Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E06 – Halloween

In the sixth episode of the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, WELL THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday of the year, and I generally spend the entire month of October being as ridiculous as possible. I’ll go to haunted houses. I watch terrible horror movies to get in the mood. (I mean, I do that year-round, but I have marathons in October.) I don’t always dress up because I tend to want to have super over-the-top costumes, and some years, I’ve not had the time. I love ghost hunting. I love telling ghost stories. I love anything that makes me creeped out even if I don’t really believe in any of it. I LOVE HALLOWEEN.

I initially believed that “Halloween” was going to be the show’s first attempt at black humor. And while there are a lot of truly funny lines in this episode, I was pleasantly surprised at how serious it was. That being said, “Halloween” is an exercise in absurdity. While the plot with Spike is played pretty straight, it’s an unexpected addition. Instead, the writers take great joy in going right for the weird by having Halloween costumes that turn people into whatever they’re wearing. It’s one of those ideas that, stripped of context, I wouldn’t believe. In fact, if I’d read the synopsis beforehand, I might not have even wanted to see this episode.

However, it’s the way so many different ideas are woven through the story that helps make this work. If you’ll allow me, I’m going to split them up to discuss the various themes in “Halloween.”


Well, he’s not really, but I actually found his problems with his own masculinity (or, actually, how it was perceived by others) to not be as annoying as it could have been. He is irritating to Buffy because he chooses to care about his reputation over showing gratitude towards her, so I don’t want to ignore that. But what I enjoyed about his story over the course of “Halloween” was that the writers explored the reason Xander felt this way. I can deal with characters behaving terribly if the text actually acknowledges the shitty actions, and I love it even more when we’re given context. For Xander, he’s obsessed with his reputation because the world he lives in values hyper-masculinity.

Well, let’s not kid ourselves. It’s not like this is a fictional society. Xander’s fear is one I know extremely well, and as someone who grew up as a slightly feminine gay man, my masculinity issues were raging. Even if I framed it in terms of reputation, as Xander does here, the real truth is that to me, I thought the world I lived in viewed me as less than a man. It didn’t help that my home life and school life both supported, upheld, and celebrated the most rigid of gender roles, which meant that I was bullied and picked on for every moment I unintentionally broke the role I was supposed to play.

While it’s a conscious thing more than not these days, it wasn’t a conscious decision to act feminine, to want to write poetry and horror novels, to prefer documentaries over football, to be a pacifist instead of violent and aggressive like so many of my peers. Add on top of that the fact that my behavior led most people to believe I was gay and you’ve got a wonderful environment that tried to teach me that I wasn’t a man.

I suppose it’s only fair to admit that I still struggle with bits and pieces of it, and I’m happy to face this issue despite that it can be so uncomfortable to me. So while I totally get why Xander is annoying here, from my perspective, I also get why he’s so unbelievably upset. I’m not excusing his actions; I’m just saying I understand them. It’s interesting then, that Xander is eventually made into a soldier when Ethan’s spell takes effect. It’s pretty much universally recognized as a “manly” thing, and it allows him to act out his frustrations with how Larry and others treat him. The thing is, by the end of it, acting that way doesn’t make him a better person, or a better man, and I like the idea that he’s just who he is. With that, he accepts Buffy for who she is, and that’s definitely not someone who’s trying to emasculate him.


Well, that’s what she wants to be. It’s Xander’s story, but told from Buffy’s perspective, and I DEEPLY ADORE THAT THIS EPISODE DOES THIS. After feeling inadequate at her first real “date” with Angel, Buffy believes it’s because she is not feminine enough. Her conflict throughout “Halloween” revolves around the idea that she mistakenly conflates femininity with attractiveness, that only girls who act their gender role get any of the attention. Of course, she uses Cordelia Chase as her comparison, and it’s unfortunate that it takes Buffy so long to see what a mistake this is. Cordelia is a very feminine girl, but Buffy perceives that this is what Angel really wants, when it’s far from the truth.

But that’s the trickiness with gender roles in the United States: they blur and distort our perception so badly that we completely misread situations. We fear the rejection that comes from people believing we aren’t “true” men and women. (And let’s not kid ourselves: trans* folk, and anyone with a non-typical gender, especially one out of the binary, face this so much more disproportionally than those of us who are cisgender.) The show doesn’t go that far, though, so I want to make it clear that I’m just reading a lot into this. Buffy does not have the “typical” girl experience in high school since she’s the Slayer, and “Halloween” is her chance to explore being more girly. Thankfully, the episode doesn’t come out to say that being feminine is bad; instead, it’s an attempt to show Xander and Buffy that they can be whatever guy or girl they want to be, and that worrying about gender perception can be a stressful, frustrating thing.


I think Willow’s story is just as important as Xander’s and Buffy’s. She, too, is concerned about perception. As Buffy tried to explain the “purpose” of Halloween to her, I was seriously grimacing, waiting for the inevitable, “IT’S THE DAY YOU CAN DRESS LIKE A SLUT!” moment.

And it never came! I mean….holy shit, that never happens. [Author’s Note: Echinodermata kindly pointed out that Buffy sort of says this when she’s says, “It’s the perfect chance for a girl…” OH WELL I TRIED.] Not only that, but Buffy chose to tell Willow that Halloween was a chance for her to explore another facet of herself. It didn’t have to be serious, and it didn’t have to represent the “real” her, but it could be something she was curious about. When it comes down to it, there’s nothing wrong with dressing in revealing clothing, and the writers provided an outlet for Willow to experiment with it, and that’s kind of awesome.

OMG Oz, just talk to Willow, please.


So I laughed really hard at this:

“What’s her name?”

“I don’t know, it doesn’t say.”




I like that this episode seemed like a mythology story at first, then it changed to a monster-of-the-week, then it was both at the same time. Brilliant. Also, clearly Spike has no qualms about using children, either.


God, I love that she’s around all the time and that she plays such a large part in so many of these episodes. I am eagerly awaiting the next bit of character development from her, as she’s sort of treading the same ground in each episode. She’s certainly more complex than she was in season one, but it’s like the writers won’t let her go beyond being the self-centered “friend.” I WANT MORE.


I am pretty much ready to accept that Sunnydale as a whole can detach themselves collectively from reality, refusing to acknowledge the weirdness that’s going on in their town. Still, it was really awesome to see that the spell Ethan set affected more than just the main gang. That first scene where everyone on the street just goes off is so fantastic.



oh god ETHAN WATCHES THE PRISONER DOESN’T HE. “Be seeing you.” seriously what is going on and what is Giles and what did this episode just do to me. YOU BETTER NOT RUIN MY GOLDEN VIEW OF GILES I JUST LOVE HIM SO MUCH OKAY.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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548 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S02E06 – Halloween

  1. enigmaticagentscully says:


    1) Wasn’t this the plot of a Fairly Odd Parents episode? Ok, that aside, this was a FABULOUS premise, and carried out with aplomb. Every character was just fantastic in it. As soon as I figured out what was going on I fairly shrieked for joy.

    2) Oz and Willow constantly almost bumping into each other is adorbs. I’m actually kind of shipping them? Despite the fact that I don’t know anything about Oz and that they haven’t actually even spoken to each other yet.

    3) Even more adorable? Buffy telling Giles that Miss Calendar said he was a ‘babe’. And him totally buying it.

    4) LOVE Buffy’s outfit. Love Buffy in this episode, period. SMG continues to amaze me with her acting, especially comic timing. Plus, the scenes with her and Angel were really quite sweet.

    5) Halloween in America looks such fun! I mean before the curse and all. I wish we did all this cool stuff in England, I’ve never even been trick-or-treating. 

    6) When Willow appeared through the wall and scared Giles I actually had to pause the episode because I was laughing so hard. Seriously, a lot of this episode was hilarious, but for some reason that scene had me in FITS. Also, wasn’t Willow awesome in this episode? I like the idea of her dressing a bit differently being tied into her acting differently too – she was much more confident than usual and took charge in the most brilliant way.

    7) Xander was also great in this ep. See? I can actually like him when he’s given better stuff to do! And when his…character is completely changed. Oops.

    8) LOL everyone in England knows each other apparently. But HOLY GILES BACKSTORY BATMAN. Oh my GOD I so need to hear more about this!!! How did that guy know him? What is with his ~dark and secret~ past?? Why was he called ‘Ripper’???? Most importantly WHY DO I FIND HIM BEATING UP THAT OTHER GUY REALLY REALLY HOT WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEE??
    I am totally counting this as a win for my ‘we will find out more about someone’s past’ prediction. MOAR PLEASE.

    This was seriously my favourite episode so far. Actually…with the possible exception of the season one finale. OK, scratch that, it’s my SECOND favourite episode so far. But it was so good. SO GOOD.

    • Saphling says:



      • tanbarkie says:

        Let's face it, it's Giles and another rather oddly handsome (if incredibly slimy) man engaging in brutal fisticuffs. Even as a straight male, I was kind of turned on.

      • usrbs says:

        I'm a longtime reader de-lurking here a day late, but I have to respond to this.

        I am actually very disturbed by BTVS's take on torture, at least going by the episodes so far. The message seems to be that it's justified if it's being done to bad people and also that it works. Oh, and it's sexy and it turns you into a BAMF. (This seems to be the unofficial United States policy as well, and I can't help but think that it's connected or even caused by our popular culture.) But don't others besides me find that message is abhorrent? Especially in this site?

        It's important to add that in real life torture isn't considered a good method for getting credible information – its real purpose is to terrorize and dehumanize the "others".

        I'm sorry to be such a party-pooper, but in my case, at least, I can't join the GOOD COMPANY.

        • tanbarkie says:

          I don't quite see it that way. For one thing, these episodes were filmed before 9/11 and Abu Ghraib, and as much as we usually like to talk in ethical absolutes, television portrayal of torture is one of those areas where historical context does matter. That's because most TV analyses of torture after 9/11 explored the subject from the angle of "does torture work?" (as on BSG) while most shows dealing with torture before 9/11 approached it more from the angle of "what kind of person tortures another?"

          Buffy is definitively of the latter persuasion, and Giles' use of torture on Ethan is intended to show that Giles as a person is far more ruthless and dangerous (not to mention physically imposing) than we had ever imagined. It's a commentary on the character, not the practice. Because at the time, torture committed by a television "hero" was not merely frowned upon – it was unheard of. Television writers just didn't DO that. So Joss is using that audience expectation to make a very sharp and sudden point about who Giles is and what might be lurking in his personal history. He's not attempting to comment on the efficacy of torture as a means for obtaining reliable information.

          (Which isn't to say that the efficacy of torture as a means for obtaining reliable information wasn't a pertinent issue at the time – of course it was, and it always has been. It just wasn't on the radar of American television producers, because it was the late 90s and Americans hadn't been actively involved in a notable military conflict that raised such morally murky issues for the Average American on the Street in decades.)

          • tanbarkie says:

            P.S. This, by the way, is why I think posters here are commenting on the sudden hotness of Scary!Giles – not because we're turned on by torture or his morally inexcusable treatment of Ethan Rayne, but because we have just learned that fuddy-duddy librarian Giles is actually a dangerous dude… and let's face it, dangerous dudes are often hot. Just look at Spike.

            • Dru says:

              ……also because it's THE perfect example of "it's the quiet ones you need to watch out for."

            • usrbs says:

              I understand what you're saying, but this just isn't Giles. I forget which episode it was, but previously we saw Buffy forcing a crucifix down the throat of a vampire to get information. And of course, it worked for her then too. In both cases this is presented as "cool" – there's no repugnance shown by others or remorse shown by Buffy and / or Giles.

              Which leads me to another point – violence and brutality usually come with a soul price, ad almost inevitably bleeds into other areas of your life. I'm only a little bit ahead of Mark, so I don't know if this ever gets acknowledged in the series, but I hope so.

              I don't watch enough mainstream television to know how much of this is going on and since when, so if you say Joss was the first, I believe you, but since then there seems to have been more – isn't 24 supposed to be full of torture?

              Also, violence is different from torture. I see the attractiveness of a person who's "dangerous", and would have no trouble with that, but Gile's allure to me as an extremely decent man with a moral center was erased by this.

              I am coming across as a fuddy-duddy librarian myself, so I'd better admit that I find Spike very hot indeed.

              • tanbarkie says:

                I wouldn't go as far as to claim that Joss was the absolute first, but it was certainly highly unusual, precisely because it wasn't even treated as a question by most shows – torture (as a plot/ character development device) was an automatic "signifier of evil" the way genocide is. For a show to, in 1998, show an ostensible good guy engaging in torture was to send a very specific message to the audience: this "good guy" isn't as good as you thought.

                I don't remember the precise instance you mention about Buffy torturing the vampire, but I would disagree with the notion that just because no character overtly says "Hey, that's not cool," that means that the show is presenting the torture as "cool." Giles beating up on Ethan, for example, is played as something of a deserved comeuppance for Ethan, I'll admit – but again, it's also absolutely making the point that Giles is doing something that is deeply unsettling, even if it's to a character we know is responsible for the badness currently ensuing. "Halloween" doesn't hide that aspect of Giles's actions, even if nobody overtly comments negatively on them (for one thing, nobody knows about it other than Giles and Ethan).

                Naq lbh'yy pregnvayl frr va yngre rcvfbqrf (vapyhqvat bar pbzvat irel fbba) gung Tvyrf'f "Evccre" crefban vf ABG fbzrguvat gur fubj cbegenlf nf "pbby" be "zbenyyl npprcgnoyr."

                With regards to 24: notably, 24 premiered in November 2001. (And I've never seen it personally, but my impression from speaking with fans of the show is that the torture fetishization doesn't really begin in earnest until a few seasons into the show – i.e. after the ramifications of 9/11 had had some time to sink in.)

    • arctic_hare says:


      • enigmaticagentscully says:


        omg I should not find physical violence sexually attractive help

        • nanceoir says:

          Just tell yourself it's because he was all intense and steely-gaze-y and stuff; I find that helps (and, for me, gets closer to the truth than that he's beating someone up).

          Also, (light spoilers for B5) abj gung V'ir frra obgu fubjf frireny gvzrf, vs V pybfr zl rlrf jura Rguna gnyxf, V frr uvz nf n Zvaonev; vg'f xvaq bs nzhfvat. Gubhtu, n uhzna Jngpure orngvat hc n Zvaonev'f abg tbvat gb uryc gur Nyyvnapr be nalguvat. 😀

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            Jnvgggg…jnf ur va Onolyba 5? BU ZL TBQ vf ur gung Terl Pbhapvy qhqr?? UR GBGNYYL VF.

            *zvaq oybja*

          • arctic_hare says:

            It's a combination of WHOA GILES IS SUDDENLY BEING BADASS and, uh… based solely on their exchanges and the fact that Ethan keeps looking him up and down, I totally slash them as bitter ex-lovers. xD

            Cyhf VVEP fbzrobql yngre – V guvax vg jnf Rfcrafba – fnvq gung fur qvq jevgr gurz nf univat unq gung xvaq bs eryngvbafuvc. FB V JNFA'G WHFG ERNQVAT GBB ZHPU VAGB VG. V qba'g abeznyyl pner nobhg nhgubevny vagrag, ohg gung jnf n ernyyl avpr rkprcgvba.

            • robin_comments says:

              "I totally slash them as bitter ex-lovers."
              YBY lbh naq rirelbar va snaqbz (ng yrnfg qhevat gur lrnef jura gur fubj jnf nvevat, V pna'g fcrnx sbe abj). V nyjnlf gubhtug gung jnf vagrerfgvat – ubj bire gur lrnef V jbhyq ernq nyy xvaqf bs snasvpgvba sebz nyy xvaqf bs crbcyr, trareny npgvba svpgvba, ohssl/natry snasvpgvba, natry/knaqre snasvpgvba, ohssl/fcvxr snasvpgvba, ohssl/snvgu snasvpgvba… vg qvqa'g znggre! Znlor 65% bs gur gvzr vg jnf gnxra sbe tenagrq gung Tvyrf naq Rguna jrer rk-ybiref. Rira va snasvpgvba gung unq unq ab bgure zragvbaf bs ubzbfrkhnyvgl. Crbcyr jrer whfg yvxr: GUVF VF NPPRCGRQ SNABA NOBHG TVYRF. SNPG.

            • Genny_ says:

              Nterrq ba gur vagrag sebag. V qba'g trarenyyl pner, ohg vg'f fb avpr gb or erzvaqrq gung vg'f abg nyjnlf tenfcvat ng fgenjf. Ba gur bgure unaq, jvfu gurl'q orra noyr gb npghnyyl chg vg va gur fubj.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      "Wasn’t this the plot of a Fairly Odd Parents episode? "

      I think it was but this episode aired long before that episode

    • Maya says:


    • DreamRose311 says:

      6 – watching this episode has often resulted in a few minutes of looping this moment, and also the moment "Hey Cordelia… Geez you're like a great big cat".

    • Karen says:

      What is with his ~dark and secret~ past?? Why was he called ‘Ripper’????

      (SPOILERS FOR THE VAMPIRE DIARIES AS WELL AS BUFFY) Nsgre jngpuvat Gur Inzcver Qvnevrf, guvf vf ernyyl shaal. V zrna, yngre ba va gur fubj jr yrnea gung Tvyrf jnf trggvat uvtu ba qrzbaf naq jung abg, ohg JUNG VS JURA UR JNF N EVCCRE UR JNF N EVCCRE VA GUR FGRSNA FRAFR BS GUR JBEQ? Orpnhfr Fgrsna'f irefvba bs univat n qnex cnfg naq orvat n Evccre vapyhqrf tbvat ba n xvyyvat fcerr.

      • James says:


      • todd says:

        I kind of love you. Fandoms mixing is insta-win. I mean, aside from the obvious comparisons of Stephen and Angel with their sky high hair…

      • Shiyra says:

        V guvax gurer zvtug or fbzrguvat gb gung, ur qbrf fhssbpngr jung'f uvf snpr…Ora… ng gur raq bs frnfba svir naq ab bar svaqf bhg nobhg vg naq ur qbrfa'g rknpgyl npg yvxr vg'f gur svefg gvzr ur'f qbar gung.

      • tanbarkie says:

        This picture needs to be in every post where Oz is mentioned. Whether he appears in the episode or not.


        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          I think Willow is more likely to go as Twilight Sparkle tbh.


          • tanbarkie says:

            Fair point.

            …must… resist urge… to match… up… all Buffy… characters… with FiM counterparts… now……..

            • enigmaticagentscully says:

              Xander is totally Spike.

              OH GOD STOP IT QUICK.

              • hpfish13 says:

                Whereas Spike is totally Rainbow Dash

                • tanbarkie says:

                  Spike seems more like a Gilda.

                • James says:

                  I'd say Snvgu is Rainbow Dash. Giles is Owlowiscious.

                  • hpfish13 says:

                    Oh this is perfect!!!!

                    Also I would say if anyone is Pinkie Pie, it's Naln

                    • tanbarkie says:

                      Anu – Naln qbrfa'g yvxr bgure crbcyr rabhtu. V guvax Cvaxvr'f pybfrfg nanybthr va gur Ohsslirefr jbhyq or Ybear.

                      Gung orvat fnvq, gurer vfa'g ernyyl nalbar va gur Ohsslirefr jub pbzovarf Cvaxvr Cvr'f wblshyarff jvgu ure novyvgl gb oernx gur havirefr.

                  • tanbarkie says:

                    Fvk ol fvk.

                    (20% pbbyre, frr?)

                    • hpfish13 says:

                      V gubhtug bs nabgure bar Natryhf/Natry pbhyq gbgnyyl or Avtug Zner Zbba/Cevaprff Yhan.

                    • James says:

                      V gubhtug Nalnaxn/Naln sbe Avtugzner Zbba/Yhan, npghnyyl.

                      Also how about Ethan as Discord?

                    • tanbarkie says:

                      Hrmmm. Discord isn't nearly cowardly enough, I think. Plus Ethan doesn't have that kind of universe-breaking imagination.

                      Ubarfgyl, V pbhyq frr Natryhf nf Qvfpbeq. Vs zbfgyl va gurve rawblzrag bs gjvfgvat crbcyr vagb rzbgvbany cergmryf, engure guna funerq cbjref be tbnyf.

                    • ladililn says:

                      Lrf! V frr gur Znfgre nf Avtugzner Zbba (unzzvat vg hc, lbhe onfvp rivy ivyynva jvgu onfvp rivy checbfr), naq Natryhf nf Qvfpbeq. Juvpu zrnaf arkg frnfba bs ZYC…gur ZNLBE JVYY GHEA RIVY! :C

                  • enigmaticagentscully says:

                    Giles as Owlowiscious is PERFECT.

                    • Shay_Guy says:

                      As who?

                      /has seen all episodes but today's

                    • tanbarkie says:

                      rot13ing based on post above indicating that Mark is planning to watch FiM (and HUGE APOLOGIES to Mark for semi-spoilering the shit out of this page):

                      Bjybjvfpvbhf = Gjvyvtug Fcnexyr'f bjy crg, svefg frra va "Bjy'f Jryy Gung Raqf Jryy" nf n frrzvat eviny gb Fcvxr sbe gur cbfvgvba bs Gjvyvtug'f ahzore bar nffvfgnag.

                    • Shay_Guy says:

                      V xabj, ohg V svtherq whfg fnlvat "Jub?" jbhyq'ir orra gbb boivbhf. Be ng yrnfg gbb rnfl gb vagrecerg nf orvat WHFG n dhbgr naq abg n wbxvat dhrfgvba. Gur ynggre abgr jnf zrnag gb vzcyl "…vapyhqvat Bjy'f Jryy Gung Raqf Jryy," jvgubhg orvat gbb oyngnagyl "GUVF VF N WBXR LRF V XABJ JUB UR VF." (Ab, abg "ZC sbe Cbalivyyr Abegu.")

                      Shaavyl rabhtu, ZNEX zvffrq vg ng svefg gur gvzr V qvq gung wbxr sbe Znr Juvgzna.

                • Dru says:

                  Guys isn't Mark planning to watch My Little Pony?

                  And doesn't giving away pony names /likening them to Buffy characters count as spoilers, even if it's not the plottiest show around?

                  • enchantedsleeper says:

                    Is he? WIN.

                  • Shay_Guy says:

                    WHAT? /checks

                    Wow, that wasn't on there the last time I looked at that page. Hmm…

                    …Who talked him into Code Geass?

                    Jryy, V thrff "pbafvfgragyl ragregnvavat hggre genvajerpx" vf n arj bar sbe guvf oybt?

              • tanbarkie says:

                Hah, took me a second to figure out what you meant. There are too many fictional characters named "Spike."

            • @sab39 says:

              Cordelia = Rarity is a nobrainer.
              Qnja is one of the cutie mark crusaders…

          • Dru says:

            If anyone is Twilight Sparkle on this show, it's Tvyrf.

            Think about it – gurl obgu yvir va n yvoenel (jryy, nf tbbq nf) naq qba'g haqrefgnaq gur cbvag bs univat sevraqf ng svefg, naq sernx bhg bire cebcurpvrf. It's perfect, right?

    • Dru says:


      I think it's exactly the fact that it is tweedy, shut-up-and-eat-a-scone-please GILES (!!!!!!!!!!!) who went postal that has my collar on fire here. Ripper, indeed 😀

    • Gwen says:


      This is absolutely the correct response to badass!Giles.

      In fact, I am reasonably sure that this is indeed Ethan's response.

    • settlingforhistory says:


      What ever it is, I seem to have caught it, too. 😉
      I don't really know what it is but "Ripper" gives me goosebumps.
      ASH is such a perfect actor; all the time we see him as the quiet, bookish librarian and
      with just the right mimics he turns into a complete different, admittedly hot, guy.

    • rabbitape says:

      enigmaticagentscully, have you seriously never been trick or treating??? Get your ass on an airplane and come over next October for some seriously fun times. I MEAN IT.

      • Partes says:

        I'd never done it until I came over to the States this year, and some friends convinced me to come, and I thought they were joking until we actually got to houses. I still find it weird that people weren't freaked out by college students knocking on doors asking for candy, but man was it fun.

        Parties afterwards were amazing, too. So many awesome costumed people everywhere, so little time.

        • rabbitape says:

          If it's a college town, then people definitely wouldn't be surprised to see college kids at the door. Besides, if they're anything like me — LOADING UP on the Halloween candy "just in case" — then after awhile they're just glad to get rid of it. "Oh, you're thirty? Well, I still have 8 bags of Rolos, so here you go."

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        omg I would love to so very very much. I've never even seen any trick-or-treaters around here, much less been one! And I'm the sort of person who loves dressing up as well, I'd have such fun picking out a costume…

        It is my dream to one day spend a year living in the US and go trick-or-treating and y'know…see movies when they first come out…and stuff. THIS IS THE AMERICAN DREAM. FREE CANDY AND MOVIES BEFORE ANYONE ELSE GETS THEM.

        • notemily says:

          You'll have to be in a major city for that one–if a movie has "limited release" that usually means New York and LA and maybe Chicago get it first. Usually those movies eventually get "wide release" but sometimes not.

          • Karen says:

            But the US still gets a lot of other movies before the UK, not just limited release ones. Like Tangled, for example. I was living in the UK, but went home to the States for Christmas and saw Tangled which had been in wide release in the US since Thanksgiving, but when I got back to the UK none of my British friends had seen it because it didn't get released in the UK until January. Idk. Movie releases are weird.

        • ladililn says:

          Dang, you cracked the code. That's basically exactly what the American dream is. XD HOME OF THE FREE CANDY, LAND OF THE EARLY RELEASE MOVIES.

        • Kirby_T says:

          Where do you live in England? Because I live in London and I've been trick or treating since I was about 5, and there are always loads of Halloween parties where people go all out dressing up.

    • etherealclarity says:

      Willow's appearance through the wall and Giles's reaction IS THE BEST EVER.



      Can someone create a gif please? I will watch it forever.

    • Shiyra says:

      You've never been trick or treating? That's strange, I used to live in Ireland and they all out trick and treat same as here in the States, in Londonderry they actually have fireworks fired off a barge (although I think this may have something to do with guy faux, dunno). So there you go, just jump over to Ireland for Halloween. Well now I know that jura Jrfyrl fnvq gurl qba'g gevpx be gerng va Ratynaq va gur Natry frevrf gung ur jnfa'g shyy bs penc.

    • Epiphany says:

      Yes to everything you said. The last two episodes were okay enough. I probably won't watch them again, and I had nothing to say about the last episode. However, this episode was an instant favorite. The premise was odd, but fun. It does remind me of something on Fairly Odd Parents.

      I will also take my steely eyes, badass Giles please! What is his dark past? I really don't know. Honestly. I thought I was weird being infatuated with his character. Aren't there hot vampires around? I do not notice them with Giles on screen. I forget that there are vampires with both Giles and Willow on screen. Her appearing through the wall was the best scene ever!

      Oz may or may not be a long term character, but I am hoping of more scenes of him bumping into Willow.

    • Genny_ says:


      Nothing at all. Because oh boy.

    • Vikinhaw says:

      5) Halloween in America looks such fun! I mean before the curse and all. I wish we did all this cool stuff in England, I’ve never even been trick-or-treating. 

