Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S03E02 – Dead Man’s Party

In the second episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy discovers that integrating back into life in Sunnydale is not as easy as she would hope it to be. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

YOU SHOULD READ THIS FIRST. Just wanted to remind you all that I am going on tour in sixteen days and I might be in your town promoting my ebooks. These are NOT Mark Reads-only events. Some of them will have live screenings/commentary from me, and Mark Watches material is up for discussion. Come out if you can, and if you want me to come to your city, please read the comments and suggest a place or agree with others! LET’S PARTY.


  • Allow me to do this in reverse. I want to end on a good note because, at the end of the day, I did like “Dead Man’s Party.” Not as a whole, mind you, but there was so much this episode did right. I’ll complain first, and then I will weep my feels all over this website.
  • I know that me complaining or criticizing about anything problematic is not going to change the show ever. It’s done. It exists in a certain, immutable form. I accept that. I know that in that sense, it’s like shouting in a vacuum. When I do criticize plots, character actions, or other such things, it’s merely to express it just to you. I know the writers will probably never see this. (Though now I don’t want to jinx myself, because I said that about Mark Reads American Gods and then Neil Gaiman wrote about me and it was fucking weird as shit. In a good way.) My hope is for discussion. My hope is sometimes for education, too. I do get exhausted writing about race issues, or weird bouts of sexism, or heterosexism. It’s not generally an exciting trip down a waterslide of caramel into a pool of puppies and kittens. But it can be empowering in a way, and I also know that some people genuinely want to learn about this sort of stuff! At the end of the day, though, this site exists as a place for me to brain vomit about one single episode, and I hope that is entertaining.
  • It’s with that lengthy introduction that I say this as a message to any and all possible sci-fi writers who are totally hoping to get their work published: Please immediately banish the trope where objects or artifacts from ~scary countries full of brown/black people~ bring about terror to a community of largely white people. Not only am I immensely bored by this trope, but it sets up this uncomfortable idea that these unnamed cultures (and they’re rarely named) only exist in fiction to terrify other people. Did Marti Noxon (the writer of this episode) intend that? Of course not! But it’s an easy thing for people to rely on because it is so specifically depends on the concept of ignorance about other cultures. There is no attempt to explain it, to bring in the people whose culture this belongs to, or to give the artifact any depth. You’re just supposed believe that people in Nigeria do this sort of thing, you know?
  • Here’s me already disobeying the order of this list and putting something good in the bad section, but I really need this to come after the last point. It is absolutely hilarious to me that Giles makes a joke about the obsession Americans have, especially those who work in museums or whose lives are spent acquiring for these places, with collecting things from other cultures without fully researching them. Does it cancel out the unfortunate trope I just mentioned? No. Is the joke one of the funniest things Giles has ever said? Yes, without a doubt. Writers, this is how you take problematic ideas and address them in the universe you’ve created. Giles’s active criticism is there, it’s in the text, and it’s a biting commentary on the issue.
  • Okay, so here’s the thing. I love zombies. (Everyone go read World War Z. You will not regret it.) I want Buffy to do a zombie episode. I want that episode to only deal with zombies. I understood that they were meant as a metaphor for all of the issues, gripes, and problems the Scoobies had with one another resurrecting themselves to cause conflict. It’s clever. I get it. But we got like fifteen minutes of zombies, and they sort of feel tacked on at the end. It’s a post-script to all of the AWESOME happening elsewhere.
  • I didn’t see any brains eaten. Why did that guy snap the neck of Asshole Who Answered Giles’s Phone Call? Eat his brains!
  • Okay, you basically ripped off Pet Semetary and then didn’t bother making any other reference to it? LOST OPPORTUNITY.
  • I get that Joyce is trying to right by Buffy and make her happy, but the episode totally glosses over the fact that she was excited to have this fancy dinner and then all of sudden there are a hundred strangers in her house drinking and playing loud teenager music and leaving a hot mess of chips next to the phone? Like seriously, who fucking eats chips out of a bowl and spreads them out on the table and then leaves those chips there? It was the dip guy, wasn’t it? Anyway, was there some scene that was cut or something? It just seemed odd to me.
  • A zombie demon who has a camera flash for eyes. No. JustÒ€¦no.


  • God, that Mr. Belvedere line was delivered so perfectly that I’m pretty sure like fifty angels got their wings at that exact moment in time.
  • Cordelia’s tan looks GORGEOUS. Sorry, I refuse to get over how pretty she is. FIGHT ME.
  • The difference between a shindig, a gathering, and a hootenanny is brilliantly explained by Oz. I am just so happy to have him around.
  • Joyce called Principal Snyder a bigot. Yeah, sorry, you’re going to have a hard time proving to me that she’s not the best character on the show.
  • Giles’s moment of sheer joy in his kitchen. It’s so beautiful I almost broke out in tears.
  • Let’s just get to the real shit: this episode in particular refuses to take the easy way out in dealing with Buffy’s absence over the summer, and it’s so good that for once, I prefer character development to a zombie invasion. I would have been 100% satisfied if there was no monster-of-the-week for “Dead Man’s Party” and we just had to witness the fall out of Buffy’s disappearance. It is a frustrating, depressing, and uncomfortable thing to watch, and I am so happy that the show went there.
  • Despite that I sort of picked her out for death pretty much immediately, I like that the show gives Joyce a friend that helped her through the months Buffy was away. Thank you for breaking my heart even further.
  • This episode was certainly awkward, but watching Buffy walk around a party she doesn’t really want to be at and realizing that her friends haven’t instantly accepted and forgiven her is extremely difficult to watch. Yes, I suppose it truly is the tip of the iceberg in terms of awkwardness, but it’s a bold step for the writers to take. This is not simple for any character here. Well, maybe for Cordelia. She seems quickest to forgive.
  • Did I cry when Willow started crying in Buffy’s bedroom? No shame. I did. When she started telling Buffy about all of these things that were happening to her and that her best friend wasn’t around to talk to her about them, I just totally let myself go. What a BRUTAL moment of honesty, and one that reminds me how awful I feel whenever Willow gets hurts. Like, here’s the one character on this show who is consistently nice and kind and polite and appreciative and Buffy never really thought about how her actions were destroying her.
  • Oh my god. Look, at this point, it’s just a brilliant joke in terms of how many people in Sunnydale witness things and then never talk about it again. I mean, we can discuss how on earth folks are supposed to rationalize away a zombie attack AND ALSO THERE IS A DEAD BODY IN THE SUMMER HOUSEHOLD NOW AND WHERE DID IT GO? But never in a million years would I have expected the horrifically awkward and painful argument that the Scoobies and Joyce have with Buffy. THERE ARE PEOPLE THERE WATCHING YOU. It honestly gives that scene such a raw dynamic because Joyce is done beating around the bush, and she’ll be damned if she lets her daughter off the hook this time.
  • Cordelia asking Xander to step into Buffy’s shoes is just the most adorable thing ever.
  • Actually, so is Oz’s attempt to referee the fight.
  • I don’t particularly think anyone aside from Willow is “right” in this argument, and that’s a compliment to the writers. It would be easier to handle if the argument was one-sided, but everyone sort of has a really good point of their own. No one knows Buffy had to kill Angel, not Angelus. Buffy isn’t truly aware of how selfish her actions where, even if they were understandable. She’s also not aware how much she hurt her mother as well. UGH EVERYTHING IS SO AWKWARD AND I JUST WANT TO HUG THEM ALL.
  • This episode doesn’t end with pure joy, and I like that both Willow and Buffy (Buffy especially) are willing to concede things to work on their friendship.
  • Willow called Buffy “BAD SEED.” I LOVE IT.

Dead People Count: 2. Joyce’s friend, and the neck-snap guy. That’s 5 total.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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532 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’: S03E02 – Dead Man’s Party

  1. hpfish13 says:

    I think this episode provides an interesting counterpoint to the season 2 opener. In that episode I was really mad at Buffy for the way she was treating her friends, and in this one I get so mad at how insensitive everyone is being towards Buffy. They’re all like “Oh no!! Our lives were so awful without you!! How could you do this to us?” because, you know, Buffy’s life has just been full of kicks and giggles….nothing difficult or hard to deal with there. I’m always relieved when the zombies start attacking, because it makes me so uncomfortable how they are all treating her so badly. Grrrrrrrrr

    Overall, this is not an episode I like to rewatch, particularly because no one ever acknowledges their bad behavior (except Buffy, who is compelled to feel shame, shame,shame)

    It does have a couple of great lines though

    Giles: Unbelievable! "Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!" Americans!

    ASH’s delivery on this line is just plain brilliant.

    And Oz’s musings are always welcome
    Oz: We should figure out what kinda deal this is. I mean, is it a-a gathering, a shindig or a hootenanny?
    Cordelia: What's the difference?
    Oz: Well, a gathering is brie, mellow song stylings; shindig, dip, less mellow song stylings, perhaps a large amount of malt beverage; and hootenanny, well, it's chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny.

    Onto the booklet!

    Episode 2: Dead Man’s Party
    Written by Marti Noxon, Directed by James Whitmore, Jr.

    Buffy returns home, only to find that Principal Snyder won’t let her back in school, Willow seems to be ignoring her, and her mother is thinking of sending her to a private girls’ school. It isn’t until Buffy saves them all from an invasion of zombies that that things get back to “normal.”


  2. stephanie says:

    A gathering. Brie and mellow song
    stylings. Shin dig. Dip –
    (he nods to Cordelia)
    Less mellow song stylings. Perhaps
    a large amount of malt beverage. And
    a hootenanny… just chock full of
    hoot and a little bit of nanny.

    hee! <3 Oz'isms!!!

  3. settlingforhistory says:

    Not one of the best episodes, but we get zombies and a lot of nice Scooby bonding:

    „I got used to the quiet.“ Now that is just depressing.

    The mask is interesting, but I don’t think I would want it in my bedroom.

    (“Vg’f nyy sha naq tnzrf hagvy fbzrbar ybfrf na rlr! Bu zna, guvf vf rvgure gbgny sberfunqbjvat be sevqtr ubeebe. Naljnl V jnf whfg rngvat jura Ohssl fnvq guvf, V ernyyl fubhyq xabj orggre ol abj.)

    The look in Giles’ eyes when he opens the door and the way he has to stop himself from crying, make me want to hug him until he’s ok again. (Not that I don't want to hug him every episode anyway.)

    I always enjoy Snyder’s complete honesty; he doesn’t even pretend to be a decent human being.

    Pat really freaks me out. A person can be too nice, right?

    Yuck, dead cat. Oh shit, zombie cat!

    It’s so sweet how fascinated and happy Oz is when it comes to supernatural stuff.
    “I think you should call it Patches.” I could actually see Oz adopting that thing.

    Everyone tries to avoid conversation with Buffy, not the best welcome, but I understand that it’s hard for all of them to treat her as if everything is ok.

    It will be hard to keep up with the body count today, especially if you count all the zombies in Buffy’s home.

    “Do you like my mask? Isn’t it pretty, it raises the dead” This is one of my favorite Giles moments (at least of the not sad ones).

    They way that everyone attacks Buffy is so unfair. I get that they are hurt and angry, but they don’t even ask why she did it or what she went through in these month.
    It’s not as if she usually is a selfish or irresponsible person.
    (Vg’f n fvzvyne fvghngvba va frnfba frira, jurer vg jnf nyy ntnvafg Ohssl, gbb.)

    I prefer zombie-Pat to normal Pat, she’s less scary.

    Again, there is nothing a bit of violence can’t kit. I guess they just needed to let off their anger somewhere. I could use a zombie to beat up whenever I’m stressed.

    Ripper vs. Snyder, now I wonder who is going to win. That smile, oh I love Ripper.

    • stephanie says:

      (“Vg’f nyy sha naq tnzrf hagvy fbzrbar ybfrf na rlr! Bu zna, guvf vf rvgure gbgny sberfunqbjvat be sevqtr ubeebe. Naljnl V jnf whfg rngvat jura Ohssl fnvq guvf, V ernyyl fubhyq xabj orggre ol abj.)

      xabjvat Wbff' oenva – gbgny sberfunqbj. v pna'g cebir vg, ohg v jbhyqa'g chg vg cnfg gur zna! (be vg ng yrnfg cynagrq gur vqrn va uvf urnq gung ur yngre pneevrq bhg?) yby

    • @liliaeth says:

      Nyfb va f6.

      Gur fpbbovrf unir n graqrapl gb jnag Ohssl gb fbyir nyy gurve ceboyrzf, naq gur frpbaq fur vfa'g noyr gb qb fb, naq fur chyyf onpx, gurl nggnpx ure bire vg.

