Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E05 – Reptile Boy

In the fifth episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Buffy’s frustration with the pressure from Angel and Giles inspires her to spend a night with Cordelia. To say things don’t go well is an understatement. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

You know, I did like “Reptile Boy” after some thought, but I found that I enjoyed most of the smaller, quiet moments over the big, flashy scenes. And let’s just get this out of the way first: the Machida is one of the silliest looking villains I’ve ever seen on television. I think perhaps I built up a larger expectation for it than I should have, though the episode tried real hard to conceal the identity of whatever the frat boys were sacrificing to. I suppose I allowed myself to believe it was the most horrifying thing ever, and it ended up looking like a giant lizard penis dude. Sorry, it did!

Thankfully, it wasn’t enough to make me dislike this episode at all. “Reptile Boy” covers a few interesting themes over the course of forty-five minutes. First and foremost, this story is about how the men in Buffy’s life simply do not trust her to make her own decisions, despite the PLETHORA of evidence that she is quite a capable young woman. Giles is primarily the cause of her frustration: he insists that the lack of paranormal weirdness over the Hellmouth does not mean Buffy should be lazy about her training. While I feel that there’s a point to be made somewhere in there, it’s Giles’s execution that’s all wrong. It’s frightening how much he acts as if he’s Buffy’s parent here, and how much he ultimately ignores the point Buffy tries to make: Giles has no idea what it is like to be her.

What’s odd to me is that Buffy hasn’t demonstrated that she’s slipping in terms of her physical health or mental capacity. It’s not like the last episode ended in failure on Buffy’s part, so why the sudden harshness? If anything, I’d say that Buffy’s ready to face anything at this point. But Giles simply does not believe her, and the story shows us how he treats her because of this.

Parallel to this, Buffy sees Angel again, this time on one of her nightly patrols that Giles insists she take. There’s that hope once more that the two might pursue something regular, but Angel, like Giles, does not believe that Buffy is mature enough. I did like that Angel noted the age difference and the possible weirdness of it all, but it was what he said after that that bothered me. I can understand being reluctant to start a relationship with someone who’s drastically younger than you, but it’s generally a bad idea to insinuate that they’re hardly mature enough to deal with you. Angel brings out the tired line that because Buffy’s a sixteen-year-old girl, she doesn’t know what she wants.

Bravo to Buffy for not taking Angel’s shit, and I was really happy that the episode acknowledged this here and in a scene later in the episode. Angered by the rejection and disrespect, Buffy decides to through caution to the wind and go with Cordelia to a frat party her new boyfriend’s throwing. You know, I never thought we’d get an episode of Buffy that deals with fraternity culture. I’m actually more interested than ever to see what y’all think about how this was handled. Personally, I’m a bit biased against them. I’ve never been a fan of them, and I had a bad experience with a fraternity and racism at Cal State Long Beach when I was going to school there. Now, I’m well aware that there are nice people in fraternities, that many fraternities donate to excellent charities, and that not every depiction of frat life is accurate or honest. I don’t think things are 100% accurate here in “Reptile Boy,” but I was impressed at how certain things were portrayed.

In theory, the fraternity can provide an excelled social status, and it’s true that for some participants, it’s like being part of a secret club. All the scenes with Xander’s “pledging” address the inherently misogynistic, shaming tendencies that many fraternities act out during pledge week (and time outside of that, too). I don’t think this episode would have worked at all if it did not involve a fraternity, personally, but when it comes down to it, I’m looking at this from the point of view of an outsider. I think it’s done well, but I could be wrong.

I feel the same way about the date rape subplot; the episode clearly shows that it’s wrong, the people who spike Buffy’s and Cordelia’s drinks do not get away with it, and it’s done in a way that acknowledges that this happens without blaming Buffy or Cordelia for it happening. Still, I always feel weird when it happens, and I know as soon as Buffy laid on that bed and Richard appeared in the doorway that this was going to be gross. But, like the fraternity plot, I think it’s handled well, but I’m not entirely sure.

Let’s talk about something I am absolutely sure is wonderful: Willow.

“Well, why do you think she went to that party? Because you gave her the brush-off! And you never let her do anything except work or patrol! And I know she’s the Chosen One, but you’re killing her with the pressure! I mean, she’s sixteen going on forty! And you! I mean, you’re gonna live forever! You don’t have time for a cup of coffee???? Okay, I don’t feel better now, and we’ve gotta help buffy.”

CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT HOW PERFECT THIS IS, THAT THE SHOW HAS A WOMAN TELL THESE TWO STUBBORN AND CLUELESS MEN THAT THEY NEED TO STOP ACTING LIKE BUFFY DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO RUN HER OWN LIFE? My heart swelled up so much when Willow exploded at Angel and Giles; the writing is wonderful, the acting is superb, and the message is something that had to have been so rare on television at that time. Let women decide how to run their own lives!

oh my god willow GET OVER HERE SO I CAN HUG YOU.

The ending to “Reptile Boy” is a bit odd. I don’t know how anyone can be convicted for murder the day after they’re arrested for it, but there it is! I’ll just ignore that sloppy detail to focus on what I hope is a good sign: Angel coming to Buffy and asking her out. Sure, it’s just coffee, and I’m certainly not shipping anyone yet, but I’m at a point where I just want to see Buffy happy. We’ve seen so few snippets of joy when she’s around Angel, but those few we have gotten are so bright and luminous. I think it will make good television to see them pursue something romantic, and I also have hope that the writers will continue to acknowledge both the strangeness of it all. Plus, y’all know I love some character development. So bring it, Joss Whedon.

No wait. I have to stop saying that. It never ends well.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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489 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E05 – Reptile Boy

  1. enigmaticagentscully says:

    Just two points to raise this time, one little personal thing, and the other muchhhhh more involved.

    The Party – URGGG I got such awful flashbacks from this episode. Quite a lot of it was given over to that dreadful party. I have only been to a couple of THOSE kind of events in my time (in a vain attempt on the part of my friends to help me ‘have fun’) and it was always a disaster. At the risk of sounding like Giles, I’d rather be at home with a good book. The drinking and the dancing and argargarg the whole thing is just one big nightmare. Watching Buffy be all uncomfortable in the corner with her drink made me want to give her a big hug and tell her what someone should have told me at 16 – if you don’t find it fun you really don’t have to go.

    Xander – I’m sorry, but his behaviour is getting creepier by the episode. I don’t HATE Xander; I think he’s a nice kid who means well but goes too far a LOT. Someone (preferably Buffy) needs to sit him down and talk to him about acceptable boundaries. I get it, he likes Buffy. He wants her to be safe and gets jealous of her being with other guys. But his constant possessiveness and his habit of ragging on any guy Buffy likes (or even hangs around with at all) is getting really old. It’s also got to be a bit uncomfortable for Buffy, who has no feelings for him, when he’s constantly shoving his own feelings in her face. It used to be kind of amusing…now it’s just getting annoying.
    I understand the thought behind him going to the party to look out for Buffy, but it’s just…verging on stalker-ish territory. Look, I just said that I don’t like this kind of party but bottom line, it’s Buffy’s choice whether to go or not. If he was genuinely anxious about her safety (rather than just being jealous) and felt he had to do something, he should have asked to accompany her and explained why. Or, if he absolutely had to, tell her mother where she was planning to go. IDK, he just seemed even more possessive in this episode than usual, and the whole ‘he’s just concerned for her safety’ excuse is wearing thin.
    By contrast, Willow just gets more and more awesome each episode. She’s such a wonderful friend to Buffy – calling her out when she lies to Giles, keeping her secret about where she was going even though she didn’t approve of it, and ultimately yelling at Angel and Giles for putting too much pressure on Buffy. That whole rant of hers was glorious. Willow clearly cares about her friend, but still respects her boundaries and decisions.

    Thoughts anyone? I’m really up for some Xander discussion here.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I agree with you about Xander, he was particularly horrible in this episode, especially when Buffy and Giles were talking about that bracelet and he says to Giles "Buffy should patrol, and the rest of us blah blah blah". He is attempting to use Giles to get Buffy's choice of going to the party with a guy that isn't him taken away from her in a really skeevy, underhanded way and I was full of rage. His getting jealous whenever she MIGHT spend time with some other guy is bad enough, but that just pushed me over the edge.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Yeah, it just annoys me a huge amount that no-one ever calls out Xander on this stuff. I mean, this whole episode was basically about how Giles and Angel are both treating Buffy kind of badly recently – though they mean well, they end up admitting that their actions weren't the best and maybe they went overbaord. They both apologise and learn from it.
        Whereas Xander just continues to act like a jealous controlling asshat every episode and no-one seems to care, or even notice. If someone decided to follow me to a social event I had been invited to behind my back and without being asked, I'd be furious.

        • Noybusiness says:

          Erzrzore Frrvat Erq, jura Ohssl gryyf uvz "Knaqre, jung V qb jvgu zl crefbany yvsr vf abar bs lbhe ohfvarff." naq ur fnlf, "Vg hfrq gb or." Abj, ur cebonoyl zrnaf gur snpg gung fur hfrq gb gryy uvz nobhg vg, ohg V pna'g uryc bs guvaxvat bs gur gvzrf ur znqr vg uvf ohfvarff, naq fur whfg jnfa'g naablrq rabhtu gb gryy uvz bss.

          • arctic_hare says:



            • lyvanna says:

              Naq pbzvat bss gur onpx bs Ragebcl nf jryy… gur jnl ur gerngf Naln naq Ohssl va gung rcvfbqr… Rhtu. Abg n tbbq gvzr sbe uvf punenpgre (V zrna, vg'f gbgnyyl va punenpgre sbe uvz, ohg fb abg yvxnoyr).

            • Tx_Cronopio says:

              Arctic Hare, I need to find another computer so I can double like this.

        • cait0716 says:

          I'm not sure Buffy knew Xander was at the party.

          But yes, his behavior is gross and should get called out

      • James says:

        Not even "Buffy should patrol", 'she' should. It's pretty great language choice there for showing the wider issue of men trying to make a woman's decisions for her.

    • echinodermata says:

      I don't have much to contribute to right now to a Xander discussion besides what I've said on prior days, but I find it so discomforting and thus agree that it's just…way too much; the writers have made their point, and now it's a truly tiresome amount of Xander being possessive after Buffy's already made it clear she's just not into him that way.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      I'm a long-term, dyed-in-the-wool Xander hater. I just never liked the character at all. We can discuss more as you get further in, don't want to spoil anything!

    • tigerpetals says:

      And not even that concerned about her safety – he gets distracted at the possibility of being with girls who might actually like him, before getting discovered by the frat guys.

      • echinodermata says:

        Hell, he gets distracted by food when Buffy's right behind him looking uncomfortable about everything.

    • Dru says:

      Watching Buffy be all uncomfortable in the corner with her drink

      Y'know, I actually like that the show acknowledged that parties CAN suck, too. It's a very real detail of teenage life (part of what endeared Skins to me was the fact that they noted this early in the first series). I mean, big space full of people you don't know? Not exactly my choice of space to shake loose and have fun, booze or no.

      • arctic_hare says:


      • Shanna says:

        Absolutely. I need at least one person I know as a buffer in those situations. Look, I'm an introvert – I like people, but I am more comfortable in situation with people I know rather than a large crowd of unknowns. I like going dancing every once in awhile but would never go by myself to "meet" people (yeah, right) – it's always with a group of friends.

    • etherealclarity says:

      I agree that Xander's possessiveness and stalkerish tendencies are gross and annoying, but I do want to quibble on one point. Yes, Xander went to the party in part to look out for Buffy – however, Willow quickly pointed out to him (and he agreed) that another part of it was "to prove something" and also maybe "catch an orgy". Not to mention that the frats guys WERE skeevy (even the nice one).

      I don't know if Buffy is finding his behavior annoying or not. It might seem annoying to us, but she isn't acting visibly annoyed. Fgvyy, V'yy or tynq jura ur phgf vg bhg. Juvpu jvyy or qrpragyl fbba vs V nz abg zvfgnxra.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Hmmm I agree that Xander partly just wanted to go the party anyway, but if anything that makes it worse. Because he was so bent on stopping Buffy from going, but it's perfectly acceptable for him to go. So maybe not so much 'stalker' as just 'condescending and controlling'.

        • Partes says:


          Pna'g jnvg sbe uvz gb phg gung fuvg bhg fbba, V unir fb zhpu ybir sbe gur qhqr fbzr bs gur gvzr ohg bppnfvbanyyl ur pna whfg or fb vashevngvat. Guvf crvfbqr zber guna nal bgure V pna guvax bs, npghnyyl (rkprcg znlor jura ur yvrf gb Ohssl nobhg Natry'f fbhy).

          V jnag Frnfba 5 Knaqre nyernql, qnza vg.

          • lyvanna says:

            Ohg… ohg frnfba svir Knaqre vf nyy whqtrzragny bire Ohssl abg ybivat Evyrl (fbzrbar ur vqragvsvrf jvgu) rabhtu (nf ur frrf vg)

            • Tx_Cronopio says:

              V xvaq bs yvxr uvz va F7, juvpu vf vebavp, fvapr V ungr F7 jvgu n svrel cnffvba, ohg V qb yvxr vg jura ur gnyxf gb Qnja nobhg jung vg'f yvxr gb abg or fcrpvny. Vf gung va Cbgragvny?

              • lyvanna says:

                Uru, V yvxr frnfba frira naq frnfba frira Knaqre (V pna'g rira ernyyl oynzr uvz sbe gur jubyr 'xvpxvat Ohssl bhg' guvat nf ur'f cebonoyl gur bar jub unf gur zbfg ernfba) ohg gung cneg vf n cnegvphyneyl svar zbzrag sbe uvz, lrc vg'f Cbgragvny.

            • Partes says:

              Gung jnf arire ubj V vagrecergrq vg, ng yrnfg zbgvingvba jvfr. V trg vg gubhtu. Gb zr vg pbzrf onpx gb uvz univat bgure dhnyvgvrf juvpu birefunqbj gur fuvggl barf, juvpu pbzr ba shyy qvfcynl. Ur graqf gb nyjnlf qb bar guvat gb znxr uvz frrz yvxr na nffubyr, ohg gurer'f rabhtu bhgfvqr bs gung gung V pna ybbx cnfg vg. Gur Ercynprzrag vf terng, naq ur tebjf nf n crefba znffviryl, naq uvf eryngvbafuvc jvgu Naln vf n uvtuyvtug (ntnva, ur'f fgvyy abg va nal jnl cresrpg).

              • lyvanna says:

                Bu, birenyy V yvxr Knaqre, cnegvphyneyl va frnfbaf sbhe, svir naq frira – ur qbrfa'g unir nf zhpu boivbhfyl punenpgre cebterffvba nf fnl Fcvxr be Pbeql ohg V fgvyy guvax ur'f n cerggl snfpvangvat punenpgre. Vg whfg frrzf gung bapr ur trgf bire uvf pehfu ba Ohssl ur punatrf gung gb ureb-jbefuvccvat ure naq chggvat ure ba n crqrfgny – fbzrgvzrf gung'f tbbq va rcvfbqrf yvxr Gur Serfuzna, ohg bgure gvzrf vg yrnqf gb uvz ynfuvat bhg ng ure jura fur qbrfa'g zngpu hc gb uvf ivrj bs jung fur fubhyq qb/or yvxr va Vagb Gur Jbbqf be n ybg bs frnfba fvk.

              • MrsGillianO says:

                V unir gjb qnhtugref, abj lbhat jbzra, naq V unir gb fnl Knaqre'f orunivbhe, gubhtu abg nggenpgvir, vf pregnvayl irel zhpu jung V bofreirq nzbatfg znal bs gur lbhat zra jub fheebhaqrq gurz (fbzrgvzrf yvgrenyyl). Gur "yvabyrhz yvar", juvyr fgrerbglcvat, qbrf abg frrz gb zr gb or sne bss gur znex, naq lbhat zra jub ner vafrpher bs gurve novyvgl gb nggenpg gur nggragvba bs nalbar gurl snapl qb bsgra npg va gung pbagebyyvat jnl. Ur qbrf tebj hc, naq vg'f abg rnfl sbe uvz. Ur vf yblny, qrgrezvarq naq trarenyyl zrnaf jryy; abg va gurzfryirf rabhtu, gurl ner n tbbq fgneg.

    • Karen says:

      The Xander thing that really bugged me in this episode was his line to Cordelia about whether she was going to print business cards or just wear a halter top. HARDY HAR HAR. IMPLYING CORDELIA IS A PROSTITUTE. HILARIOUS, XANDER. Like idk if it's supposed to be a demonstration of Xanders insecurities about his own sexual experience (or lack thereof), but projecting onto Cordelia, is NOT COOL.

    • rabbitape says:

      I honestly don't know if Xander's absurd sense of entitlement to Buffy is truly intentional on the writers' part or not. (Which is to say, are they trying a comical riff on the "overlooked best friend" type?) I mean, given the other insensitivities they've perpetrated in other episodes, I'm just not sure.

      That said, I have to work with what I'm given. And what I have is a guy who acts like Buffy's life should run through him for approval, and if he could make her choices for her, he would. And not through any concern for her well being as an autonomous person.

      Just my two cents, based off what we've seen so far.

    • lyvanna says:

      It's sort-of a little thing but the bit that annoys me the most with Xander this episode is when Buffy's talking to Richard for the first time and he's all "like she's gonna fall for that" taking away all agency she might have in that scene (she's being seduced and thus not acting of her own free will or desires) preemptively shaming her for 'falling for it'.

      • cait0716 says:

        He also did that previously with Angel in "Angel" and male-Ampata in "Inca Mummy Girl". It's a bit of a recurring theme with Xander.

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          I think that's partly why it bothers me so much – it's not just done once or twice played for laughs, but pretty much every episode Xander does something annoying like that, and if I'M starting to get sick and tired of it, it seems a little odd that Buffy herself isn't.

          • Noybusiness says:

            Well, she has to wait a week between each episode, so it's less frequent from her perspective. 😉

          • Shiyra says:

            I don't think the girls take him too seriously, they are always rolling their eyes at him, or giving each other a look when he says something, but then they just ignore him and go on with their conversation. I think the fact that they ignore him makes his behavior worse as he tries harder to be heard and for his opinion to matter.

    • SueB says:

      I'm pretty sick of the Xander hate.

      I think there is a real double standard with a lot of these comments.

      Giles and Angel are well intentioned but Xander is gross?
      Willow pines after Xander and it sad/cute, Xander pines after Buffy and it's stalkerish?

      And speaking of stalkers, that's Angel to a T. It's his thing.

      IMO the show uses Xander for comic relief but he's pro-Buffy all the way. I don't think he's hoping she'll go for him anymore. But each person she does go for is someone he compares himself to and wonders why them and not him. He's very insecure and it's not very endearing. But worth all this hate?

      Bleech . Not in my opinion.

      I'm also really tired of the every episode being picked apart from a radical feminist (as in second wave vice first wave feminist — it's not a slur, it's a definition) perspective. These women have agency. Cordelia Chase is no one's fool. She doesn't need to be protected from the big mean Xander Harris. The woman insults him with almost every sentence and yet if he makes a comment about her sexuality it's this huge slut-shaming hate speech rant. Cordelia is a completely empowered person and doesn't need anyone's protection. So is Buffy and so is Willow. I find it insulting to these characters when people act like they've been harmed by offhand comments. These characters are so above that.

      • arctic_hare says:

        I'm also really tired of the every episode being picked apart from a radical feminist (as in second wave vice first wave feminist — it's not a slur, it's a definition) perspective.

        What are you even doing on this site, then? This is what we do here. This is how this site STARTED: with Mark ripping Twilight to shreds for being sexist, racist, heteronormative, etc. That is his fanbase: other people who want to examine media through the lens of social justice. If you don't like that sort of thing then I'm baffled as to why you're here.

        • SueB says:

          I'm pretty sick of the Xander hate.That is his fanbase: other people who want to examine media through the lens of social justice.

          Is that the purpose of this site (criticism from a social justice perspective)? I'm sorry I missed the memo.

          • arctic_hare says:

            I suggest you read the site rules again. They are designed for the purpose of making these sites a safe place for commenters to discuss such issues without the fear of being shouted down, bullied, criticized, etc. for speaking out about them. If you don't like that aspect of Mark's sites, you are free to leave, but complaining about it will get you nowhere. Mark is not going to change his policies and no one is going to stop looking at the books and TV shows he reviews from these viewpoints.

            • SueB says:

              I just read his site rules again. It doesn't say this is a social justice site. And I don't mind people having a radical feminist perspective. I'm disagreeing that these women have no agency and feel far too many threads drive off in this tangent. It sort of skews the discussion IMO.

              I'm not breaking site rules here by complaining that there is IMO a biased perspective I disagree with. I'm not calling anyone out or speaking rudely about their specific comments. It's not like I'm reporting these comments to Mark and asking them to be removed. I'm stating my opinion. I don't have any expectation of him taking action. I don't presume Mark is endorsing any specific comments but his own.