      Wait, really? Cause I'm in Ireland and I always thought the English did tick or treating. I mean, how did I never know that yis don't do this, I live right beside you. This is genuinely shocking to me. I mean we do it here, except it's also called 'going on the pooki' (pooki are shape-shifting fairies). I dunno I guess since it's an old Irish holiday (one of the origins is the Celtic festival, Samhain) I always thought yis would probably do it as well.

      I really thought this was a whole Anglo-sphere wide thing. The Scottish do it right?

      • NB2000 says:

        They do, according to my friend they did the 4-6 thing in her town (although I think the time might have been later) and last year they went on the Friday rather than Halloween itself because it was considered safer than taking them out on the weekend.

        We also do it in Wales, or at least when I was little we did. We only had about two groups of kids last year, the rain might have had something to do with that though.

        • notemily says:

          Halloween in my (American) city is usually at like two in the afternoon on a Saturday, which takes all the fun out of it, but apparently walking around at night is too ~dangerous~.

      • ladililn says:

        Sorry for the off-topic cultural probing, but is "yis" plural for "you" in Ireland? 'Cause it's a word I've seen here and there and it's driving me bonkers trying to figure it out! That is what it is, right? 🙂

        • Vikinhaw says:

          Yep, tis (we say that too). At least it is in my area. Other regions say yous or ye. You plural posessive is sometimes 'yis' 'yar' 'yir' or 'yissers' though we do say 'you' and 'your' as well.

          This is funny when you've to teach English. You say the 2nd person singular is the same as the 2nd plural and then in practice it's all yis, ye, you (noun plural), yous, y'all…. Poor English students.

      • psycicflower says:

        I've never actually heard trick or treating being called 'going on the pooki'. Maybe it's a city v rural thing? Or family background?

        • Vikinhaw says:

          It's probably that. Kildare is fairly rural. Not everyone in my area calls it that but lots do and I've heard it a bit in Limerick. More often they don't call it anything and don't refer to it but call the kids doing it pookis. Other people sometimes call it 'going around on Halloween'. Hearing 'trick-or-treating' is rare for me but it's increasing. Sometimes my family says things I have heard almost no one else say. Like they say 'agin' instead of 'until': 'I can't go anywhere agin I get the car'.

          I'm curious, what do they call it in your area? I'd ask where you are but I don't know how personal info you'd want to say.

          • psycicflower says:

            I'm a Dub and we generally just tend to call it trick or treating (although generally said more like tricker treating). I've family down in Limerick so now I'm tempted to ask them. I've heard again/agin used that way a few times alright.

  2. <img src=>

  3. arctic_hare says:

    Hellooooooooooooooo and welcome to one of the other contenders for Arctic_Hare's Favorite Buffy Episode Ever. 😀 HALLOWEEN. FUCK YES. First of all, Halloween is my personal favorite holiday because SPOOKY STUFF and CANDY, so that automatically gets it points right from the start. And then you add in the actual content of the episode and it… really is like a big bag of my favorite candy. <3 DELISH.

    – Check your battery BEFORE you leave the lair! Sheesh.

    – Yes, just announce that in the middle of a crowded club. Great idea.

    – Oh, Snyder. <3 You are so delightfully loathsome. NEVER CHANGE. Armin Shimerman, keep being your awesome self.

    – "Less as a friendship and more as a solid foundation for future bliss"? Xander… no. She turned you down. You are not going to "win her over" by hanging around and hoping to change her mind. That is classic Nice Guy skeeviness. And it is not actually being a friend to her. Ew.

    – I am so over Xander's masculinity issues and this tired idea that being helped/saved by a woman makes a guy less of a man. Blah blah manliness blah blah guy code I DO NOT CARE. Thank her for preventing you from getting beaten up and get over it. Being rescued by a woman does not make a man less manly. If you want my opinion, being grateful for it without taking it as some kind of blight on your manliness record makes you a better man.

    – Buffy and Willow are so adorable when they're trying to get those Watcher diaries. <3 And yay, mention of Jenny! Giles being happy that she thinks he's a babe! Awwwww. <3

    – THANK YOU, WILLOW. I just have never been able to get onboard with these fantasies about living in some past era. Time travel, sure. I love time travel. Actually living back then? Uhhhhhhh NO.

    – Well, FINALLY, Xander. Though I don't like that Buffy apologized for doing nothing wrong. Sigh.


    – Looking gooooooooooooood, Willow. <3

    – OZ. HI. Also lol Cordelia, she is magnificent. And aww, he bumped into Willow and didn't know it!


    – I CONCUR, SPIKE. Well, okay, it sucks for the denizens of Sunnydale, but it makes for a fucking amazing episode. I am loving all these wacky costume shenanigans.

    – The look on Angel's face when Buffy and Xander ask "Who are you?" is priceless.

    – As is Giles' reaction to Willow walking through the wall.

    – I just want to take a moment or two to do a couple things. One, express my intense love for Ethan Rayne, and Giles, and ASH's acting here, and OMG PLOT TWIST GILES BACKSTORY HE MAY NOT BE AS GOODY-GOODY AS WE THOUGHT. Two, giggle profusely and openly at what Mark said in Never Kill a Boy on the First Date about how Giles just accepted his destiny as a Watcher. NEVER PREPARED!


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

    we are finally here and I am so happy. <3

    – As someone who has actually worn wigs before, I am calling serious shenanigans on Buffy's perfect hair after taking hers off. LOL NO IT WOULD NOT LOOK LIKE THAT. Also, with hair that length, you are most definitely going to need a wig cap to keep it all in place. Oh, costume/hair department. Such fail.

    – Forget the magic and chaos biz, Ethan, start a moving company. You are freakishly fast. o_o

    – "Be seeing you." OH YEAH THIS EN'T OVER.

    • Maya says:

      V svaq Evccre!Tvyrf gb or fb vaperqvoyl nggenpgvir gung gurer jvyy or AB TVSF VA GUR JBEYQ gb rapbzcnff zl srryvatf sbe "Onaq Pnaql".

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      V jngpurq N Arj Zna guvf zbeavat. Bu, gur Rguna/Tvyrf guvat whfg arire trgf byq sbe zr 🙂

    • dasmondschaf says:


    • Genny_ says:

      HAHAHA YES TO HER WIG. I wear them for fashion all the time, and okay, I have extremely short hair which sticks up easily, but your hair is a mess *for hours* afterwards.

    • Shiyra says:

      Rguna arire yrneaf, be znlor ur whfg yvxrf trggvat pnhtug ol Tvyrf…

    • Mary Sue says:

      The only time my hair looked perfect when I took off a wig, and I was a competitive dancer for a good long while so I've had a lot of wigs, was when I was BALD!

      (Which was last year, because I shaved my head for the St. Baldricks pediatric cancer research charity, and felt a little self conscious about being a fat bald woman. The wig lasted about three hours, then I just ran around as a baldy balderson until I was Fluffy McDandelion and finally Sexy La Pixiecutser.)

    • Tina says:

      You are aware that sexism goes both ways right ?

      • notemily says:

        You are aware that it doesn't, right?

        • @sab39 says:

          From that article:

          "No matter what definition of "sexism” you’re starting with, “reverse sexism” is an invalid claim to make. If you go strictly by the dictionary definition, then a woman being prejudiced against a man is simply “sexism”, no “reverse” needed."

          I've no idea whether the poster you are replying to meant something more problematic, but since your own article says that the "dictionary definition" of sexism can go both ways, I don't think that can be presumed solely from what she said.

          • Genny_ says:

            The dictionary definition is not a practical or useful one, and anyone who takes the dictionary as remotely reliable in a discussion about social issues really needs to step back and learn a bit about how dictionaries work. If they're using the dictionary definition, it is actually problematic still.

        • Tina says:

          I'm an egalitarist, so reading stuffs like a man can't struggle with the pressure society puts on what to "be a man" means, because it's "boring", well I'm offensed as much as if I've read someone saying that a girl struggling with what feminity means is boring.
          Sexism hurts both men and women. My "definition" of sexism is "grosso-modo" : someone who is looking down on someone else because of their sex and/or gender. So for me, it goes both ways.
          Xander is the character who struggles the most about gender social pressure, but his struggles are making a point that he might evolve out of them. Denying him it is like denying Willow's growth and growing confidence about her own gender.

          • Tina says:

            (cont)Like, saying a man can't change a diaper or shouldn't be a gynecologist is sexist for me. Like saying a woman can't rule a business or make her own choice is sexist for me.I am fully aware that men have privileges upon women and that's wrong. Still equality is build with them and not against them. So their struggles shouldn't be laughed at or looked down at, but at least listened. Maybe I'm a huge idealist but for me, respect goes both ways.

            • @thejayeless says:

              I realise I'm not a frequent commenter on this site, but I just want to take this up because I've heard the sentiment from male friends (even one who calls himself a feminist! argharghargh) far too many times and it grates on my nerves. I think the most important, basic point to be made is that women's oppression oppresses WOMEN, not men. Furthermore, men are not oppressed (as men — obviously other forms of oppression can apply to them).

              It is true that men are worse off in a society in which women's oppression exists, as compared to how they would be in a society in which it didn't. For instance, as you point out, rigid gender roles mean that men who don't match up to these expectations in whatever way will likely feel inadequate, but there are two important points to be made here. Firstly, this is still a consequence of women's oppression, not "men's oppression" (which doesn't exist). Secondly, this in no way compares to the structural, systematic, institutional oppression that women experience.

              For instance, women are paid less than men. In Australia, women are paid something like 88c for every dollar earned by a man for the same work, and 67c overall (that is, women workers across the board vs men workers across the board). This even though equal pay has been the law since the 1970s. Women can be paid 88c to the dollar anyway because different award agreements can apply, not to mention individual contracts. As for why women are paid 67c to the dollar overall, this is because not only are women on average paid less for the same work, but are also concentrated in part-time and casualised positions far more than men, and female-dominated industries are typically far lower-paid than male-dominated ones.

              Things like the variability/potential absence of maternity leave, the lack of affordable childcare, and so on also serve to hinder women's participation in the workforce, and reinforce the norm of the nuclear family. The nuclear family does come with set gender roles for men and women, but you'll notice that the role for men entails being a provider, a leader, assertive and dominant, while the role for women entails being more or less a servant who lives off his wage. Thankfully the stranglehold of the ideal of the nuclear family has been weakened (and certainly most working-class people would no longer live in this EXACT kind of environment), but until it is dispensed with as a model for organising society entirely, women's oppression will remain.

              Ugh, I feel like this comment is a little incoherent, but overall the points I am trying to make = women are oppressed by women's oppression, not men, despite the fact that men would be better off in a society in which women's oppression didn't exist too. Furthermore, trying to focus a discussion of women's oppression on how men feel about it is actually really beside the point, so far as I can see. Sure men can suffer as a result of women's oppression, but this is not even close to the main point about women's oppression, which is that it oppresses women. The extent to which men can suffer is like, a really low priority compared to everything else that can be discussed in relation to women's oppression.

              • Tina says:

                And I didn't say anything against any of this. I completely agree. After reading a bit around, I realized that it is a linguistic problem.
                I luckily grew up in a family where sexism didn't exists at all. I discover very lately (I was maybe 22) that "outside" women are oppressed. But I was still willing, even if I was a woman, to take my little brother struggles in consideration too because he suffered (in a different way, but still) about it too and I wasn't the only one who was struggling with society.

                I don't deny that women are oppressed, but I'm not willing to throw men outside of the equation because women are not oppressed by women (well yes but in a different way) but by men.

                So yeah basically, I thin we totally agree with eachother but I'm struggling with english language and communication ^^'

                But mostly I was reacting about the "Xander's struggling with his masculinity is boring" comment and not about the rest of the comment about women oppression. Which are two different "thing" if you know what I mean.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  1) Please do not come into a discussion of feminism and essentially go "WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?". It derails the conversation and is not welcome.

                  2) I am not required to care about a fictional character being an ass due to a societal concept I find quite tiresome (that a woman saving/helping a man makes him less manly). I take interest in what Mark writes about his experiences as a queer man struggling with those issues, because he's a real person and a friend and queer issues matter to me. Xander, on the other hand, as a fictional straight white cis male (and thus pretty damn privileged) I am not obligated to take any interest in in this way. I am just more interested in things concerning female characters, by and large. That's my primary area of interest, and there's nothing wrong with that. We all have our own various preferences.

                  • Tina says:

                    You can do what you want, but I was just pointing that I was offensed by your words because it actually sounded (at least to me) like you were finding Xander's struggles (and by association, Mark's who seems to relate to it in this episode) boring and unworthy of any interest. Sorry if I misunderstood.

                    When I speak with people about gender discussion, I never met problem with talking about men and women at the same time. I just don't consider men and women as separate things in my head, for me they are what compose mankind.

                    So I'm sorry if I offended you 🙂

                  • ladililn says:

                    Please do not come into a discussion of feminism and essentially go "WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ?". It derails the conversation and is not welcome.

                    I'm not trying to argue against your actual points, which I agree with, but I feel like this is a pretty rude way to respond to someone who clearly isn't trying to express bigoted opinions. Condescendingly interpreting what they say into "what about the men"–and then translating it into dumb internet speak–does nothing to either prove your point or help educate anyone who may not be aware of the shades and valleys of this issue. I agree with the things you say, but the way you say it seems less about explaining why the other person might want to rethink their definitions of sexism/feminism/oppression/what have you and more about shutting that person down for being wrong.

                    If someone was coming on here and saying blatantly sexist things, I'd be glad to see them told their input was not welcome. But sexism is so ingrained into our society it's all too easy to have a view of a certain thing (i.e. sexism going both ways) that seems completely pro-feminist until someone prods you to see it in a new light. I feel like I've become a much better-educated feminist through these sites. Just because someone has a somewhat ignorant view of something doesn't mean they're trying to be all "WHAT ABOUT THE MENZ", perhaps it just means that they need prodding to see things in a new light. Not rudeness.

                    Hopefully I've explained myself well and not offended you; I'm just trying to express my opinions about how certain things could be better handled around here.

                    • arctic_hare says:

                      1) I'm not required to educate anyone.

                      2) Don't use the tone argument on me.

                      3) Dumb is an ableist word, do not use it on this site.

                    • Genny_ says:

                      To add to the above comment, yeah, sexism is ingrained in society. And you know what? It's nobody's responsibility but your own to work that out and combat it. Part of being a mature person involves interpreting the world around you and not using it to hurt others. If that's tough because it's so common, well… so's life, I'm afraid, and you can't expect people to go 'oh, well, you hurt me, but it's because you're ignorant so who cares?'.

    • notemily says:

      Maybe when she changed back into Modern Buffy the wig wasn't actually attached? I DUNNO.

    • RoseFyre says:

      – As someone who has actually worn wigs before, I am calling serious shenanigans on Buffy's perfect hair after taking hers off. LOL NO IT WOULD NOT LOOK LIKE THAT. Also, with hair that length, you are most definitely going to need a wig cap to keep it all in place. Oh, costume/hair department. Such fail.

      See, my reaction to the hair is all "…but the wig is so PRETTY why is her hair such a frizzy mess when she's supposed to actually be a noblewoman? Shouldn't it be pretty too?"

  4. echinodermata says:

    Getting this out of the way: they’re sitting on sinks? Who sits on sinks? In a public bathroom? Who does this!?

    Ahem, moving on.

    Buffy’s waxing on about the idea of living as a high class lady in the 1700s and Willow simply thinks, “Still, I think I prefer being able to vote. Or I will when I can.” Oh Willow. Adore her.

    Spike’s a smart villain. I like smart villains. And I like the delight he takes in being a villain.

    And I love the premise of this episode – it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a fantastic character study.

    Buffy wants to be the sort of woman she thinks Angel would like because her real life is something she wants to run away from since it gives her little time for the fun she wants to have, and she’s insecure about her femininity, basically, given her nature as a fighter. But it turns her into a helpless damsel in distress unable to fend for herself and unable to concieve of being all that makes Buffy herself, basically. And in the end, Buffy’s quick to reject that persona. It’s not her and it never will be, and it’s good to be herself. And this ordeal strengthens Buffy’s and Angel’s relationship, and I think Buffy needs that reassurance from Angel. So I’m happy for her and I’m glad she gets to have this.

    Willow didn’t want attention and didn’t want to stray out of her comfort zone, and therefore wore a silly white ghost costume to completely cover her. And then she’s stuck with people who are effectively strangers, and she has to lead them. And she does, effectively. And by the end, she’s comfortable and ready to wear her revealing costume and try being more than the usual Willow, because she’s more than the timid, quiet persona she hides behind. Oh, character growth! <3 It's really nice seeing Willow being more assertive and confident. And by the end of the episode, she simply looks happy. It's a good direction for her.

    Xander has major insecurity issues over his concept of masculinity to the point it makes him entirely unreasonable, where he gets angry at Buffy for defending him. This notion of Xander being insecure is hardly new, but I think this episode does a good job in saying how fucked up guys can get too about forced concepts of gender and gender roles. This episode in particular emphasizes not just that Xander's insecure, but that the insecurity is extreme and not healthy, and that's something I'm glad is highlighted. Patriarchy hurts everyone. In his costume, Xander's a soldier living the "masculine ideal" while he protects women against monsters and basically does that which we've actually seen Xander fantasize about. One thing I wish for to be changed in this episode is for Xander to get a ~life-affirming message~ about his self-worth as his normal self the way Buffy and Willow did. Maybe emphasize how Xander was helpless against Spike and that gang even in costume, but Buffy the Slayer saved the day, and if a soldier still needs to wait to be rescued by a girl, then maybe Xander can embrace that too.

    Also, Giles apparently knows Ethan, our trouble-maker, and what's this about being "Ripper"? ~Our Giles has a past.~
    And it's apparently not so innocent. Either way, Ethan's fun! I love it when villains are fun!
    I'm glad the episode ends with the promise that this isn't the last of him.

    And…random gif.

    • echinodermata says:

      And lastly, a few criticisms. For one, we get sort of toned-down versions of a slut-shaming message from both Buffy ("The perfect chance for a girl to get sexy and wild with no repercussions") and Willow ("Well, this is nothing. You should see what Cordelia was wearing") in this episode, and while I think in both cases it ties into their own insecurity, I'm unhappy that this sort of thing just goes unchecked. Again. (Since this isn't the first time we've gotten a slut-shaming message from a character on this show that goes unremarked upon.) I'm also not sure how well I think this episode examinines the concepts of masculine and feminine. Clearly, a part of what they're doing is to examine what it means to be masculine or feminine, and that's cool, but it seems to unequivocally reinforce the notion that fighting is masculine and that considerations to one's appearance are feminine. Basically, it doesn't actually break down the gender expectations, and while it's examining them, it's still basically reinforcing them. At the end of the episode, Buffy still says she "just wanted to be a real girl for once," and though she isn't a real girl now. And Angel's response is simply that those noble women concerned with their beauty were dull and "simpering morons." Indeed, Buffy in costume as essentially "ultra-feminine" was helpless and useless, while Xander in costume as "ultra-masculine" was getting shit done and being competent. It feels too much like the episode is saying that yes, being concerned with one's beauty is a feminine thing, and that feminine thing is a bad trait. Whereas fighting is a masculine trait, and we celebrate characters fighting on this show. Basically, I wished the episode did more to actually subvert the idea of gender roles. Make fighting feminine! Make beauty masculine! Do something besides repeat what society already teaches.

      • Fuchsia says:

        Yes! This is still one of my favourite episodes of the show, but rewatching it this time [especially after the past couple years of exploring my own gender identity and expression], I picked up on those things as well. I think it still does a lot more than many other shows, but the end of the episode kind of just left a bad taste in my mouth. Also, the whole "women can only be beautiful OR smart" aspect. Not all noblewomen were unintelligent; it was more likely that they usually weren't given the opportunity to attend college and express those interests.

      • Genny_ says:

        I think I may have been misinterpreting the 'no repercussions' line, because I always assumed they were referring to the idea that people would be dickheads about it and this was one day they could hopefully avoid some of that, but now I'm thinking about it you may be right that it's more *their* view. Hrm.

        • echinodermata says:

          For me, the thing about reading it the way you mentioned where it's that 'other people will be shitty about it' is that the line for me then plays into the message of 'avoid doing perfectly fine things because you can be victimized for it' rather than emphasizing that 'people shouldn't victimize others for perfectly fine behavior.'

          I dunno, I just don't see an interpretation where that line sits comfortably with me. I could be reacting to the fact that this is just coming off the last ep and Buffy apologizes when I really wished she didn't (not to Giles anyway; apologizing to Joyce I'd have been okay with).

          • Genny_ says:

            While I agree that it sucks, I can understand the compulsion from the characters' point of view. I shouldn't HAVE to avoid, or be made to feel that I have to avoid, doing certain things because of my gender or my sexuality, for example. But sometimes, the reality is that not doing so becomes so exhausting that you do it anyway. I guess I didn't view it so much as an endorsement of the idea that women have to do that, rather just two characters acknowledging it as something that happened and wishing it didn't. But your view is totally valid, and concerning.

      • xpanasonicyouthx says:

        Oh fuck, I totally missed that "perfect chance for a girl" line.

        Well. there goes the whole point i made in my post.


        • xpanasonicyouthx says:

          also this stands as evidence that i am just so wrong sometimes.

          and i was wrong about this!

          • Danielle says:

            I don't think you were entirely wrong. Given Willow at the end, the shows intended message was probably what you said. It really comes down to what is meant by "no reprucssions" If Buffy meant it as you expressed it (Halloween is a time to try out "personaltites" that aren't you but may interest you without commiting to it) then its ok, but if she meant it as you can do that and people won't be all judgy well then yeah, kinda pokes a whole in what you said.

            I really hope that made sense.

      • Shiyra says:

        I think they are trying to convey how silly it is for these things to be considered one or the other, and we need a mix of both femininity and masculinity, they don't work alone.

      • robin_comments says:

        Gur bayl guvat gung zvgvtngrf Natry'f oynaxrg qvfzvffny bs gur jbzra bs uvf qnl vf gur yngre pbagrkg jr trg gung uhzna Natry jnf n qbhpuront. Jvgu gur pbagrkg bs xabjvat gur crefba Natry jnf, vg'f pyrne gung uvf creprcgvba bs gubfr jbzra'f inyhr fnlf jnl zber nobhg uvz guna nobhg gurz. V'z abg fher vs guvf jnf vagragvbany ba gur jevgref' cneg be abg, ohg fvapr V pner zhpu yrff nobhg vagrag guna V qb nobhg rkrphgvba & vaqrcraqrag vagrecergngvba bs gur zngrevny, sbe zr guvf vf bar zber jneavat fvta gung'f qebccrq va rneyl F2 gung Ohssl qbrfa'g cvpx hc ba. Bs pbhefr, guvf rcvfbqr nverq jvgubhg nal ynetre Natry punenpgre pbagrkg naq jvguva gur pbagrkg bs guvf rcvfbqr vg whfg znxrf guvatf cynl jbefr.

        • RoseFyre says:

          Nyfb, gur uhzna Yvnz jnf snveyl ybj pynff, jnfa'g ur? Fb vg'f cebonoyl ng yrnfg cnegyl n frys-qrsrafr zrpunavfz – "vs V ungr gurz svefg, gura gurve ungr pna'g uheg zr." Xabjvat Natry, ur cebonoyl unfa'g gubhtug gung nyy gur jnl guebhtu, ohg vg'f n frys-qrsrafr guvat.

          • MrsGillianO says:

            Gbgnyyl nterr jvgu guvf – gur punaprf bs n ybhgvfu uryyenvfre, rira bs n pbzsbegnoyr pynff, zrrgvat znal ynqvrf bs gur glcr Qneyn cerfragf urefrys nf, jbhyq unir orra cerggl fyvz va rvtugrragu-praghel Qhoyva – zbfg bs gur nevfgbpengf jub pbhyq nssbeq vg jrer nofragrr ynaqybeqf yvivat va Ratynaq; vs gurl qvqa'g unir gur zbarl gurl graqrq gb yvir ba gurve rfgngrf gb fdhrrmr rirel ynfg craal bhg bs gurve granagf. Gur Ohsslirefr arire nqqerffrf gur angher bs gur ryvgr va Verynaq bs gung crevbq (jura Fjvsg jebgr uvf Zbqrfg Cebcbfny), cebonoyl orpnhfr gur ZR jevgref jrer n ovg pyhryrff naq gubhtug Vevfu=ebznagvp. (Naq, bqqyl, oryvrirq Obernanm pbhyq qb n cynhfvoyr Vevfu npprag.)

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        I agree that the episode didn’t subvert the gender roles enough – and I think a part of the problem is that they focused on just one version of even the traditional feminine role – that Buffy picked – that of a noblewoman, who was supposed to just be pretty and well dressed and polite and get married well (which was, no doubt, meant to parallel the 20th century equivalent, valley girl that Cordelia was, and that Buffy used to be before she was called). But this is treated as the only way that women were “feminine” and the only role they played in old times, with the conclusion that they were “simpering morons” (it is said by Angel, but we seem encouraged to agree with it), without putting things into perspective and examining what possibilities were there for women in the 18th century.

        But that’s really unfair to women throughout history, and it’s also really wrong to treat all women as having fallen into that stereotype – which is just not true, since not all women were noblewomen whose job was to look beautiful. The episode makes a huge mistake of completely ignoring the class issues and they way they’re intertwined with gender issues. There’s also the role of women of caretakers – more typical of women of lower classes – who did a lot of hard, paid or unpaid work, raising children (theirs or other people’s), doing all the housework (at theirs or other people’s homes), and basically holding the family together. Nurses, nannies, governesses were also traditional female jobs. Traditional gender roles did enable women in some fields and men in some fields to do worthwhile work. But the episode focuses on just one role that women of a particular class had, and as a result it seems like all traditional femininity throughout history is pronounced useless.

        Sure, the show is about characters who physically fight monsters, but I wish they made an effort to acknowledge that physical fighting isn’t the only way for a person to contribute.

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          Is there a way to edit these posts? I accidentally copy pasted a paragraph twice.

        • luzzleanne says:

          It's also pretty unfair to noblewomen. Their job wasn't just to look pretty, they also had to be good at conversation, and play politics, and be well versed in the arts, etc. on top of managing large households and all the goings-on therein. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but when you really think about it, it is (plan all the meals! make sure everyone's doing their job! keep the budget in order! make self entertaining enough to stay in some position of power!). I'm not saying they weren't privileged and didn't have a comparably leisurely life, but it's also not like they sat around and did nothing. Angel should have known that, and where we should have had him talking about a specific woman ("Yes, she was pretty, but god she was bland. You're interesting and I like you better, regardless of how 'feminine' you are.") we get instead him basically saying "LOL, all women before the 20th century sucked." Which, no, bad show! You are doing feminism wrong!

          • kristinc says:

            THIS! I really loved this episode as light entertainment but I couldn't help but be irritated at how it handled the whole historical-femininity thing. I was hoping the narrative would point out that maybe some women hundreds of years ago were all purdy but they, you know, were a tiny minority and most women lacked the rights and conveniences we take for granted. And it's not such a great deal to trade away your legal right to humanity and your ability to do things other than scrub and cook all day for, like, a ruffly dress. It would sure take more than a ruffly dress to bribe me into a destiny of being constantly pregnant and probably dying in childbirth after like eleventy kids.