      • settlingforhistory says:

        V guvax gung vf n trareny ceboyrz sbe urebrf. Gurl ner nyjnlf gur fgebatrfg va gur tebhc naq gurl unir gb fgnl fgebat naq nygehvfgvp ab znggre jung.
        Vg'f nyfb n ceboyrz gung jr fb eneryl frr Ohssl snvy. Gur Fpbbovrf ner hfrq gb cnva naq ybff, ohg gurl rkcrpg gb jva va gur raq. Vs gurl ybfr gurl arrq fbzrbar gb oynzr, Ohssl vf na rnfl gnetrag, nsgre nyy fur vf gurve yrnqre.

    • notemily says:

      Pat really freaks me out. A person can be too nice, right?

      SHE REALLY FREAKS ME OUT TOO. Like, BEFORE she becomes a zombie. I'm like GO AWAY. DO NOT WANT.

      • MrsGillianO says:

        She is NOT nice, though. Not really. She has more or less moved in on Joyce emotionally over the summer and she wants to dominate Buffy too, now – or drive her away again. She's an emotional vampire – she sucks up people's feelings instead of their blood, but she is toxic too.

      • UnstrungZero says:

        THIS, ugh and those subtle digs about "Not thinking about any more flights of fancy, I hope?" >.< NO.

    • Binx says:

      Bu, Tbq. Gung zbzrag va frnfba 7 znqr zr fvpx. Vg vf zl yrnfg snibevgr zbzrag va gur ragver fubj naq ernyyl uneq sbe zr gb jngpu. Vg yvgrenyyl znqr zr ungr rirel fvatyr punenpgre jub jnfa'g Ohssl (be Fcvxr). V pbhyqa'g oryvrir vg. Ubjrire, vg qvq znxr zr erfcrpg Ohssl nyy gur zber. Gb unir rirelbar ghea gurve onpx ba lbh yvxr gung, nsgre rirelguvat lbh'ir qbar sbe gurz, naq fgvyy tb onpx naq fnir gurz (lrg ntnva)…vg fubjpnfrq jung n gehr ureb fur jnf. Nf qvq fb znal bgure zbzragf, yvxr ure fnpevsvpr va frnfba 5. Fur qnza jryy qrfreirq ure fgnghf nf yrnqre bs gur tebhc.

      Fcrnxvat bs frnfba 5, gurerva vf nabgure zbzrag gung ernyyl veevgngrq zr jvgu ubj Ohssl jnf gerngrq: jura fur pbzcyrgryl oebxr naq jrag pngngbavp nsgre Tybel gbbx Qnja. Jvyybj jrag vagb ure urnq naq jnf onfvpnyyl yvxr "V xabj lbh'er hcfrg, trg bire vg. Trg onpx hc naq fnir hf. Yvxr abj." Ernyyl abg gur jnl gb gerng fbzrbar jub'f unq n zragny oernxqbja, ab znggre jung LBH arrq sebz gurz.

      • settledforhistory says:

        I agree with everything in this comment. Both really hard to watch moments.

      • Noybusiness says:

        V nterr ba gur svefg ohg abg gur frpbaq. Jvyybj jnf ragveryl va gur evtug gurer, naq Ohssl nyybjvat urefrys gur yhkhel bs n oernxqbja jnf whfg tbvat gb trg Qnja xvyyrq. Naq Jvyybj cuenfrq vg avpre guna V whfg qvq.

  4. pica_scribit says:

    Alright, so I don't particularly care for this episode. Probably because, WOW, uncomfortableness. So instead I am going to talk about something Buffy-related that I love.

    Has anyone else ever played the Buffy boardgame? It's out of print now, but if you can get your hands on a copy, I *highly* recommend it. It's fun and complex and strategic, with all kinds of entertaining variables (sometimes Oz is a werewolf, sometimes Angel is evil). The "plots" you can play cover seasons 1-4 (images and product description at the above link are not spoilery past Season 2, but some reviews probably are). Players are divided up into "good" and "evil" teams, each with their own goal in order to win. The four "good" characters (Buffy, Willow, Xander, Oz) are divided up between however many people are playing, with one person playing the "evil". Big fun for everyone, with much hilarity and replay value.

    (Cfffg! V jbhyq ernyyl ybir gb ybbx vagb trggvat guvf sbe Znex bapr ur svavfurf Frnfba 4, ohg vg'f n yvggyr ovg cevpl. Nalbar ryfr jnag gb tb va ba vg? Be xabj ubj gb znvy fghss gb uvz? Znlor n zbq pbhyq pbbeqvangr guvf?)

    • settlingforhistory says:

      That sounds amazing, why have I never heard of this?
      Now I really want to have it, even though I have no Buffy fan friends.

      N terng vqrn! Vg jbhyq or rnfl sbe hf gb qb, jr ner n ybg bs crnbyr nsgre nyy.
      Jr fubhyq qb guvf!

      • pica_scribit says:

        I've seen another Buffy boardgame (in the UK I think) that was basically Candyland with Buffy image on it. So boring! But this one can get really intense.

        Gur uneq cneg, nf V frr vg, vf pbbeqvangvat gur chepunfr, naq gehfgvat fbzrbar jvgu gur zbarl, jura zbfg bs hf qba'g npghnyyl xabj bar nabgure va erny yvsr. Juvpu vf jul V fhttrfgrq znlor bar bs gur zbqf pbhyq pbbeqvangr.

        • gonzoron says:

          Yeah, I was about to warn folks, but you beat me to it. Buffy boardgame U.S. is better than a licensed boardgame has any right to be. (Though the first time I played it I didn't know Buffy at all, so it was just "eh" and spoiled a bunch of stuff for when I did actually watch. But after watching Buffy and becoming a fan, it's pretty great.)

          Buffy boardgame U.K. should be avoided at all costs.

          Buffy the CCG ain't too shabby either.

    • IceBlueRose says:

      I have it and I love it. My friends and I still get together and play the Buffy game. It's so fun and evil has all these little things to help them out that the good guys don't get to know about (ways to override the need for an invite to a house if you're a vamp, things like that) and you get to fight each other and evil can sire the good guys and good guys can perform spells or get help from other characters like Joyce or Jenny (V oryvrir Gnen vf nabgure bar).

      I definitely suggest getting the game if you're able or just finding someone who has it so that you can play!

      Trggvat Znex gur tnzr jbhyq or fb njrfbzr. V nterr gung vg fubhyq cebonoyl or qbar guebhtu n zbq gubhtu. Gung frrzf gb or gur orfg org va betnavmvat nal qbangvbaf sbe vg naq nyy gung.

    • dazyndara says:

      Ooh, that makes me think of the Battlestar Galactica boardgame, which is one of the best social interaction-y boardgames I have played ever, and that it happens to be BSG just makes it even more awesomerer (which is totally a word, honest :P).

      It fills me with so much joy when boardgame designers actually make *good* games rather than just come up with a branded version of something without any thought or strategy.

    • ambyrglow says:

      There's copies for sale over in the marketplace on, if anyone wants them.

    • Beth says:

      Great, I just spent $100 at amazon on the game and watchers guides. Oh, and the yearbook. Good thing my family all got me amazon gift cards for Xmas πŸ™‚

      • settledforhistory says:

        The yearbok is so great. I got it when it came out and it still has a special place on my bookshelf.
        A gift card well spent I think.

  5. monkeybutter says:

    After yesterday’s tea thread, the misunderstanding about “how did you find her” followed by the kettle whistle had me cracking up. Thanks, you guys. πŸ™‚

    • Plactus says:

      Reading the transcript and shooting script, that always seemed like a weird thing to ask. It wasn't until I actually watched the episode and saw it spoken aloud that I realized he wasn't asking how Buffy located Joyce.

    • pica_scribit says:

      That joke always reminds me of John Lennon returning home from the first Beatles tour of the US.

      Interviewer: How did you find America?
      John: Left at Greenland.

  6. @aagblog says:

    JUST ONCE I'd like the weird, scary, soul-destroying artifact to come from Switzerland. Or Belgium.

    • hamnoo says:

      I'm from Germany. That's right up there on the scale of Hollywood evil with Vietnam haters, Russia, and the Islam.

      Though, for very different reasons than a Voodoo-trope, but problematic nontheless.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        There used to be a lot of evil British people in movies, but not so much these days? I kind of miss it actually.
        But yeah, the stuff with the mask was a little cringe-worthy. They didn't even try to give an explanation as to why it did what it did. Just 'those weird tribal people with their raising the dead antics'.

        • @AnFaolain says:

          Portugal is probably one of the few places that hasn't been used as a source of evil. Anybody care to inform me otherwise?

        • Fiona says:

          Or British actors pretending to be Germans of course, like Alan Rickman in Die Hard :). Have you seen the episode of QI where they discussed that? John Session's Alan Rickman impression is flawless.

        • notemily says:


          [youtube TjC3R6jOtUo youtube]

          We play bad guys in Hollywood movies because of the Revolutionary War. Yes, there’s no two ways about it. And the French, who were on your side in the Revolutionary war, they play more esoteric characters. They play characters who turn up and go, "My name is Pierre! I come from Paris. I’ve come to have sex with your family."

          "Help yourself… because of the debt of honor to General Lafayette."

          You know your own history, right? [looks at audience] You don't know who he is, do you?! What was it? The Spanish-American War? The French Banana War? What? The Revolutionary War! Hung out with Washington. Lafayette. Street named after him in New York. Forget it!

    • @mairywo says:

      Yes please! I'm from Switzerland and tired of only banks and references to neutrality in Hollywood productions. We do have some old, creepy legends and myths here that could be used. The film Sennentuntschi comes to mind: It's not the best horror movie ever, but for a Swiss movie it's good.

    • cat lady says:

      Exactly what weird, scary, soul-destroying artifacts come from Switzerland or Belgium?

      It's a MacGuffin. MacGuffins have to come from somewhere. They have to have a story. They have to be foreign to the culture where the main story takes place. Otherwise they can't be MacGuffins.

      There's no intent of racism here, and no real way to avoid some form of unintended racism, religious prejudice, or whatever. Turning it into a soapbox, and telling the writer that they can't step out of their own world, is in itself offensive.

      • Shay_Guy says:

        Exactly what weird, scary, soul-destroying artifacts come from anywhere? No need to craft the plot so that it reinforces this kind of pervasive "othering."

        • cat lady says:

          Virtually every culture has some form of magic or witchcraft in its past. Brits? They had druids. Americans? We had witchcraft trials in Salem. Weird, scary, soul-destroying artifacts can indeed come from anywhere.

          • Avit says:

            "Weird, scary, soul-destroying artifacts can indeed come from anywhere"

            That's kind of the point. If they can come from anywhere, that includes western Europe.

            Also, seriously, "you're being offensive by pointing out racism and it's unintended anyway"? Seriously??

          • Shay_Guy says:

            In real life, they are not known to exist. In fiction, they can plausibly come from anywhere. Europe is severely underrepresented among the places they do come from in fiction, contributing to pervasive conscious and unconscious racism.

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            Yet 99% if the time, they're Mayan. Or African. Or from China. Or from any country that isn't predominantly made up of people who are white. So yes, there is a real way to avoid some form of unintended racism, and I just described it in my review.

            Props to Shay_Guy and Avit, btw.

          • PheasantPlucker says:

            How often are these plot devices from Druids though? Its always Voodoo or the like. People who cursed Angel? Romani. Mummy who drains peoples life force? South American. Evil animal spirits? African. Of course, these things aren't specific to Buffy; its a fairly prevalent trope in American/British writing. Cultural fetishism combined with racism. Ugh.

        • hamnoo says:


      • notemily says:

        This is some spectacular point-missing.

      • misterbernie says:

        There's no intent of racism here, and no real way to avoid some form of unintended racism, religious prejudice, or whatever. Turning it into a soapbox, and telling the writer that they can't step out of their own world, is in itself offensive.
        W H A T

        • cat lady says:

          Yes, telling a writer that they can't write about any subject outside their own life is both arrogant and offensive. It's political correctness to excess.

          Try to remember that this is a show about magic and monsters, not a documentary. Joss once said that if he'd written Buffy the Lesbian Separarist, it would have been a one-hour special on PBS, and no one would have come to the party.

          • notemily says:

            Where did Mark, or anybody, say that a writer can't write about any subject outside their own life? He complained about one specific trope. He acknowledged that he has no control over the writing of this show and can't go back and change anything. As for "excessive political correctness," in my experience people who complain about that are really saying "you want me to be respectful? But that's so hard!" Is it really that difficult to refrain from using nonwhite cultures as shorthand for "mysteriously scary"?

          • misterbernie says:

            As notemily said, nobody said that people can't write outside their experience. But when people write about minorities with a history of suffering from systematic oppression and being othered for the sake of entertainment, they should be careful and think about what they write, and what implications the tropes they're using carry.
            I would also like to join notemily in her side-eying of your complaint of "political correctness to excess" because in my experience, as well, that's shorthand for "but I don't want to not act like a douche".

