'g trg gubfr fca snaf jub fnl gurer ner AB tbbq srznyr punenpgref. Vg'f fb zvfbtlavfgvp naq htu. Gurl svaq n ernfba gb ungr RIREL BAR bs gurz. V ybir Wb, naq Wrff, naq Znel (nygubhtu fur frrzf gb or na rkprcgvba, nf ab bar vf guerngrarq ol ure eryngvbafuvc gb n Jvapurfgre), naq Ryyra, naq Yvfn, naq Xngvr Pnffvql!Ehol (Trarivrir Pbegrfr Cnqnyrpxv whfg qvqa'g ernyyl fryy vg sbe zr), naq nyzbfg rirel fvatyr bar-bss punenpgre/ybir vagrerfg. (Vg'f gur Wb ungr rfcrpvnyyl gung trgf gb zr, orpnhfr vg pbzrf fb arne fyhg-funzvat fbzrgvzrf. Yvxr Wb fubhyq or nfunzrq sbe tbvat nsgre n thl fur'f vagrerfgrq va. Vs V urne gung fur'f gbb "sbejneq" be "shyy bs urefrys" bar zber gvzr, V jvyy chapu fbzrbar. Lbh xabj gung vs n THL jnf yvxr gung rirelbar jbhyq or fjbbavat. Htu.)

    • @liliaeth says:

      Naq nyy gur pbzcynvagf nobhg Wb abg orvat tbbq ng uhagvat va ure svefg rcf. gur jubyr cbvag bs ure punenpgre vf gung fur'f n lbhat varkcrevraprq uhagre jub unf cyragl bs xabjyrqtr, ohg ab erny yvsr rkcrevrapr.

      Vs Wb unq orra n znyr varkcrevraprq uhagre, crbcyr jbhyq unir orra fynfuvat uvz jvgu Qrna (naq be Fnz)yrsg naq evtug…

  44. The_Consultant says:

    Oh Mark., do not provoke Joss Whedon like that. He will break you. In half. Like a twig. A twig, Mark.

  45. I laugh because even after all this, you are still not prepared. (I haven't had this much fun since you watched "Doctor Who.")

    Also, because of your Cordelia love, I want to be your platonic life partner. <3

  46. Kari18212 says:

    LOVE this episode (how could you not?) SMG kills it, I cried through the whole scene where she is reacting to the prophecy-this being the… oh 17th time I've seen it, so obviously pretty powerful stuff.

    Also the Giles Knock Out Count is officially at 4.5 (the .5 being what was decided in the comments from yesterday since he wasn't totally unconscious when Angel showed up). Buffy must have hit him pretty hard too-yikes. I also loved that she couldn't come up with just the perfect thing to say to him either. So much more true to life than all the movies/TV/books where the characters magically have the most poetic and perfect statements to leave for people. She's got other things on her mind besides being profound πŸ™‚

  47. RachelFatale says:

    I love that FUN Cordelia is finally here. I wonder if they purposely waited so long for her to be anything more than a mean, self-absorbed airhead just so we would appreciate it more when we saw a glimmer of good in her.

    Does anyone else think "Oh god don't hurt the dress" while watching this episode?

    • t09yavosaur says:

      Once I saw that the dress was white I forced myself to stop loving it immeadiatly. I am very happy I didn't have to see it ruined.

  48. Tom stappaerts says:

    It’s not like xander killed buffy again by cpr’ing her Neck.

  49. t09yavosaur says:

    -Almost forgot to write stuff down, also Xander was boring me.
    -Mmm, not a fan of slow-mo, Smallville kinda spoiled that for me.
    -Not too much of it though so thats good. πŸ™‚
    -Cool. We actually get to see Cordelia being observant now.
    -Die? Perish? Fall? Fall has the most loopholes.
    -Earthquake?
    -I experienced my first earthquake ever this year and I didnt even have to leave the East Coast. It was interesting
    -First Thought: Why aren't you running to safety Giles
    -Second Thought: Cracks in the floor. SAVE THE BOOKS.
    -Third Thought: Aren't they Californians? Why are the people in the Bronze panicking and running around instead of going to doorway or something.
    -Oh Master. You would make a pretty awesome wacky uncle person.
    -Poor Xander, but that was not as messy as I expected it to be.
    -Why are you calling Angel, Giles?
    -Computer Lady!!! (I know her real name but nicknames are fun)
    -I like the “Just Say No” sign in the background while Willow and Xander talk.
    -White dress, never a good idea.
    -Its sometimes called love Cordelia
    – πŸ™
    – πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™
    -Aww, let Computer Lady in the club. And name yourselves Club SaveBuffy
    -Does Angel just give out his phone number and home address?
    -Go Cordelia! Bite those Vampires!
    -Love how they kick ass while screaming their heads off.
    -Ugly puppet. What is it? A Hydra Worm?
    -Duh Master, Buffy *was* dead, and now she's done.
    -Good form Master but your boxing needs work.
    -How on the Hellmouth did that dress survive?

  50. whedonzombie says:

    I'm really hoping that Znex'f ybir sbe Pbeqryvn znxrf vg vzcbffvoyr sbe uvz gb nibvq jngpuvat Natry. Rfcrpvnyyl, fvapr gung vf jurer gur znwbevgl bs ure punenpgre qrirybczrag gnxrf cynpr.

  51. Meltha says:

    There is something about this episode that just rings all the right bells for me. On one level, it's mythological in all the right ways, and on another, it's the girl grabbing the reins and trying to make it her story even if the horses are trying to drag her to hell… literally. We've got the trope of the virginal sacrifice in white, but said sacrifice isn't normally pictured armed to the teeth, nor killing the dragon that wants to destroy her. We've got a genuine hero here. She's a real girl, with real feelings, with a desire for self-preservation, but she's also responsible, brave, and stubborn enough to live anyway while making crack shots. ____Also, "You've got fruit punch mouth" will never stop being a perfect line.

    • Dru says:

      We've got the trope of the virginal sacrifice in white, but said sacrifice isn't normally pictured armed to the teeth, nor killing the dragon that wants to destroy her.

      That's part of what makes this series so iconic – SO MANY of these tropes are flipped on their heads. Little blonde girl who looks like she should be monster food? That's the one who can and will kill them all. Sacrificial virgin in white? She'll come right back to life and END YOU. Clueless mom getting in the way? She really truly cares about her daughter, and is a far, far cry from "useless adult". And we haven't even got to the part where zbafgref pna or xvyyrq ol gur irel npg bs fpernzvat, which is usually just an expression of fear/useless.

  52. Dru says:

    BRING IT, JOSS WHEDON.

    BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR, MARK. JOSS WILL GIVE IT TO YOU.

  53. yeah_whatever says:

    >Svefg bs nyy, vg’f terng gb unir Wraal Pnyraqne onpx va gur npgvba, naq V ubcr
    gb frr ure n ybg zber va gur arkg frnfba.

    Bu, V fb zvff Wraal Pnyraqne. Znex vf tbvat gb or fb fnq pbzr gur ynggre cneg bs Frnfba 2. πŸ™

    >Vg’f gur svefg frnfba. Gur anzr bs gur fubj vf gur anzr bs gur znva punenpgre!!! JNVG JUNG NER LBH QBVAT. LBH PNA’G QB GUVF, EVTUG? JUNG GUR SHPX UBJ PNA FUR QVR JUNG GUR SHPX VF TBVAT BA.

    Trg ernql sbe gur evqr bs lbhe yvsr!

    V'ir frra Ohssl yvxr 90 zvyyvba gvzrf…lrg, V'z fb rkpvgrq sbyybjvat fbzrbar jub vf jngpuvat vg sbe gur svefg gvzr. V ybbx sbejneq gb ernqvat Znex'f pbzzragf, nf vg tvirf zr na bccbeghavgl gb frr gur frevrf sebz n arj crefcrpgvir. Pna'g jnvg gb frr ubj ur srryf nf gur frnfbaf cebterff.

  54. notemily says:

    Poor Xander trying to practice asking Buffy out on Willow. AND POOR WILLOW.

    I love Buffy's slow-motion fighting of the vampires here. Gorgeous. And her little smirk when the vamp realizes she has a stake! Lovely. She's so much more comfortable being the Slayer now than she used to be. For now, at least.