            Instead the takeaway message seems to be "you don't want to be like women back then because women back then were stoopid". Angel, I am disappoint: if the only women you met in like over a hundred years were simpering morons, maybe that says something about you and not something about them, since there were plenty of badass women at all points of history! The fact that we don't hear about them has a lot to do with their stories not being considered worth saving for posterity, but Angel has no excuse since he was right there.

          • MrsGillianO says:

            Ubj znal trahvar aboyrjbzra jbhyq Yvnz unir xabja, va ernyvgl? Uvf snzvyl jrer nssyhrag, ohg abg nevfgbpengvp, naq zbfg trahvar aboyrjbzra bs gung cerpvfr crevbq fcrag gurve gvzr rvgure ba gurve rfgngrf, va Qhoyva be, vs gurl pbhyq cbffvoyl nssbeq vg, va Ratynaq – yvxr Fjvsg, Furevqna rgp cbegenl. Natry vf znxvat vg hc orpnhfr ur vf irel frafvgvir nobhg uvf uhzna nf jryy nf uvf inzcver cnfg.

    • Jenny_M says:

      RE: Sitting on sinks.

      I had the exact same reaction, and also thought…wouldn't that break the sink off the wall? Then I remembered that both actress are tiny and sigh, I wish I had been a size where I wouldn't break sinks in high school! Or at least accepting of the fact that I wasn't a sink non-breaky size. Because I could so relate to the parts of this episode that dealt with femininity and perceived femininity as an overweight teen. Hooboy, could I.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I just thought it's kind of irresponsible to be be sitting on the sinks. I mean, no matter how small you are, they might break! And people might want to use them!

        Yeah, it's weird that we all found that to be an odd moment.

        • Jenny_M says:

          I can picture the director of this episode being like "We have the shot set! Ladies, to the sinks!"

          And Aly and Smidge just side-eye one another real hard.

          • echinodermata says:

            Seriously. I was imagining how the actresses must have felt about the direction of 'sit on the sinks!'

            • xpanasonicyouthx says:

              Well, to be fair, we had these giant sinks like that that were somehow bolted to the wall and all the girls in my high school sat on the sinks.

              So that's two high schools out of BILLIONS.

              • echinodermata says:

                But why Mark, why?

              • Jordan says:

                We totally sat on the sinks in my highschool so this wasn't something that I even noticed. I guess we just had extra strudy sinks… so that is three highschools

                • MrsGillianO says:

                  I went to three grammar(=="high") schools in England and we sat on the sinks in all of them. If the alternative is a damp and skeevy floor, you sit where you can. And the loo/bathroom is essential conference space for girls and women alike.

              • 00guera00 says:

                we sat on our sinks too…

                • enigmaticagentscully says:

                  Did everyone else just hang out in bathrooms a lot more than I did at school?

                  Speaking for myself, I usually just went in there to pee then left again.

                  • hpfish13 says:

                    I hardly ever even did that. Our bathrooms were terrible. At least 2 of them had no doors on the stalls, and if there was toilet paper, paper towels or soap you had lucked out.

                    • arctic_hare says:



                    • Patrick721 says:

                      Yeah, there's a rule of the universe that all school bathrooms have to have at least one stall door that doesn't fucking work. More often than not, both of them won't.

                      Actually, all public bathrooms are pretty fucking nasty. Sometimes it seems like people actually try to make them filthy. Because some of the stuff I've seen would take a concentrated effort to do.

                    • misterbernie says:


                  • MrsGillianO says:

                    My experience as teacher and pupil in England is that girls' loos are essential to provide "safe" space for discussion and just hanging out. That's over a total of 40+ years as one or the other.

            • RoseFyre says:

              Though I suspect that the set sinks are WAY cleaner than real life ones would be!

      • echinodermata says:

        I have no idea how strong sinks are, but the idea of a "sink non-breaky size" measurement is amazing. Thanks for making me laugh.

        Being a teenager sucked often. I assume we've all been there for different reasons.

        • Jenny_M says:

          I strongly agree with Joyce's sentiment from "Witch" regarding being a teenager. Never again, no way, no how. It's only looking back on it that I can see just how, well, hormonal I was. EVERYTHING was life or death. There was no middle ground. There was only euphoria or anger. I much prefer the even-keeled twenties, and I've heard from folks that the thirties are when it gets really good!

          • Tx_Cronopio says:

            Yep, the thirties are better. The forties really rock, because then you just don't give a damn what anyone else thinks 🙂

      • You know, I never thought it was weird for them to sit on the sinks, but I think that's because I have a penchant for sitting on things. Things that are not meant for sitting.

        Like the arm of a couch. or the back of a couch.





        The only things I don't really care to sit on are chairs.

    • stephanie says:

      "vg jbhyq or jebat" sberfunqbjvat bs snvgu/ohssl va gur zveebe va F4!! YBIR VG!!!

    • NeonProdigy says:


      Oh yeah, ROT13'd a URL.

      <img src=""&gt;

    • Dru says:

      Shallow note here….I really love Buffy's hair and Willow's shoes in that sink-sitting pic.

      (as for the sink-sitting……I spent most of my own teens sitting on things that were NOT furniture, and had I been as tiny as SMG or Alyson Hannigan, the bathroom sinks would have been among them)

    • Well sinks were the chairs of the 90s! Were you not aware of this?? xDDD

    • cait0716 says:

      I like your character studies. And I have to add Cordy's: Cordelia doesn't change. She's confident and secure and what you see is what you get.

    • Smurphy says:

      I was at a bar in DC one night and the place started flooding… or at least the bathroom did because someone sat on one of the bathroom sinks and broke it.

    • melmel says:

      I love your comment but I have to add something that jumped in my face the first time I saw this episode : Xander-the-soldier obeys immediatly to Willow. He does what she tell him to do, like she is his captain. And I loved this part because it shows that a soldier obeys to his hierarchy, and it doesn't matter if hierarchy is mae or female, he obeys.

      • melmel says:

        And so it was basically a message to "the manly man doesn't look down on women"

      • notemily says:

        I did like that. And when old-timey-Buffy asks why he would obey a woman, he says "We have a saying in the army. Sit down and shut the…" and then he notices the photo. But to me what he was saying is "she seems to know what she's doing and what's going on, so I'm not questioning it." Reminds me of in Battlestar when Doral questions Roslin's leadership and Lee is just like "…lady's in charge."

  5. E. M. says:

    The one things that bugs me about this near-perfect episode is that, while Buffy writing rarely strays into anvil territory, it totally does with the whole ~*check out how WEAK and HELPLESS women used to be, and how much BETTER they are today*~ thing. It really feeds into the stereotype that if women fill traditional roles, (femininity, wanting to be married, etc.) they must therefore be feeble, fluttering little things incapable of handling themselves. I would have much preferred it if Princess!Buffy turned out to be strong in her own way, as opposed to being such a stereotype of a weak, pre-feminism woman. Perhaps it's simply Sarah Michelle Gellar's rather heavy-handed delivery of her lines, but I always felt as if the episode was really bashing viewers over the head rather crudely with that particular message.

    As I said, though, that's just one complaint. The rest of the episode is great fun; this season is really picking up.

    • ladililn says:

      Yeah, I feel like Buffy-as-eighteenth-century-girl was a bit overdone. "I would never wear this, that low apparel, and I don't like this place, and I don't like you, and I just wanna go home!" made me roll my eyes, as it's so blatantly the stereotype of the weak and helpless woman of the vague "past". I mean, I get the point was to set it up that way to show how the real Buffy is a subversion of this idea, but it was still pretty annoying.

      • E. M. says:

        EXACTLY. And I'm not saying that society's perceptions of women haven't improved, because WELL OBVIOUSLY THEY HAVE. However, I felt that the episode was reinforcing the idea that women themselves have somehow become "real people" sometime in the past century, and that women themselves, in the ~*past*~, were actually gross stereotypes. Which is really damaging. There have been kickass women since the beginning of recorded history. Show, please acknowledge this even a little bit.

        • cait0716 says:

          I read that a bit more as Buffy becoming what she thought an 18th century woman would be like, not necessarily an accurate description of an 18th century woman. This episode is all about wish-fulfillment, and part of Buffy wanted to be weak so she could be saved. It's her own perceptions of masculinity and femininity that she's struggling with here.

          • robin_comments says:

            I would like to use that reasoning but I can't fanwank it myself because I feel like Xander contradicts it. He doesn't seem like Xander's exaggerated imagination of a solider. Naq gura jr unir nyy uvf hfrshy zrzbevrf yngre bs erny yvsr fbyvqre xabjyrqtr…

            • E. M. says:

              THIS. Xander comes out of the experience with trahvar zvyvgnel xabjyrqtr naq rkcregvfr, so presumably Buffy was intended to represent a literal period noblewoman. I agree with those who argue that they are both intended to represent archetypes more than genuine people, but, in that case, I would have preferred that Buffy wasn't placed so obviously in a specific era and then made into an annoying stereotype. It really implies nasty things about people born in those time periods.

      • Bonnie says:

        Vg pbhyq'ir orra jbefr. Gurl pbhyq'ir tvira hf na bire-gur-gbc, zvfbtlavfg cevrfg sebz gur Nzrevpna Fbhgu jub pnyyf nyy jbzra 'qvegl' naq gura trgf ovfrpgrq sebz uvf zna-cnegf hc ol gur jbzna jub flzobyvfrf srznyr rzcbjrezrag . Bu, jnvg…

    • shoroko says:

      I agree with you, though I also think it's almost kind of bizarre how often the message in media is the opposite – that times and places when women (and many others) did face more restrictions are somehow times to feel nostalgic and romantic about. This may be particularly because I just finished Mark's Twilight series reviews, so just Buffy and Willow's discussion while looking at the book about Angel was enough to bring on "SIMPLER TIME" flashbacks with a whole lot of shuddering. But I also agree with what you're saying, in that being from those contexts hardly made women themselves "weak" or "feeble."

      However, I was less bothered by Buffy's costume characterization (yeah, it was over the top, but I felt like that was more about creating a comic relief inversion for Buffy) than her talk with Angel in the end about how BORING women in the past, especially the court women Buffy was imitating, could be. Somehow praising some women always has to come in the form of putting other women down.

      • Mary Sue says:

        I've been doing a lot of research in the Stay-At-Home Daughter movement in the US and I see a lot of this nostalgia expressed with both a sense of longing and a demand that everyone conform. It baffles my mind, because no matter how much it was considered a societal norm, even back in the [insert time period here] there were outlets for women to be creative/educated/liberated/whatever they darn well wanted to be. Yeah, they weren't always the classiest, safest, or financially stablist (did I just make up a word?), but they were there.

        • notemily says:

          I just googled the Stay-At-Home Daughter thing and now I'm kind of horrified.

          • E. M. says:

            Yeah; and, saying this as a young woman who still lives with her parents (not because I think it's the "right" thing to do, but because it works for me and allows my pursue my goals with more freedom), the Stay-At-Home Daughter thing, along with associated movements and organizations, such as the vile Vision Forum, can GO DO UNPLEASANT THINGS. Preferably NOW. Blech.

          • claretstock says:

            horrified is right. =-o!

        • RoseFyre says:

          Make up words! It is the way of the Buffyverse!

      • James says:

        Yeah, I definitely agree that Angel's assessment of the women of that time (nf va punenpgre nf vg vf sbe Yvnz, gur zvfbtlavfgvp nffubyr) is more of an issue in this regard. The "becoming your costume" thing is tied up with the theme of "come as you aren't", and so Buffy as the 18th century noble woman is meant to be the complete inverse of Buffy, but not necessarily representative of all women of that time and class. However, when you tie it in to Buffy and Willow's conversation in the bathroom and then have Angel confirm that his contemporaries were all "simpering morons" it does become a problem.

    • hassibah says:

      I agree. I do think that both noblemen AND women from that era on average would have been relatively helpless because they aren't really taught to look after themselves in any way whatsoever but that was just translated to 'girls in those days were dumb' and that's really a shame.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Well, to be fair, there was a time when high-class women were expected to be largely decorative, until they started popping out babies. No, not all women in the 18th century were like that because life was tough and almost everyone had to work damn hard. But if you were at the top of the heap? Yeah. Look pretty, smile at the rich man, and don't shoot your mouth off too much.

    • Shiyra says:

      But it was the same with Xander and masculinity, so I think that was kinda the point, they were showcasing the ridiculousness of these stiff gender roles, I don't think it necessarily had anything to do with past or present roles, rather you can have a balance between femininity, masculinity, strength, and smarts and still be a "real" man or a woman. At least that's I interpret it.

      • pica_scribit says:

        Yeah, I get the impression that their costumes turned them more into archetypes than individuals, which was why Xander and Buffy did not know their own names, but did have other names.

    • Genny_ says:

      This is very true, and it also continues the trend of 'when women were oppressed, they never ever managed to overcome their oppression' that history in general is so fond of. Attempts to repress and oppress women were not always successful, because a lot of women would fight back- some in small ways, some in big. The idea women sat on their arses being as dull as they were asked to be for centuries is absurd. There are some truly fascinating women in history.

      A noblewoman socialized to be like Buffy was in this ep wouldn't be unexpected, but not all women were like that and acting like they were isn't great.

    • Christytrekkie says:

      I'm actually planning on doing this in one of my Halloween episode fan Fictions where Buffy's gets Elizabeth Swans costume instead of the demure princess one she sported in this ep. Hope it turns out as well as it is in my head lol.

  6. Karen says:

    The first time I watched Buffy, I’d been enjoying myself, but for some reason THIS episode was the one where my like turned to love and adoration. It’s not a particularly mind-blowing episode. There’s no apocalypse or surprise twists, but I think it’s an episode that shows everything that Buffy has the potential to be. There are a lot of humorous moments (like Willow and Buffy sneaking into Giles’s office), the plot of the week (everyone turns into their Halloween costume) is creative and fun, the way the plot of the week (the costumes) tied into larger story arcs (the fight with Spike) was great and it taps into some emotional problems for the main character (Buffy is insecure in her relationship with Angel).

    To start things off I’m going to take a bit about Cordelia. I love that scene between Angel and Cordy at the beginning of the episode. Cordy just seems a lot more natural in that scene than she normally does (she’s always putting on a show at school) and Angel is actually relaxed and laughing at Cordy’s story. Like I get that this scene was just meant to make Buffy jealous, but idec. I thought it was cute. Pbeql/Natry BGC. Gurl whfg unir fhpu n angheny purzvfgel. YBY @ Jvyybj fnlvat “Bu Ohssl, Natry jbhyq arire snyy sbe ure npg.” QENZNGVP VEBAL! Rkprcg ernyyl ol gur gvzr Natry snyyf sbe Pbeql fur’f abg ernyyl qbvat gung npg nalzber, fb Jvyybj’f cbvag fgvyy fgnaqf, V thrff.

    So obviously the main conflict in this episode is Buffy feeling like she’s not traditionally girly and thinks that Angel wants a girl who is a traditionally girly girl. I think this is what I mean when I say that Buffy/Angel is very much a high school relationship. I think the kind of insecurity that Buffy feels in this episode and the way she tries to change herself to appeal more to Angel is something a lot of high school girls go through (though it obviously isn’t limited to high school girls). (Fcrnxvat bs Natry va guvf rcvfbqr, V guvax Wbff unqa’g frggyrq ba Natry’f onpxfgbel lrg orpnhfr V qba’g guvax 18 lrne byq Yvnz jbhyq unir orra nebhaq aboyr jbzra. Uvf snzvyl jrer snezref, lrf?)

    Sidenote: I like how when Buffy romanticizes the past, Willow is still like “yeah… I like being able to vote.”

    Xander’s story in this episode is paralleling Buffy’s. While Buffy is feeling like she’s not enough of a girl for Angel, Xander is also feeling like his manliness is being threatened due to Buffy’s strength and such. So in effect, Xander is reacting the way that Buffy fears Angel will which feeds into Buffy’s story this week. Anyway, I do think it’s a decent (if not as deep as it could be) as to the pressures men do feel to act a certain way in our society. So yeah, I think this story. Although he still manages to get a couple of eye-roll worthy lines in: “I like to think of it less as friendship and more of a solid foundation for future bliss” and “I prefer my women in spandex” had me cringing.

    And finally how ‘bout that Ethan? He seems to be a man from Giles’s past who comes to town to cause trouble and leaves with a cryptic note indicating that he will be back.

    • guest_age says:

      V wbva va ba lbhe Pbeqryvn/Natry fuvccvat naq guvf vf gur svefg gvzr V'ir jngpurq gur frevrf fgenvtug guebhtu fvapr V fnj NgF; V'z fhecevfrq rnpu gvzr n ovg bs P/N vf qebccrq va fvapr V zbfgyl erzrzorerq vg nf yvxr, bar rcvfbqr bs ure syvegvat naq uvz abg ergheavat vg–V unq fbzr ubj sbetbggra ubj ybat gurl fhfgnvarq guvf.

    • Dru says:

      Pbeql/Natry BGC.

      *sobs* IF ONLY.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Fcrnxvat bs Natry va guvf rcvfbqr, V guvax Wbff unqa’g frggyrq ba Natry’f onpxfgbel lrg orpnhfr V qba’g guvax 18 lrne byq Yvnz jbhyq unir orra nebhaq aboyr jbzra. Uvf snzvyl jrer snezref, lrf?

      Npghnyyl uvf sngure jnf n zrepunag naq nf gurl ner ybbxvat guebhtu gur Jngpuref Qvnevrf gurl cebonoyl ner ybbxvat guebhtu Natry'f cnfg, fb zhfg unir zrg ng yrnfg gur aboyr jbzna gung vf ba gur cvpgher Znex cbvagrq bhg.
      V'z arire fher jura nyy gur onpxfgbevrf jurer gubhtug hc, ohg Natry'f jvfu gb zrg na vagrerfgvat naq rkpvgvat tvey svgf jryy jvgu uvf svefg zrrgvat jvgu Qneyn.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        Lrf, naq uvf snzvyl frrzrq jryy-bss ohg abg bs gur "aboyr" xvaq – Yvnz fnvq uvf sngure unq fvyire phgyrel ohg ngr jvgu uvf unaqf, juvpu nyy svgf jvgu gur vqrn bs n zrepunag naq erprag zbarl. Vg nyfb znxrf frafr gung Yvnz, pbzvat sebz n jryy-bss snzvyl, pbhyq jnfgr gur snzvyl zbarl ba qevax naq abg jbex, ohg uvf sngure frrzrq gb inyhr jbex, va nqqvgvba gb orvat n irel eryvtvbhf zna. Yvnz, ba gur bgure unaq, jnagrq gb frr gur jbeyq, nf ur gbyq Qneyn – uvf sngure frrzf yvxr n thl jub jnf sbphfrq ba jbex naq rneavat naq fnivat zbarl, ohg abg ba guvatf yvxr yvivat va yhkhel (ur'yy ohl fvyire phgyrel ohg gura ur'yy fnir vg nf gbb inyhnoyr naq fgvyy rng jvgu uvf unaqf vafgrnq) be geniryvat naq cebonoyl abg rira rqhpngvba (Natry frrzf gb unir n gnfgr va negf naq phygher, ohg V trg ur vzcerffvba ur yrnearq vg juvyr ur jnf geniryyvat nebhaq gur jbeyq jvgu Qneyn).

        V fhccbfr vg'f ragveryl cbffvoyr gung Yvnz tbg gb xabj fbzr aboyrjbzra sebz byq ohg vzcbirevfurq snzvyvrf, nf n cneg bs zngpuznxvat fpurzrf rira: gurve snzvyvrf zvtug unir arrqrq zbarl, naq Yvnz'f snzvyl jbhyq unir gubhtug bs vg nf cerfgvtvbhf sbe uvz gb zneel n aboyrjbzna.

        Vg'f shaal ubj, jura lbh svefg frr Unyybjrra, gur yvar nobhg zrrgvat na rkpvgvat naq vagrerfgvat jbzna znxrf lbh guvax "yvxr Ohssl", ohg jura lbh jngpu vg abj, lbh vzzrqvngryl guvax: "Naq gura ur zrg Qneyn!"

        • MrsGillianO says:

          Gb or ubarfg, gur pybfre lbh ybbx ng Yvnz naq gur Natry onpxfgbel, gur zber bs n zrff vg vf. Eryvtvba naq pynff jrer RABEZBHF va rvtugrragu-praghel Verynaq; Yvnz'f sngure vf cerfragrq cerggl zhpu nf na rk-crnfnag jvgu n Cebgrfgnag Jbex Rguvp. Crbcyr jrer yvgrenyyl fgneivat va zhpu bs Verynaq ng gur gvzr (frr Fjvsg'f "Zbqrfg Cebcbfny") naq gurer jnf irel yvggyr fbpvny zbovyvgl vaqrrq. Cbfg-inzcvat Natryhf jbhyq unir unq npprff gb uvture fbpvrgl guebhtu Qneyn, creuncf – fur zvtug cerfrag urefrys nf n uvtu-pynff pbhegrfna juvpu jbhyq bcra qbbef (naq vaivgngvbaf) gb ure naq ure pbzcnavba. Lbhat Yvnz, gubhtu, jbhyq ng orfg frr "qnzfry" glcr aboyrjbzra ng n qvfgnapr.

          Bs pbhefr, Natryhf jbhyq frr qnzfryf nf na rnfl fanpx. Naq or veevgngrq vs gurl unq incbhef.

    • etherealclarity says:

      V'ir arire orra n uhtr Pbeql/Natry fuvccre ohg V nyfb arire ernyyl yvxrq Ohssl/Natry (jnf FB unccl jura ur yrsg gur fubj naq sbe n ybat gvzr ershfrq gb jngpu Natry orpnhfr V sbhaq uvf punenpgre fb obevat). Ohg nsgre frireny erjngpurf bs Natry – bapr V svanyyl tnir va – naq abj jngpuvat Ohssl ntnva, V unir gb nqzvg, V engure yvxr gur cnvevat. Naq fvapr V arire pnerq sbe Ohssl/Natry naljnl, vg svgf dhvgr avpryl 🙂

    • Binx says:

      Major Angel/Buffy show spoilers. Don't cypher unless you've seen all seasons of both! ~~~~

      Bu Tbq, V fb ybir Pbeql/Natry. Pbeqryvn ernyyl terj vagb ure bja ba Natry naq orpnzr na nznmvat punenpgre naq gur gjb bs gurz whfg anghenyyl svg gbtrgure.

      Pbeql/Natry + Ohssl/Fcvxr + Gnen/Jvyybj + Jrfyrl/Serq = Gur Gehrfg bs Gur Bar Gehr Cnvevatf. Va zl obbx naljnl. Yby.

      • etherealclarity says:

        I like how you think, Binx.

        • Binx says:

          Thanks, Ethereal.

          Oh, and let's not forget Inara/Mal, Kaylee/Simon, and Zoe/Wash. <3 Joss sure knows how to pair up awesome couples.

          Naq gura fgbzc ba lbhe urneg naq guebj vg va n oyraqre, bs pbhefr.

          Still – the one teeny tiny positive thing we can take from the cancellation of Firefly is that he didn't have time to make Inara die, and thus, she just doesn't in my mind. No terminal illness. Never happened. No in-canon reveal. So they now have hundreds of fat children 🙂

      • Aria says:

        V ybbx lbhe obbx. V'yy or obeebjvat vg serdhragyl! 😉

    • notemily says:

      Sidenote: I like how when Buffy romanticizes the past, Willow is still like “yeah… I like being able to vote.”

      Word. Whenever the past is romanticized I always think about stuff like that. Not all progress is great, but a lot of it exists for very good reasons.

      • Binx says:

        Right there with ya. If I were to actually wake up in the 1700s I'd probably break down and cry and start looking for the nearest bridge within minutes. The only time I want to see the inside of the 18th century is when I'm watching Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow. Otherwise, NO THANK YOU. Pretty dresses = not enough.

        Actually, I'd probably have the same reaction if I landed anywhere before the 60s. No…70s. 80s? 90s? Oh my God, we still have so much suck! If we're still, in 2012, dealing with so many inequalities and social injustices (high rates of sexual assault against military women, unequal pay, etc.), what must our parents have been raised in even?

        What will our kids be raised in? Are we really on the fast track to progress? Or, with the economy as it is and the harsh & extremely divided, increasingly extremist political climate, and movements like "Stay-At-Home-Daughters", are we just slipping backwards? I mean, it does happen. Look at the Dark Ages after the fall of Rome.

        Oh my God, and now I've scared myself. Must watch more Buffy to comfort me (except not certain super depressing episodes).


        • notemily says:

          You pretty much went through the entire thought process I go through whenever I think about The State of the World Today. Then I get depressed and don't want to live on this planet anymore.

      • claretstock says:

        Me too me too! I love this line by Willow because it shows how important history is, and why inclusion of women(and what women had to over come) in history is important!

      • Dru says:

        Forget voting, I like having indoor plumbing (DO NOT WANT chamberpots, EEEEEEEWWWWWWW!!!!!!)

        Not everyone's going to have as chill a time hanging out in the pre-1900s as Martha Jones, and honestly I would be rather scared of getting kidnapped and sold into slavery, even if I didn't get the chance to find out that Genius Breath is stinky.

        <img src="; />

      • Dru says:

        “yeah… I like being able to vote.”

        Well, technically she can't yet vote, she's only 16 🙂 But props for the future prospect.

    • valmarkont says:

      Gur inzcverf' onpxfgbevrf jrer ernyyl shmml ng gung zbzrag. Guvf rcvfbqr znxrf n terng qrny bs cbvagvat bhg gung Natry jnf n uhzna va 1775. Ubjrire, va Orpbzvat jr jvyy yrnea gung Natry jnf npghnyyl fverq va 1753. Va Fpubby Uneq vg jnf zragvbarq gung Fcvxr vf 200 lrnef byq ohg yngre jr ner gbyq gung ur jnf fverq va 1880. Nyfb, va Fpubby Uneq Fcvxr ersref gb Natry nf uvf "fver", juvpu ur pyrneyl jnfa'g rgp. Gurfr qvfpercnapvrf npghnyyl obgure zr n terng qrny. 🙂

      • MrsGillianO says:

        Qvqa'g Fcvxr fnl fbzrguvat nybat gur yvarf bs "Qehfvyyn znqr zr n inzcver, ohg lbh znqr zr n zbafgre" va NgF5? Gung rkcynvaf vg nyy rabhtu gb znxr zr npprcg jung ur fnlf va "Fpubby Uneq".

    • Aria says:

      "(Fcrnxvat bs Natry va guvf rcvfbqr, V guvax Wbff unqa’g frggyrq ba Natry’f onpxfgbel lrg orpnhfr V qba’g guvax 18 lrne byq Yvnz jbhyq unir orra nebhaq aboyr jbzra. Uvf snzvyl jrer snezref, lrf?)"

      Nyfb ur jnf dhvgr gur fxveg-punfre. V qba'g guvax ur pnerq nobhg jbzra'f vagryyvtrapr nf zhpu nf ur gryyf Ohssl ur qvq.