            Try to remember that this is a show about magic and monsters, not a documentary.
            I am well aware of the nature of the show, thank you very much. But, anyways, exactly my point. As an entertainment show, it is largely a reflection of attitudes prevalent in society. Pointing out flaws and problematic aspects of it is one way to point out and criticise these attitudes as they exist in real life.
            I shall quote Simon Pegg on this again:
            “People will often cry gross over-intellectualisation when popular culture is critically addressed, as if it is somehow exempt from serious consideration because it is itself ‘non-serious’, just a bit of fun that doesn’t require or deserve dissection. I disagree; every expression of art is a product of its environment and as such will reflect the concerns, preoccupations and neuroses of the time. Mainstream entertainment particularly, by its very nature, has to reflect the dominant modes of thinking in order to qualify as mainstream, and in that respect, mass entertainment is even more fun to pick apart.”
            Although maybe not so much on the fun part.

          • xpanasonicyouthx says:

            lol you can't even read what the fuck i am saying.

            I'm glad you too agree that lesbians are boring and not entertaining because then it proves to me you have no clue what I'm talking about and you're gross.

            so thank you for that.

      • pica_scribit says:

        I sort of get what you're trying to say here, in that theoretically, a show like this should contain mythology from all over the world, to avoid being too Western-Euro-centric. However, the problem comes when the show presents more "familiar" (ie, Western) myths in a more nuanced way, while the mythology of other regions of the world is treated as more vague and "other" because "the audience won't know the difference". It's lazy writing, and it *is* offensive to those who *do* know (or care about) the difference.

        • Danielle says:

          Actually, in many ways, the portrayal of Western mystery traditions in the show isn't much better. I didn't bring it up then, but the Witch episode did cause quite a stir in the Pagan/Wiccan community because the witch in was the stereotypical "villian" casting curses. Jenny Calendar did some to counter that, but we're still dealing with a universe where magic is "real" so any cultural or relgious practice outside the norm get exploited by the writers to make it seem exotic (remember Amy invoking Diana as a Goddess of love?)

          Not saying to diminish Mark's orginal point, it's still as true as ever. Just pointing out the even adopting Western mystery traditions kind of enforces the stereotype that the people who believe in them are believing in some kind of make-believe, while those in the Judeo-Christian faiths are more legitmate.

    • sudden_eyes says:

      Not Switzerland, but … Didn't the demon-containing book in "I Robot, You Jane" come from Italy?

  7. enigmaticagentscully says:

    MY GOD what an episode! Four things to talk about today!

    The Zombies. Guys, I love zombies more than most things. I’m one of those people who totally has a zombie survival plan and this episode was like catnip to me. Not least in the sense that I spent most of it shrieking, flailing, and generally flipping the fuck out. I don’t care that the plot was kind of sketchy, I love it when they occasionally have this kind of wild free-for-all. It’s a bit like the episode ‘Halloween’ in that sense – it’s such a great change to have an episode once in a while that’s less about solving a mystery, with suspects and clues, but just intense, fall-out-of-your-swivel-chair-and-squash-your-cat action.

    Giles.Well, wasn’t he just the most BADASS MOTHERFUCKER EVER in this episode? Hotwiring a car, threatening Snyder…ohhh and that scene in his kitchen when he’s just so relieved Buffy is back safe…

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

    Please stop making me fall in love with you, Giles. I have already been hurt so badly. I’m terrified of loving anyone too much in this show.

    Buffy and the Scoobies. Which I just realised would be the best band name EVER. But I digress. I loved everything that happened between them in this episode, but I’m not sure how to talk about it? It was just done really well – I kind of got where everyone was coming from, and for once I didn’t think anyone was exactly wrong. That’s pretty rare when it comes to TV arguments! But the upshot is, everyone in the show is going through a load of crap, and it’s natural that tensions would be high after all that’s happened. Buffy doesn’t get a free pass just because she’s the main character, and it’s nice that the show itself acknowledges that the world doesn’t just revolve around her. Her friends matter too, and despite her understandable reasons for leaving, what she did hurt them.

    -THERE IS DEFINITELY SOMETHING FUNKY UP WITH THE MAYOR. They keep talking about him and…and…seriously, what’s up with that?

    • hamnoo says:

      Don't be afraid of falling in love. It's all shiny over here.

      (Disclaimer: Joss Whedon is at fault for my relationship fears.)

    • Abygail says:

      Somebody already thought of that band πŸ˜› (not a real band though πŸ˜‰
      <img url=""&gt;

    • Mary Sue says:

      With regards to my Secret Boyfriend, Giles– the writer John Rogers (of such TV shows as Leverage) introduced me to the concept of "competence porn", which is shorthand for someone doing something very well is SO EVER LOVING HOT OMG.

    • Fuchsia says:

      ZOMBIE PREPAREDNESS HIGH FIVE! I took a zombie survival course a few years ago at a sci-fi convention and have tactics and a survival kit and am READY. My only complaint is that, at the time, I was living in a completely zombie-proof apartment and now… my house is decidedly not zombie-proof. And I worry about it on a constant basis. [My only problem with my plan is that I'm very out of shape so I've constructed a fitness plan that I'm currently doing, that's built around my favourite fandoms. There's a zombie month that focuses on distance running and stuff!]


      • pica_scribit says:

        I have a machete hanging in my closet. That's as ready as I get. I know I wouldn't survive a zombie apocalypse, but I'd go down swinging, and take one or two of the bastards with me!

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I work at a corner shop that is just PERFECT for holding off the zombie hoardes. It's got these big steel shutters you can pull down and tons of canned food and there's a spare bike in the back for the paperboy (always handy come the zombie apocalypse) and there's even a big ol' shovel that could be used for severing heads.
        The best part is, I have my own set of keys. So come the zombie apocalypse next year, I know where I'm headed.

        • Fuchsia says:

          Jealous! The apartment I used to live in, we were the top [third] floor and surrounded by one story buildings, so zombies wouldn't even be able to climb into our [very few] windows from other roofs. There was only one entrance to the building, which was a very heavy steel door [and we had an equally heavy door to our apartment]. I couldn't speak for the first floor tenants [although they had five dogs who did NOT deal well with strangers, so they'd probably be helpful if it came down to that], but the second floor tenants were our friends and just as conscious about zombie safety, although their apartment wasn't as zombie proof. And, as an added bonus, we were the kitchen/storage for the local Food Not Bombs so we always had LOTS of food around.

          Even after I moved out, I just lived the next neighborhood over for the next two years so I figured if I got word of zombies, I'd head over there and hole up. But now I don't know any safe places where I live. My house has lots of windows, the basement might potentially be okay but definitely not the rest of it. I should probably make it a priority to scope out a place.

      • jademg says:

        I get sad about this because in the past, when I lived with my ex my house was filled with awesome zombie fighting weapons. Now that's all gone. Perhaps I should be friends with him again….just in case.

    • notemily says:

      Don't squash your cat! IT WILL COME BACK AS AN EVIL ZOMBIE CAT.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        Ah, my cat's used to it. She's very little and tends to get underfoot a lot. πŸ˜›
        Also, I'm not sure I'd be able to tell the difference if she was a zombie cat…except maybe she'd sleep less?

    • Delta1212 says:

      Every time Giles has a BAMF moment, my brain shouts “Hello, Ripper!” in a pseudo-British accent inside my head.

    • vermillioncity says:

      PLEASE SHARE YOUR ZOMBIE SURVIVAL PLAN IN ALL THE DETAIL YOU NEED. I have only started planning recently after I read a terrifying zombie fic and was like, SHIT, throwing cereal bars and torches into a rucksack and hiding it under my bed. NOW I AM OBSESSED. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HOW TO SURVIVE PLS.

    • UnstrungZero says:

      Nnngggh, RIPPER!GILES, YES PLEASE. God, I love that man forever. That smile on his face. "Would you like me to convince you?" *melts, dies*

  8. SteveP says:

    BtVS … where no one is ever let off the hook. You run away … you pay. You lie … you … er … don't necessary die, but you get my point, I hope.

    Joss keeps it real!

    (But you can never convince anyone of that … that name "Buffy" is really hard to get over for many "grown-ups" … and adding Vampires just seals the deal …. not that I would change it.)

    BtVS = Best. Show. Ever. Full. Stop.

    • @sab39 says:

      I agree in general, but a certain character with the initials X.H. provides an unfortunate counterexample to the overall theme of not getting let off the hook and having to face consequences of what you do.

      • Noybusiness says:

        Technically, his initials are A.H. The same as Anthony Head, now that I realize it. Spooky.

        I don't really get how Buffy is a ridiculous name. Or is the phrase "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" seen as ridiculous, not the name? I don't get that either.

    • notemily says:

      Yeah I'm pretty sure what kept me from watching the show when it aired was the ridiculous name. I had no idea what the show was about and the name just confused me further.

    • MrsGillianO says:

      BtVS = Best. Show. Ever. Full. Stop.

      TRUFAX this. In spades.

  9. enigmaticagentscully says:



    • monkeybutter says:


      But seriously, everyone should read the book.

      • A friend worked on it – suffice to say the outlook is not good πŸ™ πŸ™

        • monkeybutter says:

          Yeah, I kinda resigned myself to that a while ago. I can't believe I ever wanted it to get out of development hell. :C

          • Just saw that synopsis – two more sadfaces from me – rot13'd for anybody who wants some industry gossip

            Zl sevraq vf n znxr hc negvfg naq culfvpny rssrpgf thl. Ur fnvq gung gurer ner irel srj npghny mbzovrf va vg – nyzbfg rirelguvat vf PTV naq gurl cbffvoyl zvtug unir gung jrveq fbeg bs V Nz Yrtraq fgergpul zbhgu guvat nf jryy.

            Gurer jnf bar qnl jurer gurer jnf bar culfvpny rssrpg (fbzrbar trggvat gurve urnq pubccrq bss) naq vg jnf cerggl zhpu gur bayl oybbql rssrpg gur jubyr fubbg. Vg jrag bss, rirelguvat jrag bx, naq nsgre gur qverpgbe pnyyrq phg, Oenq Cvgg fubhgrq 'Pbzr ba thlf, trg fbzr zber oybbq ba vg, guvf vf n ubeebe zbivr!' naq gur jubyr perj ohefg bhg ynhtuvat. Vg vf ABG n mbzovr zbivr, vg'f Oenq Cvgg fnirf gur jbeyq

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        URG so conflicted about that movie! To be honest, I'll go see it, because I just want to see some of the stuff on the big screen. Like fighting in the tunnels under Paris and defending Windsor Castle and…yeah they'll probably ruin the book, won't they? Eh.

        OMG THE BATTLE OF YONKERS WILL BE SO INTENSE THOUGH. If they do it right. I made a point of looking up Yonkers on the map when I went on holiday to New York. πŸ˜›

        • monkeybutter says:

          Oh, you sweet summer child. If those things actually make it into the movie, I'll plotz.

          Like, here's the plot summary from Paramount:

          Gur fgbel eribyirf nebhaq Havgrq Angvbaf rzcyblrr Treel Ynar (Cvgg), jub genirefrf gur jbeyq va n enpr ntnvafg gvzr gb fgbc gur Mbzovr cnaqrzvp gung vf gbccyvat nezvrf naq tbireazragf naq guerngravat gb qrpvzngr uhznavgl vgfrys.

          And there's no Christina Eliopolis mentioned on IMDB. I know that's not official or anything, but that alone is enough to turn me off.

      • knut_knut says:

        They should have made it a mini-series with each episode as a different chapter from the book. It completely defeats the purpose the way they're doing it

    • etherealclarity says:

      I tried to read it and kept feeling very 'meh'. I don't know if it's because of the storytelling technique of only having people narrate their own stories or the fact that everything I had read thus far kept jumping around from person to person and never revisiting people or both, but I didn't get very far before giving up. I just didn't care about the characters enough to care about the zombies, if that makes sense. Did I judge too soon? Should I give it another chance?

      • knut_knut says:

        it took me a while to get into it (part of the problem was I didn't know it was a collection of accounts), but once it gets going it's SOOOOOOOO good.

      • feminerdist says:

        Do the audio. There's a full cast recording of the book, with different people narrating the different chapters. Henry Rollins, Mark Hamil, Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, and more! Yes, it's abridged, but after you give it a listen you might want to read the book!

        I live by audiobooks these days, since I commute to work. And this is a really good one.

    • Fuchsia says:

      I've somehow never read World War Z. I don't know how. brb downloading the ebook!

    • You may perhaps be interested in my thoughts on World War Z.


      • Avit says:

        I feel like World War Z hfrf gur fznyy crefbany aneengvirf gb uryc cnvag gur ovt cvpgher, while Feed and its sequel (eventually sequel*s* omg can't wait) hfr gur ovt jbeyqohvyql guvatf gb uryc gryy gur vaqvivqhny fgbevrf.

        …wow, I love LeetKey. Anyway, I think Zven Tenag vf gur orggre jevgre ol sne, but I highly highly enjoyed both series and I'm glad others do too :]

    • Mary Sue says:

      I loved World War Z, but I think Feed was a better zombie novel.