              If I'm the only one who feels this way, then I'm the only one. Doesn't bother me.

              I will, however, take a portion of your advice and stop reading the comments. I think it's polite to do so but I'll revise my personal policy in this case and just read his reviews and address comments to Mark in the discussion section if I have any feedback.

              • xpanasonicyouthx says:

                i'm just leaving this here so everyone knows what an asshole you are.

                It's not your job, nor anyone else's, to determine how many threads discuss a specific tangent. If I want to turn this thread into one showering praise on tater tots, I damn well will.

                No one said you're breaking rules. We're saying you are complaining about something I've been doing for nearly two years. Disagree with an opinion, fine. Stop telling people not to have them or shaming them for doing so because you think….look, I am not sure what you think at all.

                why is this so hard for people.

                • Michael says:

                  Not to detract from this message, but it's about three in the morning here and I am freaking starving. I think a thread about tater tots would be pretty awesome right now.

                  POTATO BABIES!

                  Also, I agree with Mark.

                  • drippingmercury says:

                    THIS IS AN EXCELLENT IDEA.

                    <img src=""/&gt;

                    • Michael says:

                      How do you post pictures? There are so many delicious potato baby images that are just a google search away! THEY ARE MOCKING ME

                    • drippingmercury says:

                      Let's see if I can get this to show up correctly:

                      < img src="URL of image here" >

                      but remove the spaces next to the brackets.

                    • Michael says:

                      I'm not sure I'd blame all of the attorneys–I mean, someone has to represent them, and I'm sure some people do it just out of that sense of duty to the system, or from genuinely not believing that the people they're defending are guilty–but I agree that it is far too easy for people to get away with it.

                      <img src=>

                    • Michael says:

                      sorry about the unrelated paragraph, that accidentally got left in from a different post. Ignore it, and enjoy memes!

                    • notemily says:

                      lol I was like WHAT? LAWYERS?

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            Here's your memo:

            Get off my site.

            I'm really tired that people constantly want to shut down any sort of critical conversation about Xander, even from people like myself who admit they like him but hate his actions or the way he is written. Disagree? Do it. I welcome it. I CHALLENGE YOU, MY FELLOW WATCHERS. But jump into a conversation and tell us how annoying, irritating, and RADFEM we are? YAWN. That shit is so ten years ago.

            Oh, did you miss that memo, too? The one about treating other people with a modicum of decency? Apparently everything needs to be specifically catered and communicated to you. So let me oblige you!

            Go. Away.*

            *Note that this does not apply to any people who like, stan, or ship Xander in anyway, that y'all are welcome to do such things, that I don't want to shut-down or inhibit pro-Xander conversations, or that you can't talk about his (sometimes) adorable face. This only applies to SueB and her particularly vicious and gross form of cluelessness and shaming. I mean, if you're into that too, you should probably leave.

            Also LOL at the idea that this person read nothing else of mine, reading none of the Site Rules, barged into these fabulous conversations, and then was shocked and appalled that we might do things differently around here.

            like who does that

            oh right. this person does.

        • ladililn says:

          Okay, I personally love looking at these things through the lens of social justice, etc. etc., but I think to say that it's the only reason anybody could possibly enjoy Mark's sites and anyone who doesn't see that as their main reason doesn't belong here is going a little too far. I'm not arguing on behalf of this particular commenter, merely that I think quite a few people are here for the plenty of other reasons this site is so compelling–bearing witness to Mark's unspoiled, immediate reactions to stories people love–so saying that someone who has no particular interest in that couldn't/shouldn't even be here is a bit extreme.__(Again, not at all defending this particular person or saying "what we do here" isn't awesome. Just that other people might have other reasons for liking this site as well.)

          • Danielle says:

            I agree. I come here primarily for the combination of Mark's reaction plus his great sense of humor. The social justice is just the whipped cream on the Mark Reads/Watches.

            It's not surpising that stuff like this happens as the Buffy fandom has found Mark. I'm almost scared for when he gets to MLP:Friendship is magic.

          • arctic_hare says:

            I'm not saying that it's the only reason. But it's definitely a big part of what Mark does and a big part of what attracted a lot of us here in the first place and one of the major things we really appreciate about his sites is the safe space he creates for us. I have no idea why that person said that the rules don't say that this is a social justice site. Most of the rules talk about what kind of slurs and privilege-denying bullshit isn't allowed, but even before you get to that, there's this in the introduction:

            "I want people to feel like they can be a nerd, a geek, and a concerned activist all at the same time."

            Mark examines these shows and books through that lens, and so do the rest of us. If that person is already tired of us all doing that, then maybe this isn't the place for them, as that is not going to change. And quite frankly, people who want to dismiss others for that and call us "radical feminists" are not welcome here, as you can see by Mark's response to them.

            • Sarah says:

              I feel moved to comment here, I hope I won’t ramble too much. I have been reading this site since Twilight, as it was recommended to me by my friend Kasper, but I have not been a commenter.
              I don’t agree with everything said in the comments (although I am one of those evil radical feminists so I probably can’t think straight because of my rage at the patriachy or something) but it is really very obvious what the ‘point’ of this site is for many people. I come here because I enjoy reading reviews on things I have read and watched and seeing Mark’s reaction to them for the first time, but it has always been obvious to me that this site is trying to do something a bit different. I wouldn’t have thought it would be hard to distinguish between having a debate on something, and being a total dick like the above commenter.
              I actually have found a lot of the comments about Xander to be really valuable. I watched Buffy from when it first aired in the UK when I was 13, and at the time I loved almost everyone in it. This show has been really important to me, and I care about it a lot, so I found myself feeling rather defensive when reading a lot of the comments against Xander, and thinking ‘hey! he’s just a silly 16 year old boy, his heart is in the right place!’ But actually, putting aside my nostalgia and love for this show, this has made me see him in a whole new way, and a lot of the comments have made me realise I am letting the writers and also Xander as a character ‘get away’ with a lot of stuff that I find ver problematic. Just because I hadn’t formed those values when I was 13, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t hold Xander to them now.

              So I guess I just wanted to say…although I don’t think I will ever *hate* Xander, because I do think he has his good points, I have found this site a really interesting way to look at his character anew. I really enjoy reading the site and many of the comments, and, er. I will be quiet now.

      • MichelleZB says:

        Hmmm… you also have a bit of a logic fail here. Just because the women on this show have agency and are able to defend themselves doesn't mean that jerky behaviour isn't jerky behaviour. Just because Buffy calls Xander on his shit doesn't mean that we can't, too. You know?

        I hope I'm explaining myself well. Let me try for an analogy. Like, for instance, if I had a black belt in Karate and was perfectly capable of defending myself, would that mean it would be alright for Xander to just… come up to me and start beating me up? I mean, why would I complain about that? I wouldn't need to be defended from the big, mean Xander Harris, because of my black belt, so that means his behaviour would be totally okay, right?

        Um. No. We'd all be like, "Xander, dude, you can't just go up to people and start whaling on them. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?"

        So, regardless of whether Cordelia is "no-one's fool", as you put it, we can still say, "Xander, dude, you can't just slut-shame random women for going to parties. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?"

    • Binx says:

      Xander's character sort of always made me uncomfortable. I mean, 98% of the time he was this dopey, loveable Average Shmoe, but then he'd go to Dark A-hole Xander in the blink of an eye. I mean, when he was a dick, he was a *dick*, even if it only lasted one line and look (like, say, when he told Buffy in 2×01 "if anything happens to Willow, I'll kill you"). And when you see that it makes it sort of hard to reconcile it with the "Shmoe" part of his personality, making it seem as if there's something quite nasty bubbling beneath the surface.

      So while I didn't hate him or anything (in fact, he had quite a few truly loveable moments), as a whole, just…not my favorite. 'Cause it's like: Pick one. Be an adorable Kaylee. Be a simpleton Jayne. Be a dark Mal. But don't go back-and-forth between the three at random.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        "So while I didn't hate him or anything (in fact, he had quite a few truly loveable moments), as a whole, just…not my favorite. 'Cause it's like: Pick one. Be an adorable Kaylee. Be a simpleton Jayne. Be a dark Mal. But don't go back-and-forth between the three at random. "

        This is what is best about the characters on "Buffy", they are never just one. I used to have visceral hate towards Xander when I first watched the show, at least at this point in the show, but now I appreciate his character exactly because he's a not a perfect "nice guy" or a complete jerk, but a realistic portrayal of an average young male who can be sweet and loyal but who also has his insecurities and sense of entitlement and can be really dark and a total dick. They showed the dark side lurking beneath the surface as early as halfway in season 1 with "The Pack", so I think it was intentional. His jealousy is meant to be annoying and his entitlement is further subverted by the fact that he's in the same position with Willow as Buffy is with him.

        • Binx says:

          Jryy gur fubj unf orra zl snibevgr sbe 10+ lrnef naq V'ir erjngpurq vg fb znal gvzrf V'ir ybfg pbhag, fb V qbhog zl bcvavba ba Knaqre'f tbvat gb punatr.

          Ohg frr, jung V zrnag vf gung V sbhaq Knaqre hacerqvpgnoyr/fyvtugyl-bss engure guna gur fvzcyl zhygv-qvzrafvbany gung lbh'er gnyxvat nobhg. Ur whfg wneevatyl jrag sebz Ze. Tbbsl Avpr Thl gb "qvq ur whfg frevbhfyl guerngra gb XVYY Ohssl jvgu n pbzcyrgryl fgenvtug snpr?!" rirel fb bsgra. Vg jnfa'g npghny pbafvfgrag punenpgrevmngvba gung jnf bcra, serdhrag, naq jbexrq ba be cneg bs nal xvaq bs nep – vg jnf whfg fbzrguvat gung ohooyrq hc urer naq gurer, arire ernyyl nqqerffrq. Naq gubfr "fhecevfr qvpx zbzragf" xrcg zr ba rqtr naq znqr zr abg ragveryl gehfg/yvxr uvz nf zhpu nf V jnagrq gbb. Ohg znlor V'z whfg bireyl frafvgvir gb gubfr glcrf bs crbcyr (gur glcr gung tb sebz ernyyl fjrrg gb abg naq onpx ntnva), orpnhfr V'ir xabja dhvgr n srj va zl yvsr naq gurl qrsvavgryl xrrc lbh ba rqtr.

          P.S. Not ragging on the "characters of Buffy" as a whole at all. Just Xander, and just part of him. Otherwise – pretty much LOVE Whedon's characters. OMG do I love them.

      • Noybusiness says:

        Good thoughts. When he gets serious, he seems dangerous.

    • notemily says:

      I’m really up for some Xander discussion here.

      Famous last words. O_o

  2. David Greenwalt, have you ever actually seen a Bollywood movie? Gold coins? Wizards and salt? Maypole-fish thingies? Water buffalos?? (Okay, maybe there are water buffalos.)

    Look, if you want to make fun of Bollywood movies, this is how you do it:

    [youtube xMrN3Rh55uM youtube]

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Oh god I love this video until the end of time.

    • misterbernie says:

      I think I've seen some water buffalo standing in the fields while lovely young ladies tending them provide background chorus/dancing to the Hero and Heroine travelling singingly in a dilapidated car to the birth place of the Heroine's mother.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      Its much easier to make fun of Bollywood today since they are readily available. It’s worth keeping in mind that the popularity of the genre was *just* starting to rise in when RB came out and the Fpbbof probably had to physically rent what was most likely a VHS tape of the movie they were watching, I tend to give Greenwalt a pass.

    • Dru says:

      tbqh, I have seen Bollywood movies featuring wizards/magicians. They were older – like pre-1985 kind of old – but they were pretty cracktastic even to someone who understands Hindi.

    • klmnumbers says:

      lol The Guild makes my life. It's so on point with its send up of game culture, and so is this Bollywood parody.

    • paradigm says:

      This parody is just so spot-on

    • Noybusiness says:

      I thought it was an actual movie they were making fun of, since it seems odd to hire an actress just to do that scene. Does anyone know?

      • cherriv says:

        The film is the 1993 movie Kshatriya, but I've never seen it, so I'm not sure what it's actually about. To be fair, I've never seen a Bollywood film with a plot quite as strange as what they're describing, but I've seen some pretty outrageous things in Hindi films, so it's possible that the movie contains all those things.

    • WhiteEyedCat says:

      I love The Guild! And Bollywood movies, why slowly and painfully exposition something when you can SING about it! But yeah, I was definitely wondering what movie they were watching!

      • misterbernie says:

        It's just unfortunate that some of the older movies have no subtitles during the singing. That is really really inconvenient when a whole subplot is introduced and/or resolved during a song :<

    • Jenny_M says:

      That screengrab is the cutest Felicia Day has ever looked. Sandeep, however, was caught in a rather unfortunate moment, lol.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Oh, but the analysis is so much fun! I honestly don't like Reptile Boy very much (though it's not my least favorite episode, it's solidly in the low-middle), but I always find that opening scene hilarious…possibly because of the illogic.

      *shrugs* I've seen a lot of Bollywood more recently, but back when this episode aired – late 1997 – I'm about 99% sure I'd never even heard of Bollywood, let alone seen any. So I don't know how inaccurate it is for Bollywood from that time period, as opposed to now.

      …They also may be watching it in the original Hindi, without subtitles. Which means no matter what interpretation they come up with, it's likely to be wrong, but I think that's half the fun – they're enjoying the episode as a way to hang out, not as the greatest movie ever.

      …And wow, I have put way too much analysis into this.

    • notemily says:

      Ha, I was just mentioning the other day that I tried to watch The Guild and the whole "I'm going to look up all your personal information, come to your house, refuse to leave, and assume we are in a relationship until the end of time, ISN'T THAT HILARIOUS" thing creeped me out so much I had to stop watching.

      • Super late reply. I was kinda turned off for the same reason (that and my internet connection at the time was so slow it took half an hour to load each ten minute episode). Just want to say that it definitely gets better and has easily become one of my favorite series.

    • Noybusiness says:

      I haven't read it, but there's a Doctor Who magazine strip where Eleven and Amy's reality is warped into a Bollywood musical.

  3. arctic_hare says:

    I have a lot of feelings about this episode. They are mostly angry feelings.

    – It is perhaps not a good idea to begin the episode immediately following Racism: The Episode with "Oh, aren't Bollywood movies so WACKY and INCOMPREHENSIBLE!"

    – Willow's line about coffee being hot and bitter reminds me of Godot from Phoenix Wright. "Blacker than a moonless night, hotter and more bitter than hell itself… That is coffee."

    – Xander, shut up. I am so tired of his "jealous whenever Buffy is or might be spending time with a guy that isn't me" schtick.

    – Angel, SHUT UP. Stop being all creepily paternalistic about this and trying to protect Buffy from making her own choices. In other words, STOP GETTING YOUR EDWARD CULLEN ON. UGH he pisses me off so much in this scene.

    – Frat boys doing rituals zzzzzzzzzzz back to Final Fantasy IX.

    – I would get annoyed with Xander again, but really, I'd much rather date Cordelia than Angel. No contest. So I'll let that one slide.

    – But not everything after. UGH UGH STOPPIT. BUFFY'S LOVE LIFE IS NONE OF YOUR GODDAMNED BUSINESS. DEAL WITH IT. And suggesting to Giles that she patrol so that Buffy won't be able to go to the party with a guy is so unbelievably gross and rage-inducing. YOU HAVE NO FUCKING RIGHT TO DO THAT, XANDER. STFU.

    – And stop slut-shaming Cordelia! ARGH.

    – Have I mentioned that I hate frat boys?

    – Thank you for telling those two off, Willow. ILU. <3

    – Soooooooooooooo, after all that shaming of Buffy for her choices, she stands up to it and does what she wants, and… gets punished for it by getting drugged and nearly raped and nearly sacrificed to a giant snake and then gets shamed again because that was her fault for having a drink?

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    fuck this episode.

    I'll leave you all with a couple of relevant Indiana Jones gifs.

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    • echinodermata says:

      It's nice that we're always on the same wavelength.

      I fucking love crossovers in any form and even though I haven't even seen Snakes on a Plane, I am full-heartedly behind your crossover gif endeavor. <3 <3

    • NeonProdigy says:

      To be honest, I've kinda stopped reading your comments because I know there'll be a ton of Xander-Hate (and while I acknowledge that Xander is… I'm sure I don't have to tell you his faults, but I like him anyway for the times when he's genuinely there for the others), but I had to point out how much I love your use of a Slayers gif.

    • LadyPeyton says:


      Considering that Edward Cullen was written partly as an homage to Angel I think that might be difficult. 🙂

    • LadyPeyton says:


      Considering that Edward Cullen was written partly as an homage to Angel I think that might be difficult. 🙂

      I agree with the rest of your post, though. This has always been one of my least favorite episodes.

      • RoseFyre says:

        Was he? I thought Stephanie Meyer kept claiming she'd never seen Buffy?

        (Of course, she may claim that, but…yeah.)

    • cait0716 says:


      Buffy lied, and engaged in underage drinking. Both of these are things she should be punished for. Yes, the punishment was over the top, but Giles actually calls that out with his "The words "let that be a lesson" are a tad redundant at this juncture". I don't find this bit of the episode problematic

      • arctic_hare says:

        Getting grounded for it by her mother is one thing, I'd be fine with that kind of punishment, but like echinodermata said in her comment below, it's way too close to what happens in real life with rape victims being blamed for their assault because they wore the wrong thing or had a few drinks.

      • MichelleZB says:

        Underage drinking can be awesome in small doses. I hardly think I am a bad person for having had a few beers when I was 17. I don't think I needed to be "punished" for it (especially not with sexual assault). What an odd mentality.

        Legal drinking ages are different all over the world, and arbitrary. So while drinking under the age of 21 is illegal in the US, it is hardly immoral.

    • dont_even_blink says:

      I'm not sure the end of the episode was about shaming Buffy for her actions, but acknowledging that there are consequences to choices. I think it did show the dangers of going to wild parties without being smart about it (having sober friends to look out for you, people knowing where you are at all times, etc) and accepting drinks from people you don't know. Neither of these were smart decisions and there are consequences to them.

      I agree with Mark that they show how dangerous and creepy these situations can be without blaming Buffy. But I would have been disappointed if there was no discussion about how stupid some of these decisions were at the end. I never really got the impression they were shaming Buffy for it; they were just pointing out how decisions you make can lead to bad things.

      • etherealclarity says:

        Agreed. I think they went to great lengths to indicate who the victims were and who the perpetrators were. Victim-shaming is real, and horrible, but I don't think they did that here. Lying to your parents/parental-figures and then going to a frat party when you are sixteen and then drinking an opened drink DOES NOT make being raped or, in this case, almost sacrificed to a penis-snake YOUR FAULT, but it's still not the best decision-making, either. I think they walked a fine line, but I think they did it as well as can be expected.

        • cait0716 says:

          You are more articulate than I am. 😀

        • arctic_hare says:

          My discomfort stems from the fact that the *narrative* is punishing Buffy for going to a party and drinking in a way that I find problematic. If she'd been caught and busted by Joyce, fine – I don't have issues with that. But it takes the same route that so many "rape prevention" messages seem to take, that I'm so iffy on, which is to put the onus on the victim and what they should do, rather than saying HEY DON'T RAPE and putting the onus on the perpetrators.

          • RoseFyre says:

            What about the fallout from what happens to the frat? They get punished, too, for what they did to all those girls.

            I agree that the narrative is definitely a problem with how it treats Buffy, but does it punish everyone? I don't think I'm being clear here, and that's partly because I'm not entirely sure what I mean – but what do you think about how the fallout for the frat fits into this?

            …Of course, there's also the issue that essentially the bad things happening are a direct result of them STOPPING the raping/killing, rather than STARTING it. Though maybe it's the idea that eventually it will come back to bite you in the ass? I don't know.

    • Dru says:

      "Oh, aren't Bollywood movies so WACKY and INCOMPREHENSIBLE!"

      I comprehend the language in which they are made, and even I find them wacky and incomprehensible at times. I get why you guys think it's objectionable because stereotypes are bad, but personally I don't really care if they get mocked (and the amount of misogyny, sexism, racism and flat-out cultural insensitivity I've seen in most Bollywood films basically means I don't give a fuck if they were the target of a potshot here).

      • MrsGillianO says:

        A very good point. I enjoy Bollywood in moderation, but even the real fans I know (South Asian or not) acknowledge that they start with OTT and just keep going from there.

      • notemily says:

        I haven't actually seen a Bollywood film (I don't think Bride and Prejudice counts), but my impression is that they generally Make Just As Much Sense In Context, so this scene didn't bother me either.

      • Mocha says:

        Completely agree. I'm Indian-American, and thanks to my parents and some of my friends, I have suffered through many Bollywood movies. I will readily admit that they are absolutely ridiculous, full of misogyny and stereotypes, and yeah, pretty wacky. For example, a movie that's currently out features a main character who marries and kills seven guys, and then becomes a nun. Complete with musical numbers full of scantily clad women, with a few token blonde girls and absolutely no African-Americans or Asians.