    THE SLAYER WILL DIE OMG

    EARTHQUAKE OMG

    NOT THE CUP OF TEEEEA

    NOT THE BOOOOOKS

    Buffy has moar short little skirts on! I'll miss you, adorable season one Buffy outfits and fluffy hair. "I'm wearing a press-on!"

    "You could say, 'hm.'" "Hm?"

    OH MY GOD WILLOW WHAT IS THAT SWEATER YOU ARE WEARING

    Right, so I love that Buffy is just like "I don't." I probably would have tried to let him down gently and in the process given him hope that we could be together in the future. I just watched the episode of How I Met Your Mother about keeping people "on the hook" by not firmly and decisively turning them down, and I have done that way too many times in my life. I am ashamed.

    So… Angel has a phone? That's who Giles is talking to when he says "come after sundown," right? I can't see Angel getting the AT&T people over to his place to set up the line. "Could you come after sundown? I, uh… work late."

    Sexeh Ms. Calendar leaning in the doorway!

    "Willow, I really like your outfit!" "No, you don't." Hee.

    "On a scale of one to ten? It sucked."

    Willow's rejection of Xander's offer of a "date" is one of the best parts of this episode, seriously. Willow is in fine form here. I know a lot of people get pissed off when Xander isn't held accountable for his shit, and this is one of those times where he is. And it's awesome.

    FAUCETS POURING BLOOOOOD

    THE SPEECH. OK, now this is my favorite part of the episode, favorite part of season one, everything. LOVE IT. Buffy's overhearing of the conversation and her speech–this is a phenomenal acting job from SMG. Pretty sure I have the whole thing memorized. She just kills me.

    "You're so useful sitting here with all of your books! You're really a lot of help!" "No, I don't suppose I am." Giles, you're killing me too.

    Patsy Cline, Xander? Nice choice.

    DRESS <3 I would have loved that dress when I was Buffy's age. So pretty.

    "Is it written somewhere?" I love Joyce's obliviousness.

    Okay, now Cordelia is getting in on the shirt-open-at-bottom-and-top deal. I DO NOT APPROVE.

    Cordelia is actually liking this guy, which of course means he's DEAD.

    You can see the bloody handprint on the TV the whole time if you're looking for it. Also, old-school cartoons freak me the hell out, not least because they're often used in scenes like this to provide contrast to the carnage, so now I associate them with awful things happening and they're just creepy to me.

    "The part that gets me, though, is where Buffy is the Vampire Slayer. She's so little!"

    "I've made up my mind." "So have I." "I made up mine first!" I love how stubborn they BOTH are. And then the Giles knockout count goes up.

    "Think of something cool. Tell him I said it." This episode is so well-written.

    "How come she's in the club?" Hee.

    "Just keep your distance, pal." "I wasn't looking at your neck!" "I told you to eat before we left!" I'm pretty sure some Xander/Angel fanfic was born from this scene.

    The Master is truly frightening in this episode. He shows off all sorts of powers we've never seen him use, like the Force thing and silently moving around and a sort of hypnosis. AND THEN HE DRINKS BUFFY'S BLOOD. D:

    Why Buffy recovers so quickly after she wakes up: [THEORIES ABOUND] Zl gurbel vf fur tbg fbzr bs gur Znfgre'f cbjre jura ur qenax ure oybbq. Zl ebbzzngr'f gurbel vf gung qlvat erserfurq ure Fynlre-l cbjref fbzrubj. Be fur pbhyq whfg unir Fynlre fhcre-urnyvat novyvgvrf.

    Cordelia DRIVES TO THE LIBRARY. I love it.

    Tentacle-y Hellmouth monster thing!

    "It was written!" "What can I say? I flunked the written." ILU Buffy. That line pretty much sums up this show perfectly.

    Slow version of theme song playing over the final scene!

    "I mean… I got all pretty."

    HELL YEAH. What an awesome end to the first season. BRING ON S2! Are you going to be doing a prediction post? (MARK YOU NEED A FAQ)

    • hassibah says:

      ""It was written!" "What can I say? I flunked the written." ILU Buffy. That line pretty much sums up this show perfectly. "

      Yes, best line(today!)