      Then again, I am a cbyvgvpny whaxvr and Feed is about wbheanyvfgf rzorqqrq va n cerfvqragvny pnzcnvta 20 lrnef cbfg-Mbzovrf.

    • UnstrungZero says:

      I have loved horror novels and movies since childhood, I grew up on Stephen King, I usually get creeped out at MOST by anything of that genre I read.


      And World War Z, yesssss, I am also terrified of watching the movie. >.<

  10. cait0716 says:

    This episode hurts to watch. Everyone's mad and awkward and there's such a complete lack of communication because no one knows how to get started. I understand why Buffy left, but I'm glad that it's acknowledged that it was a deeply selfish action for her to simply disappear the way she did. She still hasn't recovered from killing Angel, as shown by all the dreams she has about him. She's not sure where she fits into life back in Sunnydale, especially since she still can't go to school. And in the meantime her friends want to welcome her back, but they were deeply hurt when she left and didn't call, and they're not sure how to express that. The whole thing is just a mess of lack of communication and miscommunication and my heart hurts for everyone involved.

    But there's nothing a zombie apocalypse can't solve, and I sort of love that this is what helps them come together and realize that they will be able to forgive each other. When the chips are down, they do work together pretty well and there's definitely a reason that the Scoobies are all such good friends.

    I like the zombie kitty in this episode (and that knut_knut's prediction about a cat came true so early:)). And I like Oz's breakdown of gatherings, shindigs, and hootenannies. But I don't understand why Joyce owns ski poles.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Yeah I was wondering about the Ski poles. Don't they live in California? I'm a little sketchy on USA geography, but I'm pretty sure it's not known for it's heavy snowfalls.

      • cait0716 says:

        Well there are places to ski in California. Based on here I think Buffy lives, she should be able to get to a resort in an hour or two. But they aren't particularly good resorts and I don't know that someone like Joyce would ski often enough to own equipment. I grew up in the Rockies, so I'm also incredibly biased about things like this. Growing up, my California relatives stored their ski equipment at my parents' house, because they mostly only skiied when they came to visit.

      • Karen says:

        We have ski resorts! I live in LA and there's a ski resort (Mountain High) a hour or so away. And if you want to go to a BETTER skiing area, Big Bear is a couple more hours away. OR you can go to Mammoth in the Sierra Nevadas if you want to make a long weekend of it. Or if you're in Northern California you can go to Tahoe. So yeah, you don't see that side of California on TV or in movies as much but in addition to the beaches and desserts we have mountains and the central part of California is dedicated to agriculture.

        /native Californian who loves her state

    • knut_knut says:

      I was SO EXCITED when the cat came back to life, you have no idea. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      • Fuchsia says:

        I just want to apologize for turning your prediction thread into an rot13 discussion about my sick cat. You can go read it now, if you want, but I swear there's nothing interesting [or spoilery now that you've seen this episode!]. I just wanted to apologize because having an entire thread of rot13 on your predictions must be FRUSTRATING.

        • knut_knut says:

          no need to apologize! I'm so sorry your cat was sick πŸ™ That must have been really stressful for both of you, but I'm glad she's doing better!

      • cait0716 says:

        my response to your prediction on Tuesday was "zombie kitty!" just in case you were wondering

    • Rebcake says:

      But I don't understand why Joyce owns ski poles.

      Many Californians that aren't me do lots of skiing. Also, we know Joyce isn't a Sunnydale native. Who's to say she wasn't originally from somewhere more snowy?

  11. stephanie says:

    pna jr trg n SNVGU! punag tbvat hc va urer?! v'z fb rkpvgrq gung jr qba'g unir gb jnvg hagvy arkg jrrx sbe Snvgu Ubcr & Gevpx!! SNVGU! SNVGU! SNVGU!!

  12. knut_knut says:

    Silly things first:
    – A CAT! MY PREDICTIONS CAME TRUE!! I am a wizard!
    – Buffy’s been wearing a lot of powder blue lately. Is this Fringe? IS IT A SIGN? Also, I definitely had that skirt she was wearing when she went to visit Snyder.
    – SHE IS WEARING A BUTTERFLY CLIP <3 Hers is fancy, though. But not as fancy as the ones with moving wings. I had one of those until my dog saw it in my hair and decided he had to kill it πŸ™
    – I love Oz’s explanation of the different types of parties. Isn’t a hootenanny the Appalachian version of a hoedown?
    – “Unbelievable! ‘Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!’ Americans!” GILES, I LOVE YOU <3 IF JOSS KILLS YOU OFF I WILL BECOME AN ENT AND DESTROY HIM. And I love all the little throwbacks to his wild youth.
    – The episode was thiiiiiiiiis close to becoming enigmaticagentscully’s worst nightmare. The mask raises the dead. Jenny is dead. The dead are attacking the Scoobies. You know where this is going. Thank god that didn’t happen.


    • knut_knut says:

      I think this episode did a really good job at capturing that incredibly awkward kind of fighting where both parties are upset but neither one will admit it and gaah! WHY WON’T YOU TALK? JUST TALK! Everyone had a valid reason for being upset, and I think that was well represented. Good job writers for making a believable awkward situation? However, there are 2 things about the big confrontation scene I really didn’t like. First, it was completely avoidable! If Xander had just stayed out I don’t think it would have escalated into everyone (except for Cordelia) vs. Buffy. I know he was standing up for Joyce, and even though the argument was happening in a very public way, it was still a private conversation and one that didn’t require his input. He had every right to tell Buffy how he felt, but not at that moment. He should have addressed it at a different time, privately and calmly.

      Second, I felt it wasn’t well choreographed- the timing felt off. Joyce and Buffy’s argument felt natural, but whenever someone else would butt in there was this awkward pause and a bit of the tension was lost.

      • monkeybutter says:

        I agree with everything in this comment. Congrats on your cat prediction! And I think hoedown is also an Appalachian (and Southern/Southwestern) term? I don't know, I've always thought of it that way. Ah well, I'm just gonna listen to Copland on repeat.

        • knut_knut says:

          *bow* thank you! I'm very proud of my first, and only, correct prediction!

          maybe a hoedown is the same as a hootenanny? Or a hootenanny is a type of hoedown? I honestly have no idea what I'm talking about.

          • rabbitape says:

            I believe a hoedown has more dancing, particularly in a square formation.

          • kaleidoscoptics says:

            I think hootenanny mostly just refers to a rowdy gathering? The only sentence I can imagine it being used in is "What's all this hootenanny?" Might be wrong though. Hoedown sort of implies square dancing to me.

      • Ginsue says:

        A butterfly clip that actually moves? Intrigued and jealous.

        As far as the fight goes, though, I think Cordelia's help was a little less than helpful. I love the line, "Cordelia, get out of my shoes." ~paraphrased.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      Oh lord, I didn't even think of that! Thank goodness it just seemed to be the recent dead.

      Also, I'm with you on the Ent thing if Joss even thinks about hurting Giles.


      I like to think that Joss Whedon lives in a big black tower of stone too, y'know?

      • @Jody_927 says:

        If you do want to see Joss' house, he filmed a movie adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing in his house in Santa Monica CA with his friends. (His wife, Kai Cole is an architect and designed their house.) It should come out sometime this year, but I haven't heard anything about distribution yet except the press release says "The film should be completed by early spring and headed for the festival circuit, because it is fancy." The website, which doesn't really say anything is The press release lists some actors who have been in Joss' shows, which might be spoilery for Angel, Dollhouse and Buffy S3.

      • notemily says:


        This needs a macro.

      • knut_knut says:

        Let's ALL become Ents. It'll be the Last March of the Ents!

        I agree, I'm pretty sure Joss lives in his own personal Orthanc

    • misterbernie says:

      – A CAT! MY PREDICTIONS CAME TRUE!! I am a wizard!
      And hence why I had a conversation about cats in rot13 that day πŸ˜€

    • Karen says:

      I owned so many butterfly clips when I was 12. 90S FASION WAS THE BEST.

    • buyn says:

      Ohssl’f orra jrnevat n ybg bs cbjqre oyhr yngryl. Vf guvf Sevatr?
      Nyy V pna guvax bs vf gur jvfuirefr, juvpu vf arkg Zbaqnl. Oynetyr.

  13. erinmarie says:

    I would just like to take a moment to say FUCK YOU, XANDER HARRIS. This was the point in the show when he went beyond my tolerance threshold.

    I still can't believe they confronted her like that. At least Joyce had the excuse of being wasted, but Xander was actually reprehensible. He just steps in the middle of their argument. Like this is not about you, Xander. And him telling her that she should have talked to them about it. LOOK AT YOURSELF. You threw a party to avoid talking to her.

    "Look. I'm sorry that your honey was a demon, but most girls don't hop a Greyhound over boy troubles."

    I just fhadskjfadsfjasjk RAGE. You asshole. She left because she was expelled from school, told to leave by her mother, had to kill the man she loved (which AHEM you ATTRIBUTED TO), felt completely alone, and overall was extremely fucking traumatized. And for you to patronize her like that. Such an awful friend. Such an awful person. When Cordelia, whose defining character trait is a LACK OF TACT, is telling you to back off, you should know that you crossed a line.

    But then he and Buffy just go fight zombies.

    Oh. Okay. He doesn't need to apologize. That's fine.


    • erinmarie says:

      And I just realized Marti Noxon wrote this episode. Whoops. When I'm angry, my immediate reaction is to blame Joss. SO


    • Pseudonymph says:

      So much word. I can't believe just how awful I'm finding Xander this time around. First time I watched? Sure, he annoyed me here and there just like any well-rounded character.

      This time around it's like any time he opens his mouth he's saying something really hurtful or disgustingly sexist. Often both! And he's saying this stuff to people he supposedly cares about!

      The thing is, I really don't get why Buffy is still friends with him. Willow I can kind of understand because she's known him for so long. But what exactly is he bringing to his friendship with Buffy?

      V ubcr V'z erzrzorevat pbeerpgyl gung ur trgf orggre va yngre frnfbaf. V qba'g jnag gb ungr uvz ohg ur whfg qbrfa'g frrz gb oevat nalguvat jbegujuvyr gb gur fubj.

      • erinmarie says:

        Ur'f cerggl tebff sbe gur erfg bs frnfba guerr. Frnfbaf 4 naq 5 ner cerggl oyvffshyyl Knaqre-serr. Ur qbrf frrz gb tebj hc, ohg ur'f njshy va Frnfba 6. NJSHY. Uryy'f Oryyf, Ragebcl, Tenir. Bgure guna Qrnq Zna'f Cnegl, gur jbefg Knaqre zbzrag vf jura ur gryyf Qnja nobhg jung unccrarq gb Ohssl. Yvxr, ubj QNER ur? Gung vf pbzcyrgryl hc sbe Ohssl gb qvfpybfr. Gur snpg gung ur jbhyq gnxr gung ntrapl njnl sebz ure vf whfg. Htu. Naq ur'f guebjvat Ohssl'f frkhny nffnhyg va Qnja'f snpr uvzfrys srry orggre, naq gung'f whfg fb haoryvrinoyl qvfthfgvat.

        • _Bailey_ says:

          Ab bayl gung, ohg ur ehvarq gur sevraqfuvc orgjrra Fcvxr naq Qnja. Vs Ohssl unq gbyq Qnja nobhg jung unccrarq vg jbhyq or qvssrerag, ohg rira nsgrejneq Ohssl fgvyy gehfgf Fcvxr gb gnxr pner bs Qnja. Vs Ohssl vf fgvyy nyevtug jvgu Fcvxr naq Qnja orvat va pybfr cebkvzvgl, Knaqre unf nofbyhgryl ab evtug gb znavchyngr ure srryvatf jvgu ertneqf gb Fcvxr, juvpu lbh xabj ur jnf qbvat orpnhfr ur oebhtug hc gur nffnhyg evtug nsgre Qnja oebhtug hc n cbfvgvir genvg bs Fcvxr'f, naq rira nsgre Qnja ernpgf ntnvafg jung ur gryyf ure, ur pbzcyrgryl qvfzvffrf ure bcvavba, pnyyvat ure srryvatf (naq Ohssl'f) n "oyvaq fcbg" naq vaqvpngvat gung gur bayl inyvq bcvavba bs Fcvxr vf uvf bja.

      • pica_scribit says:

        The first time I watched Buffy, I was much closer to Xander's age, and used to teenage boys being assholes, I guess. Now I am older, wiser, have *much* less patience with teenage melodramatics, and am getting better at spotting misogyny. So yeah, Xander is annoying me this time around, too. He says something that makes me wince in just about every episode.

      • Karen says:

        V guvax Knaqre vf cerggl vabssrafvir va frnfba 4 naq 5, ohg gura frnfba 6 unccraf naq htu. GUR JBEFG.