      • Binx says:

        Un. Gbgnyyl nterr jvgu gung bar. Ur jnf n qehax, n oenjyre, naq qrsvavgryl tbg nebhaq. Ur qvqa'g pner nobhg zhpu bs nalguvat, naq gurer'f ab jnl Wbff pna npghnyyl pbaivapr zr gung gur ynpx bs vagryyrpghny cebjrff va jbzra bs gur gvzr obgurerq uvz. Chu-yrnfr. Vs nalguvat, ur jnf gbgnyyl whfg fnlvat gung sbe Ohssl'f fnxr – juvpu V guvax unf npghnyyl orra gur sna pbafrafhf sbe n juvyr. V'ir urneq vg zragvbarq orsber.

  7. Seventh_Star says:

    "well…this is just…neat!" (lovely to see you again, spike!)

    this episode is so much damn fun. this will be quite a lengthy list, so bear with me (or not).

    1. literally every time buffy stakes that vamp with the pumpkin sign i think, "ouch! splinters!" i mean, i know she uses stakes on a regular basis, but they seem smoother?

    2. it's established here that the big bad evils take it easy on halloween. nygubhtu gung'f eneryl, vs rire, gur pnfr…

    3. jvyybj gnyxvat nobhg ubj pbeqryvn vfa'g natry'f glcr, naq gung ur jbhyq ARIRE snyy sbe ure, nyjnlf whzcf bhg ng zr abj. v guvax v'yy xrrc zl bcvavba bs gur natry/pbeql guvat gb zlfrys sbe gur gvzr orvat.

    4. perfect scene is perfect! smg, aly, and tony are all on their respective games here. smg is really flexing her comedic chops.

    buffy: "miss calendar said you were a babe."
    giles: "she said what?"
    buffy: "she said that you were a hunk of burning…something or other. so, what do you think
    of that?"
    giles: "umm…i don't know…hmm…a hunk of burning what?"

    5. a care bear with fangs sounds downright terrifying.

    6. drusilla: "do you love my insides? the parts you can't see?"
    spike: "eyeballs to entrails, my sweet."

    ok, so i'm morbid. i find this to be poetic and sweet and sexy and disturbing and disgusting all at once, and i love it.

    7. "hey, cordelia. geez, you're like a great big cat."

    oz's deadpan delivery is the stuff greatness is made of.

    8. nf fbzrbar jub ybirf ynathntrf naq nppragf, v pna'g uryc ohg abgvpr gung rguna'f cebahapvngvba bs yngva urer vf dhvgr tbbq naq rssrpgvir. jr'ir nyy frra ubj qvfgenpgvatyl onq vg pna or jura fnvq ol bhe orybirq jvppna jvyybj. oyrff ure, fur'f whfg ab tbbq ng vg.

    9. fb, vg'f rfgnoyvfurq va yngre rcvfbqrf gung knaqre erzrzoref znal guvatf nobhg uvf fubeg gvzr nf n fbyqvre. v unir ab ceboyrz jvgu gung, cre fr, ohg vg znxrf zr jbaqre jul jvyybj arire gnyxf nobhg jung vg jnf yvxr gb qvr/ or qrnq pbf JUBN. nz v evtug? naq ohssl frrzvatyl qbrfa'g ergnva nal xabjyrqtr nobhg gur 18gu praghel. whfg na bofreingvba.

    10. after praising her earlier, i must say that i don't really care for smg's portayal of an "18th cetury girl". whatever accent she is attempting is distracting, and i find her performance to be pretty over-the-top at times, and not in the good way.

    11. v guvax guvf vf gur svefg nccrnenapr bs guvf senzrq cvpgher bs bhe gevb. v unccra gb guvax vg'f n engure tbbq bar. vg'f fjrrg. v yvxr gung gurl oevat vg onpx bire naq bire ntnva. vg'f n avpr erzvaqre bs "gur tbbq byq qnlf" va frnfbaf urapr.

    12. giles knows ethan? ethan called giles "ripper"? giles seems to have a dark past of some sort? giles goes hardcore on ethan's ass? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL? 😉

    13. it's such a relief to have buffy back. the audience realizes how much they've depended on buffy to be the slayer, to constantly be able kick some demon tail, and here buffy realizes that, too. while she so often wishes to be a normal girl, she isn't, and she sees that she may have taken her super powers for granted a little bit. she takes a small step to truly appreciating her amazing abilities.

    14. avpr yvggyr zbzrag orgjrra knaqre naq pbeql. arvgure bs gurz pna trg va orgjrra ohssl naq natry, fb jul abg fgneg ybbxvat ng bgure bcgvbaf? uzzzzz?

    15. oz sees willow again and repeats his favorite line: "who IS that girl?" i know it can probably be interpreted as him responding to her more revealing clothes, but i have never seen it that way. he's totally intrigued by her. first she's in a parka, then she's strutting around baring her midriff (i love the confidence that willow gains in the episode). this is obviously a rare individual that he is observing, and he wants to know more about her.

    16. gurer vf n avpr ovg bs sberfunqbjvat urer jura natry vf gnyxvat gb ohssl nobhg ubj gur tveyf ur xarj jura ur jnf nyvir jrer "vaperqvoyl qhyy" naq gung ur unq nyjnlf jnagrq gb zrrg fbzrbar "rkpvgvat". guvf nggvghqr vf bar bs gur znva snpgbef gung yrq gb uvz orpbzvat n inzcver. qneyn bofreirq guvf qrfver va uvz sbe n qvssrerag, zber vagrerfgvat yvsr, naq fur cebivqrq gung sbe uvz.

    • etherealclarity says:

      V guvax znlor gur ernfba gung Jvyybj'f naq Ohssl'f rkcrevraprf ba Unyybjrra nera'g qvfphffrq vf gung gurl jrera'g abgrjbegul. Jung vasbezngvba sebz gur 18gu praghel pbhyq Ohssl bssre hc gung jbhyq or urycshy (bgure guna tvivat ure na rqtr va uvfgbel pynff be orggre znxrhc-nccylvat gvcf)? Ure pbfghzr jnf fcrpvsvpnyyl cerfragrq nf n jbzna jubfr wbo vg jnf gb ybbx cerggl, naq gur punenpgre pregnvayl rkcerffrq guvf dhvgr rzcungvpnyyl nf jryy. Nf sbe Jvyybj qlvat, jryy, creuncf vg jnfa'g nyy gung riragshy sbe ure gb erzrzore. Fur qvqa'g npghnyyl ernyvmr fur jnf "qrnq" hagvy fur gevrq gb cvpx fbzrguvat hc, nf V erpnyy.

      Naljnl, gung'f zl gnxr.

      • notemily says:

        V unir gb nqzvg V jbhyq svaq vg uvynevbhf vs Ohssl nprq n uvfgbel grfg be gjb ol hfvat guvf xabjyrqtr.

      • RoseFyre says:

        V nyjnlf svtherq Ohssl fhccerffrq nyy zrzbel, be gubhtug vg jnf hfryrff – juvpu, gb or snve, pbafvqrevat jub fur qerffrq hc nf…n ybg bs vg cebonoyl jnf. V zrna, jung hfr vf orvat noyr gb gvr n pbefrg? Naq creuncf fur pna freir grn jryy, ohg fur qbrfa'g rira yvxr grn!

        Nf sbe Jvyybj, V unq n gubhtug jura V jnf erjngpuvat – jul qb jr frr bayl Knaqre, abg Ohssl'f znaaref be Jvyybj'f pbaarpgvba gb gur fcvevg jbeyq…jnvg n frpbaq, fur ERFHEERPGF Ohssl. Juvpu, V xabj n ybg bs gung vf zntvp, ohg V jbaqre vs gurer'f n pbaarpgvba gurer gung znqr vg rnfvre.

    • NB2000 says:

      8. nf fbzrbar jub ybirf ynathntrf naq nppragf, v pna'g uryc ohg abgvpr gung rguna'f cebahapvngvba bs yngva urer vf dhvgr tbbq naq rssrpgvir. jr'ir nyy frra ubj qvfgenpgvatyl onq vg pna or jura fnvq ol bhe orybirq jvppna jvyybj. oyrff ure, fur'f whfg ab tbbq ng vg.

      "Fperj vg! Zvtugl Sbeprf V FHPX ng Yngva!"

    • settlingforhistory says:

      fb, vg'f rfgnoyvfurq va yngre rcvfbqrf gung knaqre erzrzoref znal guvatf nobhg uvf fubeg gvzr nf n fbyqvre. v unir ab ceboyrz jvgu gung, cre fr, ohg vg znxrf zr jbaqre jul jvyybj arire gnyxf nobhg jung vg jnf yvxr gb qvr/ or qrnq pbf JUBN. nz v evtug? naq ohssl frrzvatyl qbrfa'g ergnva nal xabjyrqtr nobhg gur 18gu praghel. whfg na bofreingvba.

      Guvf zvtug whfg or n ybg bs sna jnax ohg zl gurbel vf gung vg vf vzcbegnag ubj gur Fynlrerggf vagrecerg gurve pbfghzrf. Knaqre qerffrq hc nf n fbyqvre, sebz jung jr frr yngre npghnyyl nf n fbyqvre sebz Fhaalqnyr'f nezl onfr (znlor ur onbhtug n hfrq nezl wnpxrg ng gur fgber), fb ur vf npgnhyyl n crefba jvgu zrzbevrf.
      Ohssl ba gur bgure unaq qerffrq hc nf n tvey sebz gur cnfg be n cevaprff, fbzrbar jvgubhg n anzr, whfg n ebyr.
      Jvgu Jvyybj V thrff gur zrzbel vf engure ubeevoyr ohg sbeghangryl fubeg, unq fur orra n mbzovr vg jbhyq cebonoyl unir orra jbefr.

      • Seventh_Star says:

        i just love that buffy fans (or fans from any fandom) sit around thinking about stuff like this.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      2 – Hayrff gurer'f fbzrguvat va gur pbzvpf V unira'g tbggra gb… Gur guerr Unyybjrra Rcvfbqrf ner:

      Guvf bar – Fcvxr jbhyq'ir gnxra vg rnfl, ohg gur bccbeghavgl gung cerfragrq vf jnl gbb qryvpvbhf. Rguna pnhfrq vg, ohg vfa'g n qrzba
      Srne, Vgfrys – (Fvqr abgr YBIR YBIR guvf rcvfbqr) N qrzba vf fhzzbarq ol n fcryy
      Nyy Gur Jnl – grrantr inzc uvwvaxf gung pna or jryy znccrq gb erthyne grrantr unyybjrra uvwvaxf.

      9- Ohssl'f zrzbevrf unir orra pbirerq va gur bgure pbzzragf, ohg sbe Jvyybj V'q fnl gung fur qvqa'g ernyyl qvr, fur fvzcyl orpnzr n tubfg, vg'f xvaqn qvssrerag V guvax. Vg zvtug or orggre gb ybbx ng vg, nf ure vapbecberny frys ebfr naq jnf znqr gb fgnl ba Rnegu… gur bayl guvat gung pbhyq cebonoyl or bssrerq sebz guvf vf 'jubn vg'f fb jrveq gb jnyx guebhtu crbcyr naq jnyyf…'

      • notemily says:

        Lrnu, fur frrzrq gb srry fbzrguvat jrveq jura Knaqre jnyxrq evtug guebhtu ure, evtug? Fb znlor fur pbhyq unir hfrq gung yngre jura gurl jrer svtugvat tubfgf. Qvq gurl rire svtug npghny tubfgf? Znlor va gur bar jurer gur ubhfr znxrf Ohssl naq Evyrl unir frk sberire? Gung bar fhpxf gubhtu.

        • Seventh_Star says:

          lrnu, lbh'q guvax gurer jbhyq or zber tubfg npgvba ba ohssl. gurer ner nyzbfg tubfgf: crbcyr orvat vaunovgrq ol gur fcvevgf byq ybiref, rpubrf bs frkhnyyl sehfgengrq crbcyr jub nera'g npghnyyl qrnq (v zhfg nterr jvgu lbh ba gur abg tbbqarff bs gung rcvfbqr), vapbecberny uvgpuuvxre qrzbaf, rgp.

    • RoseFyre says:

      14. avpr yvggyr zbzrag orgjrra knaqre naq pbeql. arvgure bs gurz pna trg va orgjrra ohssl naq natry, fb jul abg fgneg ybbxvat ng bgure bcgvbaf? uzzzzz?

      Lrf! Gung jnf gbgnyyl zl ernpgvba!

      …Nyfb, Knaqre ybbxf ubg va gung bhgsvg, naq V guvax Pbeqryvn abgvprf.

  8. ladililn says:

    Qnvyl Qnja Guernq (gz)!

    (Bxnl, nsgre fb zhpu ebg13-vat V'z fgnegvat gb guvax bs Qnja nf "Qnja". Nf va, gur ebg13'q irefvba bs gung. V cebabhapr vg xrra-wn va zl zvaq. Vg'f qvfgenpgvat.)

    N srj rcvfbqrf ntb jura jr jrer gnyxvat nobhg gur pbzvp "Snyfr Zrzbevrf", V erzrzorerq ernqvat fbzrguvat nobhg Qnja va guvf rcvfbqr tbvat nf n ynqloht sbe Unyybjrra naq fgnlvat ubzr fvpx be ure zbz syvpxvat ure bss ure nez be fbzrguvat, juvpu V nggevohgrq gb gung pbzvp. Fbzrobql jub unq npghnyyl ERNQ vg frg zr fgenvtug gurer. Fb V tbbtyrq "Qnja" "Ohssl" "Unyybjrra" naq "ynqloht" naq pnzr hc jvgu this (spoilery) fic! Juvpu vf onfvpnyyl n "vafreg Qnja vagb pbagvahvgl svp", be jung jr'ir orra qbvat guvf jubyr gvzr. V gbgnyyl sbetbg V'q rire ernq nalguvat rira erzbgryl va gung traer. Naljub, vg'f vagrerfgvat gb frr fbzrbar ryfr'f vqrnf ba guvf, nygubhtu gurve jubyr Unyybjrra fpranevb pbhyqa'g npghnyyl jbex jvgu guvf rcvfbqr, nf cneg bs vg uvatrf ba Ohssl'f ubhfr orvat pbairavragyl rzcgl ba Unyybjrra.

    Naljnl, va gur nygrerq gvzryvar Wblpr jnf cebonoyl tbar orpnhfr fur jnf gnxvat Qnja (naq znlor ure sevraqf?) gevpx-be-gerngvat. Naq lbh xabj gung Ohssl (eryhpgnagyl) unq gb gnxr Qnja nybat jura fur jrag pbfghzr fubccvat, fb Qnja jbhyq unir tbggra ure pbfghzr ng gur fnzr cynpr. Juvpu ortf gur dhrfgvba, jung jbhyq fur or? Ng guvf cbvag fur fubhyq or…ryrira, V oryvrir? Fb abg dhvgr ng gur ntr jurer lbh qrpvqr lbh'er gbb pbby sbe gevpx-be-gerngvat, ohg znlor ng gur ntr jurer lbh jnag gb qerff nf fbzrguvat n yvggyr zber nqhyg. (Bxnl, guvf vf gbgny pbawrpgher; vg'f orra n ernyyl ybat gvzr fvapr V jnf ryrira, bxnl.) Sbe fbzr ernfba V'z cvpghevat ure qerffrq nf Yvggyr Erq Evqvat Ubbq, znlor orpnhfr V guvax Fcvxr pnyyf ure gung ng fbzr cbvag? Znlor?

    Okay (un-rot13'd because this thought isn't spoilery and I'm generally curious), now I'm thinking of what else kids might have dressed as in Sunnydale in 1997, cultural figure-wise. Britney Spears? If a kid dressed as Britney Spears, did they ACTUALLY turn into Britney Spears? That's gotta be kind of coufusing for all involved.

    Naljub. Gubhtugf? Qnja pbfghzr vqrnf? Ohryyre?

    • Mez says:

      Lrc – "Qnja vafreg" vf n jubyr traer. (V'ir qbar fbzr zlfrys.)

      Abg fher jung Qnja jbhyq unir qerffrq hc nf…

      • ladililn says:

        Naq fur pevrf sbe ybfg zbzragf naq pnaql one oynpxznvy.

        Fantastic! I really loved this. 🙂 And now I've probably lost my entire afternoon to exploring your fic…XD

      • ladililn says:

        Bxnl, nsgre univat (fgnyxrq) ybbxrq guebhtu lbhe "Qnja" gnt, pna V tvir lbh na nfgeny cynar uvtu svir? V ybir crbcyr jub ybir Qnja! V ybir Qnja! Qnja vf gur orfg! Jr pna ybir Qnja gbtrgure! KQ

    • Jenny_M says:

      I thought it was nice that none of the kids were dressed as copyrighted characters, hee hee.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      Vg'f xvaqn gbb onq jr qba'g hfr n pvcure gung jbhyq punatr Qnja gb Hznq. Bbb naq gura vg pbhyq punatr Ohssl gb Wbaar (jrveq fcryyvat fvapr j jbhyq nyernql znc gb n… naq gb nppbhag sbe gur gjb s'f). V guvax guvf pvcure arrqf gb or perngrq fb jr pna fgneg hfvat vg… V'z cerggl fher v'q tvttyr vafnaryl…

    • NB2000 says:

      Pbzcyrgryl enaqbz vqrn sbe Qnja'f pbfghzr gung whfg bppherq gb zr juvyr ernqvat guvf guernq (va bgure jbeqf V unira'g gubhtug guvf guebhtu cebcreyl): fur qerffrq hc nf n Inzcver gb zrff jvgu Ohssl. Nqzvggrqyl gung pbhyq unir orra njxjneq jura gur fcryy gbbx ubyq.

      • ladililn says:

        Bbu, gung jbhyq or vagrerfgvat…V vzntvar vs gur rcvfbqr unq unq gur fnzr cerzvfr ohg tbar va n qvssrerag qverpgvba vg jbhyq'ir orra vagrerfgvat gb frr ubj Ohssl qrnyf jvgu Fynlre qhgvrf jura fur'f abg fher jub'f gur erny inzcver/qrzba naq jub'f whfg n xvq (be, lbh xabj, ure fvfgre).

    • DreamRose311 says:

      Znlor gur vzntr bs ure nf Erq Evqvat Ubbq pbzrf sebz Srne, Vgfrys, xabjvat gung Ohssl qerffrq hc sbe vg ng yrnfg gjvpr sbe Unyybjrra (fvapr Wblpr jnf yrggvat vg bhg), fb creuncf va n unaq-zr-qbja glcr genqvgvba Qnja unq ng bar cbvag nyfb jbea gur pbfghzr. Nynf, va guvf jnl vg pbhyqa'g or bar sebz gur fubc, ohg creuncf fur jber vg n qvssrerag lrne.

    • Mauve_Avenger says:

      Yeah, it looks like it was all really generic, archetypal stuff in Ethan's shop. I saw a cop costume, some chain mail, a Santa Claus, and some animals (a giant cow's head and a bumblebee, which would really suck in the context of the episode). I'm pretty sure there was also one of those weird ornate fringe jackets, and it seemed like there were some regular clothes in there, too, for some reason.

      It seemed to me that the wearer's perception influenced the transformation, though. If I remember correctly Ethan implied that the ball gown was supposed to be a princess costume, but instead it transformed Buffy into an 18th-century noblewoman, which is obviously what she wanted it to represent. So maybe someone bought the fringed jacket and became Elvis for the night?

      • t09yavosaur says:

        That makes sense. The only thing Xander bought was the gun, he said the fatigues were his own, and the curse still made him a soldier without having too much to go on.

    • kelseyofcake says:

      How did I only just now find out about these threads? V ybir Qnja! Tynq gb frr V'z abg gur bayl crefba urer jub qbrf. Fur trgf fb zhpu haqrfreirq ungr.
      Fbeel V unir abguvat gb pbagevohgr gb guvf cnegvphyne qvfphffvba nfvqr sebz "V'z fb unccl lbh rkvfg".

      • ladililn says:

        Qnja ybiref bs gur jbeyq, havgr! KQ Frevbhfyl, jr arrq gb sbez n fhccbeg tebhc be fbzrguvat gb qrsraq ure sebz nyy gur (onssyvat) ungr gung fur trgf. Vg'yy or yvxr n cebgrpgvir ohooyr nebhaq Qnjavr. :C

    • RoseFyre says:

      Bu, V xabj – V gbgnyyl erpbtavmr rirelbar'f ebg13rq anzrf abj naq vg'f whfg yvxr…bxnl, fb gurl'er gnyxvat nobhg gung…

      Naq fbzrbar unf "V ybir Qnja" (va ebg13) jevggra yngre naq V jnf noyr gb ernq vg jvgubhg genafyngvat. *snprcnyz*

      • ladililn says:

        Evtug?! V'z jbaqrevat ubj ybat vg jvyy or orsber V jvyy npghnyyl or noyr gb pbafvqre zlfrys syhrag va (ernqvat) ebg13…orgjrra guvf naq YBGE, vg qbrfa'g frrz yvxr gung hayvxryl bs n cbffvovyvgl. KQ

    • Dru says:

      Britney Spears didn't become a Big Deal till early 1999, we're still a year and a bit away from the possibility of THAT 🙂

  9. Ryan Lohner says:

    I mostly adore this episode; a great idea carried off very well. And then the ending comes close to wrecking it, as everyone just stands there and lets Spike get away for no reason. Maybe it was just a directing issue, but it's an uncomfortably artificial moment, like they're all just thinking "If we kill him now, the season loses its main villain."

    Naq bs pbhefr vg'f abj jbefr gunaxf gb gur ahzrebhf shgher gvzrf guvf unccraf.

    • TrampyMcBitca says:

      YES! Ugh, why don't we let the vampire that we all know is dangerous (having killed two slayers previously) walk away? Buffy lets Sheila walk away in School Hard as well, but at least you can make the excuse that she's got a lot of other things to worry about when that is happening. But here? No excuse, except for what Ryan points out, that you can't get rid of the main villain in Episode 6.

      I completely agree with your Rot13.

    • ladililn says:

      I think what's worse is the ten or so seconds as Spike slooooooooooooowly leans in to bite Buffy's neck when he has her at his mercy. It made me think of Doctor Doofenschmirtz (random Phineas & Ferb reference!) and his reluctance to actually go forward with his evil plan when it seems like he isn't going to be foiled.

      Spike: I'm leaning in now…I'm going to bite Buffy…gonna kill her…any second now…she's not fighting back…she's at my mercy…I'm gonna do it…still not fighting…not even a kick?…not even a non-super-powered, totally pathetic eighteenth-century-lady attempt at fighting back?…okay…that's neat!…gonna do it…any second…I'm leeeeeaaaaannniiiinnnggg…

      Buffy: Hi, honey, I'm home.

      Spike: WHAT. Foiled again! Man, I did NOT see that coming.

    • cait0716 says:

      There was no wood in the warehouse/factory/thing! How could Buffy have killed him without a stake? It was just metal everywhere. And nothing sharp enough to take his head off. Plus she'd had a long night. He's not posing an immediate threat, so he can go for now

      • RoseFyre says:

        And even though she's good at fighting in that dress, it's still a dress. I suspect she can't fully fight properly, unfortunately.

        And while some of the demons turned back into kids…weren't some of them real too?

    • nanceoir says:

      I just pretend that there wasn't any stake-shaped wood or real weaponry around to kill Spike, so Buffy and friends just let him saunter off. Also, um… think of the children? Or something. 😉

      • DreamRose311 says:

        Yeah, I was going to mention the Children being around point… fighting around them could be problematic, don't want accidental victims.

      • ghostofdurruti says:

        That's my preferred fanwank: Buffy just doesn't want to kill something that looks like a person in front of a bunch of kids. 'Cause they're…I dunno…impressionable?

  10. Jenny_M says:

    Halloween is seriously one of my favorite episodes of Buffy.

    HOWEVER, I noticed this time, on my umpteenth rewatch, that Pirate dude was dressed in a Hanes beefy-T and some shorts, lol. Buffy's hair became real, Xander's gun became real, but I guess the costume budget didn't extend far enough to get him an actual pirate shirt or breeches. Bless!

    • DreamRose311 says:

      Qbrf nalbar ryfr guvax vgf jrveq jura Shgher Knaqre qerffrq nf n cvengr sbe Unyybjrra? V nyjnlf gubhtug vg jbhyq pbawher onq zrzbevrf… Vf vg zragvbarq va gung rcvfbqr? V pna'g erzrzore…

      • tornflames says:

        Ohssl'f pubvpr bs Erq Evqvat Ubbq frrzrq whfg nf cbbeyl cynaarq…ohg V erzrzore V ybirq gung Shgher Jvyybj jrag nf Wbna bs Nep. Yvxr, juvyr pbfghzr fubccvat fur jnf guvaxvat, "Ynfg lrne V ghearq vagb n tubfg….guvf lrne, whfg gb or fnsr, V'z tbaan or fbzrbar jub pna svtug, vf jrnevat n ovt by' pebff bire punvaznvy, naq unf n fjbeq."

        Also, I think I remember having a fridge logic moment the first time I saw this when I realized that those people left Willow's poor corpse laying on their porch for the duration of the episode. Nice, guys. Safer that way in Sunnydale, I guess, but still.

    • MelvinTheBold says:

      Well those were the parts of the costume that he didn't buy at Ethans Costume Shoppe of Doome…

  11. Kickpuncher says:

    So like, was Willow’s body actually dead the entire time she was a ghost? Was her heart not beating?


    • I also wonder why ghosts don't just sink through the floor. Willow's walking around but she can't touch anything, so how does that work??

      • ladililn says:

        Probably she's floating, she's just floating with her feet pretty much on the floor! /fanwank (because I totally wondered the same thing as I was watching. I have similar questions about x-ray vision and telepathy. also invisibility. man, once you start thinking about them, most superpowers pretty much fall apart.)

    • hpfish13 says:

      Jung vs Ohssl unq qerffrq hc n tubfg? Jbhyq gung pbhag nf n qrngu naq jbhyq gurer or n guveq fynlre?

      • NB2000 says:

        V qba'g guvax vg jbhyq unir pnyyrq nabgure Fynlre. Gur fubj, riraghnyyl, gerngrq vg nf vs Ohssl jnf bhg bs gur yvar naq gur pnyy jnf cnffrq ba guebhtu Xraqen naq Snvgu. Urapr ab arj Fynlre nsgre Gur Tvsg.

        • hpfish13 says:

          Oooooooo right……I always forget about this.

        • thiamalonee says:

          Npghnyyl, V qba'g guvax gur fubj rire npxabjyrqtrf guvf. Nf bs frnfba frira, Ohssl fgvyy gnyxf nobhg ubj vs fur qvrf bar bs gur cbgragvnyf jvyy or pnyyrq. Sbe njuvyr gurer, Wbff & pb. unaqjnirq gur ynpx bs n guveq fynlre nsgre frnfba svir nf Ohssl univat n "zlfgvpny qrngu." Juvpu znxrf nofbyhgryl ab frafr, orpnhfr gurer'f ab jnl va gur ragver yvar bs fynlref, rirel bar unq n aba-zlfgvpny qrngu. Gur rkcynangvba gung gur yvar unq cnffrq gb Snvgu, naq gung fur jbhyq unir gb qvr sbe gur arkg fynlre gb or pnyyrq jnf snaba. Vg znqr n ybg zber frafr, gubhtu. Rfcrpvnyyl va rkcynvavat jul fynlref jub unq gurve urneg fgbc naq jrer oebhtug onpx bire gur praghevrf unqa'g erfhygrq va na rkcbaragvny fynlre tebjgu. Riraghnyyl, gur sna gurbel orpnzr pnaba, V oryvrir.