      Also that last one is my theory.

    • tehrevel says:

      "Right, so I love that Buffy is just like "I don't." I probably would have tried to let him down gently and in the process given him hope that we could be together in the future. I just watched the episode of How I Met Your Mother about keeping people "on the hook" by not firmly and decisively turning them down, and I have done that way too many times in my life. I am ashamed. "

      Nah fuck that, if they're too dense to take you turning them down right then as a sign that you are also unlikely to be interested in the future then even if you were super clear they would probably have concocted some elaborate fantasy scenario in which you change your mind in the future. That HIMYM episode had Ted (and someone else I can't remember) acting like a real piece of shit knowlingly as well which presumably you weren't.

  55. When I first watched this episode, with my sister sitting nearby, I thought "Oh, well the prophecy obviously can't come true, there's like a billion more seasons after all. No, I just feel bad for Giles and want hug him, everything is gonna be fine."
    And then we had the scene with Buffy completely losing it after hearing she was going to die and I cried. Nope, doesn't matter I doubt it's gonna happen because poor Buffy let me hug you and give you all the ice cream in the world. That scene is just so heartbreaking and Gellar's acting really makes the whole thing very effective. I love this season finale. It makes you sad and worry about all the characters, you get to see how much everyone's acting abilities have grown, and it has a great satisfying ending that's happy.
    Also, yay Cordy zooming to the rescue! I forgot about that part, so it was really cool seeing it again.

  56. orchardist says:

    Favorite things:
    – The 16yr old speech was really heartbreaking
    – I fell in love w/ Xander this episode. I really didn't like him pining for Buffy and was glad to see the clear cut rejection as well as Willow standing up for herself. BUT, when Xander is like "screw prophecy" and dragged Angel down to save Buffy? THAT's when I thought he became a real hero. Not THE hero (he's a Beta to Buffy's Alpha) but it was nice to see.

    • tactless says:

      Holy crap! Someone mentioned Xander and didn't trash him for acting like a teenager and not being a fully mature adult with a PHD in Psychology. I get a giggle by reading people being self-righteous, but are you sure your in the correct site? J/K , but this post was a tremendous breath of fresh air. Thank you.

  57. Rayne says:

    I've watched this episode at least six times (probably more), and I ALWAYS tear up at the scene with Buffy in the library when she finds out she's destined to die. SMG is simply amazing.

    One thing I'm realizing on this rewatch of the series, is that this show never bores me. I can watch it over and over and over again and still get giddy and excited or sad and depressed all over again. I love this show THAT much. If I had to marry one show, this would be the one.

    This was also the first show where I became aware of the writers and realized how extremely important writers were to a show. You can have great acting and great directing, but a great script is what really makes a show.

    BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, WILL YOU MARRY ME?!

  58. sporkaganza93 says:

    "Va gur svany rcvfbqr bs gur svefg frnfba bs Ohssl Gur Inzcver Fynlre, jr yrnea whfg ubj zhpu Wbff Jurqba vf jvyyvat gb qrfgebl rirelguvat jr ybir."

    Bu, abg rira pybfr. Zna, ur'f tbvat gb SYVC ng gur frpbaq frnfba svanyr!

  59. Kickpuncher says:

    Mark, you better be doing a Season 2 Prediction post so we can all laugh about how incredibly wrong and/or surprisingly right you are.

  60. unefeeverte says:

    Can't wait for you to start season 2 – my personal favourite by a long shot.

  61. Jenn says:

    Mark, I've been reading your blogs for a long time now, and I have to say that I was dying while waiting for you to finish BSG (which I've not yet had time to watch myself) so you could start Buffy (and I am also stoked for you to start Veronica Mars). There is always so much I want to say in response to your posts, but I don't for fear I might inadvertently spoil you. I wish you could do two episodes per day, dammit.

    For instance, early on when you point out that Joss made it a point to show that even semi-important characters weren't safe, I couldn't help but chuckle thinking you would lose it when you got to this episode.

    And in response to pretty much every post you have made for season one, all I have to say is you aren't remotely prepared for Season Two.