      • ajaxbreaker says:

        Yeah, I'm with you. I never had any issues with him the first time I watched Buffy – although I was 17/18 at the time but now that I'm rewatching along with Mark, and taking the time to analyze the episodes, his behavior is really terrible. I was really horrified by how he starts slut-shaming Cordelia in "Anne", asking her how many guys she was with while she was away from him. Ugh, just ugh. I used to find him so funny and lovable! I understand where he's coming from and his issues with his upbringing, his rejection by Buffy etc legitimate, but there's a good way to react to those and a bad way to react to those, and he is almost always choosing the bad way :-/

    • Kickpuncher says:

      Didn’t Marti Noxon write this episode?

      Fur nyfb jebgr Vagb Gur Jbbqf, nabgure rcvfbqr jurer Knaqre fnlf njshy guvatf gung pbzr bss nf gur Ibvpr bs gur Nhgube.

      • Rob M says:

        Thank you for finding the phrasing I was missing (although as it was rot13d, possibly not that helpful!) – yes, Xander's diatribe here comes off very "voice of the author" rather than his own actual lines. It's "someone needs to say these things, oh, here comes Xander, he's occasionally a jerk, he can do it."

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          In what way does Xander dismissing Buffy's trauma as "boy trouble" (like it's the same thing as when a girl is concerned that a boy isn't calling her or if this or that guy likes her?!) come off as "the voice of the author"? Do you seriously think that Marti Noxon or Joss or anyone else on the staff thought "oh boo hoo, Buffy is just a big crybaby, skipping town over boy trouble"?

          • Karen says:

            Yeah. Joss went to a lot of trouble in the last episodes of season 2 and in the first episode of season 3 to show how Buffy was suffering. I doubt he would have done that if he thought was Buffy was going though was just "boy troubles". I definitely don't think Xander is being the voice of the author.

            • erinmarie says:

              Agreed. Xander is just being Xander.

            • hamnoo says:

              Oh I think Rob M means that the author needed "someone" to say it so Buffy felt bad. Not that the author felt that what was said is necessarily "right". (At least we don't know that.)

              That doesn't excuse Xander as a character though. He ended up with the line, it's his now.

              • erinmarie says:

                But someone already did make Buffy feel awful about running away. Two someones, actually. Willow and Buffy just had a scene where Willow told Buffy how painful her leaving was, and Joyce was in the midst of saying the same thing when Xander literally butted into the conversation. The message was clearly already getting across without him. I have a lot of problems with Marti Noxon's authorial intent (nyy bs frnfba fvk, rfcrpvnyyl GUNG rcvfbqr), but Xander's dialogue in this episode isn't one of them.

                • hamnoo says:

                  Gur encr?

                  I usually only remember episodes written by Joss Whedon and Jane Espenson. For very different reasons. I love her blog, but I dislike most of her episodes. Not all of them. But most of them.

                  • erinmarie says:

                    Lrc. V fgvyy pna'g jngpu Frrvat Erq.

                    I think that she gets significantly more hatred than she should, but I'm not the biggest fan of her episodes either.

                    • hamnoo says:

                      V ybir gur bar va frnfba 3 va juvpu Ohssl pna urne gubhtugf. Jvfu-shyysvyyzrag znlor? Ohg V guvax vg'f jryy jevggra.

                      V irel zhpu qvfyvxr 2k04 gubhtu (gur bar jvgu gur ercgvyr fanxr naq Ohssl naq Pbeqryvn nf gur uhzna fnpevsvprf orpnhfr nypbuby naq cnegvrf ner onq, qvq gur naivy uvg lbh ba gur urnq?) naq gur bar jvgu Ncevy, gur ebobg va frnfba 5.
                      Naq V erzrzore frrvat rcvfbqrf sebz Wnar Rfcrafba va bgure fubjf naq qvfyvxvat gurz rirel gvzr. Rirel. Gvzr.
                      Naq zbfgyl, V qvqa'g xabj orsber gung fur jebgr gurz.
                      Ohg Onggyrfgne Tnynpgvpn, Tvyzber Tveyf … gura ntnva, ure oybt ernyyl vf njrfbzr.

                    • @Ivana2804 says:

                      Reptile Boy (episode 2.05, not 2.04) was written by David Greenwalt. Jane Espenson wasn't even on the staff until season 3.

                    • hamnoo says:

                      Oh. I thought I distinctively remembered her defending the episode on a season 2 featurette, singling out the aspect that it all was one giant metaphor for "alcohol and parties are bad". Maybe it was Marti Noxon? Maybe I should go through a list of episodes Jane Espenson wrote. I stand by my other points though.

              • Rob M says:

                Yes, this. Thanks. I'm assuming Marti Noxon didn't really mean the things Xander said, but it was very much a "piling on all of Buffy's flaws, actual and perceived, to make her feel as bad as possible" but I think to some extent it's so over the top that it gets the "her friends and family are also in the wrong" in a way that Joyce and Willow's comments maybe don't.

      • @AnFaolain says:

        Lrnu, frrzf gb zr gung Abkba yvxrf gb hfr Knaqre nf gur ercerfnagngvba sbe Nyy Nohfref ner Znyr jura n pregnva oyrnpurq inzcver vfa'g ninvynoyr.

        • @Ivana2804 says:

          "Nyy Nohfref ner Znyr"? Jnvg… ner lbh gnyxvat nobhg Znegv Abkba, lbh xabj, gur jevgre jub jnf va punetr bs frnfba 6, gur frnfba gung unq obgu zra naq jbzra npg znwbeyl nohfvir gb gurve cnegaref, gur frnfba va juvpu Ohssl orng gur fuvg bhg bs ure ybire, naq Jvyybj oenvajnfurq naq encrq ure tveysevraq?

    • Fuchsia says:

      Okay so I was already enraged with Xander when I watched this but ynfg avtug V fgnegrq erjngpuvat gur friragu frnfba naq V gbgnyyl sbetbg gung ur QNERF znxr gur nethzrag gung xvyyvat [iratrnapr qrzba] Naln vf abguvat yvxr xvyyvat Natry/hf va gur frpbaq frnfba naq V nz FB ZNQ NG UVZ V hfrq gb yvxr uvz [ba zl svefg jngpu jura gur fubj nverq] ohg abj V pna'g oryvrir V rire qvq.

    • settlingforhistory says:

      To be fair everyone is attacking Buffy and at this point there is a lot they don't know about Buffy's reasons for leaving. I doubt Joyce had told them in detail about her argument with Buffy before she left (you don't just tell your daughter's friends "yea, I told her to never come back") and for him Angel is like every other vampire that Buffy dusts on a daily basis.
      They are all unfair and selfish, which is why it takes zombies to threaten their lives to realise what is important.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah. I think that Joyce was a lot more understandable here. And if Xander had just kept his comments to "you abandoned us and we had no idea where you were" then whatever.



      • amyalices says:

        But for Xander, EVERYTHING is about Buffy Choosing Angel Over Him.

        It's part of why I dislike him so much as a character – there's always this sense that he doesn't just dislike Angel – he dislikes him as The Reason Buffy Turned Him Down, which – obviously it couldn't be Buffy just not being attracted to him. Argh. He just… always goes back to that and it goes from irritating to gross very very fast.

    • misterbernie says:

      I love this comment and everything it chooses to be.

    • jbb says:

      Regarding the apology: the thing is, though, that this show isn't about people doing the things they SHOULD do to make us feel like everything has been neatly resolved and everyone who needs to apologise gets it and says sorry, and we all move on as enlightened human beings. I actually think TV currently goes in this direction a lot — a lot of soaps are based around this idea of working out every issue? — and its not where Buffy's head is at. People don't apologise. They say stupid stuff, their emotions overwhelm them, and sometimes everyone tacitly agrees to move on from it instead of investigating the way people felt bad about such-and-such. This is why I think it's unrealistic (from the internal logic of the show) to expect them to deal with Xander's behaviour from The Pack.What purpose would it serve? It's the point of this show to have emotional bonds between the characters that are stronger and more important than the ways they fuck up. They have a fight, then they kill some monsters together. It's understood that not everything is going to be perfectly resolved between them but they're friends, and that's the bigger issue.

      • Rebcake says:

        I pretty much agree with this. However, there are plenty of times when people on the show (Xander, usually) do or say crappy things and they don't feel bad about it or see why they should. And other people on the show don't ever call them on it, so they keep doing the crappy things. I just wonder where the breaking point is…

        • jbb says:

          Yeah, I think if they were lesser friends it would lead to estrangement or something. But I also think Buffy doesn't have that big a problem with it. I mean, she's made herself a little family there, she likes them; I don't think she sees Xander the same way some commenters here see him (as maybe having a behavioural issue or being a jerk).

    • arctic_hare says:

      This comment gives me joy.

  14. Seventh_Star says:



    "i think you should call it patches."
    your oddness endears you to me, oz.

    ok, why would they ever think a party would be a good idea? i mean, it's just plain inconsiderate, and bordering on rude, to assume that they could do this. i mean, it turns out that joyce is ok with it (in the script), but i don't actually think she would be. it seems OOC to me. besides, when did the scoobies start partying? it always leaves me scratching my head.

    brie is delicious, xander.

    smg's delivery of "MOM!" is perfect comedy.

    buffy's wardrobe in season 3 is unbecoming IMHO. it's so…princess-y. too much pastel. like she's a condescending easter egg. ubjrire, gur pbagenfg orgjrra gur jnl ohssl qerffrf nf bccbfrq gb ubj snvgu qerffrf vf avpr.

    i love a mr. belvedere reference.

    "' do you like my mask? isn't it pretty? it raises the dead.' americans."
    tell us how you really feel, giles πŸ™‚

    and then things get so uncomfortable that i wanna crawl in a hole. i inevitably fast forward until the zombies start attacking.

    yay! the VERY annoying pat is dead! "bppnfvbanyyl v'z pnyybhf naq fgenatr."

    "would you like me to convince you?"
    GO, RIPPER, GO. could he be more attractive?

    in what way is willow a tramp? that's not nice, buffy.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      like she's a condescending easter egg

      Okay I had to comment on this before reading the rest of your comment. This is so hilarious and so true! That is exactly what her wardrobe is like this season.

    • pica_scribit says:

      ok, why would they ever think a party would be a good idea? i mean, it's just plain inconsiderate, and bordering on rude, to assume that they could do this. i mean, it turns out that joyce is ok with it (in the script), but i don't actually think she would be. it seems OOC to me. besides, when did the scoobies start partying? it always leaves me scratching my head.

      I don't get it either. Parties like this are always coded as "big fun" in TV shows and movies, but I always feel like Buffy does here at them; awkward and out of place. Does anyone really enjoy parties like this when they're sober? Whose idea of fun is filling your house with loud, drunken strangers?

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I'm with ya there. I hate that kind of party anyway, but the idea of one happening at my house? Urg, no.

        I just don't get it. What do you even do? It's too loud to talk to anyone. Do you just dance? Doesn't anyone else find that really boring after the first ten minutes? I went out clubbing once to please my friend, and it was the most dull evening of my life.

        • pica_scribit says:

          I agree with you so hard it hurts. My first two years at uni, I dated this guy from Glasgow who used to drag me out clubbing whenever we went home to visit his parents. So loud! So boring! So full of sweaty, drunk teenagers trying desperately to get laid! But he always looked hot when he got dressed up to go out, so I guess I didn't mind all that much. Tight black shirt and jeans, black stompy boots, black nail varnish, maybe a little eyeliner, and he was sort of built like Spike, all compact and wiry….

          Sorry, what were we talking about?

      • Carrie Ann says:

        I don't think they really think the party is really a "good idea." They're just uncomfortable with the idea of a small group dinner with Buffy because they're pissed at her, but don't know how to talk about it. So the other people and the noise are there to prevent any meaningful interaction. It's a jerk move.

        • RoseFyre says:

          It's totally a jerk move, since neither Joyce nor Buffy approved anything larger than a dinner. Hosting this sort of thing at someone else's house without their permission is flat out assholic.

          (Which, by the way, did anyone else notice that the table was set for six and it's supposed to be either seven or eight of them if you count Pat?)

    • ajaxbreaker says:

      Re: Buffy's wardrobe, Gur pbagenfg orgjrra ure pybgurf naq gubfr bs "onq tvey" Snvgu vf qrsvavgryl vagragvbany. V svaq vg n ovg gbb ba-gur-abfr zlfrys – gung fprar jura Ohssl tbrf gb pbasebag Snvgu ng ure zbgry nsgre gur qrchgl'f zheqre naq fur'f nyy oybaq unve/cnfgry oyhr pbng juvyr Snvgu vf ebpxvat gur oynpx yvcfgvpx naq qnex unve vf yvxr…. lrnu, BX, gurl'er ersyrpgvbaf bs rnpu bgure, JR TRG VG. Ab arrq gb orng hf bire gur urnq jvgu vg ivfhnyyl.