  12. Maya says:

    I love Willow taking a level in badass. I love lady!Buffy's over the top weakness. I love the small children turning into small goblins that Spike then recruits. I love that Halloween is too cliche for vampires.

    So much could have gone wrong, but this episode is definitely one of my favorites.

  13. znachki says:

    If the whole of the British Isles can ignore what happens on Doctor Who every Christmas (+++), then I think we need to be able to forgive the residents of Sunnydale for their own mass denial.

  14. LadyPeyton says:

    Hooray! We finally got to a good episode!

    “Do you stuff your own shirts or do you send them out?” That whole scene is just perfect.

    Ethat Rayne!!!


    “This is just…neat!”

    Willow coming as she aren’t! “Wild on me equals spaz.”

    Soldier Xander!

    “Angel’s a vampire. I thought you knew.”

    “Carebear with fangs.”

    “I promise from now on I’ll let you get pummeled.” “Thank you!”

    I love this episode soooo much!

    • LadyPeyton says:

      I have to say, though, that one thing has always bugged me about this episode, and it ties into my re-enacting geekdom. The outline of the drawing for the 18th century lady is so wrong it hurts. Any lady of the era would never have had sticky outy boobs in her dress. She's have worn a corset underneath and the front of her dress would have been nearly flat.

  15. Tx_Cronopio says:

    Great commentary, Mark 🙂

  16. Partes says:

    My thoughts on this episode are not complicated. They're pretty much "THIS IS AWESOME" over and over again, mixed with some appreciation for the small Oz moment we get, and then me wishing that one of them had dressed up as the Doctor. Ah, what might have been. It seems like the kind of thing Xander would do too, although Willow as the Doctor would make me explode with joy. Plus, he'd finally get to be ginger/redhead (is there a difference?!?! I have no idea) so yeah.

    Plus, Giles being a bamf is pretty much the best thing ever. MOAR.

    • Dru says:

      Well, 1997 would have been about eight years too early for a Doctor dressup, unless they went for one of the Classic Who Doctors.

      (but I do love them for the Xena reference)

    • MrsGillianO says:

      Va zl zvaq Wbanguna qerffrq hc nf Gur Qbpgbe, Gbz Onxre irefvba, naq pbafgnagyl sryy bire uvf fpnes. (Vg jbhyq haqbhogrqyl or bar bs Rguna'f, nsgre nyy.)

  17. dasmondschaf says:

    Buffy is so talented she can conjure Diet Dr Pepper from a machine with no Diet Dr Pepper button.

    This is clearly the most important part of the episode.


    OK, so I have seen this episode at least half a dozen times, and EVEN NOW I literally did a little dance of joy in my chair when Ethan and Giles were in the same room. GILES HOW ARE YOU SUCH A BADASS. Also, Ripper, OMG. Especially in contrast to his utter confusion earlier in the episode, when Buffy is distracting him by telling him what Ms. Calendar supposedly thinks of him. You are a babe indeed, Mr. Rupert Giles.

    • cait0716 says:

      Man, that is totally how the coke machines worked at my college. Whoever was in charge of filling them just filled them randomly and you never had any idea what you were gonna get. It was exciting.

  18. Iamwinterborn says:

    I need to rewatch this episode, I think I managed to miss it during my last skim through of the series (yeah, yeah, throw your hate at me).

    I think it's mostly because there are SO MANY CROSSOVER FANFICS dealing with this episode I feel like I have watched it a bajillion times.

    Alright, everyone, post your replies with your favorite Halloween fanfics! Probably best to stay rot13'd in this just to avoid potential spoilers for Buffy, and also any spoilers for shows Mark might watch.

    P.S. – Mark, the still doesn't want to show up on google. I emailed you link awhile back, I think it was from the time it got hacked, you need to petition google to get rechecked or something.

    • Iamwinterborn says:

      Naq gur svefg Unyybjrra snasvp V nz tbvat gb cbfg vfa'g rira n pebffbire!

      Vg'f V Nz Jung V Nz ol ZZpTertbe.


      LNL! Znegl Fgh! Bar bs gubfr fgbevrf gung V whfg gnxr n thvygl cyrnfher jvgu. Onfvp cerzvfr vf gung Knaqre qbrfa'g tb gb Unyybjrra nf n fbyvqre. Ur tbrf gb Unyybjrra nf uvzfrys… bayl byqre. Zhpu byqre. Nf va ur yvirq uvf ragver yvsr naq qvrq bs byq ntr. Vg'f fcyvg orgjrra gur "cerfrag" naq synfuonpxf… gb gur shgher, jryy, gur byq shgher, naq vg'f cerggl tbfu qnearq tbbq.

      • Kaderie says:

        Bu tbq, guvf fgbel. V unir gb fnl…V ungr vg. V ernyyl, ernyyl ungr vg.

        Juvpu vf fnq, orpnhfr gur jevgre vf boivbhfyl gnyragrq, vg vf jryy-jevggra, vg unf fbzr jbaqreshy vqrnf. Ohg vg vf, dhvgr senaxyl, <v>tebff</v> ubj gurl gnxr n fubj nobhg jbzra naq srznyr fgeratgu naq znxr vg nyy nobhg ubj tbqqnza njrfbzr gur fbyr zna vf.

        Va gur shgher, Knaqre zneevrq Snvgu. Gura fur qvrq. Gura ur zneevrq Ohssl. Ng gur raq bs gur svp, onpx va gur cnfg, ur fgnegf n cbyl eryngvbafuvc jvgu obgu Ohssl naq Snvgu ng bapr. Fb…gur Avpr Thl trgf gur tvey va gur raq. Uryy, ur vf fb njrfbzr, ur trgf GJB. Pbhyq gur nhgube'f frkhny jvfu-shysvyzrag or nal zber oyngnag?
        Va gur shgher Knaqre pbzrf sebz, fynlref ner choyvp – gurer jnf na ncbpnylcfr gung onfvpnyyl tbg yviroebnqpnfgrq, naq gur Fpbbovrf pbhyqa'g nibvq gur fcbgyvtug. Thrff jub orpbzrf gur zbfg orybirq ureb bs gur Fpbbovrf. THRFF. Guvf pbhyq or fyl pbzzragnel nobhg ubj gur nppbzcyvfuzragf bs jbzra trg hfhecrq ol zra, ohg abcr! Abguvat va gur grkg fhttrfgf vg. Jr ner whfg zrnag gb nterr gung Knaqre vf gung njrfbzr, orpnhfr ur sbhtug jvgubhg cbjref sbe fb ybat naq gung znxrf uvz fb zhpu zber njrfbzr guna Ohssl naq Snvgu naq Jvyybj naq onfvpnyyl nalbar rire.
        Ohssl naq Snvgu, fgebat jbzra nf jr xabj gurz, qribyir vagb fgrerbglcrf bs jbzra. Ng bar cbvag va gur fgbel, Ohssl fgnegf fboovat hapbagebyynoyl orpnhfr Knaqre'f qnhtugre sebz nabgure zneevntr pnyyrq ure "Znzn" (be fbzrguvat gb gung rkgrag. V sbetrg gur qrgnvyf). Ohssl. Fgnegf. Fboovat. Wrfhf Puevfg, fur qvqa'g fbo jura ure zbgure qvrq, fur qvqa'g fbo jura fur fgnoorq gur ybir bs ure yvsr jvgu n fjbeq naq fur qvqa'g fbo jura fur fnpevsvprq ure yvsr. FGBC VG, NHGUBE. OHSSL VF ABG TRAREVP JBZNA AE. 394825 JVGU BIRENPGVIR GRNEQHPGF (yvxr nyy jbzra unir nzvevgr?) Onfvpnyyl, gur nhgube qvfpneqf n gba bs gur onfvp crefbanyvgl genvgf bs gur srznyr punenpgref, abg whfg Ohssl, gb znxr gurz svg.

        V nz tbvat gb fgbc urer. Nf lbh pna gryy, V unir n ybg bs ~srryvatf~ nobhg guvf svp.

    • Dru says:

      Crossovers with what fandoms? TELL ME I WANT TO KNOW.

      ***curious person is curious***

      • echinodermata says:

        Dunno if you're specifically interested in crossovers dealing with this episode or not, but if not, I introduce you to

      • Iamwinterborn says:

        Well let's see, we have crossovers with Noir (Qnja wears a Noir costume in that one).

        There's Xander/Batman crossovers.

        Xander/Jedi Knight crossovers.

        Buffy/Shinigami Crossovers…

        One where the spell hits the whole world… I think every fandom is in that one…

        Xander/Iron Man…

        Then there's plenty where the uniform that Xander wore belong to someone "real" in that universe like say, Colonel Jack O'neil… who wants to know why he had such a weird dream about Sunnydale…

        Goodness, yeah. Just tons of fandoms.

        And the site echinodermata linked has most of these. In fact there's plenty of BtVS/Stargate or NCIS or Supernatural, Star Trek (surprisingly decent despite setting change)… okay there's just tons go check it out. If you want reccomendations for crossover fanfics I'll post some.

        • Patrick721 says:

          I recently read a pretty good one where Xander had to dress up like a jewish character, because he lost a bet with Willow or something. And so he dressed up like Magneto. And then had to deal with the fact that, even after the spell was broken, he still had the memories of a freaking Holocaust survivor in his head.

        • Shay_Guy says:

          And now I've got my own plotbunny.

          Jvyybj, gb ure qryvtug, qvfpbiref fbzr Zl Yvggyr Cbal pbfghzrf va gur fgber. Ohssl fxrcgvpnyyl nfxf vs fur rire rira JNGPURQ gung pnegbba — Jvyybj furrcvfuyl nqzvgf ab, ohg… gurer'f guvf ernyyl tbbq snasvp frevrf fur sbhaq bayvar. Tbg vgf bja Trbpvgvrf cntr naq rirelguvat, jvgu "rcvfbqrf" ninvynoyr va GKG naq UGZY — gurer ner rira fbzr ZVQVf sbe fbatf jevggra sbe vg. Trarenyyl, gur frevrf vf ersreerq gb ol gur anzr bs gur bevtvany, qbhoyr-yratgu fgbel gung fgnegrq vg.

          Ohssl'f urfvgnag, ohg nzhfrq ng Jvyybj'f qbexl raguhfvnfz, naq riraghnyyl qrpvqrf "jung gur uryy" — fur jnagrq tveyl, naq fur zvffrf srryvat yvxr n xvq naljnl. Jvyybj fhttrfgf gur trarevp checyr havpbea pbfghzr, znvayl orpnhfr ure snibevgr punenpgre sebz gur snasvp vf n checyr havpbea, naq wbxrf gung fur'yy guvax bs Ohssl nf orvat qerffrq hc nf gung punenpgre.

          Gjvyvtug unf ab vqrn jurer fur vf be ubj fur tbg gurer, ohg vg'f abg Cbalivyyr be bgure cbal gbja. Fur'f tbg abguvat ba ure. Abcbal ryfr fur xabjf vf gurer, abg rira Fcvxr, qrfcvgr fbzr pbashfvba jura fur zragvbaf uvz gb gur angvirf. Ohg bar guvat gung vf pyrne: Cbavrf nera'g gur bayl perngherf gung inzcverf be bgure qrzbaf pna cbffrff, naq gurfr "uhznaf" ner va qnatre. Bs pbhefr, jvgubhg fnqqyrontf, vg'f abg ernyyl cenpgvpny sbe ure gb pneel n jbbqra jrncba yvxr fbzr bs gur uhznaf qb, vapyhqvat gur tvey jub Jvyybj vafvfgf ghearq vagb ure. Ohg fur qbrf unir n fhvgnoyl-funcrq havpbea ubea, fbzr onfvp xabjyrqtr bs qrzbabybtl naq gunhzngbybtl, naq, re, n snve nzbhag bs zntvpny cbjre naq fxvyy…

    • LadyPeyton says:

      Zl snibevgr unf nyjnlf orra gur cher hanqhygrengrq fzhg bs Gerng ol Xnagnlen. Fcvxr pngpurf gur Qhpurff bs Ohssbavn nybar naq unq bgure guvatf ba uvf zvaq orfvqrf fynlvat ure. But I'm an unapologetic Spuffy so others' Ms may V.

    • Shay_Guy says:

      I can't believe I forgot this episode was coming.

      Most Buffy episodes I've seen (all the first three seasons) I had only a vague idea about going in — a one- or two-sentence synopsis at most. This was by far the one I knew the most about before watching it the first time, for the sole reason that, alone among Buffy episodes, this one has inspired an entire fanfic subgenre. I'm quite certain that no individual episode has had anywhere near as many fanfics based on it as "Halloween."

      Authors traditionally label such fics "YAHF," for "Yet Another Halloween (Fan?)Fic."

      My favorites? Eh, I haven't read many of the better-known ones, but I'm partial to the one where Knaqre gheaf vagb n zvav-Obyb.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I am already in communication with Google about that! Soon! But thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  19. Inseriousity. says:

    Okay, another one I can remember from my childhood. The idea of turning into what you're wearing is really creepy to me cos I always wore some skeleton or demon mask haha. Aww I miss trick or treating, I hate being considered 'too old' for this. i want sweets too 🙁

  20. pica_scribit says:


    OK, I'm done now.

  21. librarygirl says:

    Whfg jbaqreat, vf Znex jngpuvat Jung'f Zl Yvar nf bar be gjb rcvfbqrf?

  22. cait0716 says:

    Willow rules this episode. I love that she just takes charge and gets shit done. And Giles' reaction to her coming into the library will never not be funny. And her growth! Going from not being sure about Buffy's outfit at the beginning, to walking down the street head held high at the end is just amazing. And Oz sees her again! And falls even more in love. I like that he keeps seeing her at her best/weirdest and wants to know more.

    It's interesting that as much as Xander is tied up with this idea of being a man and wears a hyper-masculine costume and morphs into a soldier, he never once questions that Willow is in charge. I wonder if that's wish-playing (part of Xander's costume, i.e., who he wants to be) or just Ethan's spell doing that.

    And the ultimate message that Angel likes Buffy for who she is and not because of some idealitzed version of what a woman should be? Awesome.

    Also, Spike's "this is just neat" is something my grandmother would say. I almost never hear anyone my age using that adjective. But it's her go-to, much the way I'd say "cool". It's a nice little detail that makes him sound older. Like he has actually been around for nearly 200 years.

    • Partes says:

      Also, Spike's "this is just neat" is something my grandmother would say.

      I say this as well, and I'm pretty sure I picked up the habit from re-watching this episode far too many times. I'd like to think I pull it off as well as he does but that's rather unlikely.

    • rabbitape says:

      RE: Angel liking Buffy for who she is and not because of some idealized version of femininity — I do find the opening set up at the Bronze a little annoying. Angel is a vampire. Out of anyone in the world who might be sympathetic to a vampire slayer showing up at a nighttime even slightly disheveled due to vampire slaying, he is the one. No?

      It's a small quibble, and of course I know that the set up is for Buffy's perspective on the events and herself, not the facts on the ground. But still, it gets a token "harumph" from me every time.

      • cait0716 says:

        Oh I agree. Buffy is blowing things out of proportion. Angel didn't at all seem to mind that she was late. She just didn't get that. She's still struggling with balancing her masculine and feminine sides, but this episode is a huge step forward for her.

    • Shiyra says:

      Maybe cuz he's a soldier he's just responding to someone giving him orders in a confident manner?

  23. NB2000 says:

    Yay back to good episodes after two really not good ones.

    We get to see the cast, well okay mostly SMG and Nicholas Brendan, playing completely different characters and they do it amazingly well. Buffy's voice while transformed has that slightly breathless quality that sells the change in character.

    Naq fb Yneel vf vagebqhprq. Uvf ebyr va guvf rcvfbqr ernqf fb qvssreragyl nsgre jung jr yrnea va Cunfrf.

    Also, clearly Spike has no qualms about using children, either.

    I picked out that moment in my notes because, they're so tiny compared to him. Thiny little minions, mini-minions if you will (feel free to shun me for the pun). Jngpuvat gur ivqrb bs Ohssl bire naq bire? Gbgnyyl abg n fvta bs guvatf gb pbzr.


    Zjnunun fb abg cercnerq.

    • RoseFyre says:

      "Naq fb Yneel vf vagebqhprq. Uvf ebyr va guvf rcvfbqr ernqf fb qvssreragyl nsgre jung jr yrnea va Cunfrf. "

      Vg ernyyl, ernyyl qbrf. Ur, yvxr Knaqre, vf birepbzcrafngvat.

  24. I must not spoil.
    Spoilers are the mind-killer.
    Spoilers are the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my spoilers.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the spoilers have gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

  25. enigmaticagentscully says:

    In other news, I totally concur with the whole 'Giles is a babe' thing.

  26. beckaboomer says:

    I love "Halloween" with a true, abiding love that will stand the test of time. XD

    Yes, Xander should have been more grateful to Buffy for helping him out, but I do like that he framed his objections around, "My not fighting makes me look less manly," rather than, "You rescuing me, AS A GIRL, is particularly emasculating." I know there are some who will read it that way, but I see him accepting Buffy as a strong female without feeling emasculated in this episode. (As opposed to, say, his fantasy in "Teacher's Pet." He's made some progress!) He feels emasculated by not being allowed to fight, which is a silly thing, but yay society for making us all feel like we need to act out certain gender roles or we're abnormal. /sarcasm mode off

    I like that Oz randomly comes across Willow in her sexy outfit. Jeez, Allison Hannigan has some abs. Willow's issue here seems to be confidence; she can't just let herself go, and she sees herself as ultimately unsexy. This makes me sad, but I like that she owns it towards the end.

    I admit I was a little irked by Angel's, "Gosh I hated those stupid girls back then" speech, because, you know what? I'm sure many of those "simpering noblewomen" longed to meet someone exciting as well, Angel. They felt the same societal pressure we feel today to conform to gender "norms," and they were often told that acting in certain ways would lead to social ruin. So shut up, Angel.

    ETHAN RAYNE. I like this different, more edgy side of Giles he brings out. Character development, whut whut.

    • Bonnie says:

      I don't know if people's opinions of characters count as spoilers, so I'll code this just in case.
      'Fuhg hc, Natry' vf zl hfhny ernpgvba gb rirel fprar juvpu unf Natry gnyxvat va vg.

      • beckaboomer says:

        Hee. I don't think that would count as a spoiler, since people are expressing all sorts of views on the other characters, but it's still funny.

        I like Angel most of the time, but that was just… a mean thing to say. Living so long, he should be more wise about the world.

        • settlingforhistory says:

          I like Angel most of the time, but that was just… a mean thing to say. Living so long, he should be more wise about the world.

          Jryy, ur jnf whfg ubarfg.
          Yvnz gubhtug nyy gur tveyf obevat naq ybatrq sbe fbzrbar zber rkpvgvat gb neevir.
          Naq ybbx ubj gung jbexrq bhg sbe uvz; Qneyn pnzr nybat naq ghearq uvz vagb n zbafgre. Freirf uvz evtug sbe orrvat fb funyybj. 😉

          • tanbarkie says:

            Lrnu, Natry naq "jvfr nobhg gur jbeyq" qba'g ernyyl tb gbtrgure. Ur jnf rivy sbe 150 lrnef naq gura ngr engf sbe nabgure uhaqerq. Abg ernyyl gur orfg jnl gb tb nobhg tngurevat yvsr rkcrevraprf naq znghevat. 🙂

    • Jenny_M says:

      Makes me wish there were some noblewoman from back then who he'd thought was a simpering bore who somehow got made a vampire and she shows up in Sunnydale and punches Angel in the face like "what? You were rude two hundred some odd years ago. And I am twentieth century punching you in the face, friend."

    • Noybusiness says:

      Oh yeah, I'm sure Angel took zero time to actually get to know them.

  27. erinmarie says:

    Can we talk about Angel's smile when he's talking to Cordelia? I know the whole moment is really just supposed to be about Buffy/Angel, but it's so ridiculously genuine that it makes me want to cry. He's never really smiled before, and even if he just has to laugh at how ridiculous Cordelia can be, it's completely real, and that just makes me happy.

    • Smurphy says:

      Natry/Pbeql *fvtu* znxrf zr pel.

    • robin_comments says:

      I love it. A lot. It's just a little moment but it "humanizes" him. Angel needs someone to be wacky and unserious with, just like Buffy does! It makes you think about what Buffy would be like, with her life so full of death and dark consequences, if she didn't have Willow and Xander to be playful and frivolous with.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      I think Angel may be able to smile with Cordy because he's more relaxed with her. Ur vqrnyvmrf Ohssl gbb zhpu (sebz gur zbzrag Juvfgyre fubjrq ure gb uvzB naq nf jr frr va Yvr gb Zr, jbeevrf nobhg jung fur'q guvax nobhg uvz vs fur xarj uvf cnfg, juvpu vf cebonoyl jul ur'f fb "zlfgrevbhf" nebhaq ure.

  28. echinodermata says:

    I just have lots of feelings about gender theory stuff. It's not like I generally expect popular television shows to be aware of all the things I want them to be conscious about, but damn, it's hard to accept when a show outright wants to examine gender roles but doesn't really do anything with it.

  29. hassibah says:

    Good comments on gender.

    I also was very pleasantly surprised that the S-word didn't come up wrt halloween costumes, especially with this show's track record so far. I totally get Willow being uncomfortable in those kinds of clothes I was the same as a teenager.

    I didn't really get Buffy being insecure about her looks because a leaf blew into her hair, I mean I wish that was all that I was insecure about in high school, but I guess that's TV ugly for you. I also don't get totally abandoning a date because you see them speaking to a person to happens to be of the same gender as you, which is why I am pretending that Jenny/Giles is the only romance on this show.

    Everything about this episode is so good. Well, Jenny could have been in it but besides that it's pretty amazing. Spike is a smart villain and Cordelia was awesome and actually helpful and Willow is awesome as usual and there is more OZ. Somehow I never caught that the pirate that Xander beat up was Larry and now that scene makes a lot more sense.

    Also GILESSSS/RIPPER FINALLY. And Ethan too I guess! Yeah I don't really have a ton to add.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      which is why I am pretending that Jenny/Giles is the only romance on this show

      I have to admit, all other couples have somewhat faded into the background for me at this point…

  30. etherealclarity says:

    I absolutely love this episode. Gur svefg rcvfbqr bs znal n tbbq Unyybjrra rcf, vzb.

    I think what makes me love this episode most of all is Willow. We really see her take charge here in a way that she hasn't before. She starts out the episode and the action so timid and unsure of herself. But then the crisis happens, and there's a need for someone to take action and she just steps up and DOES IT. And then after all is said and done, that experience of taking charge gives her enough confidence to ditch the ghost costume and walk home without being self-conscious. That kind of natural and awesome character growth just makes me want to hug everyone. <3 <3 <3

    Also, I was rather annoyed at Xander's "magnanimous" apology acceptance at the costume shop. He should have realized she was trying to help and let it go in the first place rather than being all butthurt. But I do love the way he complimented Buffy's costume. It seemed so respectful and non-gross and without any sexual advances underlying anything. I'd love to have a guy compliment me like this ^_^

    OH MAN GILES BACKSTORY HINTS. Vg xvaqn ohtf zr gubhtu gung cevbe gb guvf ur unf orra cbegenlrq nf engure jrnx naq nf arrqvat cebgrpgvat naq gura nyy bs n fhqqra ur qbrf fbzr FREVBHF qnzntr gb Rguna jura gur jevgref qrpvqrq Tvyrf unq onpxfgbel? Qbrf guvf oht nalbar ryfr?

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      V'z abg fb fher gung ur jnf cbegenlrq nf jrnx, V whfg guvax gurer jrer ybgf bs uvagf gung yrg hf nf gur nhqvrapr znxr gur nffhzcgvba. Jryy, jr jrer qnza jebat 🙂

    • beckaboomer says:

      But I do love the way he complimented Buffy's costume. It seemed so respectful and non-gross and without any sexual advances underlying anything. I'd love to have a guy compliment me like this ^_^

      Agreed, that was adorable. Xander can be skeevy at times ("I prefer my women in spandex"), but I thought this had a nice undertone of genuine admiration. Stay with us, Cute Xander!

      • etherealclarity says:

        Speaking of the spandex comment, V arire abgvprq vg orsber ohg va gung fnzr rcvfbqr PBEQRYVN VF JRNEVAT FCNAQRK. Abg gb zragvba Fbyqvre!Knaqre vzzrqvngryl tnir ure uvf wnpxrg, juvpu frrzf gb ervasbepr gur vqrn gur vqrn gung gur gjb bs gurz ner nggenpgrq gb rnpu bgure naq jbhyq arire nqzvg vg. Ng yrnfg abg lrg.

        • beckaboomer says:

          Unu! V'yy nqzvg gb arire abgvpvat gur fcnaqrk cnenyyry, avpr fcbggvat gung! V qb erzrzore guvaxvat Pbeqryvn jnf tvivat Knaqre "gur rlr" n yvggyr jura ur unaqrq ure uvf wnpxrg. V gubhtug gurl jbhyq or phgr gbtrgure… obl jnf V hacercnerq.

        • hpfish13 says:

          Nyfb, qvqa'g Pbeqryvn gryy Ohssl gur fcnaqrk (nybat jvgu oynpx naq puvssba) jrer ure guvatf, fb Ohssl pbhyqa'g jrne gurz?

          • etherealclarity says:

            Un! V qvqa'g cvpx hc ba gung bar!

            Gung'f jung V ybir nobhg guvf fubj. Lbh ernyyl pna jngpu vg bire naq bire orpnhfr gurer'f fb zhpu tebhaqjbex gung unf orra ynvq bhg gung lbh ernyyl jvyy abg pngpu gur svefg gvzr nebhaq.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Vg'f uneq gb svaq bhg ubj fgebat Tvyrf ernyyl vf, nsgre nyy jr bayl frr uvz svtug ntnvafg n Fynlre. Ur pna or n ovg boyvivbhf gb uvf fhebhaqvatf, rfcrpvnyyl jura ur pbapragengrf ba fbzrguvat vzcbegnag, fb ur trgf xabpxrq bhg n ybg.
      Rguna vf nyfb n pbzcyrgr jrnxyvat naq pbjneq, V guvax rira Knaqre zvtug or noyr gb orng uvz hc be znlor Jvyybj naq Knaqre gbtrgure. (zna, V jbhyq unir ybirq gb frr gung)..

  31. lycomingst says:

    She couldn't dress up like Xena?!

  32. The_Consultant says:

    Yay Halloween! This is one of my favourite episodes ever! It's just so much FUN and has so many good lines/moments.
    "She's not Buffy." "Who's Buffy?" "Oh this is fun" and Giles's reaction when Willow walks through the wall! is there a gif of that? cuz there should be.