    Kmz said: "This is by far the best episode of Season 1, and I think it's no coincidence that it's the first one both written and directed by Joss."

    Uhhh, duh. πŸ˜‰ If it's written and directed by Joss, it's an undeniable winner of an episode.

  62. Hotaru_hime says:

    *cackles*
    Oh man, just wait until Season 2.

  63. januar says:

    I just finished reading "Mark Watches Avatar" yesterday (which I loved, by the way), and was thrilled to learn that you're now watching Buffy. All I'm going to say is: YOU ARE SO NOT PREPARED.

    *goes back to lurking*

  64. WhiteEyedCat says:

    "vg’f terng gb unir Wraal Pnyraqne onpx va gur npgvba, naq V ubcr gb frr ure n ybg zber va gur arkg frnfba" – Bu lbh jvyy Znex…*juvzcre*.

    I love this episode! Ha ha, and I love that you can just imagine Joss cackling evilly while he wrote it. I agree that one thing that I really like about Joss Whedon's writing here is that he wants the viewer to be satisfied at the end of the season. Cliffhangers can be fun (and torturous) but this ends with a great open and closed feeling, while still leaving room for more episodes.

    I also love that you can see how much the characters have changed since the first episode, just looking at Cordelia and Willow's interactions in both episodes. In the first episode Cordelia barks at Willow to leave, and she scampers away. Here, they're almost talking as equals, Cordelia even *gasp* offers to talk to Willow in front of people! Then later they're almost talking like friends, about the boy Cordelia's dating.

    In the first episode Xander had an awkward crush on Buffy, and now finally does something about it and inevitably gets rejected and handles it badly. But he's still willing to (foolishly) rush into dangerous situations to try to help somebody that he cares about. Dying sure is a good way to relieve that tension left between friends after rejection!

  65. @farwell3d says:

    The first truly, honestly great episode. A near-perfect 45 minutes of television. In a lot of ways, the show starts here.

    Bring it on, Season 2, because Mark is so not prepared for just how unprepared he is.

  66. misterbernie says:

    Semi-random-ish observation:
    lol Buffy fandom:

    <img src="http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d77/baranxi/Random%20Crap/comments11-12-29.png"&gt;
    *Image does not include liveblogs.

  67. Dee says:

    The reason she lived is the very reason why she is different from other slayers – she has friends. Slayers traditionally work alone in secret with their watcher, but Buffy being the atypical slayer has instead surrounded herself with a close-nit group who accept who is is and help when they can. While any other slayer may have been alone and left for dead, Xander going underground to try and find Buffy and eventually bring her back speaks volumes as to what kind of Slayer really she is – AWESOME.

    Can't wait for Season 2 predictions and posts!

  68. Mindy says:

    Hoo boy, are you going to LOVE season two. Let me get my popcorn.

  69. Bill says:

    "Wait, I shouldn’t say that, should I?"

    Too late

  70. Ashes says:

    This episode, Angel and Nightmares are my fav episodes of this series. Buffy's speech is just heartbreaking.

    Be prepared to shout at the screen for season 2. LOL

  71. misterbernie says:

    Fret none, for I have A Lot Of Feelings about all of BtVS.

  72. anobium says:

    My "How I Got Hooked On Buffy" story: I was vaguely aware of the show when it first aired, but didn't pay it much attention all the way through the first season. Then I happened to wander past a television during the "I'm only sixteen" scene…

  73. RoseFyre says:

    So, first off: so glad you're not watching this on the DVDs. Season 1, they have this incredibly silly habit of picking a line from the episode and using it as a voiceover before you get into the actual episode. Now, that would be fine…if the lines weren't SPOILERY as ANYTHING.

    Most of them aren't terrible, but the ones from Angel and Prophecy Girl…Angel is "So you're, like, 224 years older than me." Which is pretty bad. But the one from Prophecy Girl? "I may be dead, but I'm still pretty. Which is more than I can say for you." Which is like the most spoilery line they could possibly pick, seriously. I mean, dude, not everyone has seen the show before, and not everyone wants to be spoiled before watching the episode.

    Let's just say that I'm glad they stopped doing that later on, because I shudder to think at what lines they would have picked for some of the later episodes.