        And Indian soap operas, as I have learned from my grandparents, pretty much operate on a level of ridiculousness heretofore unknown. All seem to involve (buff and often mustachioed) men sneering and shouting about things as their (super skinny and clearly out-of-their-leagues looks-wise) wives engage in petty drama that clearly befits their inferior gender.

        Anyway, sorry for the tl;dr rant about Indian film, so suffice it to say that though I'm sure I don't speak for everyone, I am not in the least bit offended by Joss's portrayal.

        • Dru says:

          Er, India is kind of in Asia, that makes Indians Asians too.

          But yeah, the offensiveness of most Bollywood movies in every possible way is just a fact of life here. (I see your husband-killer and raise you a 2009 film supposedly set in China featuring a supposedly Chinese character played by an Indian actress and named……..wait for this……..Miaow Miaow. ****RAAAAAAAGE****). And the soap operas just pick that up for the small screen.

          • Mocha says:

            You're totally right, sorry! Though I guess I'm technically Asian, the connotation for "Asian", at least in the US, seems to be limited to people from East Asia, and if I ever said I'm Asian I'd probably get weird looks and "No you're not"s.

            And whoa. I hadn't heard of that one, but you win. Hands down.

    • Nomie says:

      Final Fantasy IX is the bomb. That is all. (GARNET <3333333)

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Yeah, ANGRY Arctic Hare is back! Geez, does Kuja even get a chance to cast Ultima in your game? Or do you just melt him with RAGE before he can even lift a manicured finger?

      And Slayers! Lina always captures my feelings so well. 😉

    • rabbitape says:

      So much love for that last gif. I have nothing to contribute. Just my upvote and my heart.

    • psycicflower says:

      Your gifs continue to be amazing. Damn limiting upvote button.

    • todd says:

      I would get annoyed with Xander again, but really, I'd much rather date Cordelia than Angel. No contest.

      Omg that was my exact thought during that scene. Why would you want to date a mopey vampire when you could hang out with the hilarious Cordelia Chase? I mean, really.

      I really have to agree with you on the Xander front. Even though I do like Xander as a character and concept, I'd forgotten until this most recent rewatch how grossly possessive he is of a girl whom he is neither dating nor related to. Which isn't to say in those cases overpossessive behavior is okay, but at least it would be halfway understandable. And at this point in the story, after being in a new romance (granted, with a mummy) and getting flat out romantically turned down by Buffy, I have to wonder if it's a bad habit he's picked up more than an actual instinct. Either way, ew.

    • kelseyofcake says:

      You know, I remember liking Xander a lot more when I was younger and just laughed at some of the ridiculous shit he does. Now that I've actually encountered some men with Nice-Guy syndrome through my sister, I'm just as frustrated with him as you seem to be here. The slut-shaming, obsessive behavior towards people the guy finds attractive, everything Xander does here is so gross and so similar to what real guys do that I'm surprised none of the women on the writing staff pointed out how gross it was. Maybe Whedon was just trying to aim for "this kid is young and stupid', but if you're going to do that it generally helps to have other characters point out that he's wrong. Just my little mini rant. (V'z fbeg bs srryvat fgebat Knaqre-eryngrq srryvatf nsgre trggvat gb "Jung'f Zl Yvar cg. bar" ynfg avtug naq urnevat uvz zragvba gb Pbeql gung ybpxre ebbz oblf guvax bs ure nf "znff genafcbegngvba". Htu.)

      • rabbitape says:

        This is my experience as well — I saw the show when it first aired and I was 17 — and like you I'm not sure what Whedon's intention was with Xander's actions, but having lived through a little more life, his behavior just raises red flag after red flag.

        As far as your rot13 — like other folks here, including arctic_hare, I'm just commenting on what we see as we see it. Looking forward to your comments on those events when they happen.

      • arctic_hare says:

        I unfortunately can't unsee the knowledge that Xander is based on Whedon himself, so it lends an extra-creepy vibe to his actions and the way they don't seem to get called out the way they should be.

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          I think that's a bit of an exaggeration. He's partly based on Whedon, but then so are other characters – even Snyder ("Lbh arire tbg n fvatyr qngr va uvtu fpubby" – guess whose high school life he based that line on?) and he's also admitted that Cordelia's bitchy remark to Willow in Welcome to the Hellmouth about being boring was something he told someone once and really hurt them. So it's not like the characters he uses his experiences for are some sort of idealized Gary Stus.

          Plus he said last year that he finally realized Buffy was always his avatar, not Xander.

      • notemily says:

        This is pretty much exactly how I feel about Xander–I used to like him, but I've had too much experience with real-life Xanders.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Agreed on the frat boy hate.

      I do have issues with the Xander stuff by this point – it was getting rather one note, especially after Buffy rejected him – but I also feel a sense of vicarious humiliation for what he goes through at the frat party. *shudders* Hazing is one of my worst nightmares, seriously, and at that stage in my life? I would have broken down crying in the middle of the room.

      At least Willow is awesome?

    • Shiyra says:

      "Oh, aren't Bollywood movies so WACKY and INCOMPREHENSIBLE!"

      I've seen a few and yes they are pretty weird. All I seem to ask myself while watching them is "Huh? What's going on? What the heck are they doing? Oh great, another nonsensical song."
      Weirdly, I remember watching one that featured a bird in a cage and water buffalo and weird lover stuff, I think the guy was a prince wizard or something and the girl was like a servant girl… and even weirder, I was with my sisters asking them what was going on and they were trying to explain it to me but at some point they just couldn't. Probably the only time on Buffy I can, "been there, done that!"

  4. Seventh_Star says:

    1.this opening scene, with the gang watching an indian soap opera, is one of my most favorite images of them. xander and buffy playing with willow's hair, willow drinking from a juice box…A JUICE BOX. a normal and sweet moment between friends who happen to live on a hellmouth and fight evil on a fairly regular basis.

    2. cordelia fake laughing is never not funny. bless you, cordy.

    3. SMG'S PANTS. WHY? is that…cow? i dunno…

    4. there's some nice dramatic irony here. the audience knows these frat guys are "bad" way before our beloved characters figure it out.

    5. "when you kiss me i wanna die." another iconic line. on the page it seems ridiculous and comepletely over the top, but her delivery absolutely sells it. i am quite taken with buffy and angel's angsty forbidden love. on every rewatch i get sucked in.

    6. and here we have buffy BALD FACE LYING to giles. check the look on willow's face. she can't even believe it. the whole setup of this episode deals with buffy being treated like a child by giles, her mother, and angel, and her knee-jerk reaction is to rebel (just like any other teenager, thus proving she is not an adult, of course).

    7. how DOES angel shave?

    8. willow losing it and giving a tongue lashing to angel and giles is a great character moment for her. it's the first time we've seen her pushed to this point, and it's like watching an angry kitten (sorry, willow). be that as it may, it's great to see her get fed up and express her frustration, even if it doesn't make her feel any better. me either,
    willow 🙂

    9. smg and her stunt double are clearly wearing different shoes, and it bugs me to no end.

    10. buffy: "i told a lie. i had one drink."
    giles: "yes. and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake."

    outright stating the narrative as only btvs can do. the show's self-awareness it's one of its best qualities.

    11. in this episode's commentary, david greenwalt points out that he had originally planned for machida to rise up and eat tom at the end and he regrets that they just didn't have the time. ME TOO.

  5. Seventh_Star says:

    1.this opening scene, with the gang watching an indian soap opera, is one of my most favorite images of them. xander and buffy playing with willow's hair, willow drinking from a juice box…A JUICE BOX. a normal and sweet moment between friends who happen to live on a hellmouth and fight evil on a fairly regular basis.

    2. cordelia fake laughing is never not funny. bless you, cordy.

    3. SMG'S PANTS. WHY? is that…cow? i dunno…

    4. there's some nice dramatic irony here. the audience knows these frat guys are "bad" way before our beloved characters figure it out.

    5. "when you kiss me i wanna die."

    another iconic line. on the page it seems ridiculous and comepletely over the top, but her delivery absolutely sells it. i am quite taken with buffy and angel's angsty forbidden love. on every rewatch i get sucked in.

    6. and here we have buffy BALD FACE LYING to giles. check the look on willow's face. she can't even believe it. the whole setup of this episode deals with buffy being treated like a child by giles and angel, and her knee-jerk reaction is to rebel (just like any other teenager, thus proving she is not an adult, of course).

    7. how DOES angel shave?

    8. willow losing it and giving a tongue lashing to angel and giles is a great character moment for her. it's the first time we've seen her pushed to this point, and it's like watching an angry kitten (sorry, willow). be that as it may, it's great to see her get fed up and express her frustration, even if it doesn't make her feel any better. me either, willow 🙂

    9. smg and her stunt double are clearly wearing different shoes, and it bugs me to no end.

    10. buffy: "i told a lie. i had one drink."
    giles: "yes. and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake."

    outright stating the narrative as only btvs can do. the show's self-awareness it's one of its best qualities.

    11. in this episode's commentary, david greenwalt points out that he had originally planned for machida to rise up and eat tom at the end and he regrets that they just didn't have the time. ME TOO.

    • cait0716 says:

      SMG and her stunt double also have very different chest sizes which always distracts me

    • stephanie says:

      what you said. times eleventy billion.

    • NB2000 says:

      3. SMG'S PANTS. WHY? is that…cow? i dunno…

      Or giraffe print, either way they're awful. The shirt is nice though.

    • Noybusiness says:

      7. Nppbeqvat gb "Natry: Nsgre gur Snyy", ur qbrfa'g arrq gb orpnhfr inzcverf' unve qbrfa'g tebj, gubhtu gung pbagenqvpgf gur synfuonpxf va "Nzraqf" jurer ur unf (onq) snpvny unve.

      • LadyPeyton says:

        Pbafvqrevat gur infg qvssreraprf va unve yratguf fubja ol obgu Fcvxr naq Natry guebhtubhg obgu fubjf, V qba'g guvax Natry: Nsgre gur Snyy unq nal vqrn jung vg jnf gnyxvat nobhg.

    • Shiyra says:

      I think the hair of the vampires' in Buffyverse don't grow, according to some interviews with James Marsters I've seen, so he probably doesn't have to shave. However, I always wonder how they do their hairstyles and makeup without a reflection, that would be hard.

      • nos says:

        Gurve unve qbrf tebj, gubhtu. Rivqraprq ol Natryf uvynevbhf inevrgvrf bs synfuonpx unve, naq Fcvxr’f ebbgf va gur svefg rcvfbqr bs frnfba frira.

        • Shiyra says:

          Bu, gung'f evtug. Nyfb V jnf guvaxvat nobhg jura Natry svefg fnj Ohssl ng fpubby va YN naq ur jnf yvivat ba gur fgerrgf naq rngvat engf, V guvax ur zvtug unir unq fpehss be znlor vg jnf whfg qveg, V pna'g dhvgr erzrzore naq V qba'g erzrzore jung rcvfbqr gung jnf sebz rvgure.

          • RoseFyre says:

            Vg'f Orpbzvat Cneg Bar.

            Naq V nterr ba gur unvefglyrf naq znxrhc – ubj QBRF Qehfvyyn nyjnlf ybbx fb tbbq?

      • MrsGillianO says:

        Fcvxr jrnef rlryvare – gung unf tbg gb uheg!

    • echinodermata says:

      Am I alone in thinking SMG pulls off the giraffe pants pretty well?

    • notemily says:

      7. how DOES angel shave?

      Right? And how does he get his hair so perfectly gelled? (It's modern sort of hair, all sticky-uppy)

      Angry kittens are adorable. They're like "grrr" and I'm like "you're SO CUTE!"

  6. James says:

    "Which episode is it today?
    "'Reptile Boy'… which one's that again?"
    "The one where the frat boys worship a giant penis metaphor."

  7. echinodermata says:

    Yeah, making fun of Bollywood is just the thing to start this episode after the cultural appropriation extravaganza in the last episode. Oh yeah, real smart.

    So, this episode is essentially all about patriarchy and sexism, but it'd go over a lot smoother if we didn't have all the sympathetic guys in this episode – Xander, Angel, and Giles – thinking they know what's better for Buffy than she does for herself. I mean, Xander's slut-shaming Cordelia again and implying she's a hooker, but isn't called out on it; the text treats his remark as a jab on even playing field with Cordelia's jabs at him. And his snide remarks about every guy Buffy's possibly interested in is just, oh ~Xander being Xander.~ It doesn't get called out. Again.

    Giles is pushing Buffy too hard, and Angel acts all offended at the idea of Buffy being with someone else when he's the one who pushed her away, but at least Willow yells at them and points out what they're doing. I'm glad Willow gets that moment, and I'm glad the show remarked on Giles and Angel expecting too much of Buffy, but it doesn't specifically criticize Angel and Giles for thinking they have the right to make Buffy's choices for her. Giles is still directing Buffy's life and that itself should be questioned, not how nice he is about it. Angel has concerns over his and Buffy's relationship, and since it directly involves him it isn't that bad, but he still acted like Buffy was a child who couldn't possibly understand what she was getting into. And I don't think the show criticized Xander's behavior at all – he gets "punished" in this episode, but it's because some dudes are sexist and not because of Xander's own actions.

    And then the episode ends with Giles essentially victim-blaming with the whole "let that be a lesson" sentiment: Buffy lied to go to the party, then had a drink because she felt pressured to, and apparently she's in the wrong and needs to apologize because some dudes drugged her and were evil. NOT HER FAULT she got into trouble, and even if the "lesson" thing is supposed to be a joke in how over-the-top it is, it still is way too close to what happens in real life where rape victims are told they're (partly) responsible for getting raped if they wore something attractive or had the gall to drink. BAD MESSAGE TO BE SENDING.

    I get what this episode was trying to say: even the guys that seem great and nice and unlike those other guys can still be sexist assholes (and rapists, as the subtext implies) that you can't trust. Society is sexist and patriarchy exists and leads to gross expecations of people based on their gender, like with Cordelia's behavior in this episode. Buffy saves herself and the other women from sexist assholes and yay she overthrows our stand-in for patriarchy this episode. I'm really glad the show wants to tackle these issues and wants to directly discuss sexism. That's great!

    But I just don't feel like the writers are fully cognizant about how their sympathetic male characters are acting. Each one of them is acting in some iffy paternalistic manner, treating Buffy like she can't make her own choices and that she needs someone to watch over her and protect her from getting hurt – she's the fucking Slayer, guys. She will get hurt – it's a given – but she can protect herself, and she can damn well make her own choices involving her own fucking life.

    For fuck's sake, I prefer Angel to Giles in this episode, and I think Angel doesn't even have a personality most of the time.

    For an episode about sexism and addressing how sexist our society is, I find it really disappointing.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I don't have much to say that you didn't, so – ALL OF THIS. <3 ILU and this comment.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      "And I don't think the show criticized Xander's behavior at all – he gets "punished" in this episode, but it's because some dudes are sexist and not because of Xander's own actions."

      I like to think that Xander was eaten alive by the culture that produced his attitude, ergo he was punished because of his own actions. If he has left Buffy alone and stayed home he never would have been punished at all.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that Willow stated in the first episode of the show that both she and Xander were bullied mercilessly by Cordy throughout their childhood so while his shaming of her is harsh, bullying produces bullies. As the mother of a Spectrum child who gets verbally bullied all the time I'm a little proud that he's actually standing up for himself, even if the words he uses are not the best he could have chosen.

      • echinodermata says:

        I like your idea about Xander and "punishment." Good point.

        But I just can't accept Xander's remarks to Cordelia. Cordelia's insults often have to do with class, but Cordelia's also in an interesting position, narratively speaking, where we're not exactly rooting for her like we are with Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, and Jenny. So Cordelia's classism is bad, but hell, Buffy basically rejects Cordelia's friendship in the first ep precisely because Cordelia mocks Willow for Sears-ish clothing (Sears being implied to be a low-class faux pas.) The narrative never approves of Cordelia's classism, and we're meant to laugh at her outrageous standards.

        Xander's sexist behavior and remarks go pretty much unchecked. So far, he's only once been called out for it – when Buffy rejects him and calls his response to her "harsh." But pretty much everywhere else we're supposed to root for him. That's what I have a problem with.

        Basically, if characters are portraying a gross perspective, I expect the narrative to be disapproving. And I think it is for Cordelia, but not for Xander.

        • etherealclarity says:

          I don't know. Yes, Cordelia's snobbishness is played for laughs, but it always felt to me that Xander's possessiveness was also being played for laughs. He may be one of the good guys, but those moments are supposed to be funny BECAUSE they are ridiculous and awful. Whether or not you find it funny is another matter, but I don't think they're trying to indicate that Xander's behavior is normal and healthy or anything.

          • echinodermata says:

            But like I said in my original comment, I think there's a pattern being made where all the sympathetic men are acting paternalistic towards Buffy. And I think it's interesting they let Willow call out Giles and Angel in this episode, but once again Xander isn't called out on it.

            We've seen Cordelia being insulted by many characters. People commonly are shown disapproving of her. Xander we see insulted by pretty much Cordelia alone. Okay, maybe Snyder as well, but he insults everyone.

            • Partes says:

              I have some slight quibbles with this:

              In their confrontations, Cordelia is almost always the instigator, and on top of which has been portrayed as having belittled everyone consistently for a very long time. While Xander is routinely humiliated and, when called out, apologetic about his actions, Cordelia has not shown remorse about this yet. At all. She seems to be almost proud of how good she is at making others feel bad.

              When he's acting creepy, it's usually done for laughs at his expense, and is never portrayed as in any way successful or a good thing (at least the majority of the time? I can't think of when it actually worked out for him, but I might just be forgetting something.)

              He is never called out by other characters because his behaviour is barely even acknowledged by them in the first place. If Xander was deleted from many scenes, especially ones where he's acting strange, Buffy's dialogue outside of the occasional light-hearted reprimand could remain almost exactly the same. He's so ineffectual that actually calling him out on it after the clear embarrassment and general failure he goes through anyway in this area would just seem like overkill. I find it hard to believe that anyone could watch these episodes and see Xander's actions as a way to either success with the opposite sex or power.

              I see the narrative as never approving of Xander's sexism, and we're meant to laugh at his ineffectuality. Which is why I don't think anyone really enjoys those scenes, as it's just uncomfortable to watch for all involved, not just those around him, as he's actually invested in the opinions of those he's trying to influence unlike Cordelia.

              • echinodermata says:

                I imagine this is an area we aren't going to convince each other on, but I shall nevertheless reply with why I can't see it the way you outline it.

                People call Cordelia a bully. Flat out, we are outright told she is a bad person for treating people like shit. This is what we're shown. That's why I don't have a problem with Cordelia's remarks – we know basically everyone disapproves.

                No one ever seems to remark on Xander's gross behavior, as you say yourself – you can erase him and it's basically the exact same conversation amongst other characters. I don't think it's a leap to say he's basically passive-agressively bullying Buffy with all his remarks about guys she's potentially interested in. But he's not depicted as anything like a bully. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to feel some sympathy for him, and I just cannot do that if I think the text tacitly approves of his behavior. He's acting like a skeevy Nice Guy and the show has never explicitly called this pattern of behavior bad the way it has time and again with Cordelia.

                • Partes says:

                  I entirely get what you're saying, but I disagree with what constitutes calling out here. Cordelia might be portrayed as a bully… but she never goes through any real consequences for this. She's slowly changing, yeah, but her mean snarks are slowly being eroded into rolling-eyeing "that's just Cordelia" territory in the same way Xander's is. People give lip service to her being bad, but nothing ever done about it.

                  Your comment about the text tacitly approving of his behaviour is where we differ, I think. I see the text as approving of him: he's still brave, good, funny, yadayada. But his behaviour on this issue has not yet yielded him anything but frustration and a lot of moping, in sharp contrast to the "I'm still awesome" attitude of Cordelia, who has not been the least bit remorseful.

                  (I still love 'em both, for the record. Two of my favourite characters. I just really like this whole discussion and would probably get annoyed to an unbelievable degree by the two of them in real life.)

                  • echinodermata says:

                    Okay, and now I get what you're saying, and this is definitely a place we're just not in agreement.

                    Basically, from what I understand, your way of seeing the narrative as approving or disappoving is essentially karmic justice tied in with character remorse. Mine is not; instead it relies on other characters' perceptions and whether they're billed as a sympathetic main character.

                    In sum, we fundamentally interpret narratives differently. And I'm glad you explained your position here because it's honestly not an interpretation I'm familiar with since it's so different from my approach. Interesting!

                    • Partes says:

                      I think you put it better than I would have done, honestly. I feel like a lot of the time the consequences to a character from a narrative standpoint – as a result of their actions, mind, so getting hit by lightning after robbing an old lady doesn't count – should have a tangible effect on their lives, as it's only real way I can see a character's bad actions as having been condemned on more than a surface level. Otherwise it's just lip service and the issue hasn't really been addressed.