    On a side note can I just say: Damn you American Cultural Imperialism! Thanks to you all my life I have wanted to have a big American Halloween like in the movies but noooooo. We tried to go trick or treating once when I was little and all the neighbours thought it was really cute but most of them did not even know it was Halloween and did not have sweets to give us. Also no one ever throws big Halloween parties where everyone has to dress up. I would love to go to one of those…. Sigh…

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      I feel your pain. Alas, American Halloween is not what it used to be. We used to range far and wide, all alone — now it's all controlled and contrived. Ah, well.

      • Delta1212 says:

        I think this depends a bit on where you're located.

        Or I just haven't gone trick or treating in so many years that I've missed a change in procedure in how it's handled, at least for my home town.

      • TrampyMcBitca says:

        Yeah, I remember trick or treating from the moment I got home from school (starting actually on the way home from school) until curfew, which I think was 7 or 8 o'clock. The things we used to have to worry about was razor blades in the apples and that was about it. Nowadays, we are lucky if we get 10 people coming to our door.

        • hpfish13 says:

          Yeah, for us it really varies. Last year's (2010) Halloween we had something like 800-900 trick or treaters. This year, we moved, and we got about 30.

  33. arctic_hare says:

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

    This is an expectation spoiler, so I am deleting it.

  34. guest_age says:

    I really like that when Buffy is encouraging Willow to explore Halloween costumes more, she walks a very thin line of both not slut-shaming by referring to the revealing clothing as "slutty" but also not shaming Willow for choosing to dress as she does in her every day life. (i.e. if would've bugged me if she'd framed it as like, "No man will ever look twice at you if he can't see your midsection!" but it would've also bothered me if she'd framed it as "but only sluts dress like that and this is your chance to be one!") It's a thin line to walk there and while I'm sure there are differing opinions out there, I was satisfied with the way it was handled.

    "Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet," has to be one of my favorite lines from this entire series.

  35. clodia_risa says:

    THIS EPISODE! This is when Giles went from adorable and bookish-sexy to OMG HAWT. A HINT OF DANGER? A HINT OF SOMETHING ELSE? UMF. Helloooooooooo Librarian.

    Oh, and the episode itself was fun. I think that this shows that Buffy can really pull off the “wacky” episodes because the team knows that doesn’t mean that you have to ignore character development nor the myth arc.

  36. Delta1212 says:

    This is actually the last Buffy episode I saw. I discovered the series a couple of years ago (I think they were on Hulu or something) and binge watched all seven season in the space of like two months. Somehow along the way I managed to miss this episode. It was sort of like a little treat I got to go back and watch after I thought I had finished Buffy, which was nice.

    That said, while I certainly enjoyed it the first time and thought it was a fun episode, I like it a hell of a lot more watching it in the proper order.

    I also only watched Buffy that one time through, and it being a little over two years since then, I'd forgotten just how hilarious Spike makes every episode he's in this season. I mean, I was definitely a Spike fan when I first saw the show, but this rewatch is really reminding me why.

    Oh, and 'Ripper' is the best nickname for 'Rupert' ever. It would make Harry Potter even more awesome if the character of Ron Weasely was credited as being played by Ripper Grint in the movies, I think.

  37. Meltha says:

    Well, I despair that Mark is ever going to mention Drusilla, but there you have it.

    This was one of the good ones. The really good ones. Extremely.

    As for the labelling on the old picture, well, maybe it's the artist's name? Eh, who am I kidding. That right there is a goof.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Though Drusilla did only get one scene this episode.

      V'z fher ur'yy gnyx nobhg ure ba Zbaqnl, jura Yvr gb Zr erirnyf n uryy bs n ybg bs ure onpxfgbel.

  38. @hazakaza says:

    My favorite part of this episode is ubj Knaqre'f fbyqvrevat xabjyrqtr pbagvahrf gb or eryrinag SBERIRE! Guebhtubhg gur RAGVER FUBJ! Cnegvphyneyl va Frnfba 4! Gung'f snagnfgvp! Jung na nofheq frafr bs pbagvahvgl Ohssl unf. Rirelbar qryhqrf gurzfryirf gung gurl unira'g npghnyyl frra inzcverf va tnzr snpr, ohg Knaqre'f fbyqvre xabjyrqtr erznvaf fcvp naq fcna naq synjyrffyl va uvf sberoenva sbe lrnef gb pbzr.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      Yeah. That's why they call it phlebotinum 🙂

    • TrampyMcBitca says:

      Npghnyyl V guvax va Frnfba 4 vg fgnegf snqvat sbe uvz. V pna'g erzrzore nal fcrpvsvp qrgnvyf fb V thrff V'yy whfg unir gb jnvg hagvy jr trg gb gung cbvag va gur fgbel. 🙂

    • robin_comments says:

      V xabj, evtug? Fgenatryl rabhtu guvf rcvfbqr gheaf bhg gb or rkgerzryl eryrinag sbe shgher pnaba.

      Jr unir Fcvxr jngpuvat Ohssl naq nccerpvngvat ure fglyr, naq jr nyy xabj jurer gung tbrf. Jr frr n yvggyr fvta gung Natry pna npghnyyl rawbl Pbeqryvn'f pbzcnal, fvtanyvat gur gbar bs gurve sevraqfuvc ba gur fcva-bss. Jr unir Knaqre'f fbyvqre xabjyrqtr juvpu orpbzrf n erbppheevat cybg qrivpr. Naq gur vagebqhpgvba bs Rguna jvgu n fvtanyvat bs Tvyrf' qnex fvqr, gung jr frr fbba ntnva guvf frnfba ohg juvpu nyfb nccrnef bppnfvbanyyl guebhtubhg gur erfg bs gur frevrf.

  39. darkwater says:

    Tvyrf orngvat hc Rguna fbeg bs erzvaqf zr bs gur frnfba 5 svanyr jura ur xvyyf Tybel/Ora. Tvyrf vf n tbbq thl, ohg jura chfu pbzrf gb fubir, jryy.. ur jvyy qb jung vf arprffnel.

    Znex vf tbvat gb syvc uvf fuvg ng gur raq bs frnfba 5 V org. Ohg yrg'f abg trg nurnq bs bhefryirf. Jr fgvyy unir Vaabprapr naq Orpbzvat gb trg guebhtu!

  40. rabbitape says:

    Mark, I love you forever for the picture of the girl from the Watcher Diaries (or whatever it is). Her name is quite clearly SARAH, Buffy! Sarah…Goodfriend?

  41. todd says:

    Halloween: a time for men and women to exhibit hyper-masculinity and hyper-femininity through costumes that reflect typical gender roles in society. How can we ever point that out with as many anvils as possible? Answer – this episode. And I do love it ever so much. From the flawless cold open (BATT LOW) to the hilarious jokes everywhere you look, Spike ("Well, this is just neat"), and OH YEAH, Giles is suddenly scary and complex instead of that bumbling Watcher we all know and love.

    What I find so interesting: Xander is really, really gross at the beginning of the episode, but when he transforms into SoldierBoy he is down with playing second fiddle to a woman (Willow) and gets along with Angel. Possibly we should infer that Xander's creeper moments are related to his masculinity issues, and were he more secure in his masculinity he wouldn't be so gross about Buffy's superstrength and her lovelife. Also – Willow is Large and In Charge. Deal with it.

    Crefbany snajnax: V'z pbaivaprq gur fprar jurer Fcvxr jngpurf Ohssl svtug ba gur ivqrb vf gur ortvaavat bs uvf srryvatf sbe ure. Abg yvxr vafgn-ybir, ohg gur ebbgf bs vg.

    • Delta1212 says:

      "Well, this is just neat" had me laughing aloud. That line was amusing but the delivery made it hilarious.

    • Nos says:

      V guvax uvz jngpuvat ure qnapr va Fpubby Uneq jrer gur ortvaavatf bs uvf yhfglarff ng yrnfg, gubhtu znlor gung'f whfg WZ orvat noyr gb unir purzvfgel jvgu n qbbe naq nyy, ur frrzrq jnf yrff 'uhag naq xvyy' fb zhpu nf 'va zl orq, abj' va gung fprar. Ohg V nterr, jngpuvat uvz jngpu gur ivqrbf bs Ohssl svtugvat vf irel hz…gryyvat. :c

      • todd says:

        Ur whfg frrzf gb nqzver ure svtugvat fglyr naq erfbheprshyarff fb zhpu. Rira jvgu gur "onol yvxrf gb cynl" pbzzrag gurer'f fhpu erfcrpg sbe ure nf na bccbarag. Juvpu jnf n ernyyl vagrerfgvat jnl gb cynl vg sbe WZ, orpnhfr ng gur gvzr Fcvxr va ybir jvgu Ohssl jnfa'g rira ba gur gnoyr sbe shgher frnfbaf. Naq lrg, ybbx ng gung.

      • NB2000 says:

        V pna'g erzrzore gur rknpg dhbgr bss gur gbc bs zl urnq ohg gung'f nyzbfg jbeq sbe jbeq ubj Wnzrf Znefgref fnvq ur cynlrq gur fprar va bar bs gur QIQ rkgenf.

    • RoseFyre says:

      I love that no one talks at all in the cold open. It's such a takeoff from a show that is so about the dialogue, but in this open, it's the movement and the images that are the point, not the dialogue.

  42. Gwen says:

    Best (single) Cordelia line: "Oh, he's a vampire. Of course! But the cuddly kind. Like a Carebear with fangs?" Her skepticism on the "Angel is a good-guy vampire" is excellent. The best Oz line is part of the Oz-and-Cordelia exchange (Oz's first line in the following, except really the whole bit is great):
    CORDELIA: Is Mr. I'm-the-lead-singer-I'm-so-great-I-don't-have-to-show- up-for-my-date-or-even-call gonna be there?
    OZ: Yeah, y'know, he's just going by 'Devon' now.
    CORDELIA: Well, you can tell him that I don't care, and that I didn't even mention it. And that I didn't even see you. So that's just fine.
    OZ: So, what do I tell him?
    CORDELIA: Nothing! Jeez! Get with the program. (walks off in a huff)
    OZ: Why can't I meet a nice girl like that?

    We also, in this bit of dialogue, get the information that there is, at least for a brief period surrounding this episode, a non-Bronze place for high schoolers to hang out: the "Shelter Club", where Dingoes Ate My Baby are playing.

    • Gwen says:

      Fun fact about this episode, from the fic side of things: "Halloween" is one of the natural jumping-off points for fanfiction, particularly crossovers and Xander-gets-superpowers-and-is-more-awesome-than-anyone-else fics. (These are overlapping groups.) Some are really good. Some are really bad. But the fact is, if you want to include Jedi powers in your fanfiction story, or your character to get Peggy Sued back to early-days-BtVS, or another Slayer without killing anyone off, having a character dress up as a Jedi Knight, their older self, or herself-as-Slayer using bought-from-Ethan's costume pieces is the best (well, easiest, at least) way to do it.

    • Gwen says:

      One thing that always bugs me about this episode is that Xander's reasoning for why Buffy rescuing him from Larry is humiliating DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. I mean, sure, Xander's the one who got rescued by a girl, whatever. Larry's the one who backed down because he was scared of a girl! Shouldn't Larry lose the masculinity cred, not Xander?!

      (And the "Sarah Goodfriend" caption thing. Noticed that on my first viewing of this episode too. Learn to read, Buffy and Willow! Or, I guess, continuity checker, prop maker, script writer, whoever's responsible for the mismatch.)

  43. Ella says:

    Bu gehfgl fbqn znpuvar. V chfu lbh sbe ebbg orre, lbh tvir zr pbxr. 😉

  44. Raenef_the_5th says:

    "Plus I can't turn the page 🙁 " was so cute, I can't even.

  45. BradSmith5 says:

    I gotta say––this episode impressed me. Every point that Mark mentioned intersected with the others to create numerous, compelling stories. This is how it's done. Holy crap. Flawless.

    Oh, wait, MARK FOUND A MISTAKE. Why must you torment me like this, man? I don't go around pointing out flaws in things that you like! ;(

  46. misterbernie says:

    So. This episode. FINALLY ANOTHER GOOD ONE \o/

    I love your comments on Xander and his ~masc issues~.
    Vg'f nyfb gur fnzr sbe Yneel, bs pbhefr, jub gevrf gb pbire hc naq pbzcrafngr sbe uvf tnlarff ol orvat n frkvfg ivbyrag qbhpuroeb. Pynefl.

    Willow! Can we get a high five for my girl <3
    Also eep for her having to die before transforming.

    DEMON! A DEMON! lol temporally displaced people

    Spike, you ruthless fuck you. Well-crafted villain is well-crafted.

    N frkl onpxfgbel. Ol gung V zrna bar svyyrq jvgu ubzbvatf

    German title time: Die Nacht der Verwandlung – The Night of Transformation. idekwhy, it's not as if Halloween is unknown here.
    Bu, naq Nyy gur Jnl jnf Unyybjrra – Qvr Anpug qre Üoreenfpuhatra 'Unyybjrra – Gur Avtug bs Fhecevfrf' urer fb ernyyl VQRX

  47. Genny_ says:

    I actually agree, and I am amazed I am saying this, that I sort of liked what this episode did with Xander's masculinity. And I really genuinely dislike Xander and how the show handles him! But I feel here, at least, it was a deliberate and self-aware exploration of what it is that makes him feel that way, rather than it simply being played straight and uncritically. It's not perfect- it sort of uses Buffy as a tool to achieve its ends as a plotline, which is bad- but it's not something I resent in the slightest.

    And yes to everything you say about gender roles re: Buffy. I have a really weird position on this, because I'm non-binary (and thank you for bringing that up). As someone who is genderfluid and who IDs as most feminine when I ID as male, it gets extremely weird and it starts to show just how odd gender roles are, and how they start to break down very, very easily.

    And agreed on how they handled Willow, too! It wasn't 'this is unacceptable but we get away with it this time of year', it was 'Halloween is all a bit of fun and you can have a go with stuff you wouldn't normally'. Again, this episode isn't flawless on these topics, but I feel like the good is vastly outweighing the bad in this episode, and it's making me actually want to focus *on* the good for once, despite being a naturally and annoyingly critical person. Nice one, Buffy!

    Also: HAHAHA THE GILES THING, THAT IS THE ACTUAL REASON I LOVE/WANTED YOU TO GET TO THIS EPISODE. Honestly, all the above stuff is really nice, but mostly I am sitting here laughing at your reaction to Giles.

    Oh, but one thing- I hate what Angel says about noblewomen. The concept women throughout history used to suck and then feminism happened and we *became* equal/awesome is BS. Women have been awesome throughout history; they've just been socialised and limited in how they can express it, and history skews towards erasing them.

    • misterbernie says:

      Yes to all of this and especially towards the last paragraph. There were plenty of women, both conformist and non-conformist, who were filled with awesome but who keep being erased and ignored, so shut up Angel/writers.

      • Genny_ says:

        It's kind of amusing to me that this episode was today, because for some reason my dash on Tumblr has been FULL of people talking about badass historical women who did things like serve in the army for over two years without being found out or going undercover in mental institutions to uncover mistreatment. Yeah, sure Angel, women allll used to be boring.

        • misterbernie says:

          I KNOW WHOM YOU SPEAK OF. Alas, I've forgotten her name, but I read her (the woman going undercover in a mental institution) story a few years ago and hot damn she had all the ~~balls~~

          Some of my personal fascination lies with female rulers in the past and how they dealt with the men = rulers thing, from Hatshepsut adopting the standard exaggeratedly masculine regalia to plenty of women being crowned king instead of queen.

          Hmm, I think tomorrow I'll borrow one of my mother's books, The Sold Daughters of the Habsburgs which is all about how women of yore were badass despite their societal limitations.

      • Gwen says:

        I don't mind Angel going on about that so much as, as you say, the writers, with noblewoman!Buffy acting like it. I mean, Angel doesn't strike me as the most perceptive of guys anyway (zhpu yrff fb va uvf cer-inzcver qnlf; Yvnz jnf n gbgny qehaxra seng obl, zvahf gur seng). But medieval noblewomen–the ones who weren't highly-placed enough to play politics at court all the time (not that that isn't impressive itself)–were responsible for running their castle and outlying areas, making sure everyone was fed and clothed. "Oh no, I need to get back to my sewing" has attached to it "or else the stableboys won't have trousers". (Or maids, or whoever.) Basically, stewardship. It's not all about pretty dresses and being empty-headed all day long.

        • Genny_ says:

          That is such a great point about how feminine things dismissed as vapid and unimportant were actually extremely practical. Sewing isn't some silly woman's pursuit done for fun, it's how you clothe people. Cooking is how people are fed, and cooking for many is hard as hell. Neither is easy and you'll never be good at them if you lack common sense.

          • Jenny_M says:

            This always amazes me in our society. When a woman cooks it's seen as something she "should" be doing, in a kitchen, for her family. When a man cooks, it's elevated to an art form, and he's called a chef. There are great female chefs who have made a lot of headway, but it's still so present in someone like Paula Deen being devalued for her skills, while someone like Bobby Flay is revered. (I'm using TV chefs as an example, just because they're names a lot of people know.)

          • Gwen says:

            You know what would've been excellent? If noblewoman!Buffy was all take-charge and getting with the program, totally even-keeled (heck, she might even have herself been the Slayer… or known about slaying from, like, her maid being the Slayer or something)–and soldier!Xander took clueless soldier lunk to a whole new level. Then the message could've been "what I like about you is your competence, not your ruffly dress" and "being super-masculine doesn't mean you actually contribute."

            Especially if they somehow made knowledge that noblewoman!Buffy had that was "girly" (something about the structural integrity of the fabrics the bad guys were wearing? or maybe she embroiders crosses in everyone's clothes, super-fast? IDK) useful to the situation.

  48. Shiyra says:

    This is one of my favorite episodes.
    1. Buffy and Xander get to switch roles here, did this help Xander resolve the whole you-called-my-manhood-into-question-by-saving-me thing? I think it may also help Buffy to accept her calling (at least a little bit) and appreciate that she is not just "meek little girly girl."
    2. Giles has a dark past! This makes him even more interesting and how long can he keep his past a secret from the kids who think he's just a stuffy old librarian?
    3. Cordelia is annoyed with how girly and scared Buffy is, awesomeness.
    4. Hopefully that statement about not ever being able to get between Buffy and Angel from Xander means he will finally cool it a bit with the Buffy Jealousy.
    5. Oz sees Willow again in an outfit that is completely the opposite of the Eskino parka, how mysterious she must seem to him. "Who is that girl?!"
    6. Buffy, those horrible sweatpants almost negate how beautiful your costume dress was.

  49. robin_comments says:

    I was so pleased to have a good episode again that I did a little dance.

    We only get a small moment but I love when Cordelia and Angel get to share scenes together. LOOK A REAL SMILE AND LAUGH FROM BROODY ANGEL. Angel finding Cordelia's ridiculousness as amusing as the audience does somehow makes me like Angel's character so much more.

    Wow Buffy, way to overreact. I get what you're going through, but maybe take a breather instead of rushing off? Angel's like "…"

    LOL I love how Snyder pulls the student away to make her "volunteer" and doesn't care that she has class. Snyder ilu and your priorities.

    oh, Larry. Fast? aaaaaahahaha. Is this the 50's? Oh, Larry.

    "Fur'f abg uvf glcr."
    "Ner lbh fher?"
    (N pregnva fcva-bss pyrnef vg'f guebng, cebwrpgvat sebz gur shgher: ABJ GUNG LBH ZRAGVBA VG: NPGHNYYL PBEQRYVN VF RKNPGYL NATRY'F GLCR VA RIREL JNL.)

    Willow and Buffy sneaking around behind and in front of Giles' back is super cute.

    Cordelia is kind of ridiculously gorgeous in the bathroom scene with Willow and Buffy.

    Spike continues to be clever! (and a fan of observing Buffy)
    "She's tricky. Baby likes to play. .. That's what's called resourceful." He's appreciative because I think they're a lot alike in this aspect. He can admire it because he values it in himself. Fvapr jr xabj gung nsgre guvf frnfba Qeh fcyvgf jvgu Fcvxr orpnhfr Ohssl vf rireljurer va uvf urnq, V yvxr gb snajnax gung Qehfvyyn vf cbffvoyl nyernql frafvat n yriry bs vagevthr urer gung creuncf Fcvxr vfa'g pbafpvbhfyl njner bs. Vzzrqvngryl fgnegf nfxvat Fcvxr vs ur ybirf ure vafvqrf…

    "Hello Ethan." "Hello Ripper"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Damsel in distress!Buffy is too over the top ridiculous, though. It's my only big drawback with the episode. I get what they were trying to do here, but they didn't need to approach this level of overblown caricature. I wish just a BIT of effort had been made on past!noblewoman!Buffy's dialogue. It stands out so badly because solider!Xander isn't even close to this over the top.

    Oz!!! Still unexpectedly running into Willow.

    I like how we continue to see Willow gaining some confidence and taking charge – a nice carry over from the previous episode.

    Cordelia actually running over to Buffy in concern asking if she's okay. awwwwwwww

    Angel and Buffy are very VERY cute in the coda, but it comes off a bit strange to me after how hot & cold they were running in the previous episode and the beginning of this one. Natry fnlvat ur unq ab vagrerfg va gur aboyr jbzra bs uvf qnl, ubj ur jnagrq gb zrrg fbzrbar rkpvgvat naq vagrerfgvat — avpr sberfunqbjvat sbe gur onpxfgbel jr frr bs uvz va "Orpbzvat".

    Do the squeaky smacking sounds of their kissing bother anyone else?

    • arctic_hare says:

      Avpr pngpu ba gur Fcvxr/Ohssl/Qeh guvat!

      Nyfb, er: gur fznpxl fbhaqf bs gur xvffvat – jura V erjngpu, nyy V pna guvax abj qhevat gung cneg vf Tvyrf' yvar va Fbzrguvat Oyhr: "Fgbc gung evtug abj! V pna urne gur fznpxvat!" Ybyby.

    • pica_scribit says:

      oh, Larry. Fast? aaaaaahahaha. Is this the 50's? Oh, Larry.

      I'm going to sit here by myself and imagine that Larry is a HUGE James Dean fan, and watches "Rebel Without a Cause" every weekend.

    • ladililn says:

      OH MY GOD, THE SMACKING SOUNDS. I was afraid it was just me! I was literally squirming in my seat the whole time that was going on–I have nothing against Buffy/Angel, but their kissing is kinda…gross.

  50. Jenny_M says:

    The corset costume nerd in me loved Buffy's dress so much, in the same way that I spent all of Pirates of the Caribbean going "there's a plot? HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT KEIRA KNIGHTLEY IS WEARING?" Ditto Reinette in DW.

    In my dream life, I wear dresses like that on the regular without all the rib breaking/exhaustion/fainting from lack of oxygen. My first job in high school involved historical interpreting in 19th century costume and it was the best job ever.

    • Meltha says:

      I'm a total costume nerd as well. I took costume history in college, and I think I have the entire collection of R. Turner Wilcox's historical fashion books. I love when shows get them right, and that really was a pretty dress… Gubhtu V'q nethr Qneyn'f qerffrf graq gb or gur zbfg uvfgbevpnyyl npphengr va synfuonpxf. Still, I was trying to figure out if they were going for a farthingale or a hoopskirt here.

      • Jenny_M says:

        On the dressmaker's form in Ethan's, when he takes the dress off, I *think* you can see the beginnings of what look like a hoopskirt under there. But I wasn't looking that closely.

    • Maya says:

      PLEASE tell me you watch The Vampire Diaries. There are some AMAZING dresses there (whether they're accurate or not, I can't tell). And, though there aren't corsets, Downton Abbey has some of the most amazing costumes ever omg.

      THIS IS WHY I'M OBSESSED WITH PERIOD DRAMAS. Well, part of the reason why.

      • redheadedgirl says:

        There are corsets in Downton Abbey, though- at least through the midpoint of WWI (then, yeah, you start moving into early brassiers, which are nothing to sneeze at). Edwardian corsets are SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS.

      • Jenny_M says:

        OMG the Vampire Diariesssss. Some of Katherine's dresses in the flashbacks…I die.

    • threerings13 says:

      Well, in my REAL life, I wear Victorian clothes on a regular basis, including historically accurate corsets, and I promise I've never broken a rib, fainted from lack of oxygen, or given out in exhaustion more than I would otherwise. Most of the worst you hear about corsetry is a combination of quack medicine, poor history, modern women who are wearing poorly fitted garments, or the result of people with dismorphic body disorders or extreme fetishes.

  51. tigerpetals says:

    So I have to type this out in a hurry. The message about femininity is pretty ham-handed and involves bashing actual women, who cannot be summed up by Buffy's behavior in this episode, even if they did behave that way. That said, the moments worked emotionally for me, and I go aww over how sweet Buffy and Angel feel at this point.

    I wanted to talk more, but I'm getting hurried off and out.

  52. buyn says:


    Hello there Ethan. Nice of you to drop in. I'll control my flails about that fight. Maybe. Giles y u so hot? lkajsdlfkj. Okay, that didn't go as well as I had hoped.

  53. Anna says:

    So I have a (slightly off topic) question

    Va bar bs Znex'f gjvyvtug erivrjf (V guvax vg jnf sbe rpyvcfr)ur zragvbaf Ohssl naq oevatf hc n shgher cybgyvar (anzryl Fcvxr'f nggrzcgrq encr bs Ohssl)gung vf n cerggl znwbe fcbvyre.

    Fb… qbrf ur xabj nobhg gung? Be unf ur sbetbggra?

  54. Kiki says:

    I loved so many things in this episode, I can barely contain myself. But I'll focus on just a few:

    1) Cordelia and her interactions with EVERYONE.

    I love her sooooo much. There aren't enough words. Her conversation with Oz, who successfully walks the line between just listening to her and being bemused by her (in a way that doesn't feel insulting or belittling to her feelings), is just fantastic. Carpenter just has such great comedic timing, and she played it so well. It reminds of how people just feel the need to rant when they've been wronged but then when it is all of their chest, they just go, "Oh, you can't say this to anyone by the way."

    Cordelia and Angel have great chemistry. Angel seems way less angst-y around her. I'm pretty sure he smiled (REALLY smiled) in that one scene more than he has in the majority of the show so far. And I love how he was reaching for the cappuccino Cordelia got him before the scene ended. I'm just gonna imagine that they ranted about their perspective ex's, with Angel just being vague about the actual timeline, lol. Plus, she's completely oblivious to Angel being a vampire, and I want that to go on for as long as possible. It's been so long that I've seen any of this season so I really can't remember what happens with this plot detail.

    Finally, Cordelia's interactions with Buffy. You're right, Cordelia is an extremely feminine character but her femininity isn't associated with weakness. She's more irritated than at all crippled by fear like Buffy as the noblewoman is. She shows no fear, following Xander as he goes to check things out or remaining alert when they're being hunted. I'm less sure of how to characterize Buffy. She's transported back into the mentality of a woman who was never given the opportunity to think for herself. Her job is to "look pretty and hope someone nice will marry her." The way SMG plays it is funny, yes, but it's also quite sad when you think about it.

    2) Spike and Drusilla.

    Is this the first sign that we get that Drusilla can see the future in some kind of a way? Whatever. She's just so creepy as she does it. The actress is so terrific and terrifying in her role. Plus, I can't believe both she and the actor who plays Spike are American. I would never have been able to tell had I not looked them up. The dialogue was so creepy (but romantic for vampires I guess?). She says something like, "Do you love my insides as much as my outsides?" and Spike responds affectionately with "From eyeballs to entrails." They're just so different than normal vampires with the love they have for one another. I love them so much.

