In the eighth episode of the second season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, we finally learn how Ethan knew Giles back in “Halloween” and then WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.
It’s been a good day. A real good day. Today is the day I figured out what to do with Rupert Giles.
Oh, diary, it truly is a wonderful thing. I had spent a significant amount of time wondering if there was a way that I could ruin the life of another one of my fictional characters more than I already had. “Rupert hasn’t been through any trauma recently,” I thought. (I often think much about the trauma that I cause humans that I have created. Oh, what am I doing? You already know that! Silly me!) How can I change him? How can I tell a story by causing him physical and emotional pain? How much can I melt the minds of the people who have grown to love him?
It had taken me some length of time to come to any sort of conclusion. Rupert was already lonely enough. Should I risk making him more so? Of course the answer was a resounding YES, and I suddenly felt a new burst of energy within me. I was renewed by these thoughts of destruction.
What if, I told myself, Rupert Giles had a morally disgusting past that came back to affect his friends and his girlfriend so negatively that it had the potential to alienate all of them from ever hanging out with him again? What if that were true? I thought. How could I use this to make the story of Rupert Giles more depressing?
But it just didn’t seem like enough, diary. It was definitely a good idea, but how else could I exploit it? Who could I kill that would have emotional resonance with Giles? It wasn’t until an old friend from high school contacted me that I got the mother of all ideas.
What if, I told myself, people from Giles’s past not only came back in his life, but with them they brought a demon that possesses a person and then liquefies them when they are done with them, passing on to the next unconscious or dead body? What if that were true? I thought. Would that be enough to bring about my own happiness.
I was initially quite pleased with myself. I could bring back members of Giles’s past, including Ethan, who provided that delectable twist at the end of “Halloween,” and I could kill all of them. So many characters to kill! Perhaps I shall meet my quota of killing 500 characters onscreen this year, diary. Oh, what a year 1997 shall be!
But….was that enough, diary? Was it enough? I began to ponder the ramifications of such a thing. Killing old friends from London was definitely intriguing, but was it possible to do more? Was there something else I could rip from Rupert Giles’s heart?
What if, I told myself, one of Rupert’s friends came to the library, attacked his friends and knocked out Jenny Calendar, then promptly died and passed into her body, possessing her and creating a sense of horrific dread because the viewer would then worry that at any given moment, I would kill off the only love interest Giles might ever have? What if that were true? I thought. Could that torture the fans of Buffy enough?
Oh, I couldn’t kill off Jenny. It would be much more fun to simply tease the audience, to make them squirm for twenty minutes. (Oooh, make them squirm. I just got an idea for a line in this episode! Must write that down.) But was there a way to finally drive home the point that all of this matters? That this is not some disposable plot, that Rupert Giles’s life is forever changed?
What if, I told myself, Jenny DOES survive the possession, but she becomes wary and frightened of Giles because he did not disclose his past to her and it threatened her very life, and this causes Giles to feel more alone than he ever has, and this moment will also force him to face the reality of how Buffy’s life is just as horrifically lonely and terrifying? What if that were true? I thought. Would my audience believe that I was a heinous troll who fed off their frustration?
Yes, diary, they would.
I’m off to do some writing, diary. I’ve enjoyed our time together. Now, I’ve got to go plan out some more character deaths and depressing backstories. All in a day’s work, as they say!
– Willow’s beautiful freak out on Cordelia and Xander and her demanding they leave HER library is everything that is right with the world.
– Also, did anyone else catch a whiff of chemistry when Xander and Cordelia fought? Whoa, that was a weird feeling.
– More Cordelia? Yes good. Yes, this is what makes any episode better than the last.
– The best use of Angel in a last-minute save ever? Possibly. He smoldered a lot in the three minutes he was onscreen.
– So….what happened to the morgue attendant?
– Also, where is Ethan? OMG IS HE GOING TO COME BACK.
– I would love this show if the custodian had a bit part in every episode, sometimes just walking in the background.
– You know this show is dated when Gavin Rossdale is the subject of a fantasy. Also, I used to listen the hell out of Bush.
– How much is Buffy’s allowance that she could save up for tattoo removal in 1997??? THAT SHIT WAS EXPENSIVE BACK THEN.
– Did anyone else think of the Dark Mark?
– Was anyone else kind of grossed out by the demon thinking so poorly of Giles respecting Jenny’s consent? Like, I get the demon would do that, but the dynamic was still really awkward and I don’t like it and please go back to being a cute couple because I already miss it.
– On that note, I totally thought that Giles and Jenny would pull away from the kiss when the bell rang because that ALWAYS happens in EVERYTHING EVER, so many props for them actually committing to the kiss.
– Oh, cool, another black person on screen for four minutes. Huh. This show is super white, isn’t it?
– Giles, my heart is SHATTERED right now. 🙁