                      I like reading everyone else's interpretations though! Half of these things I never would have picked up on in the first place if they hadn't been pointed out by people here, and I've definitely been forced to reconsider my views on a number of issues from when I was just passively watching the show on my own.

                    • tanbarkie says:

                      Just wanted to say that I <3ed this discussion. As most know by now, I'm more on Partes's side of this particular debate, but I really value hearing echinodermata's perspective as well.

                      The one thing I'd add is that Partes's position, if I understand the subtleties correctly (and here I may be conflating my own perspective with hers), is that it's possible for the text to comment differently on different aspects of a character. In Xander's case, specifically, the tacit approval of his personality is focused on what I think everyone agrees are his positive attributes (bravery, caring for his friends, wittiness). His bad attributes (possessiveness, immaturity, etc) are portrayed rather negatively by the show, – albeit, as Partes points out, usually in the form of being played for laughs to demonstrate how pathetic his actions are, rather than via overt criticism.

                      In summary, thank you all for being nice! HUGS ALL AROUND

        • LadyPeyton says:

          I think Xander's status is disapproving, though. He's introduced as the school loser, whose only saving grace so far is that he's one of the Slayer's best friends. It's left to be seen how her friendship will affect him.

    • Dru says:

      tbqh 90% of Bollywood's output would have the commentariat on MW/MR RAGING if you understood it (sexism? check! racism? check! anyone who's "different" – whether they're gay or nerdy or not "feminine" enough, in the case of girls that is, or not North Indian Hindu – getting mocked and stereotyped**? check!) so I can't be bothered to stir my arse about this one. Buffy, Willow and Xander can make as much fun of it as they want.

    • robin_comments says:

      I think you hit the nail on the head for me here — the writers had some good aims and intended to communicate good things, but they fucked up on execution and didn’t realize some of the paternalistic subtext present within their own work. +100 for trying, -100 for failing

    • psycicflower says:

      Your comment pretty much covers everything I felt watching this episode. It's the first episode I've been able to watch along since the start and I spent a lot of it just thinking 'could you stop with the attitudes towards Buffy already?'

    • Genny_ says:

      …I was going to go make a comment, but you said it all so perfectly. THIS.

      • rabbitape says:

        This is why I am reduced to only making silly comments. Everyone else says exactly what I was going to say, only with better articulation. So…upvotes!

    • hassibah says:

      This is a good comment.
      And I think that is why I am just going to choose to interpret this episode as a lesson to Giles about being a crappy dad as well as to Angel about being weird and "protective" and that they are just both still totally missing the point.

  8. Ryan Lohner says:

    Mostly this one just leaves me with the question of how the whole thing got started. Did some guy in the frat's early days just randomly kill a woman, which the penis demon interpreted as a sacrifice?

    • pica_scribit says:

      I guess I just assumed the penis demon can talk, or communicate with the frat brothers in some way.

    • @liliaeth says:

      Gurer jnf npghnyyl n obbx jevggra gung qrnyg jvgu guvf. (n irel qvfncbvagvat obbx, fvapr V obhtug vg rkcrpgvat gb ernq n fgbel nobhg fbhyrq Fcvxr *tehzoyr*, naq zbfg bs vg jnf synfuonpxf gb fbhyyrff Fcvxr zrrgvat gur Znpuvqn jbefuvccref n praghel be zber rneyvre.)

      Va gur abiry, gur phyg jnf bevtvanyyl Rhebcrna (fbzrjurer va Treznal, qba'g erzrzore, fbeel, ernyyl qvqa'g yvxr gur obbx) naq na naprfgbe gur cergraq avpr thl jnf fnpevsvpvat lbhat tveyf sebz uvf gbja onpx gura nf jryy. Gur obbx uvagrq gung ur oebhtug Znpuvqn jvgu uvz gb gur HF.

    • cait0716 says:

      Erzrzore va gur friragu frnfba rcvfbqr jura gur xvq sebz Ubzr Vzcebirzrag naq uvf sevraqf qrpvqr gb fnpevsvpr Pnffvr gb envfr n qrzba naq trg ybgf bs zbarl naq cbjre? V vzntvar gung'f rknpgyl ubj gur seng va guvf rcvfbqr tbg fgnegrq. Gurl cebonoyl qvqa'g unir n fynlre nebhaq gb fgbc gurz.

      • Shiyra says:

        Lrnu, gung'f rknpgyl jung V gubhtug bss, yvxr gurl whfg sbhaq fbzr zntvp obbx be fbzrguvat gb fhzzba gur qrzba naq qrpvqr gb tvir vg n tb.

  9. pica_scribit says:

    Re-watching this right after reading this really disgusting email recently circulated by a USC fraternity was an interesting experience. (Warning: link contains extreme and appalling misogyny, body-shaming, racism, and rape apologism. It's super gross. You have been warned.) I'm not necessarily anti-Greek system, since I've known a fair number of decent people who were in frats and sororities, and one of my favourite New Years parties ever was with the brothers and sisters of Phi Tau at Dartmouth College (we played "Apples to Apples" until we ran out of cards, and then went to breakfast), but I do think that the kind of micro-cultures they foster can have the effect of exaggerating and reinforcing some behaviours and attitudes that are really gross and stupid.

    Whenever I see that actor who plays Tom, I think of his role as the handsome WWI soldier that Ian McKellan's character fell in love with in "Gods and Monsters". Also, he was the pilot in the movie "Zombies on a Plane", which I'm ashamed to admit I have seen.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      that email

      what the fuck.

    • LucyGoosey says:

      I just threw up in my mouth a little, and I only read like 4 lines of that.

    • echinodermata says:

      Not checking out the link, but while I agree that it's not necessarily the Greek system as a whole that's bad, hazing in my mind is pretty much entirely a Greek system thing. That's not even true – I've heard marching bands at some places do it too – but I think you're right that fraternities and sororities make this micro-culture effect that exacerbates the whole concept of hazing.

      And if they can get away with hazing, then I think that can make someone who's doing the hazing feel even more powerful and thus reinforce the notion that they can treat people like shit.

      • @liliaeth says:

        Actually, hazing in and of itself isn't a bad thing. When I was in my first year of (trying to think of the right description, in Dutch it's Hoge School, but if I used the direct translation I'd be saying High school, which here in Belgium is 'het middelbaar') uhm I guess you could call it college, anyway, when the school year started, you could sign up for hazing. In short that meant that you went through one day of rather humiliating yet fun trials (well mostly fun for the people watching us*g*), and at the end you got a mentor assigned to you, who was supposed to help you adapt to school life and school culture, gave you tips on how to study, how to handle your schedule, you know, someone to talk to. It was a way to bond the newer students with the older ones and help everyone get to know one another in an open and fun environment.

        You go through something special together and everyone enjoys themselves.

        Though admittedly our hazing was more crawling through yucky stuff in the dark, while having other yucky stuff thrown at you and so on*g*


        • cait0716 says:

          My college had a tradition that I liked a lot, and was disappointed when the administration got rid of it.

          I had a small class (~190 students) and we all took freshman level chemistry together. We also all had the first midterm together. During the midterm, the upperclassmen broke into our rooms and pranked them (turning them into mazes or haunted houses or movie theatres). There were guidelines and you were given ample oppurtunity to opt out. Then when you came out of the exam, they were waiting with water balloons and squirt guns. It was a great stress reliever and bonding activity and always very humane. They let me put my calculator in a safe spot so it wouldn't get ruined and everything. I like the idea of opting in as well, and I definitely agree that hazing isn't necessarily bad.

          Of course, we had some other traditions that were pretty awful

          • RoseFyre says:

            It sounds like yours had guidelines, though. I never went through hazing myself – and I'm glad I didn't – but I've known a few people who did, and at the places with guidelines, it was generally fine. It's when there aren't guidelines that there's a serious problem, I think.

            As much as Xander does act rather, um…well, I don't feel like getting into that discussion right now – well, as much as he acts in this episode, I will always feel that vicarious sense of humiliation for the hazing. It's just…the thought of that happening to me is one of the most terrifying things ever.

            • MaggieCat says:

              Even if I frequently have serious issues with Xander, I can't feel anything but mortified by his hazing in this episode.

              I think the guidelines are a very important part. My high school had insisted hazing be optional a few years before I was there, and the only thing I ever did in the same ballpark was Thespian Initiation which had been lumped in as hazing with some iffy crap the sports teams had apparently been pulling. Initiation required memorizing a 30second to 1 minute monologue and walking around all day in the appropriate costume; whenever someone who'd already been through it showed their thespian card you had to drop what you were doing and perform the monologue.

              BUT even before the administration took to yelling "Optional!" at every opportunity, there was a perfectly accepted way around the embarrassment (mostly used by non-actors who really wanted to stay non-actors, obviously enough**) provided by our drama teacher : pick something that let you wear normal clothes and don't tell a bunch of people that you're doing it. Then you only had to perform once in the morning for the teacher and the 4 thespian officers to double check for inappropriate material, and once after school for everyone else who was initiated that year or before. I think using the administration's optional card just meant you skipped the afternoon performance. And there was no mocking of people anyway — you'd have spent the next few months being ostracized by everyone smart enough to realize that without sets/lights/props/publicity/sound they'd be screwed, not to mention what our drama teacher would do if she found out (and she always knew).

              ** I was a techie but didn't take that option (even if I'd wanted to skip it, I was the costume designer so I felt I'd lose credibility if I did) and spent the day swanning about in vivid pink Shakespearean garb complete with matching headpiece that when added to my height in heels had me hovering over 6 feet and thus highly visible in the hallways– it was delightful and I was late for almost every class that day. (I just wish someone had reminded me that when picking a comedic monologue, account for audience reaction when you're timing it. My 1 minute usually doubled while I waited not to step on the laughs.)

              • notemily says:

                That actually sounds like a rather fun initiation 😀

                Most of my impressions of frat hazing when I was a kid came from *cough* the Sweet Valley University books, which are more along the lines of EAT THESE LIVE GOLDFISH IN PUBLIC, but I have no idea how common that stuff is in real life.

                • MaggieCat says:

                  It was! It was always amusing to see how varied the selections were, too. Mine was from a Don Nigro play (that got blank looks every time someone asked what it was from), I had a friend who did a bit from a Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar, I think (which everyone recognized… and I just aged myself), one who did used Christopher Durang's 'Dentity Crisis (known to theatre folk, no one else), and I vaguely recall a sparkly fairy wandering around with part of Prospero's epilogue from The Tempest (recognized primarily by geeks and English teachers). All just wandering around your random midwestern high school like it's no big deal. 🙂 And to make up for the inevitable tardiness and distraction, all the teachers were granted day-long status to make you recite for their entertainment as well.

                  But hazing for humiliation purposes — I just do not get why anyone does that or participates. I mean, what I'm talking about was fun for people to watch while also being entertaining for the people doing it, and if you really wanted to you could practice until senior year or avoid it completely (you didn't need to join the official organization to stay in the classes). Why some people enjoy watching people who are mortified squirm is one of those things that makes me wonder about the human race in general.

                  • notemily says:

                    I actually understand why it's done, psychologically. It's a cognitive dissonance thing. If you do humiliating stuff in order to get into an exclusive club, your brain makes sense of that by thinking that the club must be really great if you had to do all that stuff to get in. Sadly, our brains mold our values to our actions instead of the other way around.

                    Doesn't mean it's okay, though.

                • Dru says:

                  There's some mild hazing in Anne of Green Gables – one of her (male) friends wants to join a fraternity and is made to wear an apron for a day as part of the initiation.

                  The character takes it perfectly in stride and doesn't consider it emasculating, which for a book written in the 1910s is pretty amazing.

              • RoseFyre says:

                Okay, see, THAT sounds like fun. And I like that there's the normal clothing option – having to perform for one minute for the drama teacher isn't really hazing, that's…having to learn a monologue.

            • cait0716 says:

              Well, that event had guidelines. This one didn't so much. And as much as I still remember that night fondly (because that's sort of what hazing does to you) it's a good thing this one got shut down

    • Jerssica says:

      I made the terrible choice of reading that email while I'm at work. Now I'm sitting at my desk FUMING. And then the next customer who called happened to sound like a frat boy. I immediately regret this!

    • dasmondschaf says:

      oh my god that email what.

      Yeah, all the guys in my freshman dorm who pledged were obnoxious assholes, BUT I later made a bunch of friends from SigEp–which, at my school, had a strict no-hazing policy, and was also unhoused. Greek culture at my school wasn't a super-huge thing though…and after reading that email, I'm pretty cool with that.

      • pica_scribit says:

        Yeah, I went to Uni in the UK where they don't have frats and sororities (or organised athletics, for that matter), but that didn't stop them from having other kinds of gross boys' clubs.

    • But guuuuuys, that email was only circulated as a JOKE because it's SOOOOO HILARIOUS! Amirite?


    • Appachu says:

      I read the title and couldn't continue. What the hell.

    • whedonzombie says:

      I got about half-way through that email and skipped to the bottom. Couldn't do it. One can only hope that, in addition to negative scholastic ramifications, the writer's identity is made public knowledge and no woman ever speaks to him again.

    • RoseFyre says:

      …That is possibly the worst email in the history of ever.

      And the actor who plays Tom is kind of hot, even knowing that his character is an ass.

    • feminerdist says:

      That email. I can't even…

    • notemily says:

      Apples to Apples is great!

      My school didn't have frats or sororities, and I'm kind of glad because that whole culture scares me. I did love the people I shared a house with in junior year though, and we often played Apples to Apples 🙂

  10. misterbernie says:

    Your like of this episode takes me by surprise, not gonna lie about that. The only good part I remember is what you picked up on, too, namely Willow being awesome and fierce and whatnot all over the goddamn place
    ~~~*~~~ILU WILLOW~~~*~~~

    I guess that might be part of the first time watching experience, too, though; on returning, there's just too little meat on the bones of this ep to make me care.

    I cannot comment on the fraternity thing at all because what is this sorcery

    German title time: Der Geheimbund – 'The Secret Order'.
    Dudes, it's not secret if you put it in the episode title.

    • misterbernie says:

      Oh, another thought because it's been mentioned in the other comments: that whole underage drinking bit. Weird reminder of legal and cultural differences between us.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        I thought it odd when I started watching Buffy and other US series how much they want to convince you that drinking is bad, though I'm used to that now. Also it seems that Buffy hasn't really touched alcohol before, which at 16 would be unusual here.
        'Orre onq' vf rira yrff fhogyr jvgu guvf zrffntr.

        • LadyPeyton says:

          Yep. Over 200 years and we still haven't escaped that "country founded by Puritans" thing. It's very frustrating.

          • settlingforhistory says:

            I was just so surprised when I was a kid, because older students at my school where always bragging about their weekends spent drinking each other under the table.
            Teenagers have a lot of problems with alcohol here, so I guess a bit more Puritans wouldn't be so bad. 🙂

          • @liliaeth says:

            what always surprises me is how sexuality is seen as evil and wrong, while violence is seen as everyday.

            Kids apparently need to be shielded from even the idea of two people having sex, or nudity, especially the male kind, but never mind them seeing a character brutally murder someone.

            • TrampyMcBitca says:

              Gurer jnf n jbzna jub hfrq gb jngpu Ohssl jvgu ure lbhat qnhtugre jub jebgr gb ure ybpny arjfcncre gung fur jnf ab ybatre tbvat gb jngpu gur fubj orpnhfr bs gur J/G xvff va Gur Obql. Nccneragyl 4 naq 1/2 frnfbaf bs oybbq naq ivbyrapr jnf npprcgnoyr snzvyl ivrjvat, ohg fur gnxrf n fgnaq ba ure puvyq frrvat gjb jbzra xvffvat!

            • misterbernie says:

              Yeah, the sexuality/violence thing is also just … the reverse of how it's here. Boobs (and even the rude bits, although less so) are fine, but, for example, Buffy had a lot of its violence arpx fanccvat, bafperra vzcnyvat jvgu ornzf, rgp cut for the initital airing (and only shown in the after-midnight repeat).

              Also, the different attitudes towards swearing.

          • ladililn says:

            Actually, that's a popular misconception; Puritans were totally cool with the drinking! Not necessarily the getting smashed bit, but they drank alcohol about as much as any other European group of people at the time. If anything, the legal drinking limit here reflects much more recent changes in values.

            • LadyPeyton says:

              Saying that the Temperance Movement evolved from the Protestant Work Ethic which evolved from Puritanical values (which is what I meant to imply in my comment) is not quite the same as saying that Puritans were anti-alcohol.

      • Sarah S says:

        As a Canadian close to two of what I like to call 'drinking borders', that actually hits home with me more. You see, in Ontario, where I live, the legal age is 19, while in the US it's 21. So we get a lot of kids who hit 19 and immediate cross the border into deadbeat little towns with one bar and a population of 100 for the sole purpose of getting smashed. Not to mention that Quebec, the province next door, has a legal age of 18. Most high school students in Ontario actually have a class trip to Quebec in their graduating year of high school, which is known as the 'get drunk legally' school trip.

        Because of this odd position Canada plays for the Northern US in terms of drinking, up here we actually tend to be more aware of it. Especially with idiotic teenagers boating across the Great Lakes to avoid the lines at the border so they can get drunk. Oh, the stories you hear.

        • misterbernie says:

          Here, school trips to the Czech Republic are very common as a 'get drunk cheaply' trip. Our school didn't in my year, sadly, we just went to Berlin for a week. Which is still a cheaper getting drunk thing than Munich, tbf.

          Also, as much as I love to drink, there's no way in hell you'd get me on a boat for drinkage.

      • notemily says:

        Sigh. I really hate drinking culture in the US. 18-year-olds can join the ARMY, but they're not allowed to buy alcohol, what the fuck. Which means that drinking becomes this ~taboo thing~, which just makes people over-indulge in it more because it's forbidden fruit, which just leads to lots of people getting smashed and doing idiotic things and this is why my street is never quiet at two in the morning YOU DARN KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN.

        • misterbernie says:

          I'm ambivalent to my local drinking culture. On the one hand, I think it tends more towards teaching people to drink responsibly (not that they all do), but on the other hand, because it's so socially acceptable/expected, it also tends towards ignoring alcoholism.

          And bah, loud drunks are the worst. GET OFFA MY LAWN, indeed. And out of my fucking train, nobody needs to hear your gross loud drunk straight people stories. GRGH.
          (I'm a considerate quiet drunk most of the time, I have judgey privilege there.)

          • notemily says:

            I was just thinking it's kind of funny we're both talking about our respective drinking cultures because my city and state were settled by a lot of people from around your area of Europe, who promptly set up breweries.

            • misterbernie says:

              Hehe, 's what we do – beer and bread, they're what define us in our Germanness more than anything else 😛
              (Seriously, "their beer sucks" and "their bread sucks" are two of the more common complaints I hear about Other Places.)

              • @liliaeth says:

                which is funny to me, because I remember the one time I went on vacation to Germany and our biggest complaint was the lack of shops in the town we were staying at. Especially bakeries. (might be silly, but my aunt who was with me, lives in this really small town that still has five bakeries and the city I live in, which isn't all that big either, has even more.

                Of course, Belgium is mostly known for it's beer and chocolate.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      there's just too little meat on the bones of this ep to make me care.

      Right, I usually forget completely about this one, there is just nothing important plotwise.
      Willow's rant is wonderful though, I want to hug her.
      Jr arrq erfbyir-snpr, qvq jr unir erfbyir-snpr lrg?

      Der Geheimbund, really? There is nothing secret about the fraternity, just chanting they do in the basement. Vg fbhaqf zber yvxr n tebhc bs zbaxf naq jr nyy xabj gung pbzrf zhpu yngre 🙂

      • DreamRose311 says:

        – Jr arrq erfbyir-snpr, qvq jr unir erfbyir-snpr lrg?

        Orpbzvat, nobhg jnagvat gb qb gur erfgbengvba

    • whedonzombie says:

      I agree. I always skip this episode during re-watches. I was 100% expecting it to get torn apart in the review. Me=surprised.

  11. Jenny_M says:

    The only good fraternity is Kappa Tau from the series Greek because Cappie and my unabashed love for strangely good shows on ABC Family. "Make It Or Break It" YOU COMPLETE ME.

    • Maya says:

      Kappa Tau and Calvin FTW. I am unashamed to admit that I absolutely loved that show. And, of course, “Gur ZVqqyrzna”, which is God’s gift to the geeky.

    • fantasylover120 says:

      Oh I loved the hell out of Greek and I don't even really like the Fraternity/Sorority culture. But they managed to make characters that I loved to bits and that's what kept me watching despite the soap operayness of the show.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      I have a hard time forgiving ABC Family for Pretty Little Liars, but I really liked the occasional episode of Greek I caught.

  12. Smurphy says:

    These posts just keep coming later and later.

    I'm actually surprised you liked this episode so much. They do a mediocre job of handling difficult subjects and a lot of this is just a bit too set-up. Which brings me to:


    Seriously people. Give the girl a break.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Heh. You're watching a Whedon show. That sentence can basically be rewritten as "WHY DO BAD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO <INSERT CHARACTER HERE>?"