    And can I just point out how smart Spike is? He's sending his minions out to test out Buffy's skill and recording it (oh, the 90s…). Not that he's already done that but he wants to see everything she is capable of. He has an odd kind of respect for her as one would have for their enemy who one knows is brilliant. I love how he doesn't underestimate her. Both he and Giles (in past episodes) make a point to say how she likes to play with the vampires she slays, which is rather telling about Buffy – that both her ally and enemy see this. It seems as if Buffy, as much as she resists her role as the Slayer, also enjoys some aspects of it (however unconsciously). I know these long, drawn out fight scenes between Buffy and random vampires are meant to be part of the action the show offers but they also show how Buffy learns and practices how to be a better Slayer. Plus, Spike doesn't begrudge Buffy her "playing" as Giles seemed to. Why should he? He's doing the same exact thing in that he's playing with her.

    I know we don't know too much about Spike right now and so this just might be my reading of him but I would think he would prefer to beat Buffy on equal footing if that makes any sense. She's literally not herself right now. She has no idea who he is or who she is for that matter. She doesn't understand the significance of this man (ahem, vampire) wanting to kill her is. Spike just seems the type to want to show Buffy, "Hey, I'm stronger. I beat you." And her amnesia would seem to take a bit of that victory away from him.

    3) Willow is perfect. I don't need to say anymore.

    4) Giles. WHO ARE YOU REALLY?

    This episode completely re-contextualizes all of Giles scenes beforehand. I think you mentioned in previous reviews how Giles always seems to get knocked out? Is it not out of inexperience but out of the fact that Giles has been holding back because he's afraid of what he is capable of? He moved so fast when he was going after Ethan.

    And what is fantastic is the way that Giles wasn't wearing a costume when he took on his new character – the other side of himself. He was just in his regular, old clothes. So…is the librarian get-up Giles' real costume? Has he been acting/hiding his true self this whole time? AHHH, I love this show too much and re-watching it as you see if for the first time is so much fun.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Drusilla also made refers to seeing the future in "School Hard", specifically that her second sight was clouded around Buffy.

  55. quenstalof says:

    -Who trick or treats from 4-6? It's not even dark at 4!
    -Aww and I was ready to give Xander points for sticking up for Buffy. Guess not…
    -Aww Giles is a babe
    -I'm interested to see if they go with sexy-Willow
    -Oh that's not gonna go well…creepy shopkeeper
    -Eww I don't like Daddy as an endearment
    -Yup. Creepy shopkeeper
    -What is that costume? At least a sexy-cat costume pretends to be something…I don't even know what that is. Hooker? At least dress her in a costume that's recognizably something
    -Yay I'm glad Willow didn't let herself be peer pressured into wearing a costume that made her uncomfortable.
    -Whoa. I honestly didn't know Cordelia was going to be a sexy cat. SO Weird!
    -Yay Oz and Willow I can't wait to see this play out.
    -That's at least 7 o'clock dark.
    -People turning into their costumes?! Awesome. I'm going to LOVE this. (Why did Buffy's hair fall down? Xander is suddenly studly.)
    -So fun. Xander's the badass now, Buffy's the helpless one and Willow is the voice of reason. Well…I guess she's always the voice of reason.
    -Aww startled Giles!
    -"The ghost of what exactly?" I want to know this too!
    -They know each other?! What? Ripper? What? What is going on?! (Maybe he just said Rupert)
    -Aww look at the teeny tiny demons.
    -OMG so intrigued! Who is Giles? What?
    -YES. Giles!
    -HE did say Ripper! That just shows how badass Buffy is because she beats up on a regular basis and Giles he's no slouch in the fighting department.

    So that's my favorite episode so far mainly because who is this man that we call Giles?

    • pica_scribit says:

      Who trick or treats from 4-6? It's not even dark at 4!

      I think that's the point. Around here, everyone is super-paranoid about kids being out after dark, and it would have to be twice as bad in a place like Sunnydale, where creepy shit goes down on an almost nightly basis!

      • RoseFyre says:

        Yeah, that's my thought process. They're doing it at 4 BECAUSE it's still light out, which, in Sunnydale…not a bad plan.

    • cait0716 says:

      The 4-6 thing bugs me! Apparently the neighborhood I live in does trick-or-treating 4-6 and since I don't get home until 6:30 I missed all the kids in costumes this year. It was very sad. They should wait until people are actually home so they get candy

  56. Nos says:

    Can we get a gif of Giles spazzing out about Willow walking through a wall? Please?

  57. Smurphy says:

    Stupid archdiocese of philadelphia school closings announcement keeping me distracted from Mark.

    I like this episode!! Character development galore and just some great lines.

    And I love Xander and I love Buffy and I love Willow and I love Cordy and I love Angel and I love Giles and HIS BACKSTORY and… and…

    I don't know what else I can say besides you are so not prepared… at all…

  58. Meltha says:

    In response to that 4-6 thing, some communities do actually have specific times for the smaller kids to be out trick or treating so that they aren't wandering door-to-door on one of the biggest drinking (and drinking and driving) nights of the year.

    • quenstalof says:

      What bothered me about it was that it doesn't get as dark as they showed between 4 and 6 in SoCal. 6 would be pushing it for sundown on Halloween even, let alone full dark.

  59. Delta1212 says:

    Also, I was expecting "Willow is a ghostly ghost" in big bold letters.

  60. whedonzombie says:

    Another one of my favorite episodes for SOOO many reasons (though, mainly Willow!). However… I feel like I am the only person in the world who is seriously uncomfortable with SMG's horrible fake accent in this one! I'm usually really forgiving over faked accents (I'm sure I couldn't do better), but hers makes me cringe like fingers on chalkboard. Every time I watch this one, I'm relieved when she has her "Honey, I'm home" moment, just to have that accent go away. Still, not enough to stop me from loving this episode forever.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      you are not alone! i don't know what the heck she's going for but STOP PLEASE.

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      You're not wrong. It's a bad accent.Bs pbhefr, va n jbeyq jurer Obernanm trgf gb qb uvf nppragf, V thrff gur fgnaqneqf ner ybjre 🙂

  61. etherealclarity says:

    OH one thing I forgot in my first comment – is this the first time that Buffy and Angel have kissed since, well, Season 1? Because the way they kissed in this episode seemed very boyfriend/girlfriend in terms of the level of intimacy and expectation, and it took me off guard. Especially since just an episode ago he was refusing to even get coffee with her.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      I love that even though he is the broodyest (most broody?) vampire ever, he seems genuinely happy when he kisses Buffy, almost like a love struck teenager himself. Just really sweet.

      Though yes, it seems to come out of nowhere when they where only at coffee stage, but maybe a night of terror is just what they needed to be more certain about their feelings. (other people go to a movie or have a nice dinner but nothing beats a bout of amnesia and mortal peril) : )

      • @farwell3d says:

        Actually true. There have been some various studies that show that people get more sexually aroused when they are scared than nearly any other non-specifically sexual activity.

        You are also much, much more likely to be sexually attracted to someone you meet if you happen to be terrified at the same time.

        • tehrevel says:

          How do they study that? Like you only get to meet someone for the first time once so you can either test someone meeting someone else while terrified or not terrified. You can't test both surely?

          • notemily says:

            They did a bunch of studies involving a really high bridge. I think it was, one person would stand in the middle of a bridge (where it was scary) asking people to take a survey and the other person would stand off the bridge (where it was not scary) with the same survey, and then they asked the people who took the survey to rate the attractiveness of the survey-giver. And the people who took the survey on the bridge were more attracted to the survey-giver than the people off the bridge. If you repeat the study enough times with enough different people, you can get a pretty good estimate.

            *googles* Ah, yes. This link explains it better than I can.

  62. Yes to all of this!! I love that Angel at the end told Buffy that he didn't want that kind of girl.

    My favorite line in the episode is Willow about Buffy "She couldn't have dressed up like Xena?"

  63. Smurphy says:

    Guvf vf bar bs gubfr fubjf gung nyjnlf znxrf zr jbaqre ubj sne vagb gur shgher gur perngbe naq jevgref nyernql unq cynaarq bhg. Qvq gurl jevgr gurfr rcvfbqrf xabjvat "Guvf yvar jvyy znxr gurz ynhtu fb uneq va gur shgher". V thrff V fubhyq EBG13 guvf. Wbff lbh ner n oevyyvnag ohg rivy… irel rivy zna.

    I haven't seen any good Joss is an evil mastermind gifs yet…. I know they are out there people.

    • RoseFyre says:

      Nterrq. Vg'f cerggl pyrne gung gurl unq ng yrnfg gur znwbe cybgf bs Frnfba 2 cynaarq bhg, naq pregnvayl ol gur raq bs Frnfba 2 gurl xarj gur trareny tvfg bs jung jbhyq unccra va Frnfba 3 – ersreraprf gb gur Znlbe naq fhpu. Naq gur "pbhagvat qbja sebz gur 730" yvar va Frnfba 3 cebonoyl ersreraprf gur raq bs Frnfba 5…

      Vg'f qrsvavgryl vagrerfgvat gb guvax nobhg jung'f npghnyyl cynaarq naq jung'f vagragvbany rpubrf bs rneyvre fghss, vs gung znxrf frafr.

  64. WhiteEyedCat says:

    I LOVE this episode, I'm a fan of the sillier stuff and character development and Spike and Oz!

    – 'Drusilla: "do you love my insides? the parts you can't see?" Spike: "eyeballs to entrails, my sweet."' I love how Spike completely takes her weirdness in stride, I guess he has a pretty big dosing of his own!

    – I also love how Spike studies Buffy's fighting, even evil can do their homework.

    – OZ! I know that he showed up before, but this is where we start to get a better sense of his character. To save quoting time, I just love all of his lines. Especially his conversation with Cordelia!

    – I love how for once Buffy is the damsel in distress and Cordy is the strong, confident one. Even though SMG's 1700's girl is really over the top, I think that Cordelia shows that girly girls don't have to be weak and helpless.

    – Buffy and Willow's plan to seal the Watcher diaries is hilarious. I guess Angel doesn't have a Facebook page.

    – DUN DUN DUN, Giles' past is not what it seems…

    • RoseFyre says:

      …It's weird to remember that this was before Facebook, actually. I don't think Facebook even existed by the end of Season 7!

      In general, it's odd to look at the technology and remember what it was like in the 90s. Because everything now is so much…faster.

  65. TrampyMcBitca says:

    I forgot all about Larry! In that messed up, "my reputation is ruined because I was saved by a girl" deal, shouldn't Larry's have also taken a hit due to his getting beaten up BY a girl? I would think that wouldn't be considered very "manly".

    I remember a lot of people thinking that "Dread Pirate Larry" was a vampire, I guess they mistook his bad teeth for fangs.

    "This is…..neat"

    I loved Giles' reaction to Willow coming through the wall.

    "The ghost of what, exactly?"

    Oh, I liked Cordy's costume btw.

    Good thing Buffy didn't give Angel a stake, that vampire he fought in the kitchen was just a poor guy who turned into his costume. We saw him earlier on the street. I guess he didn't get all the baggage that comes with being a vampire though because he was able to enter Buffy's house without an invitation.

    "She couldn't have dressed up like Xena?"

    I was waiting for Mark's reaction to finally meeting Ripper. 🙂

    I don't know why but loved Ethan Rayne.

    Does anyone know what Ethan was saying in Latin?

    Already ranted but worth mentioning again, Why did you let Spike run away?!

    Nitpick time! When Giles tells Willow to leave him and Ethan, you can hear the door closing in the background. Since she was a ghost she shouldn't have been able to do that. 🙂

    • stormwreath says:

      Does anyone know what Ethan was saying in Latin?

      Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas.

      (Janus, I invoke your spirit. Hear my purpose. Seize the night for your plan. Come, appear and show to us that which is infinite power.)

      • Patrick721 says:

        Is that latin proper? It's been a while since I took latin, so I'm pretty rusty.

        • misterbernie says:

          From my rustiness, it looks pretty legit, but it uses vester (variant of voster) to adress Janus, which seems rather iffy because the T-V politeness distinction didn't appear until Medieval times. And even then, the imperatives are all singular (exaudi, carpe, veni, appare, monstra instead of exaudite, carpete, venite, apparete, monstrate which you'd need for 2.PL).
          I've also watched the scene again and it sounds to me like in the actual episode, they switch to consilium vestr(u/e)m which is kinda very wrong (pro demands the ablative).

          There's also a second Latin part:
          Persona se corpum et sanguem commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia concrescet viscera. Janus! Sume noctem!
          (The mask transforms itself into flesh and blood. Your holy presence curdles the internal organs. Janus! Take the night!)*
          I don't know if commuto takes the accusative to express the "change into".

          Pronunciation note: kudos for doing the Classical <c> = /k/ thing, and the <ae> as /ai/ insted of /e/ or something.

          *The script has heart for viscera, but viscera is the plural of viscus 'internal organ, entrails'

          Fun side fact: person is one of the few potential loans from Etruscan.

    • RoseFyre says:

      "Good thing Buffy didn't give Angel a stake, that vampire he fought in the kitchen was just a poor guy who turned into his costume. We saw him earlier on the street. I guess he didn't get all the baggage that comes with being a vampire though because he was able to enter Buffy's house without an invitation."

      Was he? I noticed the no invitation plothole myself, but maybe it was that? Not sure.

      And the door! I read about that in a fanfic of all things, and now I can't unhear it. I get why they did it – so the audience would know Willow was gone without having to pan the camera away from Giles – but she shouldn't have been able to.

      • TrampyMcBitca says:

        In the scene just after Xander's talk with his "troops", you see a guy leading a group of trick or treaters past Buffy and her group, who is dressed as a vampire (Dracula?) wearing a cape, ruffled shirt and shiny gold vest. Later when Angel is fighting the vampire, you can see the ruffles and gold again.

        Thanks stormwreath!

  66. Gillian says:

    This was the first episode of Buffy I ever saw and the one that made me instantly decide I had to watch this show. It's still one of my favourites <3

  67. Noybusiness says:

    Next week, are you doing a Buffy review on Monday or just the Sherlock?

  68. threerings13 says:

    So, despite the fact that this is a good episode, and despite the fact that so much of it is great, there's something that drives me up the wall and RUINS the whole episode for me. I understand this is my own problem, but I'm going to rant for a bit.

    Ok, it's the way Buffy behaves when she is transformed into any 18th century woman. I really, really hate when people assume that any woman who lived before the 20th century was completely useless. I understand these kind of portrayals are often done to show us how far we've come, but does it really help anyone to denigrate women who lived prior to feminism? It's SO historically unlikely, unless the dress specifically was supposed to portray someone who both lived in the 18th century and ALSO was a total idiot.

    The thing is that most of human history was WAY more perilous than the modern world. Whether because of crime, war, or disease, most women prior to the 20th century would have been WAY more familiar with hardship than many modern women, even noblewomen. Wealthy teenagers today are the ones who are sheltered.

    I will buy that an 18th century woman might not know how to defend herself physically, but to say that she's not supposed to understand anything? How was she supposed to run her husband or her father's household? ARGH. It bothers me so much that people think women honestly never had a serious thought until recently. Never held salons, wrote novels, were politically active; never defended themselves, carried guns or other weapons; never ran businesses, farms, or large households.

    So yeah, it's unfortunate, but I just spend this episode seething.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I think this is a fantastic point, actually.

    • melmel says:

      You make a point.
      But remeber Buffy is 16, so I always thought she turned into a "16 year old girl from the 18th century". So certainly a girl who maybe not have seen the world outside her house.

      • threerings13 says:

        Well a 16 year old noblewoman in the 18th century had a good chance of being married already and being expected to manage a large household, including all the finances and expenses.

    • Ellie says:

      This has always bothered me too, which unfortunately ruins SMG’s scenes for me, though not necessarily the episode as a whole. As you say, the concept is insulting to women in the past, plus her dialogue is really obvious and clunky. I like to fanwank that the costume turned her into Buffy’s idea of what an 18th century noblewoman was like, rather than an historically faithful representation (which also helps excuse that unfortunate “accent.”) Gubhtu, gung’f nqzvggrqyl uneq gb fdhner jvgu Knaqre univat orra tvira erny zvyvgnel xabjyrqtr, nf jr svaq bhg yngre.

  69. unefeeverte says:

    For some reason, I don't love this episode. The whole thing about Buffy wanting to be a lady for Angel seemed kinda random to me.

    Maybe that's because as a fashion history nerd, I took one look at Buffy's costume and imagined what Angel would think when he saw her: Gurl, we did not wear POLYESTER 240 years ago.

    Anyway, moving on 😉 (I am amazed how closely you have to watch all these episodes since you're blogging about them – I love this series, but there's a whole bunch of episodes I don't remember more than vaguely anymore, because they weren't interesting to me and I just basically got through them to watch the next one.)

    • James says:

      Gurl, we did not wear POLYESTER 240 years ago.
      LOL. The hot pink colour throwing me, I didn't even think about what it was made of!

  70. unefeeverte says:

    What I really can't wait for: Sernxvat SYNFUONPX rcvfbqrf. Gurl znxr guvf ragver 'irefr sbe zr.

  71. Tx_Cronopio says:

    Frevbhfyl, guvf vf jura F2 gnxrf bss sbe zr. Jvgu gur rkprcgvba bs Onq Rttf, vg'f nyy tbyqra sebz urer!

  72. Epiphany says:

    This wasn't the most shocking episode, but it was damn entertaining.

    First, they mentioned Xena. I remember watching it so much when I was younger. I can still watch the episodes, and it is so enjoyable. It can get corny, and the research and episodes are often phoned in. However, I adored the characters and forgave it. In a lot of ways, Buffy reminds me of Xena (as a show). I just need to enjoy both the good and corny parts for what they are worth. I am really starting to enjoy that. Unlike Xena, I am not aided by rose-colored nostalgia goggles, but I can definitely understand the intense love. I wished I watched Buffy when I was a teenager now. I probably would love it more. It is a good show, and this episode reminds me of how good it can be. I now have high expectations for both the story line and the corniness.

    Bonus points to Xander for putting together his costume. Does anyone make costumes in Sunnydale, or do they all buy them for the same story, sans Cordelia? My friend and I make our costumes. I gave up two years when she made a full-body lizard suit out of PIPE-CLEANERS. I could not compete with that! Last year, we all got pipe-cleaner masks, complete with ears.

  73. Ida says:

    I love this episode. It was the first one that I just simply love, without any qualms or anything. Pure, undiluted awesome.

    OMG, GILES BACKSTORY! That is just great. And there's Ethan Rayne. Hi, Ethan, you evil chaos worshipper. Who… sucks at fighting, just saying. Come on, dude. How did you manage to survive this far?

    About Giles, by the way. V xabj V'z abg nybar va guvf, ohg vg'f npghnyyl xvaq bs vagrerfgvat ubj pybfr uvf onpxfgbel eryngrf gb Wbua Pbafgnagvar. Vg PNA'G or n pbvapvqrapr. Urer'f gb thrffvat gur jevgref ner Uryyoynmre snaf, naq jub pna oynzr gurz? V fher pna'g.

    V svezyl fhccbeg gur oryvrs gung gurl uhat bhg va Ybaqba onpx va gur tbbq by' qnlf jura Wbua jnf fgvyy cynlvat va Zbhphf Zrzoenar naq Tvyrf jnf fgvyy xabja nf Evccre. V zrna, ubj znal qnex zntvpvnaf jbhyq gurer or va Ybaqba ng gur fnzr gvzr? Gurl zhfg ng yrnfg unir zrg! Yrg zr ubyq ba gb zl qryhfvbaf! (V nyfb yvxr gb vzntvar gung Wbua unf unq gb tb hc ntnvafg Rguna fbzr gvzr, naq V jbhyq ybir gb frr gurz tb vagb n unaq-gb-unaq pbzong, orpnhfr gung jbhyq or uvynevbhf! 'Pnhfr yrg'f snpr vg, gurl obgu xvaq bs fhpx ng unaq-gb-unaq pbzong.)

  74. t09yavosaur says:

    -Funny, this title doesn't bother me at all.
    -Random gourd among the pumpkins.
    -Ah, attack gourd. Gotcha
    -Vampire cinematography?
    -*gasp* Angel is wearing a color!
    -Why yes! Lets send the “delinquent” off with some children.
    -Lying to Giles is bad but sneaking into his personal files is okay?
    -Where has Mrs. Calender been?
    -I can only imagine y'all mean her dress is beautiful cause that's really all that sketch details.
    -Voting or gowns…hmm. Now horses I would probably choose over voting.
    -Its okay Willow, wild means the same thing for me. Thats why I avoid caffeine.
    -The dress is pretty, but gosh that color. I'd prefer blue or green. Or yellow, then it wold be Belle's dress.
    -Generous Shop Owner. Is it cursed?
    -Yup, it's cursed.
    -I am a fan of Chaos but praying to it doesn't seem to ever turn out well.
    -Is Willow supposed to be anyone in particular?
    -OZ TOO!?! Yay!
    -Xander, I approve of your Halloween chaperoning.
    -Costume Shop Priest! Think of the children!
    -I think…I may have seen this episode before…
    -…The children are about to become their costumes…
    -Whoa! I have!! I guess that makes 3 I have seen before this project.
    -Xander is about to become hilawesome.
    -What is that “18th century” accent?
    -I knew I had seen Cordelia in that costume before.
    -Interesting that Costume!Buffy just had to see Angel's face to know he was a Vamp, guess they were common in the 18th century.
    -Holy History, Giles!!
    -Poor Spike.
    -Go Willow!
    -Angel + Buffy = Awdorable

    They never said why Halloween is a slow slayer day.

    I can't believe that I didn't remember that I had seen this episode, but I am beginning to see a pattern in the episodes I have seen. They all contain some of my favorite sci-fi tropes. I'll get to the others later but this one had Halloween, which is always fun, and mixed-up identities which are great. My favorite are body switching situations, (mostly because I think those must be the most fun acting wise and I love to watch the actors try it) but this way is also pretty awesome.

  75. notemily says:

    HALLOWEEN. HELL YEAH. This is one of the most fantastic episodes of ever. It's exactly what the show does best: Exploring its characters' personalities through supernatural situations.

    Seriously, Buffy? You see Cordy talking to Angel and you assume he likes her? HE LIKES YOU, SILLY.

    "…bobbing for apples… one pathetic cry for help after another." Hee hee, Snyder.

    OHAI LARRY. The actor's name is Larry as well! ~the more you know~

    "I like to think of it less as a friendship and more as a solid foundation for future bliss." Yes Xander, thanks for summing up your Nice Guy personality in one sentence. Although his delivery on "Alas, no" is pretty hilarious.

    Poor Xander, your manliness is wounded WHATEVER, GET OVER IT.

    "Most importantly… it would be wrong." I love you Buffy.

    "I enjoy… cross-referencing!" Ah, librarians.

    Willow's look when Buffy pulls out the Ms. Calendar card is great. "A hunk of burning… something or other."


    Buffy, don't encourage Willow to put on one of those godawful "sexy whatever" costumes.

    I do understand the love of pretty dresses, though. Especially the kind with big poofy skirts.

    Spike watching videos of Buffy to see how she fights! And COMPLIMENTING her!

    "Eyeballs to entrails, my sweet!"

    "Lady of Buffdom, Duchess of Buffonia" Hee.

    Oz!! OMG he's so tiny. I love Seth Green.

    Xander telling the kids how to scam more candy, hee. Now I want some chocolate.

    The kids are now very short demons! NOES! Willow is turning into an actual ghost! NOES! Xander has an actual gun! Cool! Wait, no. Guns are bad! Stop shooting things!

    Buffy's "real" hair is much worse than her previous wig hair. Also her "old-timey" accent is pretty awful.

    Poor Willow is the only person who knows what's going on, and she's noncorporeal.

    "Well! This is just… neat!" ILU SPIKE

    Yeah, I get it, Lady of Buffdom, you are from a time when women had no power. Some of the lines they give her are a bit on-the-nose.

    Hee, Angel arrives and they're like "who are you?"

    GILES IS ACTUALLY CROSS-REFERENCING. It might be a cheap gag when he throws the cards everywhere when Willow arrives, but I cracked up anyway.

    "I like the man with the musket!"

    "The ghost of what, exactly?"

    AGH! Larry is an actual pirate!

    adjfkl;sklafdsal;sdfasdfjdfsajdfsjk GILES KNOWS ETHAN ~~~~ AND HE CALLS GILES "RIPPER" aflsjdakl;dsfk

    "It's okay! Angel is a good vampire! He would never hurt you!" The best part is Cordelia thinks she's lying.

    "It's strange, but beating up that pirate gave me a weird sense of closure."

    ;asfdjklfs;dlj MYSTERIOUS STUFF ABOUT GILES'S PAST :LSDFJKldfsk;asdfkljsdaf

    kdfsaf;s;dfak; GILES ATTACKING ETHAN adf;jadfs;

    "Hi honey, I'm home!" "It's good to be me." Hell yeah it is, Buffy.

    Willow–I'm so glad she got back into her body OK. I'd be kind of terrified if I had ACTUALLY DIED AND BECOME A GHOST. Also I love that she throws the ghost outfit away because she had to take charge and be awesome, and now she doesn't give a crap if anyone sees her in a sexy outfit. Willow <3

    "Who is that girl?" JUST MEET ALREADY YOU GUYS


    ["V nyjnlf jvfurq V pbhyq zrrg fbzrbar… rkpvgvat…" Naq gura lbh qvq. Naq fur ghearq lbh vagb n inzcver.]

    Sexy makeouts!


    • tanbarkie says:

      "OHAI LARRY. The actor's name is Larry as well! ~the more you know~"

      Yneel'f bar bs zl snibevgr "onpxtebhaq erpheevat" punenpgref. V nqber jura ur svanyyl trgf gb wbva gur juvgr ungf va "Gur Jvfu," rira vs vg'f bayl va na nygreangr gvzryvar.

    • notemily says:

      I would also like to add that after I wrote this post I started thinking about costumes I had worn and what would have happened if I changed into them. I almost was the Eleventh Doctor this past Halloween, which would have been AWESOME if I had ACTUALLY BECOME THE DOCTOR. I was a bunch of grapes once (you get a bunch of green or purple balloons and pin them to yourself and walk around with a leaf-hat), which wouldn't be as much fun.

      (Then I realized that I've used some of my belly dancing outfits as a last-minute costume in previous years, and then I started thinking about the conversations we had about "Inca Mummy Girl" and whether or not belly dancing is cultural appropriation, and am I an insensitive asshole for doing it for seven years, and then I wrote like three pages about it which I am SPARING YOU ALL because it just left me kind of confused. You're welcome.)

    • misterbernie says:

      NTU! Yneel vf na npghny cvengr!
      N OHGG cvengr.

      Sorry, I couldn't not.