      V ybir Ohssl'f erq yrngure cnagf sebz Tenqhngvba Qnl.Gung'f jung fur fubhyq unir jbea nyy frnfba :Q

      • cait0716 says:

        Guvf frevrf tnir zr gur zbfg evqvphybhf srgvfu sbe yrngure cnagf. Yvxr, V qbhog gurl jbhyq or pbzsbegnoyr naq V unir ab vqrn jurgure V'q or nggenpgrq gb gurz va erny yvsr. Ohg gunaxf gb Natryhf naq Snvgu naq Ohssl gur cuenfr nybar vf rabhtu gb ghea zr ba. Vg znl unir tbggra birehfrq va pregnva snasvpf jura V jnf lbhatre.

      • Seventh_Star says:

        v nterr jvgu nyy bs guvf.
        v pna cvpgher ohssl evtug abj, fgnaqvat va gur qbbejnl bs snvgu'f zbgry ebbz, naq, ubarfgyl, v xvaq bs jnag gb fznpx ure, naq gung'f nyzbfg ragveryl qbja gb ubj fur'f qerffrq. ure pybgurf ner onfvpnyyl guebjvat vg va snvgu'f snpr gung fur vf abg cher be tbbq, gung fur jvyy arire rire or ohssl ab znggre ubj uneq fur gevrf.

        yrngure cnagf SGJ!

      • notemily says:

        V yvxrq gur pbagenfg orgjrra Ohssl naq Xraqen orggre–vg frrzrq zber angheny naq yrff sbeprq. Ohssl jnf zber pnfhny, jvgu zrffl unve naq n synaary fuveg, vaqvpngvat ure "pnfhny" nccebnpu gb fynlvat, juvyr Xraqen jnf fyvpx naq znqr-hc naq ure unve jnf gvtugyl chyyrq onpx, ersyrpgvat ure nccebnpu gb orvat n fynlre. Gur vqrn bs Ohssl qerffvat hc va tveyl-tvey cnfgryf nyy gur gvzr qbrfa'g ernyyl svg sbe zr.

        • misterbernie says:

          Gur vqrn bs Ohssl qerffvat hc va tveyl-tvey cnfgryf nyy gur gvzr qbrfa'g ernyyl svg sbe zr.
          Lrnu, rfcrpvnyyl jura fur'f hfhnyyl jrnevat guerr pbjf urefrys. Whfg, nf lbh fnvq, gbb sbeprq.

    • notemily says:

      in what way is willow a tramp? that's not nice, buffy.

      Maybe she gets too hungry for dinner at eight.

  15. Rob M says:

    I have to admit, this is my least favourite episode of Buffy (yes, I like it less than Uryyf Oryyf and gur fghcvq rcvfbqr jurer Ohssl naq Evyrl unir ybgf bs frk).

    It suffers from the standard TV "no-one actually talks to each other, wacky hijinks ensue" plotline, and just spends 40 minutes beating up on Buffy (to the point that Xander gets a particular harsh diatribe at her at the party that doesn't really feel in character, more that the writers wanted someone to say it and he happened to be there).

    And what's with the party? Wouldn't Joyce have a complaint when 50 people and a band show up for her nice sit-down meal? And where did all the guests go? Did they somehow escape through the army of zombies outside the house?

    It probably also doesn't help that the BBFC decided they had to cut the episode to bits. Because people might imitate hotwiring a car, or breaking someone's neck, or clapping them on the ears or something. Apparently they were mandatory cuts (so they'd have had to make them even if they rated it an 18), but considering it's the ONLY episode of Buffy they cut, it's slightly bizarre.

    So no, not an episode I'm ever going to enjoy rewatching. Sbeghangryl, "Snvgu, Ubcr Naq Gevpx" vf njrfbzr, fb ebyy ba gbzbeebj.

    • etherealclarity says:

      "It suffers from the standard TV "no-one actually talks to each other, wacky hijinks ensue" plotline"

      To be fair, people often DO do this sort of not-talking-to-each-other-about-stuff-that-bothers-them-only-to-have-it-blow-up-later thing in real life. I have been on the receiving end of it more than once and it stinks.

      • DreamRose311 says:

        I agree, it really does happen, and it's sucky when it does. I also think this is why Joyce doesn't complain when normally it would. It gives her along with everyone else a chance to be avoidy, and maybe drink a little where maybe she wouldn't have if it had been the smaller more appropriate gathering…

        • etherealclarity says:

          I think you're exactly right about Joyce. I wasn't at all surprised when she didn't put up a fight about the party. She doesn't know how to treat Buffy any more than the scoobies know how to treat her right now. She is floundering and the easiest thing for her to do in that moment is just to try to relax and go with it.

    • Sean Murphy says:

      The BBFC did what!? Dear god, I never knew this, I mean i enjoyed when the BBC did a 6pm edit and a late night unedited version for the funny comparisons but i had no clue that there where any hard cuts! Now I'll have to seriously consider importing whenever i get round to buying a set of Buffy DVDs.

      I am reminded of The Rules of Attraction film adaptation that got to the UK mostly unscathed in cinema (I hear that it got savagely cut for american audiences but yet that version had scenes no other editions got, so no real directors cut exists or something) ohg gura sbe gur bevtvany qiq eryrnfr gur OOSP vafvfgrq ba n phg gb gur fhvpvqr fprar sbe gur fnzr ernfbaf fgngrq jvgu gur Ohssl phgf, "vzvgnoyr orunivbhe" nf gur jevfg phggvat zrgubq va gur svyz vf sne uneqre sbe zrqvpf gb fnir gur ivpgvz sebz. Guvf jnf n genirfgl fvapr gur shyy irefvba jurer lbh npghnyyl frr gur fyvggvat znxrf gur jubyr guvat vagb n ubeevsvp rirag gung jbhyq chg crbcyr bss gur vqrn fvapr gurl jbhyq or njner ng nyy gvzrf bs gur oybbq sybjvat bhg naq gur tveyf ubeevsvrq ernpgvbaf gb gur cnva pnhfrq. Gur rqvgrq irefvba phgf vg whfg orsber lbh frr oybbq ohg fgvyy tvirf rabhtu sbe vg gb or vzvgngrq, ybfvat nyy ernfba sbe gur "whfgvsvpngvba" sbe gur rqvg ohg eboovat gur fprar bs gur vzcnpg gung jbhyq unir znqr crbcyr jnag gb nibvq pbclvat vg. Vgf yvxr vs lbh phg gur hasbeghangr pbafrdhraprf bhg bs erdhvrz sbe n qernz! Gung svyz vf yvxr gur cbfgre puvyq sbe chggvat crbcyr bs jnagvat gb gbhpu qehtf, V'ir nyjnlf orra fhecevfrq vg jnf arire znqr cneg bs gur urnygu pheevphyhz nf n pnhgvbanel gnyr.

      Do you know if Angel was ever butchered by our beloved classification board? I own season 1 and 2 on dvd already and would be upset if they were tainted but i must know! Answers in Rot 13 spoilers for every one else's sake though

      • Rob M says:

        Apparently I'd missed one for Buffy, there's also a hard cut in Onetnvavat Cneg 1 (2 frpbaqf gb uvqr Jvyybj'f npghny phggvat bs gur qrre'f guebng), but Dead Man's Party was the one that raised the ire of the fans at the time and it's really, really blatant. Angel survived completely intact on DVD as far as I'm aware.

        Of course, we have yet to get to the great "fubhyq Ohssl or va Jvqrfperra" qrongr jura jr trg gb gur frnfba 4 QIQf (Gung Fjrqra Thl fnlf ab, naq gur HF QIQf ersyrpg gung. Crefbanyyl V dhvgr yvxr gur rkcnaqrq ivrjvat svryq jr tbg ba gur E2 eryrnfrf ohg zl BNE tboyva qbrf nyjnlf puvzr va gb pbzcynva gung "vg whfg vfa'g evtug!"

  16. lawrence_s says:

    I kind of can't stand this episode. For me it's just too uncomfortable, and I think that Willow especially should have realised that a hootenanny was not what Buffy needed or wanted. Especially since it was Joyce, not Buffy, who extended the invitation. They should have known that wasn't what she intended.

    This really is the 'everyone acts like a presumptuous self-righteous jerk' episode. The only one I'm willing to 'excuse' somewhat is Cordelia, because I think it's not totally out of character for her to act like that. And she's not really Buffy's friend (doesn't make what she says good, but it's not as uncomfortable as pretty much everything else going on in that scene.)

    Xander and Willow were so far out of bounds they were on a different field. Especially Willow, who originally was all, "Hey let's just hang out with Buffy" and then couldn't be bothered to pay attention to her at the party.

    And Oz, who only even met everyone halfway through season 2 managed to completely hijack the whole event, to which he would have only been invited along with Willow, since as far as I know, Joyce hasn't ever actually met him.

    There is just so much wrong with this episode.

    Vg bpphef gb zr abj gung V ungr obgu rcvfbqrf gung pna or nooerivngrq QZC.

    • Rob M says:

      Yeah, pretty much agree with all of this (rkprcg, V xvaq bs qba’g zvaq gur bgure QZC rcvfbqr).

      • DreamRose311 says:

        Ohg… Qbhoyrzrng vf Qbhoyrfjrrg… Bu jub nz V xvqqvat, gung rcvfbqr vf fb vpxl. Yhpxvyl rcvfbqrf gung hfrq gb obgure zr qba'g nalzber

  17. NB2000 says:

    – "Will you be slaying?" Well at least Joyce is trying. I love that that line is kind of a callback to her "Will there be boys?" in Welcome to the Hellmouth, it just shows us how much has changed since that episode.
    – "Vg'f nyy sha naq tnzrf hagvy fbzrobql ybfrf na rlr." Bu tbq.
    – Hey the outside of Giles' apartment doesn't match what we saw in Passion, the stairs have moved! Nccneragyl uvf ncnegzrag ohvyqvat vf gur GNEQVF, vg xrrcf punatvat cenpgvpnyyl rirel gvzr jr frr vg.
    – Giles' moment in the kitchen is just…oh Giles <3
    – "I'd describe myself as tingly" hee and also kind of eww
    – Oz, just, fascinated by the dead cat, the speech about gathering vs. shindig vs. hootenanny and the "Nevermind!" when Buffy kills the demon without him. Endless stream of wonderful.
    – Buffy yelling for her Mom when Pat arrives at the house, something about Sarah's tone when makes me doing it makes me giggle every time.
    – The chaos when the zombies attack the house is…kind of pathetic when you really look at what everyone's doing, there's some really half hearted attempts at Fighting Them Off.
    – "When scary things get scared? Not good!" Very true
    – Jvyybj gelvat fcryyf nobir ure yriry? Vagrerfgvat.

    Overall it's kind of a meh episode, but hey Buffy's home and back with her family and friends so…yay?!

  18. etherealclarity says:

    The first time I saw this episode, I was rather upset with the way everyone was ganging up on Buffy (with the possible exception of Joyce because she had it worst of all of them). They didn't know what she had been through. Couldn't they give her allowances for that?

    Now when I watch that scene I feel like nobody is right and nobody is wrong. Buffy can't just walk back in and expect to pick up her old life like nothing happened, and sometimes it seems like she is trying to do that (which I can definitely see feeling cavalier and harsh to the scoobies). At the same time, no one is telling Buffy what she SHOULD be doing. They're just avoiding her and being weird with her.

    And let me tell you – pet peeve – when someone has a problem with someone they claim to care about and instead of TELLING the person the problem they just act weird or get distant? HATE THIS. Because often it makes an uncomfortable situation into a deeply hurtful one. It makes the eventual confrontation (if there even is one) SO MUCH WORSE.

    I definitely see both sides of the issue though, and it bugs me a little bit that instead of both sides saying "hey, you have a point, I'm sorry", they fight zombies and decide everything is okay. But ahh, well. At least both sides got to have their say, and that can be very healing too.

    The zombie subplot bores me, mostly.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah I see both sides of the issue too. It's easier to sympathize with Buffy because the audience was there when she killed Angel and we saw what she was going through in Los Angeles last week, but her friends and mom didn't experience that. She's not helping them understand, and at the same time she's not fully understanding how hard it was for them to be left behind, not knowing what happened and trying to fight vampires on their own.

    • Carrie Ann says:

      I'm having a hard time figuring out WHY I hate the way this goes down so much, but I think it comes down to two things:

      1) In the beginning, Buffy has wronged people more than they have wronged her (except Joyce, who I think handled Buffy's "coming out" in about the worst possible way), but by the end I think everyone else treats Buffy badly enough that they end up on equal footing, and yet the only person apologizing here is Buffy.

      2) I have a really hard time accepting that a person who has gone through this kind of trauma should have to bow and scrape and plead for forgiveness (from the people who are supposed to be her support system) for taking action to preserve her own well-being. Her friends and family really let her down here, at least as much as she let them down.