      • Smurphy says:

        Haha… oh do I only know how true that is… I just love Cordy.

        V jnf npghnyyl jngpuvat gbzbeebj'f rcvfbqr naq tbg nyy fragvzragny sbe Natry/Pbeql. Jub jbhyq unir rire thrffrq.

      • Smurphy says:

        Wow. That's odd. I just got an e-mail notification regarding this post.

        • notemily says:

          Yeah, I think IntenseDebate had a whole big backup of comments that never got sent and they just now fixed it, because I got like 40 comment notifications at once.

    • echinodermata says:

      Watches posts are usually up at 1 pm PST. For awhile Mark was posting them randomly to try to save the server, then posted at 10 am PST for awhile, but has now gone back to the usual 1 pm PST. So it's been consistent for a few days now and should remain that way for awhile.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      I'm so glad the posts are back to this time! (9pm for me here in England)

      When they were earlier I was still at work and by the time I read the review everyone had been and gone, so it's nice to be able to be here for the discussion again.

      ILU GUYS.

      • psycicflower says:

        Ditto for the 9pm time love. I don't get home from work until 7.30/9 depending on the day (and don't have access to a computer at work) so I was in the same missing the discussions boat. It's great to be able to take part again.

        <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

        • notemily says:

          Flawless use of gif.

          The times the reviews go up are pretty much a crapshoot for me–sometimes I work in the morning, sometimes the afternoon (ah the schedule of a part-time worker), so depending on the day I can either read the review right when it comes up or I have to wait for hours and I'm one of the last people commenting. I did like the earlier time for Watches since I was SO EXCITE about Buffy every day and it was nice to not have to wait as long, but it's not a big deal.

      • NB2000 says:

        Thirding the love for the 9PM GMT. Having to take a break from studying at 6pm just threw me off and made me not want to start again after commenting, later means I may as well just stop completely (worst student ever I know).

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      Agreed re the episode. Er Pbeqryvn, V qhaab — ng guvf cbvag, V guvax fur qrfreirf ybgf bs onq guvatf. Yngre, abg fb zhpu.

    • LadyPeyton says:


      Because she spent the last several years viciously bullying Xander and Willow? She's been presented as a childhood tormentor, don't forget.

      • Smurphy says:

        Oh that was so first season… This is high school. I became best friends with my childhood tormenter in high school… We actually had that awkward moment where we were like kinda almost friends and she sat down next to me at lunch one day and apologized for everything. It was sweet.

        Becoming friends with her turned out to be horrifically bad judgement but… that's a whole other story.

    • RoseFyre says:

      I swear, Cordelia's role at this point is to be rescued. At least she's good at screaming?

  13. cait0716 says:

    Ah, the infamous giraffe pants. 90s, what were you thinking?


    The opening scene is all sorts of adorable. I like that we get instances of Buffy, Willow, and Xander hanging out in a non-slaying capacity. It makes the whole world feel a bit more real, like things are still happening, even when we aren't watching.

    I love Willow's rant at Giles and Angel, complete with her admission that it didn't make her feel any better. Also, "Angel, how do you shave?" brings up an interesting question. Does he shave? If he does, I imagine he'd be quite adept at doing it by touch at this point. But in a lot of legends, vampires can't change their hair. It doesn't grow and occasionally they can't even cut it (this is the trigger for Claudia's mental breakdown in Interview With a Vampire). But that tradition tends to be confined to books and movies, since you can't really force an actor to keep exactly the same look across several seasons of a television show. So I'm guessing Angel mastered the shaving thing a long time ago and has since bought an electric razor so he doesn't have to worry so much about cutting himself. Yes, I have spent far too much time thinking about this.

    Speaking of Angel, his role in this episode is interesting. The first scene between him and Buffy is really awkward, with him highlighting their age difference, but not necessarily turning down a date or a cup of coffee. In fact, he's the one who suggests them. Buffy is the one who can't quite articulate what she wants from him, possibly because she doesn't know. The whole scene feels over-dramatic to me, probably because both Buffy and Angel are assuming that they know what the other one wants. Then he gets super protective of her when she's captured at the frat party, but doesn't actually do much in terms of rescuing her. He knocks a few guys out, but without the rescue mission Buffy probably would have been just fine. She frees herself, gets a sword, and takes out both Tom and Machida without any help. Angel really wants to protect Buffy, but she doesn't need him to.

    Of course, Cordy still gives Angel all the credit. If you take the reading that Cordy represents Buffy's shadow self, that makes for a really interesting commentary. Does Buffy want Angel's protection as much as he wants to give it? It's clear that she doesn't need it, but it's entirely possible that she wants to need it, at least subconsciously. Maybe this confusion led to her communication fail in the graveyard earlier. The two of them are more successful at the end of the episode leaving with open-ended plans to meet for coffee. They seem to be on the same page. Though whether that's because Buffy has rejected the idea of needing a protector (by saving herself) or is satisfied with Angel in that role (see Cordy's acknowledgement that he saved them) is up for debate.

    I had more to say about this episode than I thought I did.

    • @liliaeth says:

      Well as for the shaving without a reflection, I'm going with the assumption (admittedly not actual knowledge since I've never actually known anyone who's blind well enough to ask them), that blind people have to shave themselves as well. So presumably he'd use the same manner, aka touch and having a general idea of what's the word body awareness. .

    • Shiyra says:

      "But that tradition tends to be confined to books and movies, since you can't really force an actor to keep exactly the same look across several seasons of a television show."

      Gurl sbeprq Wnzrf Znefgref gb xrrc gur fnzr unve, ur unq gb oyrnpu vg sbe rnpu rcvfbqr naq nccneragyl vg ohearq uvf fpnyc, cbbe thl, naq ur unq oyrnpurq unve va gur 70f synfuonpxf, gbb.Natry'f unve arire ernyyl punatrf rvgure, nygubhtu va uvf rneyvre inzcver qnlf vg jnf ybatre, fb znlor gurl pna phg gurve unve ohg vg qbrfa'g tebj onpx?

      • cait0716 says:

        V'q nterr jvgu lbh rkprcg gung va gur svefg unys bs frnfba 7, Fcvxr qbrf tebj uvf unve bhg naq vg'f oeharggr naq pheyl. Nyfb, gur srznyr inzcverf nyjnlf unir qvssrerag unvefglyrf naq Natry vf hfhnyyl va fbzr fbeg bs jvt va synfuonpxf. Va inzcver genqvgvba, vs n inzcver'f unve pna'g tebj, vg nyfb hfhnyyl pna'g or phg.

  14. Karen says:

    First of all, I LOVE CORDY. Cordelia’s fake laugh is hysterical. And then when she says “I respect you too much to be dishonest” re: Buffy’s hair and clothes. EXCELLENT. And of course the scene where she lays out all the ground rules for Buffy coming with her to the party is fabulous. Then in the end, Cordy realizes that she’s much rather hang around high school boys whom she can control than ~cool~ college boys. I LOVE YOU, CORDY. Oh and finally, rira gubhtu V xabj Pbeql uhttvat Natry urer vf whfg zrnag gb znxr Ohssl n ovg wrnybhf naq gb rzcunfvmr Natry’f srryvatf sbe Ohssl, VQRP. BGC BS GUR OHSSLIREFR.

    Great, another episode where Xander is policing Buffy’s love life. I mean, in this case, it’s good that he was there I guess because he had the info about the robes, but DAMN, XANDER. CHILL A BIT. ALSO, ugh at him implying that Cordelia is a prostitute by asking if she’s printing business cards or just wearing a halter top. STOP BEING GROSS ABOUT WOMEN, XANDER.

    Speaking of gross guys, ugh at the frat asshole pressuring Buffy to drink. And then uuuugh at him about to rape Buffy when she’s passed out. This episode is kind of upsetting.

    Sidenote: none of the frat houses at my school were anywhere near that nice. The sorority houses were, but the fraternity houses were generally pretty beat up.

    Anyway, let’s move on to Buffy’s story here. The plot of this episode with the reptile demon thing is whatever ,but the larger story about Buffy wanting to live what she thinks of as a normal life and how that’s conflicting with being the Slayer and all the responsibilities that go along with that. I think it’s telling that the reason Buffy decides to drink at the party is because she found the broken glass and decided she was tired of being mature and being the Slayer and having the weight of the world on her shoulder. Although Buffy: when at a party, always get your own drink, never leave your drink unattended and if you feel funny find a friend or call for help. DON’T WANDER INTO A BEDROOM ALONE.

    Buffy is crushing on Angel haaaaard. The thing about Buffy/Angel is that I think that Joss is maybe playing the star-crossed lovers thing straight, but then you get something like the scene in the graveyard which is so over the top that it feels like it is making fun of those “vampire in love with an innocent girl” stories. And then at the end, you get Buffy confidently walking away from Angel because she’s realized she doesn’t need a boyfriend. So… idk. Is Joss playing it straight or his he lovingly criticizing those kinds of stories? I think it’s probably a bit of both.

    • etherealclarity says:

      Can I just take a moment to point out that while it's quite valid how we are pointing out that Xander's possessiveness is GROSS (and it is), that maybe we should also point out that Cordelia's attitudes towards men in this episode (useful only as a path to wealth or only insofar as they can be controlled) is also pretty gross?

      • Karen says:

        Personally, I really don't care as much when it comes to Cordelia's treatment of men because there's a whole different historical and social context of how women gained and maintained power in Western society. For centuries, the way in which women could try to have any kind of power in the world was to use their charms etc to control men and use them as a path to their own power and wealth. So idk. Sure, it's not the BEST thing ever, but it just has a whole different feel to me due to the history of power and gender relations.

        • etherealclarity says:

          You make a good point about the historical context of the behavior.

          I guess I'm thinking of things from more of a personal perspective as well. If I had a female friend who treated guys the way Cordelia did in this episode, I'd be appalled just as much as I would if I had a male friend who treated women the way Xander treats Buffy in this ep.

        • But isn't the history of power and gender relations basically directly to blame for things like slut-shaming, date rape, and rape in general? I don't understand faulting men but not women for perpetuating these behaviors.

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          But Cordelia doesn't have to act that way, and she still does, because she's conditioned by her upbringing and gender stereotypes she's been taught, just like Xander is.

          Which might be part of the reason why those two used to be my two least favorite characters in the show at this point. Now I have a different outlook on them, rfcrpvnyyl fvapr V xabj ubj gurl qrirybc yngre, and can see them as something more than the annoying but oh too recognizable traits of annoying boys/annoying girls I knew.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Oh God, the frat house! The frat house! What kind of frat house has GAUZY CURTAINS? I know college boys; they do NOT do that fancy or even that neat, seriously.

  15. Mez says:

    Failure of Secret Identity Count:

    13 + 1 (Callie) = 14

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      oh god i look forward to this comment every day.

    • pica_scribit says:

      And surviving frat guys?

      • Mez says:

        Well, possibly – but one of my rules is that people who don't get at least one line of dialogue generally don't get counted, as they're much more like interesting scenery. Largely because trying to pause the episode and tally up an exact count would be way too time-consuming.

        (My complete set of rules:
        – they have to be human
        – they have to survive the end of the episode, memory intact
        – they have to have at least one line of dialogue OR a name
        – they have to be aware that Buffy is doing lots of monster fighting of some variety
        – they're not Watchers-or-similar already)

  16. NB2000 says:

    gur Znpuvqn vf bar bs gur fvyyvrfg ybbxvat ivyynvaf V’ir rire frra ba gryrivfvba.

    Fnqyl vg'f whfg gur ortvaavat, sbe gur fvyyl ybbxvat zbafgref naq fanxr qrzbaf va trareny. Ng yrnfg Znpuvqn vf fyvtugyl orggre guna Fborx sebz frnfba 5 (be Snxr gur Fanxr nf V'ir frra vg ersreerq gb).

    As ridiculous and gross as the whole plot with the fratboys is, the scene where they go from the super serious ceremony to "Brewski time!" does make me laugh for a few seconds.

    Willow wins all the things for telling off Giles and Angel.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      V UNGR GUR FBORX FANXR GUVAT. v pna unaqyr znpuvqn urer orpnhfr v xabj gur fubj jnf jbexvat jvgu n fznyy nzbhag bs zbarl ng guvf cbvag, ohg gurer vf AB RKPHFR gb unir n zbafgre ybbx FB ONQ ol frnfba 5.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      V guvax gur bayl fanxr zbafgre gurl rire trg evtug vf gur Znlbe.
      Ur vf bar urpx bs n fpnel tvnag fanxr.

    • RoseFyre says:

      "As ridiculous and gross as the whole plot with the fratboys is, the scene where they go from the super serious ceremony to "Brewski time!" does make me laugh for a few seconds."

      Yeah, I always laugh for a few seconds at that…and then there's the poor chained up girl and I get sad again. :/

  17. This is one of those episodes that I just sort of forget about when thinking/discussing/obsessing over Buffy. Aside from Willow's AWESOME SPEECH OF AWESOME, the rest of it is just sort of … there?

  18. Ella says:

    While Xander’s bit at the end was funny, it doesn’t make up for his grossness otherwise. I wanted to leap through my tv and kick him in the face when he DIRECTED Buffy on how to do her own damn job purely so she wouldn’t go to the frat party. Shut up, Xander.

    I remain baffled at David Boreanaz’s choice to deliver all of his lines like Angel is inexplicably mad at Buffy. I’ve never seen someone get so agitated at the prospect of coffee!

    Regardless I really like this episode. What it lacks in story it makes up for in some lovely character interaction. Willow is just wonderful and I adore Buffy and her determination to wrangle her independence.

    • James says:

      I've never seen someone get so agitated at the prospect of coffee!

      Hee! That just made me think of: "Grn vf fbbguvat. V jvfu gb or grafr."

  19. Sosa Lola says:

    You know, I never thought we’d get an episode of Buffy that deals with fraternity culture. I’m actually more interested than ever to see what y’all think about how this was handled. Personally, I’m a bit biased against them. I’ve never been a fan of them, and I had a bad experience with a fraternity and racism at Cal State Long Beach when I was going to school there.

    I hate them. I simply do.

  20. Sosa says:

    And I always skip the scene with Xander being forced to wear the skirt and the wig. I don't know if it's my love for Xander or because I can't handle this type of humiliation. I can't watch it, I hate people who do that to other people. Too cruel and immature.

    On a happy note, I just ADORE and SQUEE at Xander punching the frat dude and then clutching his fist and crying out in pain. I love how he jumps twice and cradles his hurt fist. This is why I'm more attracted to Xander than Angel. He's not a big strong badass character, he's a normal teenage boy who happens to be loyal and brave. I prefer characters like Xander to the big and masculine male characters.

    I also loved when he randomly said "Xander" after Buffy and Angel's dramatic whispering each other's names. Oh, oh, also when he's all "Let's never talk about Angel again." Angel walks in. "Hi Angel." I love you, Xander!

    • cait0716 says:

      "This is for the last sixteen and a half years of my life!" is a great line and summation of how Xander views his place in the world. He'll never have as much as these guys and he completely blames them for it

      • Sosa says:

        I completely forgot about this line! I love it. I also loved watching shirtless Xander. He's so hot for a high school loser.

        • cait0716 says:

          I keep getting distracted when he's shirtless now because he absolutely does not have the body of a teenager. It's easier to pretend when he's wearing baggy clothes.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      i also particularly like: "that IS the guy you wanna party with."

    • whedonzombie says:

      I love Xander during that Bronze scene. Definitely a great Xander moment!

    • librarygirl says:

      I have hard time watching scenes like Xander's hazing at the frat party or anything like that in other movies/ tv shows. One of the reasons I don't watch a lot of comedies is because they always seem to find most of the humour in humiliating people.

      • Sosa says:

        Yeah, humor like that gets lost on me. I don't get what so funny in humiliating people like that. I don't get it and I don't like it.

        • Vikinhaw says:

          Agreed. This is why I can never ever watch The Office no matter how many times people tell me to. It's not funny, it hurts.

          • tanbarkie says:

            I can't take humiliation humor either, but somehow "The Office" has never bothered me. I think it's because the humor in "The Office" was never about making fun of the humiliated person – the joke is almost always at the expense of the person doing the humiliating (usually Michael). For example, in that early episode when Michael is rather horrifyingly racist towards proto-Kelly, the show isn't making fun of Kelly's minority status (the way many lesser comedies would), but is instead mocking Michael's casual racism and his obliviousness to how offensive he's being.

    • robin_comments says:

      I so love that Xander gets hurt from the punching. Xander not being a super strong badass is both nicely realistic and highlights Buffy's gender-defying physical strength in comparison. I think it was a good choice of the writers not to try and turn Xander and Willow into ass-kicking sidekicks. (Like how Watson doesn't need to turn into a genius sleuth to stay teamed up with Sherlock.)

    • TrampyMcBitca says:

      — I love how he jumps twice and cradles his hurt fist.

      And yet he had no problems punching the vampire in When She Was Bad. Go figure…

    • Dee says:

      I am definitely a Xander fan – even tho ha has no power or special skill (unless you count his unrelenting sense of humour), he's out there in the trenches wanting to do his part to help. He's obviously the all-around weakest of the bunch (not just physically but emotionally) but those reasons never stop him trying to do good by his friends.

      Xander Harris FTW!!

      • Sosa says:

        I agree. He's surely the weakest when it comes to emotions, but in terms of physical, he's stronger than Willow.

    • tanbarkie says:

      Gurer vf n ernfba jul guvf vf cbffvoyl zl snibevgr dhbgr sebz nyy bs "Ohssl":

      "Bj! Bj! Vg'f nyy unccl ohg bj!"

      …Also, that looks way dirtier in rot13 than it's meant to.

  21. lawrence_s says:

    I don’t think things are 100% accurate here in “Reptile Boy,”

    You mean fraternities don't normally kidnap and drug high school girls so they can be sacrificed to men in giant rubber snake costumes? Er, I mean giant snake demons?

    (Gur gehyl fnq guvat nobhg gung 'fanxr' vf gung gur bar va Funqbj vf zhpu zhpu jbefr.)

    I don’t know how anyone can be convicted for murder the day after they’re arrested for it, but there it is!

    Yeah, I noticed that too and thought "Wait, sentenced? What about, you know, indictment? And evidence? And testimony?" I don't think there's even a good fanwank for that, since it's pretty clear the scene where Xander is reading the paper happens the very next night.

    Cyhf, V jbhyq unir gb oryvrir nalbar jvgu gur zbarl naq qrzbavp pbaarpgvbaf gung sengreavgl unq jbhyq or ercerfragrq ol Jbysenz naq Uneg, gurl'q yvxryl rvgure trg njnl jvgu vg ragveryl be unir vg gvrq hc sbe n ernyyl ybat gvzr va pbheg, ohg rvgure jnl, abg gevrq, pbaivpgrq naq fragraprq nyy jvguva gjragl-sbhe ubhef.

    • cait0716 says:

      V qhaab. Fvapr gur qrzba qvrq, V org Jbysenz naq Uneg phg nyy gvrf jvgu gurz

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Gur gehyl fnq guvat nobhg gung 'fanxr' vf gung gur bar va Funqbj vf zhpu zhpu jbefr.

      Bu lrf, gung guvat vf fb tebff, gur fghss vg fcvgf ng crbcyr naq gur jnl vg penjyf nebhaq.
      Va juvpu onfrzrag bs erwrpgrq ubeebe zbivr zbafgref qvq gurl svaq gung guvat?
      Gur bgure onq "fanxr" jnf Tybel'f PTV qrzba, gur zbfg hapbaivapvat Ohssl zbafgre bs nyy gvzrf.

      • @liliaeth says:

        Huz ab, gur gvgyr bs gur zbfg hggreyl hapbaivapvat Ohsslzbafgre bs nyy gvzr jvyy sbe abj naq nyy gvzr orybat gb gur cravfurnq ynql qrzba sebz gur Qbhoyrzrng rc va f6. Jurer gur yrfovna trgf gb phg bss gur ovt cravf…

        • settlingforhistory says:

          Lbh'er evtug, gung bar vf onq, ernyyl ernyyl onq.
          Qbhoyrzrng vf fhpu n zru rcvfbqr naljnl.

          • ghostofdurruti says:

            V npghnyyl xvaq bs ybir Qbhoyrzrng Cnynpr, naq V qba'g haqrefgnaq jul fb znal crbcyr ungr vg. Vg'f bar bs gur bayl rcvfbqrf va juvpu OgIF qrnyf jvgu ynobe vffhrf. Ohg jr'yy trg gb gung va n srj zbaguf.

      • lawrence_s says:

        V guvax jr'er gnyxvat nobhg gur fnzr bar. Qvq V zvk hc gur rcvfbqr gvgyrf? V zrnag Tybel'f PTV zbafgebfvgl, abg gur 'xvyyre fabg zbafgre sebz bhgre fcnpr' (juvpu V guvax vf jung lbhe svefg fragrapr vf ersrerapvat), nyfb sebz gur fnzr trareny frdhrapr bs rcvfbqrf. Jbj, frnfba svir fher vfa'g jvaavat nal fcrpvny rssrpgf njneqf, vf vg?)