    • claretstock says:

      "Also I love that she throws the ghost outfit away because she had to take charge and be awesome, and now she doesn't give a crap if anyone sees her in a sexy outfit. Willow <3"

      I sort of felt like at the moment she threw it away, she knew she didn't have to be afraid of what people would think of her. She'd already went out without it (by necessity, of course, but still) and she'd even had to take control of the situation and be the leader, and be the important person, in the spotlight, so to speak- and she come out fine.
      which often girls will realistically worry about- how people will react to what they are wearing if they wear *whatever* because so often people do use what girls are wearing to discredit their leadership, or thoughts or ideas. Also Willow was very much not used to being the person everyone needed to pay attention too, and sometimes it's scary, when you're not used to being noticed, dressing in a way that you think will draw attention to you.

      I heart Willow so much though, the early years of the Buffy show remind me of myself a LOT because I was also a bookworm with a small group of friends that was hugely insecure about standing out among other people. stage fright, clothes anxiety… and all that comes with it.

  76. tanbarkie says:

    "It's strange, but beating up that pirate gave me a weird sense of closure."


  77. Hotaru_hime says:

    You have no idea about Giles. Basically I love him and to this day project my Giles crush onto Anthony Stewart Head (who looks faaaaaaaaaabulous in fishnets and heels).
    Willow! I just love her! Find her Oz! Kiss her senseless! LET ME SHIP THE SHIP FOREVER!!

  78. kelseyofcake says:

    I definitely agree with your view that Halloween is THE BEST THING EVER. It comes with spookiness, free food/candy, and an excuse to dress up in a costume, three things that I adore thrown together. And Tacky Plastic Halloween Decorations > Tacky Plastic Santa at Christmas. Just my opinion.

    Okay, on to the episode! Like everyone else, it is one of my favorites, and I had a lot of fun watching it again. The idea of people being turned into their costumes is so silly it could have made for a not-so-great episode, but they went and made the idea awesome by using it as a way to explore the main three's anxieties about gender and how they are perceived by others. I love them for doing this, because it's both interesting and a lot of fun. But that wasn't enough for the writers, so they went and gave us hints at interesting and possibly dark back story for Giles, which would have been amazing all on its own!

    Other cool things;
    -Cordelia referring to Angel as a "Teddy bear with fangs". It kind of makes me want a vampire teddy bear so I can give it a Build-A-Bear outfit of dark moody colors and a long coat. Then I can put it on a shelf and laugh every time I see it.
    -Spike's total delight in the chaos.
    -Ethan. Just Ethan, and the hot shipping fuel he came with.
    -The fact that Willow chooses to leave the ghost sheet behind and just walk home in her original costume. She gained an eensy teensy piece of confidence!

  79. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I'm kinda disappoint that we didn't get the explanation of why Halloween is a slow day for vampires, though of course I liked what we got in its place. I'm guessing that with seven seasons and a spin-off there're bound to be other chances to address it, though, right?

    Something I just realized: In the Angel episode, it's said that vampires can't come into someone's house without an invitation. But the other vampire in this episode gets into Buffy's house just fine. Is that a mistake, or is there some other exception at play (like the fact that the guy was only a vampire because of Ethan's spell)?

    • Tx_Cronopio says:

      I don't know…it seems kind of intuitive to me that Halloween is a slow day for vampires. Like St Patrick's day for drinkers — we leave it to the amateurs 🙂

    • tanbarkie says:

      I thought the explanation was given in the episode: vampires find the whole thing rather crass, and take the day off rather than have to deal with all the poseur humans trying to be scary.


    • Jenny_M says:

      I think it would have to be that he wasn't a "real" vampire, just under a spell. However, I can't remember if anyone "really" staked him because that would "really" suck in a very "real" sense, lol.

    • @lemairei says:

      Because Buffy is no longer Buffy, then her house isn't really her house, so the vampire can enter. But then, it's still her mum's house, so… No, it's just a continuity error.

  80. fantasylover120 says:

    I adore this ep and all it's dorkyness. Yes, the idea of people turning into their costumes is extremely dorky. Do I care? No. Not when it brings us such loveliness.
    Daily Buffy Quotes
    Giles: I'm very fond of cross-referencing. Buffy: Do you stuff your own shirts or do you send them out?
    I don't get wild. Wild on me equals spazz-Willow
    Look Buffy, you may be hot stuff when it comes to demonology or whatever, but when it comes to dating I am the slayer.-Cordelia

  81. feminerdist says:

    This episode made me honest to goodness CACKLE out loud. When the little kids turned into goblins and started choking the old lady, I almost died laughing. That shit is comic gold.

    I'm a sick person…

  82. theduck says:

    My thoughts on this epsiode:

    – Soldier!Xander is HOT.
    – Brunette Buffy is also hot.
    – WILLOW. THAT TUMMY. I am jealous and she is also hot.

    I am shallow okay.

    In all seriousness, this is my second-favorite Buffy episode out of what I've seen so far (seasons1-3). The hints about Giles' backstory are so interesting and I WANT TO KNOW MORE. (Vs gurer vf nalguvat ryfr orfvqrf jung'f erirnyrq va "Gur Qnex Ntr", vqx. V UBCR GURER VF.) Ethan's also a really interesting character. I kind of wish there was some sort of prequel movie starring him and Giles…

  83. gsj says:

    i used to looooove teaching this episode if only for the first real glimpse that our authority figures are not always as they seem and that it marks a shift in tone of the show – the first season was a midseason replacement, and sort of hastily assembled, but here you can pretty much watch the writing staff try to create a broader world with stricter rules and it's really interesting.

    i am trying to be ambiguous but feel free to get rid of this just in case it goes a bit too far.

  84. Kari18212 says:

    This episode=SO GREAT. I love that as soon as Willow knows that Buffy and Xander aren't themselves, she takes charge no problem. Very fun to watch. Also YES ETHAN RAYNE AND RIPPER GILES SO HOT. *ahem* okay I'm in control again.

    Spike being back is always good news, and I LOVE watching him watch Buffy and even admiring her fighting skills a bit. Also, it is super weird that him saying he loves Dru "eyeballs to entrails" makes me go "awww" right??? yeah, watching this show so young definitely messed me up lol. Well worth it 🙂

  85. Maribeth says:

    I thought it wasn't that hard to accept the oblivious attitude of the people of Sunnydale: they don't want to believe in monsters (most people find it easier to believe in druggies, gangs and/or terrorists than to believe in vampires!), they have made denial a life style, and their oblivion might even be another aspect of the Hell mouth…? Anyway I found it easy to accept (since my own parents would always embrace denial over facts on any subject).

  86. @Ivana2804 says:

    This was one of my favorite early episodes of Buffy, but it's also one of the few I liked less on rewatch than the first time. I love how the show takes a concept that could have been just an opportunity for a comedy episode full of wacky hilarity – people being transformed into their Halloween costumes – and makes it into story full of revealing character moments. I think this is why it used to be my favorite episode up to this point in the show (while now I prefer Prophecy Girl and When She Was Bad and I like it about as much as School Hard and Out of Mind, Out of Sight, maybe even Nightmares).

    What I didn't think of the first time around but I do now is just how oversimplified and exaggerated the portrayal of traditional femininity is, as a few other posters have noted. I like that it's mocking a stereotype, but I would much prefer if the episode made a distinction between the stereotype and the actual women throughout history. Lady!Buffy is more of a fictional version of a woman from the past, than a real woman from that time. It's also focusing on just one feminine role; not all women were noblewomen whose job was to look pretty, many women – mostly those from other, lower classes – were performing a lot of important, hard work. Another traditional feminine role is that of a caretaker – nurses, nannies, governesses, midwives, mothers/housewives who raised children (theirs or other people's), did all the housework (at theirs or other people's homes), and basically held families together. It's rather unfair to portray women from the past as generally useless and "simpering morons" without thinking about the lack of options they had, or to assume that they wouldn't have known to take care of themselves.

    I like to think that Lady!Buffy was supposed to be just a gender stereotype come to life, not an actual woman from the past.

    The choice of Halloween costumes is very telling of the characters’ issues with their own identity. Everybody is trying to be someone they’re not. Well, except for Cordelia. Buffy and Xander have issues with trying to fit into traditional gender roles. Buffy literally trying to make herself into someone else, into a weaker, conventionally feminine girl because of what she thinks a man would like more. Then she gets a case of “Be careful what you wish for” when she’s transformed into the worst case of stereotypical helpless screaming damsel who can’t defend herself and expects men to save her. Xander, as s Soldier!Xander, he gets to do what he can’t in real life – be a traditionally masculine hero, beat up Pirate!Larry, and save Damsel!Buffy. but is the one who actually had a clue what was going on and stepped up to tell him what to do and not to do – such as, not to shoot the "demons" who were actually still little children.

    Willow is still too insecure and afraid of people seeing her: she covers herself in sheets so Xander can't see her new sexy look. But she’s the only one out of people transformed in their costumes who retains her own personality. She even gets to be the one to take charge, since Buffy and Xander aren’t themselves – prompting Cordelia to say “Who died and made her the boss?”

    But it’s Giles, who doesn’t dress up as anything, that we learn most about in the episode. Giles’ stuffy librarian persona, we learn, is really a costume; but when you wear a costume long enough, it becomes you – “the outside becomes the inside” as Drusilla puts it. Va n fvzvyne jnl, jr yngre yrnea gung gur “Fcvxr” crefban jnf n pbfghzr gung Jvyyvnz qrpvqrq gb jrne – ohg gur pbfghzr qvq riraghnyyl orpbzr jub ur vf. (Wbff unf fnvq gung Tvyrf vf jung Fcvxr ershfrq gb orpbzr, juvyr Fcvxr vf jung Tvyrf terj bhg.)

    Punenpgref univat qbhoyrf be orvat fcyvg vagb gjb fvqrf bs gurve crefbanyvgl vf n ovt gurzr va frnfba 2, naq gur fubj va trareny. Natry/Natryhf, Bm naq uvf jbys angher, naq Tvyrf naq uvf onq obl eroryyvbhf Evccre crefban sebz uvf lbhgu, juvpu jr’yy yrnea zber nobhg va “Gur Qnex Ntr”.

    • @Ivana2804 says:

      Ethan, a Chaos worshipper, prays to the statue of the two-headed god Ianus, who represents the duality that exists in everyone – male and female, light and dark, etc. Why does Ethan do the spell? Unlike most villains who do it for some sort of personal gain, it seems he just enjoys creating mayhem, pulling people out of their comfort zones and showing that everyone has another side to them. But maybe an additional reason is that he wants to create a reaction to Giles, specifically, because he wants him back on the Chaos side. Giles has become the epitome of Order, but we still get a glimpse of his more sinister side when he tells Willow to leave – was it because he thought Willow was in danger, or because he wanted to kill Ethan and didn’t want her to see it?

      Rguna’f jbeqf nobhg Tvyrf, ncneg sebz gur erirny nobhg Tvyrf’ cnfg va “Gur Qnex Ntr”, qba’g trg n cnl-bss va gur fubj sbe n ybat gvzr – hagvy “Gur Tvsg”, jura jr frr jung Tvyrf vf pncnoyr bs jura ur fgenatyrf Ora; nf jryy nf va frnfba 7 jura ur gevrf gb tb oruvaq Ohssl’f onpx naq uryc Jbbq xvyy Fcvxr.

      Naq gur pubvpr bs pbfghzrf gung punenpgref va guvf rcvfbqr jrne qb gryy n ybg nobhg gurve frperg srnef naq qrfverf. Ng svefg tynapr, Yneel’f pubvpr bs cvengr pbfghzr frrzf whfg gb ersyrpg uvf znpub crefban, ohg jr’yy yngre yrnea va “Cunfrf” gung Yneel vf tnl naq va gur pybfrg; vf vg n pbvapvqrapr gung ur pubfr gb or n cvengr, fbzrbar jub’f rzobqvzrag bs sbyybjvat gurve qrfverf naq abg pnevat nobhg gur ehyrf bs gur fbpvrgl. Jr’yy yngre frr gung Jvyybj pna vaqrrq or n yrnqre (juvpu fur vf ng gur fgneg bs frnfba 6) naq gung fur pna or frkl naq pbasvqrag (abg gb zragvba gur ivkravfu Inzc Jvyybj), fb guvf vf fbzrguvat fur qvq unir va ure nyy gur gvzr. Ohssl jvyy, sbeghangryl, arire gel gb or n qnzfry, ohg juvyr fur’yy nyjnlf fgehttyr gb erpbapvyr gur “Fynlre” cneg bs urefrys jvgu gur “tvey” cneg gung jnagf gb qerff avpryl, or nggenpgvir, gung jnagf ebznapr naq eryngvbafuvcf (juvpu zbfg Fynlref nera’g fhccbfrq gb unir) naq lrnef gb svaq n jnl gb srry yvxr n tvey/jbzna juvyr fgvyy qbvat ure qhgl. Fur’yy unir gb svaq n yrff pbairagvbany jnl gb qb guvf, whfg yvxr Knaqre jvyy or fgehttyvat gb svaq uvf “znfphyvar” vqragvgl, naq jvyy riraghnyyl unir gb ohvyq vg va n yrff genqvgvbany jnl: nf n “pbzsbegnqbe” engure guna “pbadhvfgnqbe”, urycvat naq fnivat uvf sevraqf jvgu ybir naq pbzsbeg (nf va frnfba 6 svanyr) engure guna zhfpyrf. Abg gung gur fbyqvre crefban vf pbzcyrgryl nonaqbarq – ur nyfb pbagvahrf gb cnegvpvcngr va Ohssl’f svtug, naq va frnfba 8 unf na cbfvgvba va ure Fynlre nezl.

      • @Ivana2804 says:

        I love seeing Oz again, he quickly become one of my favorite characters. It’s also refreshing to see Buffy and Angel out of the over-dramatic “When you kiss me, I wanna die” mode and acting like a normal couple instead. They seem like a couple in this episode for the first time since “Angel”. Jura Natry fnlf ng gur raq bs gur rcvfbqr gung aboyrjbzra bs uvf gvzr jrer “fvzcrevat zbebaf” naq gung ur nyjnlf jvfurq ur pbhyq zrrg fbzrbar qvssrerag naq rkpvgvat, gur vqrn jnf boivbhfyl gung ur tbg gb zrrg fbzrbar yvxr gung va Ohssl, ohg jngpuvat vg abj, gur svefg gubhtug gung pbzrf gb zl zvaq vf gung ur – nf n uhzna – riraghnyyl qvq trg gb zrrg fbzrbar qvssrerag naq rkpvgvat – Qneyn.

        Great to see Spike again! I missed him. I'm not sure this is his greatest showing, though, in terms of being a great villain. He is smart and pragmatic, but this is the second episode with Spike in it and he again runs away – this time as soon as Buffy comes to herself and kicks his behind. Though at least this time he ran away from Buffy rather than Joyce. 😀 These early episodes had a lot of what makes him a great character, but on the other hand, it's really not the greatest showing for him in terms of courage and "badassery'. Juvpu znxrf vg cnegvphyneyl shaal gung gurer'f guvf cbchyne oryvrs gung Fcvxr jnf na njrfbzr ivyynva naq gura unq n fb-pnyyrq "onqnff qrpnl". Ubj bqq gura vg zhfg or gung gur “abg onqnff” Fcvxr bs yngre frnfbaf qvqa’g unir nal ceboyrz pbasebagvat Ohssl qverpgyl naq abg ehaavat njnl, abg gb zragvba tbvat fgenvtug ntnvafg crbcyr zhpu fgebatre guna ure, yvxr Pnyro…

        Speaking of Spike, ur vf ng guvf cbvag nyernql bofrffvat bire Ohssl, vs bayl nf n Fynlre jubfr svtugvat grpuavdhrf ur arrqf gb yrnea zber nobhg va beqre gb orng ure. Ur rira unf bgure inzcverf svyz ure svtug, naq trgf fb ratebffrq va vg gung ur nyzbfg qbrfa’g abgvpr Qeh pbzvat va. Ohg gur jnl ur gnyxf nobhg Ohssl vf irel frkhnyvmrq, rira gubhtu ng guvf cbvag ur jbhyq, ab qbhog, or ubeevsvrq ng gur vqrn bs srryvat nalguvat sbe ure guna n qrfver gb xvyy ure. Ur pbzzragf ba ure vzcerffvir svtugvat fxvyy jvgu na nyzbfg nssrpgvbangr “Onol yvxrf gb cynl”, naq yngre qrfpevorf ure va hfhny pnaavonyvfgvp/frkhny jnl gung inzcverf gnyx nobhg gurve ivpgvzf, nf “gur graqrerfg zrng lbh’ir rire gnfgrq” – juvpu erzvaqf zr bs “Fpubby Uneq” naq uvf yvarf nobhg orvat n “irny thl” nf jryy nf “gur oybbq bs n avpr, evcr tvey”. V’ir arire haqrefgbbq jul fb znal crbcyr gubhtug vg jnf bhgentrbhf bs gur fubj va frnfba 7 gb unir Fcvxr gnyx nobhg encvat grrantr tveyf va uvf rivy qnlf – gurfr rneyl rcvfbqrf ner shyy bs frkhnyyl cerqngbel yvarf vxr gung naq nyyhfvbaf gung uvf cersreerq ivpgvzf ner lbhat jbzra, naq bs pbhefr, ng guvf cbvag gur fubj jnf hfvat ovgvat nf n zrgncube sbe frkhny nffnhygf (obgu OgIF naq NgF jvyy yngre qebc gur zrgncube naq znxr vg zber rkcyvpvg). Qrfcvgr yvxvat gur punyyratr gung gur Fynlref cerfrag, ur’f nyfb dhvgr rkpvgrq va guvf rcvfbqr ng gur fvtug bs n fpnerq, zrrx, urycyrff Ohssl.

        That duality is similar to the way he talks to Dru: his main goal at this point is to restore her strength, and he admires her dark predatory power, but at the same time treats her as parent would a cute, beloved child. And he's Dru's "Daddy"? Vg'f pyrneyl n Qeh guvat, pnyyvat ure ybiref 'qnqql'.

      • claretstock says:

        I saw Giles words towards Willow as more because he didn't want her seeing him fighting him than her getting hurt. When Willow says "..But!.." I felt that Willow first thought he meant it for her safety, and she objected because she's a ghost! She's already incorporeal and can't be hurt! But Giles gets all authoritative on her and tells her to go, I think it was because he didn't want any of the kids to learn about his past.

        At the beginning of the ep though, when Willow and Buffy sneak out the watcher diaries, I really was wondering, why would they have to do that? Shouldn't any slayer related material be readily available to the Slayer? She's gotta fight em, after all.

  87. Patrick721 says:

    -I like spike's relationship with Drusilla. I said it in the comments for School Hard, and I'll say it again; It's oddly refreshing to see a villain who has a love interest that he genuinely cares about. There's so many villains I've seen who have a relationship with their LI like Harley and the Joker's.
    -Again, Spike being a smart villain. We need more smart bad guys.
    -Also like the idea of all the supernatural things laying low on halloween.
    -Ethan! Oh, Hi Zaeed. I see you've got both eyes. And hair. Are you here to tell us stories about your days as a mercenary?
    -I like the use of latin. It's been a while since I took it, but the latin sounds correct.
    -Janus. Roman God of Beginnings and Transitions, and also of doorways. His name is the origin of "January". And the Romans had a temple to Janus, called the Ianus Geminus, in the forum. The doors of this temple were opened when Rome was at war, and closed when there was no war. (And that's your history/cultural lesson for the day. I'm a huge classics nerd, especially when it comes to Rome, so I kind of had to do that.)
    -Oz. We need more Oz.

  88. kristinc says:

    In addition to the other problematic aspects that have been discussed, it's kind of obnoxious for Angel to be all "Yeah I'm glad you're not like women back then because women back then WEREN'T VERY INTERESTING TO ME". Self-centered much there, dude? How about "I'm glad you live in an era where you probably won't die in childbirth"?

    • Shiyra says:

      To be fair, he only said that the noblewomen didn't interest him. Which maybe means he liked the lower class women who were hard workers and talked about "low" things and were more involved and knew what was going on around them. Naq gura gurer vf gur cbffvovyvgl gung Natry znl unir orra ylvat gb Ohssl fvapr ur frrzrq cerggl nggenpgrq gb Qneyn jura ur zrg ure va "Orpbzvat", nygubhtu vg'f nccnerag gung fur vf abg nal beqvanel aboyrjbzna.

  89. FuTeffla says:

    I'm just going to come out and say it: I love Ethan. He is just so delightfully snide. GILES/ETHAN OTP <3

  90. Sosa says:

    Xander's upper arms, so hot! I loved Angel leaving helpless Buffy and rushing to help Xander who was beating up Larry. I wanna read Xander/Angel slash fics NOW!!

  91. Chelsey says:

    I love this episode so much. Willow as Ghost of a Confident Girl, and the way she just orders everyone around in Buffy's stead is wonderful. Also OZ!

  92. notemily says:

    Yeah, but that's what I love–looking one episode through the lens of the show as a whole. Not such a great idea on Mark's sites, but I love it!

  93. Binx says:

    Obviously, women fulfilled many roles and did a lot more than just sit around and look pretty back in the 1700s. But Buffy's costume wasn't simply a sign that said "I want to be an 18th century woman" – it was an actual upper-class gown, denoting that she was dressing up to be a wealthy, high status noble woman of the 18th century – and they DID just pretty much sit around and look pretty. Even all of their education was just generally in the feminine arts (singing, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.) and perhaps speaking a second language like French. So I don't feel the portrayal was Joss mocking women of that era – more like pointing out how absurd that specific type of lifestyle and role was, and how bafflingly ignorant and separated from reality those women were kept.

    Angel's comment and opinion though is another thing entirely. I too was shocked at how outright, well, mean and immature it was. He seemed to think of them as something akin to today's gold-digging, partying socialites, but didn't at all acknowledge that they didn't have any other choice. Women today who are like that choose to be. They could have been doctors or lawyers or anything else. Not so with the ladies of Angel's past. That was the only role they were given as an option, and rejecting it could have lead to untold terrible risks and punishments and rejection, and that's only if they somehow came to figure out on their on that there even COULD be another way of life. Which he should kinda know – given that it was his time after all.

    And hey, maybe he did. As I mentioned on here before, he seemed to be just trying to make Buffy feel better and more secure.

    • notemily says:

      …I am giving you the side-eye for implying that there is no pressure today for women to marry men with money, and no, say, wage gap or glass ceiling or boys' club that might encourage them to become, as you say, "gold diggers" rather than "doctors or lawyers."

      Choices aren't made in a vacuum.

      • Binx says:

        "Pressure" to marry men with money? Of course the things you mentioned exist and are an issue, but I don't think women of today (in American culture) are overall "pressured" to marry wealthy men. I stand that other choices DO exist. Obviously they do. And they didn't back then – well, except for possibly becoming a nun.

        • notemily says:

          And I'm saying that just because choices exist doesn't mean they are easily accessible by everyone.

          I should clarify what I mean by pressure–I don't just mean social pressure, although there is some of that. I'm talking more about the knowledge we grow up with. Such as: Women don't make as much money as men, even for the same work. Women are often "mommy-tracked" or otherwise punished for wanting to have both a career and a family. Many high-paying fields are mostly populated by men and there's a "boys' club" attitude that can keep women from advancing very far in those fields. Women are more likely to end up in poverty than men. And it's very difficult these days to raise children on one income, which women are more likely to end up doing than men.

          So yeah, it's not Sense and Sensibility up in here, but it's not exactly an even playing field either.

          • Binx says:

            I don't think you're being fair. You're talking to me like I'm some anti-feminist who isn't aware of the world and needs a lesson. I never claimed that it was an even playing field. My entire point is that women today have more choices than being career-less arm candy, and women of the 18th century did not. And I will forever until-the-end-of-this-site stick to that. That is literally all.

            • notemily says:

              I'm not saying you are anti-feminist. I do think the stereotype of the "gold digger" is sexist, so that term raised a red flag with me. I think that stereotype ignores certain facts about women and poverty. That's my point.

  94. Oldwillow38 says:

    About "Sarah Goodfriend". The writing on the name Sarah looks very much like Sarah Michelle Gellar's signature. It might have been a bit of an inside joke put on the page. The cast and crew liked to put names on props especially fake tombstones. Copies of SMG's signature can be found on this site.

  95. Bill says:

    How is writing horror novels in any way feminine? Isn't it kinda gender neutral?

  96. Aslee says:

    ((Late, but I'm trying to catch up on the show!))

    Xander stood up for someone calling Buffy 'fast' and then promptly ruined it by blessing her out for helping. Ugh, I just feel like this is disgusting and confusing at the same time. I just want to like him, he can be so adorable, but I CAN'T, because he's HORRIBLE sometimes.

    Bring up Ms. Calender, let Giles go all hazy. His face. <3 Dear god, I want one. Can I have one? I want one.

    Oh, Willow. Trying to make Buffy feel better… and then, you know, being awesome. Cordy, why are you making Buffy sad? I thought you were friends. Her lines, though… 'A Care Bear with fangs.' Though her disbelief is going to come back and bite her in the butt.

    Buffy basically says the Mean Girls Halloween Rule.

    Xander and his two-dollar costume only reinforce my head-canon of his home life. Shit, dude, I've BEEN THERE. And if I didn't have internet friends who knock sense into me, I'd probably be just like him. 🙁

    SPIKE AND DRU~ I love Dru. I wish it was Halloween for us, too. I want to be Dru so bad, you guys!

    WILLOW. Jesus Christ on a graham cracker, why are you so attractive? But, Buffy, why are you trying to tell her not to be herself? That's kinda sucky, no matter how much I approve of that shirt.

    Oh Jeez, Cordy and Oz are awesome together~ Can I have more scenes with them? PREFERABLY MORE WITH OZ AND WILLOW, THOUGH, AMIRITE?

    Xander may be a pig, but he gives the best candy advice.


    Yes, I will be Dru for Halloween. I would love to be her… I mean, she's clearly awesome, and she spends all that time with Spike…

    Does this mean something is wrong with me?

    Soldier!Xand is awesome, I'm just saying. Willow is totally going to save the day… calling it!


    Buffy as Xena would have been the awesomest thing ever, though.

    "Big noise scare monster, remember?" … Oh my god, what is that line?



    Soldier Xander takes orders from girls and lets girls fight and can we keep him this way forever, please?

    Giles's panic was adorable~ I love it. <3 Why is he so cute?



    Xand saves Buffy from being ravished by a vampire. Slightly less awesome. I haven't got a BIG problem with it, but I feel like it was done so Xand wouldn't feel bad about Buffy saving him. Which, uh, wasn't the problem here. The problem was that he felt that way to begin with. Or maybe that he felt he was supposed to feel that way. Which, I guess, yeah, would be a big problem. Damn.

    ~Giles~ has a backstory??? Yaaaaaaaaaay. Now is obsession with weapons and his constantly thinking he can get away with attacking Buffy makes sense.


    Oh. Well. If it had been any other TV show, it would have just made it permanent.

    Cordy and Xand as kindred spirits? This makes me feel things… I think.

    I still wish it was Willow that had saved the day, but now she's all confident and SQUEE! Because Oz. Oz is awesome. I guess. We've barely seen him.

    Angel and Buffy are really cute, but I still can't ship them. I see bad things in their future. GILES WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THAT SHOP, STOP THAT. That is a creepy letter, okay?

    And now I'm done, and I really hope my thoughts are fitting to the general public on a sick day 😛

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