      In case you can't tell, I really don't fault Buffy for leaving town – because it was what she had to do to take care of herself at that point – but I understand that sometimes the thing that is best for an individual is not best for the people in their lives. I think Buffy understands that too, and she comes back to town knowing that she's hurt her relationships with her friends and her mom. I think she's anticipating conversations or confrontations about that and I think she's ready to apologize, but then no one will engage with her at all, so she just has to kind of walk on eggshells and not know where she stands with people. They keep their distance with her, either kind of explicitly (Joyce), or indirectly by creating distractions (Willow). Then at the end of the episode, everyone's allowed to just unload on her and she has to sit there and take all the blame, and apologize, and then everyone gets to feel better.

      The worst consequence of her leaving was that in neglecting her slayer duties for three months, others were put in danger. That's very bad, but I mean, shouldn't this make her friends realize what a great burden is on Buffy's shoulders? That they have freedom that Buffy will never have, and OMG the pressure I can't imagine?

      The other negative consequence was that people were worried and sad because she was gone, right? Well, sorry, but Willow going through very normal things and missing her friend is not of equal importance to Buffy's trauma and her need to recover. Even Giles and Joyce's concern over Buffy's well-being is not more important than her actual well-being. In my opinion.

      • cait0716 says:

        Yeah, Buffy tries to set up a one-on-one shopping date with Willow to air some of this, but Willow stands her up. And then she's all avoidy at the party. I still think Buffy's decision to leave town was ultimately selfish (though selfishness can be incredibly necessary), but she was the one trying to heal rifts when she got back.

      • etherealclarity says:

        No, I absolutely agree. Willow and Joyce and the others all have a legitimate reason to feel upset and hurt and angry, but they handle it abysmally. I guess for me, the fact that they DO have a legit beef is what makes me feel conflicted about it, but it upsets me that they avoid Buffy (and then later yell at Buffy) instead of talking to her about it.

      • Rebcake says:

        Even Giles and Joyce's concern over Buffy's well-being is not more important than her actual well-being. In my opinion.

        So true. I'd feel a bit better if we'd got even a couple of lines from anybody asking if she's okay and if she's been eating right or something. I'd even settle for a sarcastic, "How was your trip?" Because they would be acknowledging that she went through something.

      • notemily says:

        I agree with all of this comment.

  19. stephanie says:

    just a little throwaway moment that i love in midst of all the akwardness of the fight:

    Great. Would anybody else care to
    weigh in? What about you? By the dip.


    Over by the dip. He shakes his head.

    No thanks. I'm good.


    jonathan! πŸ™‚

  20. Fuchsia says:

    Okay, so I was watching this episode on Sunday while I was stuck in bed with a back injury. One of my cats, who's also been sick, was happily sleeping cuddled up next to me. But EVERY TIME the zombie kitty started yowling, my cat freaked out and I had to pause the show for like, five minutes to calm her down. But of course, she wouldn't give up her nice comfy, warm spot on the bed [precious real estate in my house of six cats!].

    Did anyone else laugh at the REALL BIG cross that Xander's got around his neck?

    I always thought that Pat had a thing for Joyce, in a deeply gay sort of way, and I could've sworn that she was in more episodes than this one where she continues to hit on Joyce. I guess not, as she dies! It's also entirely possible that was just my high school queer-everyone-up mindset [I say that like it isn't still the case!].

    I would've been so upset, either in Joyce or Buffy's shoes, if I had expected a quiet dinner with friends to hash everything out and instead got a huge, raging party full of people I didn't even know. I know they said it was under the pretense of welcoming her back but it really was that they were just avoiding having an intimate moment with her. And I understand where the Scoobies are coming from, also, but it still upsets me.


    • Pseudonymph says:

      I always thought that Pat had a thing for Joyce, in a deeply gay sort of way

      Yep. Me too.

    • Inseriousity. says:

      Didn't think she was. I always saw her as a busybody who got a little thrill delving into other people's problems. That "so how you holding up Joyce? Really?" sounded like a way to get information rather than to help out a friend especially with that weird smile she does! That's my interpretation of Pat anyway!

      • settlingforhistory says:

        And the condecending way she uses with Buffy "Not thinking about any more flights of fancy, I hope?"
        I really can't stand that woman, she is too false.

        • Fuchsia says:

          Oh, I don't mean to say that I actually liked Pat, especially with regards to how she treated Buffy. I'm just saying that… I like to imagine she spent the summer crushing on Joyce.

      • pica_scribit says:

        Oh my God! You just summed up perfectly what it is that annoys me about her.

  21. pica_scribit says:

    I do get exhausted writing about race issues, or weird bouts of sexism, or heterosexism. It’s not generally an exciting trip down a waterslide of caramel into a pool of puppies and kittens. But it can be empowering in a way, and I also know that some people genuinely want to learn about this sort of stuff!

    *waves* I'm here to learn stuff. I'm still a novice when it comes to seeing a lot of forms of privilege and gross media tropes, but FUCK! They are everywhere, aren't they? And once you start seeing, you can't unsee it. Part of what I absolutely love about the whole Mark Does Stuff experience is getting to see the things I love through a new pair of eyes, filtered through another person's experiences that are completely different from my own. It's like watching again for the first time. So, yeah, tell us stuff, Mark. I'm listening.

    Despite that I sort of picked her out for death pretty much immediately, I like that the show gives Joyce a friend that helped her through the months Buffy was away. Thank you for breaking my heart even further.

    I'm sorry, but that woman annoyed the shit out of me, and I'm glad she didn't become a recurring character. When she meets Buffy for the first time and they have their little, "I'm going to passive-aggressively berate you for abandoning your mother while pretending to be all friendly when I don't really know your side of it at all and it's not my place anyway because I'm an adult you don't know," moment, I just want to punch her in the face. Like Buffy's not already feeling bad enough without Pat "helping". But that's just my take.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      yes to all of this.

    • @cykotyks says:

      re: Pat – OH GOD THIS. I've been on the receiving end of that whole passive-aggressive "Don't you know how hard this is for your mother?" bullshit in situations where the person had no clue what was going on with me or why I was doing what I did, and just immediately took my mom's side with that condescending "she raised you so be grateful to her NO MATTER WHAT" tone.

      V guvax Cng vf cebonoyl cneg bs gur ernfba Wblpr qbrfa'g frrz gb srry yvxr fur qvq nalguvat jebat. Vafgrnq bs frrvat na vzcnegvny pbhafrybe be gurencvfg, fur unf guvf arvtuobe nebhaq cebonoyl inyvqngvat gung qryhfvbany "V qvqa'g qb nalguvat jebat" nggvghqr fur guebjf ng Ohssl yngre.

    • jenesaispas21 says:

      Yes, yes, and yes. To all of it. Now that I am experiencing a community where these things are pointed out and discussed, I can't unsee it wherever I go. SO interesting.

  22. enigmaticagentscully says:

    So I'm genuinely interested…who else here really likes brie?

    I dip it in ketchup myself and eat it as a snack.

    • cait0716 says:

      I don't dip it in ketchup, but I love brie. Sometimes I'll pour a jar of pesto or raspberry jam over a wheel after it's been baked, which is delicious.

      Every now and then my mom and I literally had brie for dinner when I was growing up.

    • knut_knut says:

      I love it. Can’t get enough of it. I’ll eat it plain if I have to. Growing up, sandwich night as always really exciting because it meant eating brie for dinner.

    • Jenny_M says:

      Brie is the fucking boss of cheese.

    • shoroko says:

      I like it – I don't dip it in ketchup, but I like it with crackers and apples. I don't eat it a whole lot, though – my snack indulgence cheese-wise is goat cheese.

    • Mary Sue says:

      No. Thank you.

      But I'm a stinky cheese wimp. Seriously, gouda's too strong for me. Cheddar and jack, plzkthxbai.

      • Carrie Ann says:

        But Brie doesn't smell! It's like the most inoffensive cheese known to man. It kinda tastes like butter.

        • jenesaispas21 says:

          Hm, I may have to disagree with you there. IMO brie smells like socks. And tastes like…like maybe some mildewy water got mixes with it or something.

          I realize, looking at this thread, that I may be outvoted on this one…but ick (and this is unusual for me, who loves sharp stinky cheeses as a general rule)

      • Avit says:

        Yeah, I'm pretty sure most brie, if not all, is milder than gouda. It's milder than some kinds of cheddar, I bet.

    • Pseudonymph says:

      I LOVE brie.

      But, whoa, ketchup? That's just. . . wow. Ketchup. I can't even imagine what that would taste like.

      I always buy bread or crackers as a pretext for buying brie but I always just end up eating it unaccompanied, sometimes just biting straight into the wheel. Yep.

      Apparently Marlon Brando had a similar weakness.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      I love it. I like to eat it with pepperoni and crackers.

      This years at Thanksgiving a big thing was brie wrapped with fruit in Pillsbury's crescent roll dough. It is really good.

    • Who doesn't like brie?

      Except what is the deal with ketchup YOU BRITISH PEOPLE ARE WEIRD.

    • Avit says:

      It's nice! I wouldn't say I ~~really like it~~ though. Also I look at the price of real cheese — i.e., not the processed store-brand slices in plastic bags — and shudder, so not much experience.

    • misterbernie says:

      I dip it in ketchup myself and eat it as a snack.
      I dip it in ketchup myself


    • pica_scribit says:

      Brie makes me feel sad and confused. See, I love cheese, and brie looks like it *should* be delicious. And then I try it again, and it's just…blergh! Do not want!

    • hassibah says:

      Yeah I love me some brie. Baked brie is the shit. It's cheese, what's not to like provided you are capable of eating dairy products?

    • stellaaaaakris says:

      I will happily, joyfully eat any type of cheese…except brie. I don't know what about brie doesn't agree with me.

      Also, I have to keep going back to fix my spelling to "brie" instead of "Bree." Tolkien, you're everywhere!

    • hpfish13 says:

      I love brie!! I first had it when I was in England, and became addicted to it. Just the other day I had fresh French bread and brie (along with an apple) for lunch. Yum!

    • dazyndara says:

      I love brie so much! The other night a large group of us had ordered In N Out for dinner, but somewhere along the line my grilled cheese order got lost, even though it was shown on the receipt. So one of my friends made me my own personalised grilled cheese in a hamburger bun with cheddar, salsa and piles of brie and it was the Most Delicious Grilled Cheese Evar. The end.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I've never had brie!

      • pica_scribit says:

        It's apparently an issue people feel strongly about. People are either, "OMG BRIE!" or "WTF BRIE?!" There is no "eh, brie's okay."

      • I know you don't want to give up your vegan psychic powers, but…BRIE!


      • dasmondschaf says:

        This just makes me wonder if someone has attempted to make a vegan "brie" (lacto-ovo-vegetarian here, with an obsession with imitation foods)

        …….and the answer is yes. THE MIRACLE OF CASHEW CHEESES; too bad my roommate has a cashew allergy and they aren't allowed in our kitchen.

    • LadyPeyton says:

      I like the inside part of brie, but can't stand the rind.

    • MrsGillianO says:

      It's one of my favourite cheeses. But we Brits can buy it quite easily – hell, we could go on a day trip by Eurostar to where it's made. It doesn't quite have the same "aura" here, perhaps?

      (Brie and grape sandwiches rule.)

    • arctic_hare says:


      … yeah okay I think of that line every time the subject of brie comes up. NOW THAT I HAVE QUOTED THAT, yes brie is delicious. <3

    • Menomegirl says:

      I've never had brie but I've heard it's good.

      And I'm only taking the time to post a reply to your question because the responses to it have cracked me up. You guys are just too freaking funny.

  23. Hyaroo says:

    Uh… I have a weird sort of obsession about this episode, and it doesn't even have anything to do with the episode itself. Because whatever else the virtues and flaws of "Dead Man's Party" may be, they are all overshadowed for me by one single spoken line. It's only four words long, and it totally breaks me because I honestly can't decide whether it's the single greatest line spoken over the course of the show or the single WORST line.

    "I live — you die."

    It's the ONLY thing the demon-that-possessed-Pat EVER says on the show, and it's just immediately after awakening, and it's just so ridiculous and so awful and brilliant and I can't stop THINKING about it. Whenever I try to re-watch this episode, I just automatically think "This is the one with the 'I live — you die' line," and then I spend the entire episode anticipating that one hopeless line, and then after it's said the I spend the rest of the episode shaking my head at the characters because they live in a world where someone just SAID that and they don't even react or care.

    I have no idea what's wrong with me.

  24. SecretGirl127 says:

    I had a hard time watching the big confrontation that took place in the middle of a party with onlookers. On the one hand I was cringing/embarrassed for them and on the other I was fascinated that they all were just letting it out without self editing. It was a good scene and I want to see the aftermath.