    • @liliaeth says:

      Ab ab, gur gehyl fnq guvat vf gung rirel fvatyr fanxr zbafgre ba Ohssl fhpxrq. (rira gur Znlbe ybbxrq evqvphybhf), lrg gurl xrcg tbvat onpx gb fanxr qrzbaf bire naq bire naq bire)

      • settlingforhistory says:

        Jryy, V'z tynq gurl qvqa'g gel gb fubj Vyylevn gur gragnpyr zbafgre, gurer vf whfg ab jnl gurl pbhyq unir znqr gung ybbx abg vpxl.

        • @liliaeth says:

          Gehr, gubhtu V jvyy fnl guvf, Natry nyjnlf unq orggre fcrpvny rssrpgf guna Ohssl qvq. Naq V'z fnlvat gung nf fbzrbar jub bs gur gjb sne cersreerq OGIF

  22. Inseriousity. says:

    I'm glad you mentioned the Willow thing cos I was only 90% certain it was this episode and didn't want to spoil it so hooray, go Willow. I'm glad someone points it out to them cos all three men in her life haven't been treating her very well. Unfortunately Xander wasn't there but if he was, I hope she'd have called him out on it too!

    Another small thing that I like is I'm 90% certain (lol rewatched it a while ago now) that one of Cordelia's rules about the party is 'no black' then the next scene is Buffy wearing a black dress. Go buffy! If it turns out this is the 10% I will look very stupid! Oh well, who cares, go buffy!

    • echinodermata says:

      It is from this episode!

      Cordelia: "Don't wear black, silk, chiffon or spandex. These are my trademarks. And don't do
      that weird thing with your hair."

  23. Sosa says:

    The scene with Buffy, Xander and Willow watching movies at Buffy's room: I love the fact that Xander braids Willow's hair much better than Buffy. 😀

  24. knut_knut says:

    Hello, terrible flashbacks to college! Our greek life was never that bad, but some of the things those guys said, like the “quota” or whatever Cordelia was talking about, were spot on. Anyway, pretty much everything about this episode made me uncomfortable- spending an evening making fun of Bollywood movies, listening to frat guys talk about girls like they exist only for their pleasure (accurate but still creepy), and then Giles shaming Buffy for going out and getting drugged. I understand that on one level it was supposed to make viewers uncomfortable and it could have been a lot worse, but it definitely wasn’t the best execution of exhibiting how sexist society is.

    And really? THAT’S the Machida? They should have just gone for a Very Large Snake. Did they ever explain why they chose those girls to sacrifice other than ~lol silly girls eager to impress frat brothers ~? Does the Machida only eat women? I wasn’t entirely paying attention, to be honest…

    • Jenny_M says:

      I went to a school where Greek culture was generally regarded as a "we have a Greek culture?" sort of apathy. It was great. All the awesome partying with none of the creepily accurate stereotypes (except the red solo cup. Love me some red solo cups!)

      • cait0716 says:

        Red Solo Cup
        I fill you up
        Let's have a party.

        I'm sorry, but I adore that song. I know that's an unpopular opinion, but I can't help it. It's just so fun.

      • knut_knut says:

        My school was really small so greek life wasn’t very exclusive and not a lot of people participated since almost all their events were open to the entire campus and everyone knew at least someone who was in greek life (if you didn’t it’s not like anyone would turn you away either). For the most part it wasn’t bad, but sometimes the frats did disgusting things like target freshman girls even though a party is open to all of campus (they’d bombard the girls with flyers and emails and notices in their mailboxes and then not advertise it at all to the rest of campus). I also knew someone whose friend was in a frat and he told her she couldn’t come to his party because she was a senior and not “fresh meat”.

    • tigerpetals says:

      I didn't see it explained. Maybe just whoever the frats think is both easy to convince and conventionally hot. Buffy was chosen before they even talked to her.

  25. lula34 says:

    Willow asking the broodiest vampire of all time, "You don't have time for a cup of coffee?" is why I love this show.

  26. pancreas says:

    bu Znex, lbh'er fb shyy bs oyvff. V pna'g jnvg sbe Ohssl gb fgno Natry fb lbh pna ybfr lbhe fuvg yznb

  27. Sosa says:

    I suppose I allowed myself to believe it was the most horrifying thing ever, and it ended up looking like a giant lizard penis dude. Sorry, it did!

    One thing I never cared about in this show was the monsters. I know the special effects are lousy, but it doesn't matter. Monsters, demons and vampires were never my interest when watching the show, which funny considering the title, but what I really care about is the characters. I enjoy watching Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles growing up and evolving as characters. This is why I watch Buffy.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Which is the interesting part, because the character relationships definitely get as much play as the monsters. Which is WHY it's so great, rather than, you know, all about the monsters.

  28. misterbernie says:

    Maybe the failure of giant snake demon's magic made the justice system do the time warp.

    Naq xvpx Jbysenz & Uneg va gur zrgnculfvpny onyyf.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Maybe the failure of giant snake demon's magic made the justice system do the time warp.

      That is actally a good idea. The boys had all the luck they could wish for because of the demon, now all the bad luck of the priviouse years comes crashing down on them. Like breaking a mirror.

      • RoseFyre says:

        Yeah, that was generally my interpretation. And it hits everyone who ever worshiped that demon, as well.

  29. I may or may not have picked my alma mater largely on the basis of its lack of a Greek system. (Not based on this episode, though; I was already in my junior year when it aired.)

  30. tigerpetals says:

    Two painful episodes in a row. And while Giles and Angel came around, and Buffy pretty much took care of things before anybody got down to the basement – although she would have had a harder time of it had nobody been sent up – Buffy was still punished for her decision by getting drugged and nearly sacrificed to a penis monster. At the very least she might not have been able to save Cordelia without something coming in to cause a distraction. I feel like the best way to subvert things would have been to at least not let Buffy herself get drugged, but that would contradict the plot of her being invited in the first place. The episode showed she was able to pick up quickly after her mistakes and still get away fine as a Slayer, but as a normal girl she gets shown as too naive to be at a frat party, not just uncomfortable. I'd be happier if she were like Sherlock Holmes this episode, and never really off her game socially or Slayery.

    Angel made me really dislike him in the first half of the episode. First episode he's climbing into her room, saying he missed her, and following her around the night before that. Second episode he's admitting he's jealous over her and somewhat normally interacting by the end of it, even while discussing her problems. Now he starts telling her she's too immature to try and date him after all that encouragement. I don't think he has to date her if he really doesn't feel comfortable with it, but not refusing that way would be a step up.

    Xander the one-note strikes again. Not that he is always one note, but he is for much of this episode.

    About frats: never joined one, always felt prejudiced against them and parties in general. I am happy to be like Giles and stay home reading.

    And you forgot Willow reminding everybody to go help Buffy and being the first to go down. Points for that.

  31. quenstalof says:

    Yay I'm all caught up again! I fell behind right before Christmas and didn't start watching again until Monday. Incidentally, mainlining Buffy has been a good distraction from a broken heart.

    My thoughts while watching this episode
    no demons or vampires to slay…didn't you talk about jinxes like two episodes ago?
    she's being chased by …monks?
    really it's hot guys dressed as monks? Is this one of those secret society things?
    i kind of like buffy's giraffe pants…
    the non-relationship drink of choice!
    more normal and less para..
    i guess i'm just goon be typing quotes today lol
    it's not getting to me…
    of course cordelia's date is that monkey guy (it auto-changed that from monk-y, but i'm leaving it) Also, you have to be a little suspicious of college guys who date high school girls…
    wow..that's a pretty good move
    i can't help but hate the way they treat that library…
    lol cordy and the college guy squicks me, but not buffy/angel? I just realized how weird that is.
    so creepy
    ugh xander still so icky about Buffy dating.
    and this is the point of the party I would leave. I would fake a phone call and leave rather than awkwardly be at a party where i don't know anyone. I may or may not have done this before <.< >.>
    yay rhyming games!
    spiked drink? I know she's little, but come on she wouldn't be that bad off unless it's spiked.
    poor willow. buffiys lying made her have to lie too.
    ugh xander's gonna save buffy which is gonna justify him being creepy and stalkerish. Do not want!
    Willow lecture ftw!
    of course cordy has a vanity plate of her mane
    oh yeah…this episode is called reptile boy…hence the reptiley villain
    yeah Giles got a punch in!
    aww an inordinate amount of nudging

    This was an alright episode. Not one of my favorites, but then I don't have much personal experience with frats or frat parties so maybe I was a little disinterested in that part of the story?
    Also I'm kind of tired of Xander. I get it. He likes Buffy and it makes him do irrational things. Ha ha.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Mainlining Buffy can also result in some really weird dreams. I speak from copious experience.

      and this is the point of the party I would leave. I would fake a phone call and leave rather than awkwardly be at a party where i don't know anyone. I may or may not have done this before

      This is before high schoolers commonly owned cell phones.

      • quenstalof says:

        oh I know. I was just saying what I would do. It made me so second-hand awkward I devised a plan to escape.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      Sorry about the broken heart!

      Buffy is my go-to place whenever I am upset.

    • RoseFyre says:

      "Also, you have to be a little suspicious of college guys who date high school girls… "

      Yes! At least, college seniors. Freshmen who are in pre-standing relationships with girls a year younger get a pass.

  32. LadyPeyton says:

    For many of the reasons you state above, Reptile Boy (and Inca Mummy Girl) are among my least favorite Buffy episodes of all time. I can't wait until we move back to the good episodes again.

  33. whedonzombie says:

    While not one of my favorite episodes, I love that first scene (minus the potential racism)! It reminds me of myself and my two best friends in high school, perhaps a bit more than I should willingly admit. We regularly had Foreign Film Appreciation Night.

    And Willow… Always the level-headed voice of common sense! Can I please have one of those in my life? Can we all?

  34. echinodermata says:

    PSA: saying "penis" in a comment will make it go to automatic moderation. And intensedebate is being buggy right now with email notifications for everything, so your comment may go to moderation without emailing the mods, creating a delay in approval.

    Just a heads up, and maybe start trying out those creative euphemisms instead.

  35. shoroko says:

    I should probably be able to offer better commentary on this episode, and I agree generally with what's been said, but my take away from this episode is always the same:

    Wow, is that enough absurd phallic imagery? I mean, wealthy men sacrificing women to their devotion to a Giant Snake. That is not terribly subtle, and I'll admit I kind of enjoy it in a so-bad-it's-good-way.

    I'd also note that it's not just a fraternity or fraternity culture that's being dealt with here – this particular fraternity is represented as one that caters to (likely generations of) wealthy and privileged men. I thought there were a lot of undertones concerning class. The Bollywood thing was definitely icky, but the point was to establish Buffy, Willow, and Xander as having "no money" to do things – this opens an episode about these characters being introduced to an organization that prides itself on its wealthy membership. A lot of Xander's comments on the Frat implicate is feeling locked out of social scene based on class, and I felt like even beyond the obvious misogyny of the "hazing" the frat boys subjected him to, but I also got this sense of it being a demonstration of power by those who had wealth against someone who lacked it. Of course, they put that almost wholly on Xander, as opposed to Willow (who's off convincing Giles and Angel to Stop Being Meanies to her friend) or Buffy (whose beauty and the Frat's need to complete their bizarre, Phallic-Obsession ritual allow her to pass into this world just long enough to be sexually assaulted/fed to a Giant Phallic Snake look I don't know). I guess between Buffy and Xander we could see two, gendered forms of exploitation against those of lower classes – Xander's very pointedly emasculated as a form of humiliation, and Buffy is objectified and pretty thoroughly dehumanized. Of course, the same thing happens to Cordelia, who does appear to have some level of access to wealth, even though she also seems to see the opportunity to interact with the members of this particular fraternity as a means of developing/increasing such access, so ultimately the nature of the gender-exclusivity of the group comes in, as her gender still ultimately dehumanizes her in their eyes and… I'm officially thinking about this too much. My point is that I think there is something to the notion that this specifically involved a combination of class and gender.

  36. shoroko says:

    I should probably be able to offer better commentary on this episode, and I agree generally with what's been said, but my take away from this episode is always the same:

    Wow, is that enough absurd phallic imagery? I mean, wealthy men sacrificing women to their devotion to a Giant Snake. That is not terribly subtle, and I'll admit I kind of enjoy it in a so-bad-it's-good-way.

    I'd also note that it's not just a fraternity or fraternity culture that's being dealt with here – this particular fraternity is represented as one that caters to (likely generations of) wealthy and privileged men. I thought there were a lot of undertones concerning class. The Bollywood thing was definitely icky, but the point was to establish Buffy, Willow, and Xander as having "no money" to do things – this opens an episode about these characters being introduced to an organization that prides itself on its wealthy membership. A lot of Xander's comments on the Frat implicate his feeling locked out of this social scene based on class, and even beyond the obvious misogyny of the "hazing" the frat boys subjected him to, I also got this sense of it being a demonstration of power by those who had wealth against someone who lacked it. Of course, they put that almost wholly on Xander, as opposed to Willow (who's off convincing Giles and Angel to Stop Being Meanies to her friend) or Buffy (whose beauty and the Frat's need to complete their bizarre, Phallic-Obsession ritual allow her to pass into this world just long enough to be sexually assaulted/fed to a Giant Phallic Snake look I don't know). I guess between Buffy and Xander we could see two, gendered forms of exploitation against those of lower classes – Xander's very pointedly emasculated as a form of humiliation, and Buffy is objectified and pretty thoroughly dehumanized. Of course, the same thing happens to Cordelia, who does appear to have some level of access to wealth, even though she also seems to see the opportunity to interact with the members of this particular fraternity as a means of developing/increasing such access, so ultimately the nature of the gender-exclusivity of the group comes in, as her gender still ultimately dehumanizes her in their eyes and… I'm officially thinking about this too much. My point is that I think there is something to the notion that this specifically involved a combination of class and gender.

    • tigerpetals says:

      Yes, yes it is a combination of class and gender.

    • robin_comments says:

      Lrnu, V guvax Knaqre vf hfrq n ybg ba OgIF gb gnyx nobhg pynff. Vg'f zhpu zber rssrpgvir sbe zr, gubhtu, fgnegvat va Frnfba Sbhe. (Juvpu vf bar bs gur znwbe ernfbaf jul V ernyyl fgneg ybivat uvf punenpgre gura.)

  37. Ashley says:

    "it ended up looking like a giant lizard penis dude"

    I think that MIGHT have been the point.

  38. Tx_Cronopio says:

    One of the ten worst eps, IMO. Not as bad as Xvyyrq Ol Qrngu, boivbhfyl, ohg pregnvayl va gur obggbz 10. Naq V npghnyyl yvxr Orre Onq, fb pyrneyl zl fgnaqneqf ner abg evtbebhf 🙂

    • shoroko says:

      Vs vg urycf, V nyfb yvxrq Orre Onq. Vg jnf yvxr, uryyb cerggl zhpu rirel vagrenpgvba V'ir unq jvgu qehax crbcyr! Guvf vf cerggl zhpu jung vg vf yvxr, jvgu nqqvgvba bs Jvyybj Orvat Njrfbzr.

    • James says:

      Jbj, ernyyl? V ybir Xvyyrq Ol Qrngu! Uhu.

    • lyvanna says:

      Lrnu, guvf rcvfbqr vf onq.. V yvxr Orre Onq gbb… naq Qbhoyrzrng Cnynpr sbe gung znggre (lrf V fnvq vg!)

  39. Shiyra says:

    Something that jumped out at me was that Angel was just able to waltz in, no invite needed. Are frat houses considered public lodgings? Has Angel been invited in before?

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      Ah, interesting catch! I think, like a hotel, it's considered a public building. Or the writers just screwed up 🙂

    • cait0716 says:

      The frat guy said "come in" and gestured to Xander. But since Angel was standing there, too, and the frat guy didn't specify, the invite worked for him.


    • James says:

      Yeah, I caught that. I figured if it's not a home, like a permanent residence, rather than, as you said, lodgings they can get in uninvited.

      • Shiyra says:

        Vg whfg frrzf n ovg vapbafvfgrag. V jbhyq guvax gung gur fnzr ehyrf jbhyq nccyl sbe pbyyrtr qbezf nyfb, ohg V oryvrir Fcvxr arrqrq gung vaivgr gb trg vagb Jvyybjf ebbz ng pbyyrtr. Nygubhtu Fcvxr nyfb fubjrq hc ng bgure seng/pbyyrtr cnegvrf va shgher rcvfbqrf, gurl arire qvq fubj jurgure be abg ur arrqrq gb trg vaivgrq va fb lbh zhfg or evtug nobhg vg orvat yvxr n choyvp ybqtvat. Gurl fgvyy "srry" yvxr cevingr obneqvat ubhfrf gb zr fvapr abg whfg nalbar pna yvir gurer. thrff vg frrzf cynhfvoyr gung gur vaivgr sbe Knaqre jbexrq sbe Natry gbb gubhtu V qba'g yvxr gung vqrn, vg whfg tvirf gbb zhpu yrrjnl gb inzcverf trggvat vagb hafhfcrpgvat crbcyrf ubzrf ol jnvgvat va gur funqbjf juvyr gurl vaivgr gurve sevraqf va be fbzrguvat fvyyl yvxr gung, Naljnl, vg'f abg ernyyl vzcbegnag, vg jnf whfg qvfgenpgvat sbe n frpbaq.

        • James says:

          Uz. Znlor gurl pna trg vagb gur ohvyqvat, ohg abg vaqvivqhny ebbzf?

          • misterbernie says:

            That seems plausible, jung jvgu gur nobir Fcvxr arrqvat gb or vaivgrq vagb gur ebbz, ohg abg gur ohvyqvat vgfrys, naq nyfb jvgu Serq'f ebbz ng gur Ulcrevba, sbe juvpu Natry arrqf na vaivgr.

  40. fantasylover120 says:

    I like to think they purposely made the reptile monster silly looking in order to play up the camp. This was a rather mediocre ep again and I really don't have much to say about it that hasn't already been said.
    But like all the Buffy mediocre eps it still had some fabulous lines such as Willow telling off Angel and Giles and these:
    "Hey! We were loitering here!"-Xander
    "I was so busy really listening that I didn't hear much."-Cordelia
    "Oh Buffy, it's like we're sisters! With really different hair."-Cordelia
    "Why do they park so darn close to you?"-Cordelia (meanwhile I wonder how she got a license)

  41. Dru says:

    I understand Hindi perfectly well and I find it weird (even apart from the general hideousness of the -isms, they make me want to knock my head out against the nearest wall), so honestly, I'm letting the gang's mockery slide here – it's richly deserved.

  42. Scottish Eddie says:

    A lot of this episode is poor but there were a number of bits that just made me laugh any way.
    XANDER: I gotta keep an eye on Buffy. Those frat guys creep me.
    WILLOW: You wanna protect her?
    XANDER: Mm-hm.
    WILLOW: And prove that you're just as good as those rich, snotty guys?
    XANDER: Mm-hm.
    WILLOW: Maybe catch an orgy?
    XANDER: If it's on early.

    I know it's Xander going to far but the delivery of it is great. The acting across the board really seems to have picked up from season 1. Not sure if it's that the actors are better or the people behind the scenes are show casing it better. Either way.

  43. @hazakaza says:

    "V guvax vg jvyy znxr tbbq gryrivfvba gb frr gurz chefhr fbzrguvat ebznagvp, naq V nyfb unir ubcr gung gur jevgref jvyy pbagvahr gb npxabjyrqtr obgu gur fgenatrarff bs vg nyy. Cyhf, l’nyy xabj V ybir fbzr punenpgre qrirybczrag. Fb oevat vg, Wbff Jurqba."

    AB. FGBC. ZNEX, FGBC. LBH UNIR GB FGBC FNLVAT GURFR GUVATF. LBH UNIR GB. Gurl obgu trg cyragl bs qrirybczrag ohg LBH JBA'G YVXR VG.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      But it makes me laugh, and laugh, and laugh 🙂

      Also, is anyone else starting to think of Joss as Wiff Jurqba?

  44. adlerism says:

    This episode. I don't speak up very much, but I will because I have some feelings about this episode. In particular, the date rape subplot.
    About halfway through my freshman year of college, I made plans with my childhood best friend to hang out. She went to college about 1 hour away from me and she would drive us both back home for the weekend. We spent the night watching seasons 1 and 2 of Buffy until, about halfway through THIS EPISODE, it looked like she fell asleep. I shrugged it off, watched the rest of the DVD and went to sleep. The next morning, I woke up and realized I had missed something pretty big.
    You see, about 2 hours into our drive home, she broke down and told me how she had gone to a party and gotten so drunk that she went to lie down on a bed. A 'friend' came in and took advantage. He raped her. She told the university but, because he was on the football team, he received NO PUNISHMENT. (and my friend was not the only one this dickweed had assaulted) So she was changing schools to a college closer to home. To get away from him.
    It was hard to think about that happening to my friend, (it still is) so I had done my best to push it from my mind. Because of it, I missed a huge cue. This episode, THAT SCENE, played in front of me, my friend turned away and I didn't connect the dots. I realized it too late how similar it was to what had been done to her.
    So I didn't say anything that morning, or the drive back.
    And now I hate this episode because it reminds me of what was done to my friend and how I failed to be a good friend to her. This fucking episode. That fucking scene. Fuck.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      I'm so sorry.