    I really tell people they have to at least watch all of Season 1 before they decide they don't like Buffy. Because the first few episodes are generally weaker than most of the episodes later on, and I think the last four are a pretty solid run – with The Puppet Show being a bit less strong than Nightmares, Out of Mind, Out of Sight, and Prophecy Girl. The last three especially are all excellent.

    Okay, now on to actual commentary:

    I do approve of Xander asking. He has the guts to ask Buffy to the dance, to ask her on a date. And it doesn't go well, but he does ask. However, while I've been rather a Xander supporter here (which is more because I wanted the counterpoint to the purely negative viewpoint), I also think Buffy is completely right to refuse the invite. If she doesn't like him, she doesn't like him, and, well, that's completely her right. You can't change who you have a crush on (or don't have a crush on), no matter how painful that is, and it's definitely the right choice to say no, rather than leading Xander on. Xander asking Willow, however, is kind of…jerk-y. I know he's hurting, but it's not nice to Willow. And good on Willow for having the guts to say no for all the right reasons. Willow isn't always the gutsiest of characters, and you know she totally wants to go to the dance with Xander, but…she knows it would hurt her, so she says no. And good on her for that.

    It's nobody's fault, really – Willow likes Xander who likes Buffy who likes Angel who likes Buffy but has the whole vampire thing in the way. It's very…high school. So I think it was handled well, yeah.

    Also, Buffy's mom is the best mom there ever was, seriously. You know she totally doesn't get it – and I love all the double language – but she DOES get the human parts, just…not the supernatural parts. She completely understands the Xander/Buffy/Angel triangle other than the, you know, vampire part – but in many ways, there's nothing supernatural about it. It's just…relationships.

    In random – what the heck happened to Mitch? I mean, Cordelia was completely with him at the end of the last episode, and now she's with Kevin? Who she thinks is adorable? How long have they been dating? Also on that topic, May Queen doesn't go with Spring Fling? Is this one of those high school things I missed by never attending a single dance? Are these separate events? I am confused.

    Btw, Alyson Hannigan = really good at screaming. Charisma Carpenter as well. I am now wondering if there was a screaming test when casting those parts. And yes, we've all been waiting for you to love Cordelia as much as we do. Isn't she awesome? I love everyone on this show, really, and I think I always will.

    Can't wait to see what you think of everything in the future!

    • RoseFyre says:

      Also, things I thought of later:

      Definitely weird rewatching Season 1. I think the quality of the DVDs isn't as good? Or maybe just the ones I own? Because it looks grainy. Which is weird. But it's still an awesome show so I don't care.

      And…hrm. I will rot13 this because I am not sure if it is spoilery – I know some of it will be, but others won't, and I'd rather have someone else give an opinion? And if consensus is that it's not uber spoilery, I will write it in plain text on a future post.

      V jnag gb gryy Znex gb jngpu gur Teee Netu orpnhfr va fbzr rcvfbqrf vg vf qvssrerag – V sbetrg rknpgyl juvpu bgure guna gur zhfvpny rcvfbqr, ohg qrsvavgryl bguref. (Gubhtu boivbhfyl V jbhyqa'g fnl juvpu rcvfbqrf vg jnf qvssrerag va.) Fubhyq V fnl "Nyjnlf jngpu gb gur Tee Netu orpnhfr fbzrgvzrf vg vf qvssrerag?" Be vf rira gung gbb fcbvyrel rira vs V fnl abguvat nobhg jura gur fbzrgvzrf vf? Bcvavbaf?

      It's interesting to watch the episode realizing that Giles probably knows from the beginning that Buffy is going to die. Everything he does – the not really sleeping but working all night in his clothes, calling Angel – points to that. So it's an entirely different experience when you know that's what's going to happen.

      And I said this elsewhere, but I love that everyone ends up going to the dance together. No pairing off, no dates. Just the seven of them, in a group, as friends. It is awesome.

  74. tactless says:

    Okay, yesterday I promised/mentioned that was planing on sharing my theory/philosophy about heroic flaws and how they relate to BTVS, but first I would like to say a few things.