      I hate this episode for many reasons, not the least being the way they kind of gloss over the date rape thing.

    • Binx says:

      You were not a bad friend to her for having fallen asleep anymore than she is responsible for the assault by going to lay down. These are things people do. The only person at fault here is Dickweed himself.

      So sorry for your friend. I can't believe the school. I mean, I can, because it's not like stories like that are anything new, bust still…ugh. Trust me, if I were in charge there, things would be run a little differently. People who protect rapists are no better than the rapists themselves (and that includes their defense attorneys and anyone else).

      • Michael says:

        I'm not sure I'd blame all of the attorneys–I mean, someone has to represent them, and I'm sure some people do it just out of that sense of duty to the system, or from genuinely not believing that the people they're defending are guilty–but I agree that it is far too easy for people to get away with it.

        In addition to this, I have a friend whose father is a defense attorney who has defended rapists. He has actually used the 'she was asking for it' defense. My friend hates the fact that that money is paying for his college.

        • Binx says:

          "He has actually used the 'she was asking for it defense'" – Yeah, those are exactly the types of lawyers I'm talking about. The ones who stand there and paint the victim out to be a whore and maintain that she somehow brought it on herself. I know someone who was raped and the defense actually pulled out the pair of shorts she was wearing that night as evidence that his client couldn't be blamed for his actions. Funnily enough, he didn't bother to point out that the shorts were her pajamas and she was wearing them inside her locked house – the one his client broke into to assault her.

          So THOSE are the types of attorneys I mean. Complete slime and in no way better than their clients.

          • Binx says:

            Oh, and sidenote, I meant to make it more obvious that those are how the lawyers treat the victims and basically call them (the "w" word) – not one I would personally use.

  45. lyvanna says:

    Totes agree.

    V znl or n yvggyr ovnfrq gubhtu, V ybir Ohssl.

  46. robin_comments says:

    Buffy and Cordelia should always hang out. Instant comedy. (Anyone else kind of shipping them during this rewatch? Just me? Okay then.)

    It's funny that they remind us of the huge age difference between Angel and Buffy in this episode, when they're BOTH acting like entertainingly melodramatic teenagers so far. He only thinks he's more mature.

    "When you kiss me I wanna die!" LOLOLOL Oh, Buffy. There's a good-natured enjoyment that I can take from these scenes now in my mid-30's that I didn't get back when watching them air as a teenager myself. I remember my first girlfriend at 17 and want to hug myself. All of the Angel and Buffy mood swings and arguments, how they don't know exactly what they want from each other or how to get it. How it's hormones and mixed signals, pushing each other away but then wanting them back — this is some of the most painfully accurate depiction of teenager trying to navigate their first relationship that I've seen on TV. Of *course* it's overblown and making a big deal about something as simple as coffee. It doesn't mean that Buffy is stupid and immature — she's just the right amount of mature for her age and what's going on with her life right now. Buffy has to deal with so many responsibilities (16 going on 40) but it doesn't magically make her infinitely wise or experienced.

    I can't really *root* for them in a serious romantic way, but I can find them sweet and want to see them go on some dates. I want Buffy to have her first love, with all of the yelling and sighing and swooning and frustration that comes with it. 🙂

    re: the special monster effects. I just take for granted that they will always be lolarious. Like when I watch Merlin, Doctor Who, and Primeval. I suspend my disbelief, because I know they didn't have the tech or the budget to make anything look real. And it's kind of cute-goofy anyway.

  47. Meltha says:

    It's interesting, the way the rape drug metaphor is used here, and the reactions to it. Yes, Cordelia and Buffy have done nothing "wrong," (although it's wise never to drink anything at any party unless you see the can it's poured from and have noted that there was absolutely nothing in the cup first… it happens a lot more often than people think), and I think that's why I actually I approved of how that was handled. Depicting something does not necessarily mean stating something is a good thing. Sometimes scenes are used to show that a) the bad thing does exist, and b) it is bad. I remember thinking that the stories of frat parties and the creepy stuff that went on there were created in large part to scare "nice" people off from those parties by well-meaning parents. Then in college, I met a very large number of young women who had been targeted exactly like this in college. Sticking a 16 year old in that kind of situation is just not going to end well. I'm glad they actually talked about it rather than not, even though it is ugly.

  48. Ella says:

    I thought I'd take a minute and discuss Buffy's "when you kiss me, it makes me want to die" line. On paper it's melodramatic as hell. But it's something that I actually really like because I don't think it's just about "oh wah my crush on you is so tragic and you are so moody and emotionally unavailable". This whole episode is about Buffy's attempt to make her own choices, primarily choices that allow her to distance herself every now and then from the whole killing demons gig. So when she says that kissing Angel makes her want to die, I believe it…because her thing for Angel is not only horribly conflicting for her because they're meant to be mortal enemies, but it also serves as a reminder that even her romantic life is tied up in her being the Slayer. She just can't get away from it. I like the way they're showing that.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      i unabashedly love that line.

    • echinodermata says:

      Ooh, I like this. I honestly am not even sure what that line means, but I like your interpretation.

    • todd says:

      Things making sense… 😀

    • stephanie says:

      for me, it's the most "twighlight-y" response she could possibly give… .when you kiss me it makes me want to die… at it's most literal – buffy would prefer to be (un)dead than the slayer in order to be with the man she loves… (only it's done WAY better than twighlight.) just my take on the line.

  49. Scottish Eddie says:

    Just came on the site and one of the ads at the side was pretty spoilery fghss sebz gur pbzvp obbx. Jryy V'z abg fher ubj fcbvyrel rknpgyl ohg univat fcvxr naq ohssl va vg xvaqn qbrf ehva gur erirny sbe NgF frnfba 5.

  50. hassibah says:

    Can I just intro with a general comment about the show, and my commentary on the show:
    V pna'g or obgurerq gb ebg13 hfhnyyl naq fb zl pbzzragnel vf erfgevpgrq gb gur svefg pbhcyr bs frnfbaf bs OGIF, ohg rirel gvzr V qvfphff pregnva geraqf be gurzrf va gur fubj V nyjnlf trg ebg13'q ercyvrf gryyvat zr ubj V nz jebat orpnhfr bs fghss gung unccraf yvxr 5 frnfbaf yngre naq THLF V XABJ GUNG UNCCRAF. V UNIR FRRA NYY GUR FUBJ GUEBHTU GB GUR RAQ, V NZ WHFG PUBBFVAT GB GNYX NOBHG JUNG UNF ORRA FRRA HCGB GUR RCVFBQR ORVAT ERIVRJRQ NAQ ABG ZHPU RYFR. V'z abg fher jul crbcyr nffhzr gung V nz abg njner bs gurfr guvatf ohg vs V jnfa'g gura V jbhyqa'g or noyr gb qrpelcg gubfr pbzzragf va gur svefg cynpr, whfg fnlvat.

    SO THIS EPISODE. I was expecting that I would have to defend the fact that I like it.

    Frats definitely exist where I live but I don't think they're quite as ubiquitous and huge as they seem to be in the USA. Like I don't think the vast majority of people here that end up in college would ever consider joining one but they know what they are and odds are you might know *someone* who was in one, but I have no idea what the fuck they do.
    I definitely went to school in the proximity of entitled rich kids,so I can relate to that and the stereotypical rich asshole who doesn't give a fuck if he's a dick because he'll do fine in life no matter how he acts, and then the nice guy whose name I can't remember who is very 'well bred' and knows how to be charming and polite and act like he's so above all the ruffians he's friends with and that he doesn't actually want to be hanging out with them(yet he still does! hmmm.) Anyways I thought this episode nailed Mr. polite to a tee, those types weird me out. Also unfortunately there is the issue that some people in their 20s (and older) do like to party with younger people because they think that they won't be able to handle their alcohol and they would like to take advantage of that. And some people use roofies too!

    Agreed about Angel though. There are plenty of reasons to not want to be involved with someone younger than yourself, but saying she doesn't know what she wants was way condescending of him.

    Also just sayin, I'm totally not above goofy looking monsters or dick jokes.

    Also I like how the first girl that was captured kept snarking on Cordelia. And I like that Buffy handled the whole thing herself despite the fact that the show thinks that I am supposed to care that Angel got angry about the idea of Buffy being in danger and putting his vamp face on for her, zzzzzzzzzzzzz
    And I like that Giles learns the lesson that if you push your kid too hard then you push them far away from you and the consequences of that are way worse than a little slacking(cause let's face it Giles is such a dad.) I also like that Buffy disobeying him saved Cordelia from being murdered, so I guess there's a lesson in there too? I dunno.

    UGH but this shit with Xander. I mean first his comments to Buffy are gross, OBVIOUSLY, but why the fuck do the writers of this show like this love triangle/jealousy subplot so much? It is bloody awful. Let it die already, kill it with fire.
    BUT I also hate the way Cordelia is written in this episode as a hella sexist golddigger stereotype but it's no surprise here that the same episode that throws sexist insults around like they're fine would do such a dry job with her character. I don't really care that it's tropes, something being a trope doesn't automatically make it meta or clever. Buffy's hair and makeup looked great despite Cordy saying otherwise.

    Finally: oh hay Paris' boyfriend from Gilmore Girls! Yes I watched that show, I enjoyed it and I love Danny Strong and you will all stop judging me immediately.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      EVERYBODY LOVES DANNY STRONG. As well they should.

    • arctic_hare says:

      And I like that Buffy handled the whole thing herself despite the fact that the show thinks that I am supposed to care that Angel got angry about the idea of Buffy being in danger and putting his vamp face on for her, zzzzzzzzzzzzz

      LOL yeah, I totally rolled my eyes at that and at Willow fawning over it (though it's understandable on her part). OH WOW, IT'S SO ROMANTIC THAT HE'S SO ANGRY AT HER BEING IN DANGER THAT HE VAMPED OUT. I MIGHT JUST FALL ASLEEP FROM ALL THIS EXCITEMENT.

      <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

      Yeah. xD

    • lyvanna says:

      Heh, the whole Angel conversation I find very strange from Angel's POV. When she says she wants to go out for coffee he says "I was afraid this would happen"… yeah Angel, when you kiss a girl, give her a necklace, a coat, hang out in her bedroom etc she might get the idea that you like her and want to IDK date her. Strange as it seems.

      And then comes the condescension. Hey, Angel, if Buffy is too young to understand what she wants and to make decisions (as you claim) then don't you think all the kissing/stalking is even more creepy?

      "if we date you and I both know one thing's gonna lead to another […] I'm just tryin' to protect you" Ohnoes, he's warning the poor little girl about sex, which is of course something that good innocent girls should find terrifying and want to avoid.

      • hassibah says:

        Yeah wtf Angel what exactly do you think making out with a girl would lead to? Scones? Maybe in the old country.
        I don't even try to understand his thought process though, I've just come to expect that the logics of vampire romance operate on a totally different plane from my own.

  51. hpfish13 says:

    Why would you ask for character development Mark? Anyone who's read Calvin & Hobbes knows that character growth only comes from bad things!

  52. t09yavosaur says:

    -Braiding Willow's Hair party!
    -Willow speaks Hindi? Is that language number 4 now? (I haven't actually been keeping count)
    -Impressive jump off the balcony there. No hesitation even.
    -I don't know why she is being chased by Monks but this girl has amazing escape skills.
    -Another actor face I recognize: Attractive Evil Monk –Guesses: Dan(Charmed)? But he looks too young.
    -SMG's puppy dog eyes = too much adorable.
    -Awww, Tom. You're probably an Evil Monk too.
    -You notice the tiny piece of metal in the grass but not the Angel shaped shadow behind you?
    -Dunno what you meant by that Buffy but it seemed kinda harsh.
    -I don't know what Cordelia thinks is wrong with Buffy's hair but Cordelia's bangs are a bit distracting.
    -I know people don't like Xander's over-protectiveness but I think if Buffy actually got into a lasting relationship with someone who has “proved their worth” so to speak (Angel is getting there) he would get over it a bit. NOTE: I still think Xander will dislike and verbally spar with said person but I am saying that I don't think he would intentionally sabotage Buffy's relationship if it was a real thing. Of course, unintentionally is another matter entirely.
    -Oh Giles.
    -Buffy has to go to the party or Cordy would end up dead.
    -Wow peer pressure and patronizing, this party is fun.
    -I feel like Xander needs some glasses to go with his outfit. Or maybe a hat.
    -Nice save Tom.
    -We seemed to have reached the part about why you always get your own drink and never leave it unattended.
    -Xander took that very gracefully I would say.
    -You tell them Willow!!
    -She has a great Mom voice.
    -Giles got to do some knocking out of his own this time!

    Still no Spike. What is he up to.

  53. todd says:

    This seems like as good a place as any to finally ask: Buffy's whole "When you kiss me I want to die" line – what is that? I hear comments about how "epic" and "iconic" it is, but every time I watch this episode I'm like, why would you want to die when you kiss Angel? Does he have bad breath? Does he slobber all over you? I Don't Get It. I've been puzzling over this scene since forever, please help.

    Also, favorite moment of the episode: "Cordelia?! …Did I sound a little jealous there, cause I'm not – Cordelia?"

    Bu Jvyybj. Lbh ner fb tnl, nera'g lbh.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I never managed to figure that line out either. It's completely bizarre to me. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      It's a terrible line. It always makes me think it was 4 am in the writers' room and the pages were overdue.

    • stephanie says:

      she's saying she wants to be (un)dead like angel so that they can be together forever… just not in a twighlighty kinda way 🙂

      • James says:

        Oh, I don't see it like that at all. I see it as her saying she'd rather not exist than have to deal with her conflicting emotions and having to navigate any hopes of romance (with anyone, it's just brought home more with Angel) around her Slayer duties. It might be out of character for Buffy to be so emo but it's far more out of character for her to want to a vampire, imo.

    • notemily says:

      I never knew what she meant by that line. Is it like, you want to die… OF HAPPINESS because his kisses are so awesome and nothing else can ever measure up? Or you want to die… OF ANGST because you love him so much and he's a vampire? I guess it's the second one, but that doesn't seem very in-character for Buffy.

      • etherealclarity says:

        I think maybe it's the second one and she was saying it partially to wound Angel since he was being kind of a jerk? But I don't know. I've never quite understood it either.

  54. threerings13 says:

    So, I really love commentary. I spend a lot of time sewing and commentary is the perfect thing to put on to sew to. And so I was excited to listen to the episodes of Buffy that have commentary (I learned early on when I was originally watching Buffy that the commentary was spoilery LIKE WOAH, so I've never listened to most of it. So yeah, never listen to any of the commentary until you've seen the whole series.)

    And so I listened to the commentary for this ep, even though I really dislike the episode. And let me save you some time right now: DON'T LISTEN TO THIS COMMENTARY by David Greenwalt. It is really bad, really boring, and really annoying. Especially since he seems to think this is a REALLY GREAT EPISODE and awesomely written and…it's just not.

    He talks about the Bollywood thing and says he used to watch Bollywood movies on Canadian TV and they were all WEIRD AND DIFFERENT. But unless this was a long time ago and bollywood movies used to be a lot different, his mockery of them doesn't even seem to be accurate.

    The other part that drove me up the wall was the line Buffy has when she says to Angel, "When you kiss me, I want to die." I think it's one of the worst lines in Buffy ever. Maybe it's accurate to a 16 year old's idea of what romance is, but GOD, how unhealthy. Seriously, if a relationship makes you feel like you want to die, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF IT. Moreover it seems so out of nowhere and out of character for Buffy. She's not exactly a suicidal kind of person. Why, after actually dying a few months ago, would she say ANYTHING like this.

    So anyway, what does Mr. Greenwalt have to say about this line? He says it's one of the best lines ever written for Buffy. And he's talking from a time after the fourth season (cause, spoilers!). So instead of this line making him wince, like it should any reasonable person/writer, he's really proud of it. WTF.

    • Mez says:

      Agreed. That commentary is dreadful.

      (The rest are really good – you should totally finish watching them.)

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      IMO, Greenwalt and Petrie both do some cringingly bad commentaries. Want a good commentary? Jane Espenson is your gal!

      • Mez says:

        I really enjoyed the one with Jane Espenson, Drew Goddard, Qnaal Fgebat, naq Gbz Yrax. It was extremely fun.

        (And I so wish the missing commentary from season 4 had made it onto dvds outside region 1. SO UNFAIR that we don't get that one.)

    • arctic_hare says:

      My brain is having trouble parsing Greenwalt's opinions on that line/the episode.

      • todd says:

        It's easy to parse if you consider he wrote and directed this episode. I've never really liked this one, mostly because it has that self-congratulatory feel to it. You know, when a writer writes a line/metaphor, and then writes another character giving kudos for that line/metaphor, and then you're like "please no more kthx"

        • arctic_hare says:

          I dunno, even knowing that doesn't make it any easier. I mean, okay, I SOMEWHAT get that, but at the same time, being a writer myself… you inevitably do so much stuff, particularly early on, that later makes you cringe/facepalm and go "WHAT WAS I THINKING?!" 😀 So it's incomprehensible from that angle, to some degree.

  55. Mez says:

    V erpxba Qnja pnzr vagb Ohssl'f ebbz nf fur jnf trggvat ernql sbe gur cnegl, naq fng nebhaq nfxvat cbvagrq "V pbhyq fb gryy Zbz ba lbh" glcr pbzzragf hagvy Ohssl tnir ure pubpbyngr…

    • RoseFyre says:

      Bu, fur qvq, bs pbhefr. Naq yngre Ohssl onaarq ure sebz sengf, cnegvrf, naq qevaxvat. Qnja ynhturq va ure snpr.

      • clodia_risa says:

        Lrf gb obgu. Qnja jbhyq unir orra flzcngurgvp (nf zhpu nf n yvggyr fvfgre pbhyq or) jura Ohssl fgnegrq enagvat nobhg ab bar gnxvat ure frevbhfyl be yrggvat ure qb jung fur jnagf gb qb. Ohg gura gnhagvat, orpnhfr fur’f n yvggyr fvfgre. Naq gura oevorel.

        Bu, Ohssl jbhyq gel gb ona Qnja sebz nyy bs gung, jbhyqa’g fur? Jura qbrf gung rire jbex?

  56. notemily says:

    When this episode's title came up on the Netflix, I was like "Oh god, THIS episode?" I literally said that. It's just boring to me and I'm like GET ON WITH THE PLOT ALREADY. That said, here are my observations:

    The trio is watching Bollywood and it's blowing their minds. That's pretty cute.

    Cordelia likes college boys, Xander slut-shames her, Cordelia insults him: *yawn*

    Giles and Buffy banter and he tries to trick her and she twists his arm up behind his back: Hee.

    Cordelia's fake laugh is so awful, it's hilarious.

    Buffy's shirt is also awful. Her boobs look all dark under the lace. This is why I usually wear beige bras.

    I don't for a second believe that a junior in college would hit on a girl who was a junior in high school AT HER HIGH SCHOOL. The college dude is pretty cute, though, even though I know he's probably evil.

    Angel can smell blood from that far? Once again I have to wonder why they never bring up menstruation on this show.

    Angel and Buffy have an ~intense talk~ about their relationship: Weird. "When you kiss me, I want to die"? Whence the emo attitude, Buffy?

    Hey, the frat boy initiate is Jesse from Burn Notice!

    The next day, Buffy is wearing a visibly WHITE bra under a white shirt. LOOK: BEIGE BRAS. BEIGE. The Gap has some nice ones!

    Xander freaks out about Buffy liking frat boys. Xander, shut up.

    Xander calls Cordelia a prostitute some more. Xander, shut up.

    Xander: Seriously, sneaking in the window? Or should I say "sneaking"? Also, for god's sake untuck your shirt. You practically have a neon sign over your head that reads "I'm a nerd." (Which is fine most of the time, but not when you're trying to blend in at a frat party.)

    Only bad things come from drinking alcohol on high-school TV shows, you guise.

    See? Now Buffy is drunk/roofied and Xander's in a huge bra. Why is this episode all about bras?

    Now some dude is bout to rape the unconscious Buffy! HALP! And then the cute guy rescues her, only to reveal that he is, in fact, evil.

    "Angel, how do you shave?" Okay, that was pretty hilarious.

    I love Willow's rant to Angel and Giles. Willow speaks truth!

    Blah, blah, mystical chanting. Blah blah, giant reptilian demon guy. Blah.

    "…and THAT's for the last sixteen and a half years!" Hee.

    "You guys… I just… hate you guys." LOL Cordelia.

    Another see-through shirt with a dark bra, Buffy? YOU'RE NOT LISTENING TO ME.

    I do kind of like the idea that some people are successful because they're secretly performing evil rituals in service of demons. That'd explain a lot about the economy right now.

    "I hear this place serves coffee." AWWWW. 😀

    And because everything relates to Eddie Izzard:

    [youtube NPqBV6LhuW8 youtube]

    • Partes says:

      "When this episode's title came up on the Netflix, I was like "Oh god, THIS episode?" I literally said that. It's just boring to me and I'm like GET ON WITH THE PLOT ALREADY."

      HAH. I did something similar. Back when I owned the VHS of this season I would always fast forward past this one.

      "You guys… I just… hate you guys." LOL Cordelia.

      Is it weird that I kind of adore Cordelia throughout this whole episode? She's so over the top and fun to watch that I just can't help grinning.

      Eddie Izzard link to Youtube. Oh lord. There goes my afternoon.

    • hassibah says:

      "Also, for god's sake untuck your shirt. You practically have a neon sign over your head that reads "I'm a nerd." (Which is fine most of the time, but not when you're trying to blend in at a frat party.) "

      I thought he might have been going for "I'm a prep"
      I'm really jealous of teenagers on tv that have these giant windows you can just open with no screen to stop anyone from climbing out of them. Would have made sneaking out so much easier.

    • misterbernie says:

      I do kind of like the idea that some people are successful because they're secretly performing evil rituals in service of demons. That'd explain a lot about the economy right now.

    • cait0716 says:

      I was also commenting on all of Buffy's bras while watching this episode with my mom. Her response? "Well, it makes me feel less bad when mine's visible" And it's true. I almost never care when my bra is showing, and that's probably because of Buffy. It was formative in ways I barely even realized

      The college guy hitting on the high school girl is the first hint that he's skeevy. Even if he seems nice, that's not something good guys do.

    • Scottish Eddie says:

      "Angel can smell blood from that far? Once again I have to wonder why they never bring up menstruation on this show. "
      They kinda have but it's not super obvious, in School Hard Xander is looking in Buffy's bag for a stake and finds a tampon. Later on Spike calls Buffy "a nice ripe girl". I think the two combined are an indication of the writers awareness. I'm not sure of any other references.
      Also I can't take credit for this, it was part of a review by MikeJer over at critically touched.

  57. theduck says:

    I'm sorry if I just posted a million comments, Intense Debate hates me 🙁 ANYWAY.

    I rewatched this episode the other day! Completely randomly, because the DVDs don't come with an episode list wtf.

    The opening scene of this episode is so cute, but it makes me kind of jealous because I've always wanted a friendship like that. The whole scene, with the hair-braiding and the closeness and everything, seems like the most amazing thing in the world to me, and seriously, WHERE ARE MY WILLOW AND XANDER? ;__;

    Also, Willow telling off Angel and Giles is one of my favorite moments in season 2. <3

  58. Ella says:

    WAIT JUST A MINUTE. I cannot believe this episode features what may be my favorite Giles moment ever and no one is commenting on it?? How is "will you be ready if a vampire is BEHIND YOU?" not getting more love? All of the swirly sword theatrics and his immediate reversion to stuffy Giles and throwing the sword off to the side? Marry me, Anthony Stewart Head.

    • Imo says:

      I just love that even mediocre episodes have sometimes the best character moments. Moments which define a character, just like this one you mention.
      I have a little sound file of Buffy saying "Hah! Or possible, haaa …" which I love, and it's randomly from yesterday's episode.
      That's why I love that Mark Watches is making me watch all the episodes, even maybe the slightly underwhelming ones which I would skip normally, because there are so many little gems of lines which I've not seen for years!

    • todd says:

      ooh, yes, that reminds me – gif request for that scene

  59. lyvanna says:

    Ok, after hating on this episode quite a bit in other comments, there is one thing that I love….

    Evpuneq vf gbgnyyl sberfunqbjvat sbe Natryhf! L/l? "bar bs gurz'f qvssrerag guna gur bguref. Avpre […] Ur'f gur bar gb jngpu bhg sbe."

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      Nice catch!

      • lyvanna says:

        Jvgu frnfba gjb V erzrzore guvaxvat jura V svefg jngpurq gung vg jnf arneyl nyy fgnaq-nybarf hagvy Fhecevfr, abj V jngpu vg naq lbh pna frr ubj (nyzbfg) rirel fgbelyvar yvaxf gb jung vf tbvat gb unccra jvgu Ohssl naq Natry. Gur fnzr guvat pbhagf sbe yngre frnfbaf nf jryy ohg va frnfba gjb vg'f n yvggyr zber haqrefgngrq.

    • lyvanna says:

      Be engure Gbz.

    • notemily says:

      V yvxr Natry'f fcrrpu nobhg "bar guvat yrnqvat gb nabgure," orpnhfr vg pbhyq raq jvgu "…naq gura V'q ybfr zl fbhy naq tb rivy naq xvyy rirelobql." Juvpu vf jung unccraf.

  60. Maribeth says:

    Yeah, I'm sure that most fraternities are good things and help their members do well in college, but if a writer wants to touch on nepotism and cronyism then a college fraternity is a GREAT place to do it! LOL
    And you are so right: it is perfect to have Willow be the one to set Giles & Angel straight, because the message should come from a female character, but also: check out Willow standing up and being counted! Willow was such a squashed cabbage in the first season and here she is yelling at authority figures!
    (I love Willow's story arc!).

  61. Hotaru_hime says:

    To be fair, Bollywood is hilarious. I love it but sometimes you just have to bury your face and go "what really what?"

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      True — on the 17 hour flight to Delhi, they alternate US movies with Bollywood. When you're already tired and cramped, there's only so much Bollywood you can take 🙂

    • 00guera00 says:

      I feel that way about telenovelas 🙂

  62. As far as the "monster of the week" goes it's kind of meh but it has some pretty good parts to it. The conversation between Buffy and Angel in the graveyard gets me everytime.

    Angel: This isn't some fairy tale. When I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after.
    Buffy: No. When you kiss me I want to die.

    Burn much?

  63. SueB says:

    Mark, I've got to disagree with you about one thing: Angel warning off Buffy.

    I realize he's hot. I realize they have chemistry.

    But she is 16 years old!!!! Seriously, a 16 year old girl with a serious case of cupid dust in her eyes. She's not thinking rationally. And you know what? I don't think she should be held accountable for thinking rationally. She gets to be 16 and all silly about love. it's her right. What fun is life if she doesn''t get to be starry-eyed about a boy?

    And I don't care that she's faced the Apocalypse. This show is about how she balances both her normal life and her slayer life. Being the slayer doesn't give her sudden wisdom on relationships. She has an innate sense of justice and sacrifice. But that doesn't mean she won't make relationship mistakes. Again, I think she's entitled to that.

    "When you kiss me I wanna die." That right there shows she is not thinking rationally IMO.

    I really wish they had made Angel a few years younger if they were going for this. I don't mean the 241 year old bit, I mean the 20+ bit. A 20 year old and a 16 year old have no business together. Yes, I'm a mom who has survived the teenage years of my kids. I certainly remember how idealistic I was at 16 and I've also witnessed my kids grow tremendously mature in the years AFTER 16. There is such a world of difference emotionally for a 16 year old and someone of Angel's age.

    So… I have no problem with him pointing this out. It would be more honorable if he just took a powder but he's pretty damn attracted to her so I don't see that. At least he has the decency to point out that the age difference is a real issue.

    For all the feminist talk here, what about a complaint that as an older man he's taking advantage of her? Because he IS older and has more world-experience, he has an air of authority (not formal, referential) and holds more power in the relationship? What would Joyce say if she knew her daughter was dating such an older man?

    Now this makes it sound like I'm all anti Buffy-Angel. I'm actually not. I officially cut him slack because he seems so socially awkward from time to time and because Buffy has experienced more of life than most 16 year olds. But I still think she demonstrates her completely-deserved-irrationality that she gets to have because she's only 16. That he points it out seems reasonable to me.

    NOTE: I realize the "When I kiss you I wanna die" is appealing to the target demographic of the WB (the network it aired on). It IS "Twighlight"-class drama. So, I'm overlooking it. But I don't think Angel was wrong for saying "this isn't a fairy tale".

    • robin_comments says:

      It IS quite an age gap, though it's hard for me to even consider what age he was when he died, since it's been over 200 years since. [Going to treat Angel's canon age as a spoiler because I don't think it's been definitely specified yet] Natry vf gjragl-fvk, hayrff V'z snvyvat ng zngu. Jr svaq bhg gung ur qvrq va friragrra uhaqerq svsgl guerr naq jnf obea va friragrra uhaqerq naq gjragl frira. (Gung gjb uhaqerq sbegl-bar ahzore vf qvfpbhagrq jura jr erprvir npghny qngrf sbe uvf ovegu/qrngu.)

      I know that does mean something to people, but for me… If Angel died at 15 or 50, I wouldn't find it any more or less strange that he's attracted to a teenager. He hasn't been 15 or 50 for a long time. But everyone's mileage will vary here.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      "NOTE: I realize the "When I kiss you I wanna die" is appealing to the target demographic of the WB (the network it aired on). It IS "Twighlight"-class drama. So, I'm overlooking it."

      Oh god, yes, that line is terrible.

      "But I don't think Angel was wrong for saying "this isn't a fairy tale". "

      He's still very condescending. And really, comparing Buffy to Sleeping Beauty? If Buffy sees their relationship as a fairy tale, I doubt it's that one. Buffy doesn't need a man to save her, she's the one saving others all the time.

    • I'm with you, SueB. 16 year old anythings don't know what they want. I'm a high school teacher, I see it every day.

    • Sosa says:

      I agree that the age gap is seriously disturbing. I'm still waiting for someone, other than Angel, to say how disturbing it is. Giles rarely seems to care about the children's romantic lives. Willow finds it so romantic. Xander disapproves mostly because he's in love with Buffy.

  64. TrampyMcBitca says:

    –I suppose I allowed myself to believe it was the most horrifying thing ever, and it ended up looking like a giant lizard –penis dude. Sorry, it did!

    Whfg jnvg hagvy ur trgf gb gur tvnag cravf qhqrggr!

  65. Binx says:

    Ba n cbfvgvir abgr, V oryvrir gur arkg rcvfbqr vf “Unyybjrra” naq… <3 vg. Ybgf b' sha.

    & jr'er trggvat pybfre naq pybfre gb gur erny zrng bs F2! Lnl!

    • echinodermata says:

      This is considered an expectation spoiler. Both lines. So I rot13'd it. (, if you're not familiar with its use.)

      • stephanie says:

        ohg, lrf! unyybjrra!!!! fb zhpu tbbqarff pbzvat bhe jnl!! naq gura yvr gb zr, naq gur qnex ntr.. (grq naq onq rttf pna fhpx vg nsgre jung'f zl yvar 1&2) bzt, znex'f urnq vf tbvat gb RKCYBQR!!!_

      • Binx says:

        That was definitely not the intention and thank you for rot-ing it if it is. I guess I just figured mentioning, "Url, V crefbanyyl yvxr guvf arkg bar naq abj jr'er ab ybatre va gur ortvaavat bs gur frnfba" didn't much count for anything.

    • theduck says:

      "Unyybjrra" vf bar bs zl snibevgr rcvfbqrf! (Fb sne, naljnl; V bayl whfg svavfurq frnfba guerr.) I'm really sad that I'm going to be at work all tomorrow night, I'll miss reading the review while it's still new 🙁

    • Ida says:

      LRF! Bu zl Tbq V ybir "Unyybjrra"! V'z ernyyl ybbxvat sbejneq gb Znex frrvat vg, jung jvgu gur uvagf gb Tvyrf cnfg naq nyy, naq Fcvxr'f njrfbzrarff naq Bm orvat nqbenoyr naq Pbeqryvn orvat, jryy, Pbeqryvn. Nyfb, vg vagebqhprf Rguna, naq V ernyyl ybir gung f.b.o.!

  66. Amara says:

    Favorite line= Cordy: You guys….I just, I hate you guys….

  67. buyn says:

    bzt, Rguna gbzbeebj. Rgunaaaaaa. NAQ YNEEL. Bar, Yneel'f tnl. Gjb, Yneel'f qrnq. Naq guerr, uvtu fpubby'f xvaqn bire. Naljnl.

    Rkpvgr sbe gbzbeebj.

  68. @Ivana2804 says:

    This is one of my least favorite episodes of season 2.. There are some good things about it, but the central metaphor is way too obvious (misogynistic fraternity worshiping a giant penis), Machida looks ridiculous, Cordelia is a bit too stupid in this episode (and she’s supposed to be bitchy but intelligent, I think?), the graveyard Buffy/Angel scene is over-dramatic and awkward; and the line “When you kiss me, I wanna die” is nonsensical and the worst line ever on the show, IMO. I can’t believe Greenwalt and Whedon thought it sounded great. Well, it probably does if you don’t care if words actually mean something rather than just sounds so cool and Goth-romancey.

    And, for people who have already watched the show, guvf znl or n ovg bs sberfunqbjvat: jr’er yrnq gb guvax gung juvyr Evpuneq vf n gbgny qvpx, Gbz vf n avpr thl… hagvy Gbz, gur nccneragyl avpr thl, nyfb gheaf bhg gb or rivy naq cebonoyl rira jbefr guna Evpuneq. Fbhaqf n ovg yvxr gur cybg bs frnfba 2?

    • echinodermata says:

      Sorry for the delay.

      Deleted the middle paragraph for being too wink wink nudge nudge about an upcoming thing; trying to keep that particular thing under wraps.

      Please don't use "bitchy' on this site.

  69. Shmaylor says:

    Ugh. This episode was just so frustrating for me. There were a lot of fun moments, but everything with the fraternity kind of made me want to vom. I guess I’m sheltered in terms of Greek Life.

    I just finished a year as president of my sorority. I’m dating a member of a fraternity. Some of my very best friends are my sorority sisters. But I also go to a school for nerds, our greek system tends to be a bit different. It’s filled with people who want to get involved on campus, and doesn’t have the same racist/classist/sexist issues found in other places. And it just makes me unhappy to remember that most places arent’t life that.

    I’m an engineer, one of the things I was most excited to work on this year was titanium friction welds. I love to read, I love Doctor Who. My boyfriend and I are watching Battlestar together (almost done with S1!). And these are things that I can share with my sisters without judgement. One of my sisters (an electrical engineer) made a homemade sonic screwdriver with light and sound. It makes me really sad that on other campuses these things would make someone “too nerdy” to be in greek life. Not to mention the expectations placed on looks.

    I just really wish that everyone could have the same great experience I’ve had, free of hazing, sexism, and any other bullshit that gives greek life a bad name.

    Also, Willow’s outburst was totally the best thing ever.

    • arrowgirl says:

      (I know I'm kind of late on commenting, but I just had to put in my two cents for this one)
      My experience was pretty similar. I went to a small engineering school where greek life was more of an afterthought.
      I joined a sorority to actually see women on a day-to-day basis, and I ended up in an organization committed to service, and with several of the most loyal friends anyone could ask for. I was showered in gifts, never hazed. When I had trouble with my gpa, the vice president in charge of scholarship met with me once a week to work on things and just talk. In one semester, I went from a 1.93 to a 3.57. In three semesters of school, I did almost 100 hours of community service, and my sisters were doing just as much. I was never pressured into partying–in fact, I've never been inside a fraternity house (I'm a junior).
      The sad part to me is that not everyone experiences greek life the way I did. In my opinion, hazing has zero place in a brotherhood or a sisterhood. Unfortunately, there are still chapters that haze, exclude, and degrade others. Until these chapters stop, I'm afraid that the Greek community has a slim chance of doing away with the stereotypes.

  70. Tx_Cronopio says:

    Wow. Yeah, that was really different than Greek life at the large state university that I attended. But it sounds like it was very good for you. And thanks for sharing — I think it's always good to have one's stereotypes challenged!

  71. feminerdist says:

    You know, the whole Xander thing… damn I had no idea he was so polarizing.

    But from where I stand, only caught up to THIS episode, his whole over-protective thing with Buffy is just starting to seem like lazy writing. It's like the writers just need dialogue or plot fodder so they make Xander say some shit here and there. So it's not that I hate him (though I STILL can't seem to get past the fact that he has a receding hairline and is sooooo NOT a high school boy. I try to move on and just tell myself "Tom Welling"). But… I don't love Xander either. I'm still gonna give him a bit more time before I come to a full judgement.

    And as far as Reptile Boy waiting to reveal the villain at the end, I figured the reason for this was simple: budget.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      Oh, yeah. So many things that people fight about, wondering about the subtext? Just budget 🙂

  72. Saphling says:

    All I really remember from this episode is that Cordelia's fake laugh reminded me of Azula's fake laugh. >____>

  73. Ashes says:

    Like you there are a few moments i like, Willow's speach, Cordelia, Angel finally asking Buffy out at the end, but the rest didn't really appeal to me that much.

  74. Kari18212 says:

    yeah… this episode happened. I ended up just half listening to most of it to be honest. But Cordelia was comedy gold, and I kind of loved her reaction to being chained up, probably because I would definitely be making completely unhelpful whining noises (plus sobbing and screaming) in that situation lol.

    Willow's speech was made of win obviously, and I really enjoyed Buffy's "hello, she's standing right here. And she's not available." Way to call out the annoying boys acting like they can make your plans for you 🙂

    But more importantly, the Giles Knock-Out Count went up to 6.5 in Inca Mummy Girl (figured I would just leave the comment on this episode). For some reason I was really thinking he got knocked out in this one too, but I guess not. Maybe tomorrow though lol.

  75. The_Consultant says:

    I know I'm late to the party becuse of stupid time zones and the need to sleep but I just wanted to add that I love this episode.

    Is it wrong that I love this episode? I think it's because I'm a die hard Buffy/Angel shipper and they are just so cute and arguey and angsty. I love the final scene. It always makes me squee. I also love Cordelia. She is so fantastic.


    • Binx says:

      To be fair, roofies can be put in ANY drink – not just alcohol. Ladies/anyone, also watch your pop, water (does it have a taste that would be noticeable in water?), and anything else.

      • The_Consultant says:

        Very true. You should always watch your drink.

        I just love how this show has a strong theme of 'Actions have Consequences'. It's a recurring theme I've noticed more on this re-watch. This is one of the more obvious examples of it.

  76. Sosa says:

    UGH but this shit with Xander. I mean first his comments to Buffy are gross, OBVIOUSLY, but why the fuck do the writers of this show like this love triangle/jealousy subplot so much? It is bloody awful. Let it die already, kill it with fire.

    I think it's realistic that he doesn't get over her so quickly. He still has feelings for her. Watching her with other guys still make him jealous. I like that. It's how humans work IMO. The difference between him and Willow is that Willow handles her hurt feelings more maturely while he can't help how he feels. He can't keep it to himself, the way Willow does, he needs to lashout. I still think it's a trait he took from home. Xander's homelife already appears to be unstable.

  77. thehaikubandit says:

    Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but have you seen the movie? I saw it first so i was less confused about the back story. It doesn't exactly match up, but I like it, and it's funny.

  78. StatSig says:

    Can i just say how much I appreciate the critical lens you turn toward Xander? I'm watching through the series front-to-back for the first time (after some dabbling in later seasons based on friends' recommendations) and I just… Xander makes me uncomfortable. I've been running about a half-season ahead of you, and I always just got this "Ugh not again" feeling when he was on screen sometimes, but I had a hard time really putting my finger on it until you bluntly pointed out his possessive, misogynistic Nice Guy behaviors. I knew something was WRONG but couldn't quite put it into words until reading your reviews on the show.

  79. Seventh_Star says:

    i can see why someone wouldn't like it. if i was watching this show for the first time it might bother me, but i do think buffy believes it, and means it, when she says it.

  80. enchantedsleeper says:

    Willow's outburst was so epic that I just had to rewind and replay it straight away XD I LOVE HER. I especially love that while she often has a hard time speaking up about stuff, this time she found exactly the right words at exactly the right time, and she TOLD THEM. Because when Willow stands up for her best friends, Willow stands up for her best friends. <3 And to a teacher and a massively strong, scary vampire as well. xD "I mean, you’re gonna live forever! You don’t have time for a cup of coffee?!?" is like the most perfect response ever to all of Angel's crap. I mean really. IT'S JUST COFFEE.

    Can I also say that I loved the bit when Xander bumps into them and they're planning how to break into the frat house and Angel says something like "They've got Buffy" and he turns around and has his VAMP FACE ON oh yeah badass. xD That's when you know this is srs bsns.

  81. ladysugarquill says:

    Hmm, it's interesting how you view this in terms of male/female. I saw it as young/old. I mean, I see the important thing isn't men telling a woman she doesn't know what's good for her, but two adults telling a teenager that.

    (And being wrong, of course)

    Maybe it's because I've been in the receiving end of the latter, and never of the former.

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