    Except for the theme-music-walk which did nothing for me this episode is how shows SHOULD end a season. Everyone in the cast got a chance to shine, show real emotion and tie up plot lines. Thank you Mutant Enemy.

    I was anticipating having to defend Angel today (despite the fact that I'm not to fond) and I am pleasantly surprised that apparently everyone understood that there was no way for him to know that Buffy had changed her mind about going to the Master's cave. On the other hand it does bookend the season for him with his actions (or lack thereof during "The Harvest" were he watched outside while everyone else was fighting for their lives in The Bronze)

    This episode was about BUFFY, The Master, BUFFY, The End of the World and Buffy, however, two of the three pages of comments thus far are rants about a minor scene where an immature teenager (redundant) acts like an immature teenager (Still redundant). Anyone who claims to have been a perfect angel in thought and deed as a teenager is lying, at least to themselves, and expecting a teenage character in a show about high school life to act like a fully mature adult with a PHD in psychology is irrational

    (Naq orsber nalbar oevatf bhg gur synzr-guebjref, cyrnfr erzrzore gung jr ner, ng zbfg, gjb qnlf njnl sebz fbzrbar ryfr npgvat yvxr na nff orpnhfr gurl ner abg n zngher nqhyg.)

    Which brings me to the point of this post: Heroic Flaws.

    Once upon a time, *cough* years ago I read a truly terrible series of novels and like a few terribly written stories the writer snuck something that has stuck with me in the form of the following (heavily edited) bit of dialogue.

    Protagonist: Why do you keep calling me a hero? You're a much better fighter. You're the hero.

    World's Greatest Swordsman: Heroes have flaws. It is the dealing with and overcoming of these flaws that makes them heroes. I have no flaws and am, therefore, not a hero.

    In fiction we all get a visceral thrill when the hero beats the bad guy. When Buffy nails The Master in his "Punch Mouth", but in the end what keeps us interested and keeps us coming back is the path the hero takes to that point. How they overcome the the obstacles, both the physical and, especially, the personal.

    The Heroic Flaws are a large part of what makes the stories of a hero worth following.

    That being said, every character in BTVS that spends any amount of time onscreen has their own Heroic Flaw. None of them can be considered a positive personality trait, but they all lead that character to their highest points as well as their, individual rock bottoms. Like and atom is the elemental base, the Heroic Flaw is the base from where most, if not all of the character's actions spring.

    Which brings us to the example, which is oddly appropriate.

    Alexander Harris' Heroic Flaw: (Dun dundun)

    Xander does not think with his brain. The part of his anatomy that he is thinking with at any given time changes from season to season, from episode to episode and, sometimes, from scene to scene, but it's rarely, if ever, located between his ears.

    This is what allows him to, in the same episode, run to help a classmate face bullies because it's the right thing to do and not do the right thing an hour later and face what happened as a result. It allows him to stay in character while he's acting like a two-year-old when getting rejected and later happily risk his life to save a friend that EVERYONE says is un-saveable.

    I think it's worth noting that without these Heroic Flaws there is no way that this program would have lasted 6 1/2 seasons.

    Just food for thought.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Boy, you really don't get it at all, do you? "Boys will be boys" IS NOT AN ACCEPTABLE DEFENSE OF SEXIST BEHAVIOR. Never has been, never will be. It only CONTRIBUTES to the problem via the assumption that guys will "grow out of" those attitudes. Guess what? A whole hell of a lot of them NEVER DO, because society gives them a pass on that behavior their entire lives. And fuck off with this "irrational" bullshit. We're not irrational to call out a character OR a person on their shitty sexist behavior, and that accusation smacks of the "wimminz are so irrational, lol" misogynist tripe.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        could this person please take their food for thought back

        i mean seriously do y'all think i am incapable of believing that Xander is a complex character

        oh that's right, it's not like i have ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO EPISODES TO GET THROUGH

        • tactless says:

          To whom are you responding?

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            i'm beginning to appreciate the accurate nature of your username

            which shall henceforth never be used again

            and your disgusting display of asshattery shall live on forever

        • Dru says:

          Mark, you're watching a show that just killed off its title character. Don't you think it's rather premature to assume that her friend who is a supporting character is going to be around for the remaining 132 episodes?

          (not saying anything either way, just that this is Joss, look at what you just watched)

      • tactless says:

        And you will insist on seeing and reading what you want to see and read. At no point in my post did I say, or imply, "Boys will be boys". I said teenagers can not be expected to act like adults. (would you like me to repeat that so that you may intentionally misinterpret it again? Teenagers can not be expected to act like adults).

        Fb yrg'f ybbx naq qbhoyr fgnaqneqf, funyy jr. Gur rnfvrfg jnl gb gryy vf gb erirefr gur traqref naq frr jung unccraf. Fb yrg'f ybbx ng gur frnfba gung'f evtug nebhaq gur pbeare.

        Cyrnfr fvg va lbh'er guebar bs fhcrevbevgl naq yvr gb zr naq gryy zr gung lbh jbhyq abg guebj n fuvg-svg vs Knaqre yrg hapbhagrq crbcyr qvr naq evfxrq gur raq bs gur jbeyq vs ur pbhyq fgbc gur guerng, ohg qvqa'g orpnhfr ur unq jnez shmmvrf sbe gur znff zheqre gung ybbxrq yvxr gur crefba ur pnerq sbe.

        Uryy, gryy zr gung ARKG RCVFBQR.

        Qrperr sebz lbh frng bs whqtrzrag gung Ohssl pna npg pnyyhf naq hapnevat orpnhfr fur unf "erny cnva", ohg gung Knaqre vf n frkvfg cvt.

        Gryy zr gung vg'f bxnl gung Jvyybj oyvaqrq Tvyrf naq nyzbfg xvyyrq ure "Orfgrfg Sevraq" orpnhfr vafgrnq bs qrnyvat jvgu gur cnva bs Bm yrnivat yvxr n zngher nqhyg fur gnzcrerq jvgu guvatf gung fur unq abg lrg tnvarq gur jvfqbz gb unaqyr.

        Lbh'ir tbggra cyragl bs rkcrevrapr va fgngvat gung na vzzngher puvyq vf n zbafgre orpnhfr gurl unira'g tnvarq gur rkcrevrapr, be gur jvfqbz gb qrny jvgu gur jbeyq vs gur puvyq unccraf gb or n obl, ohg ubjf lbh genpx-erpbeq jura n srznyr punenpgre npgf gurve ntr?

        Bbcf, V sbetbg pevgvpvmvat n srznyr punenpgre vf "Fyhg-Funzzvat". Qvqa'g lbh trg anvyrq sbe zvfhfvat gung grez nobhg n cntr ntb?

        Of course you haven't mentioned Angel leaving Buffy to her fate twice in this one twelve episode season, So may-be you aren't what you claim to hate so much.

        BTW did you really just call me a misogynist? Because I disagreed with you? Really? Wow, I missed that page in the handbook that stated that disagreeing with arctic_hare is one of the signs for being a misogynist. Damn, my bad. Of course, that's an easy defense, right? If someone sees something differently than you do, it's not because they have a different set of life experiences, or just a different POV it's because their sexist misogynist. I mean, how dare anyone offer thoughts other than your own when discussing the FACT that Xander is the root of all that is foul and unclean? How dare anyone dispute the gospel of your word?

        Incidentally, if you had actually read my post, instead of just assume I was espousing the subjugating of all women, you would have noticed that I DID NOT give Xander a pass. In fact I called him on his shit as often as I patted his head. What I did do, however was put his actions in perspective as a CHARACTER in a WORK OF FICTION.

        P.S. I don't think you're irrational because you a woman, I think you're irrational because you're…well…irrational.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Yes, Xander is a complex character, yes there are fathomable reasons for his behavior, but it's still shitty. We're commenting on it, not obsessing over it. Tactless indeed. Your fourth paragraph calls other people's posts "rants", guaranteeing the start of an argument in the comments.

  75. RoseFyre says:

    …It is, isn't it?

    Oh dear lord.

  76. Smurphy says:

    I wrote a proper comment but you posted this after I left the house today…

    When the buffy theme started towards the end I totally did an air punch of excitement. I LOVE THIS SHOW!

    SO NOT PREPARED FOR SEASON TWO.

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