  25. t09yavosaur says:

    -Who doesn't love awkward family reunions.
    -Teamwork: <img src=""&gt;
    -I thought ASH was already a looker?
    -Snyder: <img src=""&gt;
    -What is the mystery under the surface here. I understand things are awkward but everyone is being weird. They were not this “well-adjusted” last episode.
    -Poor kitty.
    -Joyce: Those are ominous metaphor-like words to the dead cat.
    -Interesting powers Vampire Mask, I'm glad you thought to remove the plastic for the kitty.
    -I see that Angel has become Buffy's spirit animal. Now the question is, is this the real Angel.
    -The only thing Buffy did to warrant not being allowed back at school is come back after term started.
    -There was a group at my school named the Diplomats, they got called Dips all the time.
    -In most 90's movies, this usually only happens when the parent is not home.
    -This is honestly a secret fear I have when I haven't seen my friends in a while, that we won't relate anymore, that we will have changed and they won't like me anymore.
    -Nooo Buffy! These things take time. And a Zombie army is on its way!
    -Johnny!! Nice haircut.
    -Stop fighting everybody! πŸ™
    -Zombies! Time to fight now.
    -Ripper!: <img src=''&gt;

  26. stellaaaaakris says:

    I guess I couldn't have a whole episode of just dealing with the emotional fallout of Buffy's desertion and subsequent return. We needed a monster of the week, but I kept getting annoyed when they showed up because I wanted everybody to TALK/YELL IT OUT. I am glad that Pat's gone because she annoyed me greatly (I don't know what it is about her but I got peeved every time she appeared), but I do like empanadas.

    I'm still unsure of my feelings about Joyce. While I understand her feelings and don't really hate her for the "If you leave, you can never come back" line to Buffy, I'm still not over her blaming Giles. I love you, Joyce, but I need some time to heal. I adore Cordelia and love how she was the one person who stayed and tried to help Oz when the zombies got him through the door. And is Giles knows how to hot wire a car? Intriguing. I hope badass Giles is going to merge with Librarian man this season. That looks like it could be fun.

    So, do at least a portion of the Sunnydalers now realize there are supernatural forces at work in their town?

    • pica_scribit says:

      Pat was annoying and passive-aggressive while acting all saccharine and concerned. She had to die.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      What are empanadas? Its sounds like enchiladas so that is the picture that popped into my head but that is not what was in that box.

      • stellaaaaakris says:

        They are delicious. They're these fried/baked dough thingies stuffed with deliciousness – cheese, seafood, meats, etc. Soooo good.

        <img src=""&gt;
        Although I didn't look closely at what was in the box, so this may not match either.

      • Pimento says:

        Empanadas are basically hand pies, with mostly savory fillings. In Spain an empanada is a large pie, and an empanadilla is an individual one, but in Latin America empanadas are individual pies. Depending on the country and region, they can be made with different doughs and either baked or fried. A lot of Spanish empanadas are made with puff pastry, but they also do cornmeal ones which are fried (often filled with sardine or tuna), and yeast-raised. Picadillo is a common filling in certain Latin American countries. It is ground or chopped meat, often raisins, olives, sometimes chopped hard-boiled egg. In Colombia one style is filled with meat and potatoes in a cornmeal dough and fried.
        A Jamaican beef patty is basically the equivalent of an empanada, if you’ve ever had one of those.

        • t09yavosaur says:

          I actually have had a Jamaican beef patty just a few weeks ago, but I didn't really like it; It was too spicy and the texture was weird. Your description of empanadas has made me hungry though.

  27. clodia_risa says:


    Fb V unir gb nqzvg guvf. V’ir abg orra jngpuvat nybat. V’ir orra erylvat ba zl zrzbevrf naq gur erivrj gb erzvaq zr bs jung’f unccravat. Nf fhpu, V unir nyzbfg ab zrzbel bs guvf rcvfbqr ng nyy. Gurersber, fbzrobql gryy zr jung Qnja jnf qbvat va guvf rc!

    • Rob M says:

      Pbafvqrevat gurer jnf n ubbgranaal tbvat ba qbjafgnvef, naq Wblpr jnf trggvat qehax jvgu Cng va gur xvgpura, V vzntvar fur jnfa'g gurer. Creuncf ure sngure unq phfgbql gung jrrxraq fb fur jnf pbairavragyl njnl? Fyrrcbire ng n sevraqf?

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Vs fur jnf gurer, V vzntvar gung fur jnf gur bar jub qvpbirerq gung Ohssl jnf gelvat gb yrnir ntnva.
      V nyfb oryvri gung Qnja ungrq Cng, orpnhfr fur vf fbb avpr, htu.

      • L_Storm says:

        V nterr gung Qnja ungrq Cng… naq nyfb gung Qnja cbffvoyl jnf gur bar jub qvfpbirerq Ohssl yrnivat naq znlor jrag naq tbg Jvyybj.

        Orpnhfr ubarfgyl, nobhg gur bayl guvat gung pbhyq unir znqr gung pbairefngvba zber njxjneq naq hapbzsbegnoyr jura rirelbar tnatf hc ba ure jbhyq or gb nqq n pelvat yvggyr fvfgre vagb gur zvk. Jub hfrq gb ybbx hc gb Ohssl, ohg abj rira Ohssl unf yrsg ure gbb… (Lrf fur pnzr onpx, ohg gung qbrfa'g znxr Ohssl yrnivat nal yrff cnvashy sbe Qnja. Nf V'ir zragvbarq va cerivbhf guernqf.)

  28. Mary Sue says:

    My biggest takeaway from this episode is thanks to Oz, who not only put the word 'hootenanny' into regular rotation in my vocabulary, but gave a succinct explanation of the best times to use the word.

  29. LucyGoosey says:

    I don't really like this episode, it pains me to watch everyone being so awful to each other. But it gets a pass for a couple of reasons- the zombie kitty, the gathering/shindig/hootenanny discussion. And for the fact that, despite the fact that its not used. watching this ep always gets the titular song stuck in my head, dethroning all matter of annoying ones.

    I was struck by lightning/walking down the street/I was hit by something last night/in my sleep

  30. cat lady says:

    Defnitely not one of my favorite episodes.

    Among other things, it was incredibly rude and insensitive towards Joyce to turn her dinner party into an out-of-control teenage party with the whole county invited. The Scoobies did this deliberately, to avoid dealing with Buffy. They never get called on it.

    Overall, the resolution of bad feelings doesn't feel convincing, with the possible exception of Willow. It feels more like the writers felt that had one episode to cover everything, so they could tie it up with a pretty ribbon and get on with everything else. It's never that easy.

    • lyvanna says:

      V xvaqn srry yvxr gur evsg vf arire gehyl urnyrq nsgre guvf gubhtu, gur raq bs frnfba gjb naq gur fgneg bs frnfba guerr tvirf nyy gur punenpgref vffhrf gung gurl qrny jvgu guebhtubhg gur erfg bs gur fubj. Tvyrf naq uvf ynpx bs checbfr jvgubhg Ohssl, Jvyybj naq ure zntvp/srryvat yvxr n fvqrxvpx, Ohssl gheavat vagebireg… nf n tebhc V qba'g guvax gurl rire trg bire jung unccrarq ng gur raq bs frnfba gjb naq ner arire nf pybfr ntnva nf sevraqf nf gurl jrer cer-Cnffvba, ol frnfba svir gurl ner zber yvxr snzvyl ohg gung vf n pbzcyrgryl qvssrerag obaq (va snpg va rirel frnfba nsgre guvf bgure guna svir jr frr penpxf va gurve sevraqfuvcf cynlvat n ovt ebyr va gur cybg).

      • Fuzzysnowpuffs says:

        Lrnu irel gehr. Rfcrpvnyyl nsgre gurl yrnir uvtu fpubby naq fgneg gb zrrg bgure crbcyr bhgfvqr bs gur bevtvany gevb. Jvyybj unf Gnen, Knaqre unf Naln, naq Ohssl unf Evyrl/Fcvxr, rgp. V guvax vg ersyrpgf tebjvat hc gubhtu. Sbe rknzcyr, V ybir zl pybfrfg sevraqf FB ZHPU, ohg gur obaq vf qvssrerag guna vg jnf va uvtu fpubby. Boivbhfyl gur evsgf ner zber qenzngvp va Ohssl, ohg gung'f orpnhfr vg'f n GI fubj kQ

    • etherealclarity says:

      "Among other things, it was incredibly rude and insensitive towards Joyce to turn her dinner party into an out-of-control teenage party with the whole county invited. The Scoobies did this deliberately, to avoid dealing with Buffy. They never get called on it. "

      This always bugged me too.

    • Fuzzysnowpuffs says:

      Yeah honestly, the whole changing the party thing bothers me the most about the episode. It's one thing to be mad at Buffy, it's a whole other thing to completely disrespect Joyce like that.

  31. SosaLola says:

    I don't like zombies and I pretty much never cared for the monsters in BtVS, but the scene in Buffy's party with everyone yelling at each other? I loved that. I want more of that.

    I'm kinda upset we didn't get a reaction from Willow to Buffy's return. Joyce hugged Buffy in the last episode, Xander had tears in his eyes and his voice wavered, and Giles' moment in the kitchen – all broke my heart and then filled it with puppies and bunnies and kittens.

    • Rebcake says:

      everyone yelling at each other

      I would be happier if they weren't all yelling at Buffy. *pets her*

      • SosaLola says:

        That's true. She was trying to run away though, it's understandable why they felt scared and lashed out.

  32. Fiona says:

    – Is it me or does the layout and size of Buffy's room change every time it's shown?
    – It's so obvious it's Xander, although it may just be that I've seen this episode far too many times.
    – I'm pretty fond of Xander's insistence on cheesy codenames. Bless.
    – Of course Giles would have proper cups and saucers.
    – ASH's little smile at the end of that scene. Why can't we all have our own Giles?
    – Ooooh, first mention of the Mayor this series.
    – I love Joyce getting all protective.
    – Overly sincere people always creep me out for some reason.
    – There's something deeply wrong with seeing David in the day time. That's why I could never watch Bones, aside from the fact that it's never on a normal channel over here.
    – 'Nasty little horrid bigoted rodent man' has to be the best summing up of Snyder's character ever.
    – Aw, Joyce and Giles awkwardness. Is it me or does Giles turn even more stuttery when she's around?
    – Oz's speech on the different classifications of party is pretty much the most that he speaks in any non-serious situation. For that reason it's one of my favourites, even though it isn't quite as earth shattering as some of the dramatic ones.
    – A British person saying disoriented instead of disorientated is really odd (fgvyy abg nf onq nf Wnzrf Znefgref' rkgerzryl Nzrevpna cebahapvngvba bs gur jbeq fdhveery va Gur Unefu Yvtug bs Qnl juvpu znxrf zr jvapr rirel gvzr).
    – These kind of party scenes where no one's supposed to be able to hear what anyone's saying and yet you can hear them are always a bit awkward. They always take me out of the moment.
    – Avoidance is bad Willow, it leads to zombies attacking your party to gain power.
    – That burned guy coming back to life is horrifying.
    – Why is it that people always overhear the worst part of a conversation in these things? It's oddly convenient to the plot :).
    – Buffy and Willow fighting is just wrong somehow, they both have good points though so it's not fighting for the sake of adding some needless conflict for no apparent reason.
    – 'Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty, it raises the dead! Americans!' Ah, angry and sarcastic Giles is my favourite. Moments like these give me warm fuzzy feelings :).
    – I don't know if there's a slight sub plot about cultural appropriation and people not realising the value of objects from other cultures aside from aesthetics in there somewhere or I'm reading into this too much.
    – STOP FIGHTING EVERYONE. As someone who doesn't deal that well with conflict I get a bit twitchy about it even with characters I love.
    – She's a teenager with responsibilities no one else can handle, she's allowed to be selfish once in a while surely?
    – 'Like riding a bloody bicycle!' I love moments where you get reminded of Giles' past and it seems perfectly believable that he could once have been called Ripper by people.
    – I like the moments where Cordy shows that she is capable of empathy too, even though she probably doesn't understand all of what Buffy's going through.
    – You should know not to tempt fate by now Willow.
    – I like how even when they're fighting they immediately band together when there's a threat. That's true friendship (vg'f gehr bs gur raq bs frnfba sbhe gbb, nygubhtu gung jnf zber pnhfrq ol bhgfvqr sbeprf).
    – 'Cordelia, do stop being tiresome.' Giles really is on fire in this episode.
    – Why is it the eyes with so many of these things? I guess it is realistic though as it counts for people as well.
    (Vf guvf gur svefg cebcre genfuvat bs gur Fhzzref ubhfr? Fbzrbar fubhyq xrrc pbhag bs gur ahzore bs gvzrf guvf unccraf.) πŸ™‚
    – Is it me or is Giles channelling the oncoming storm in this scene with Snyder?
    – Also, that smile he does while he's got Snyder by the collar. Sometimes he drifts dangerously close to going into Ripper mode.
    – 'You're really enjoying this moral superiority thing aren't you?' 'It's like a drug.' Friends just wouldn't be friends without some light teasing and insulting each other constantly.

    I seemed to have more to say about this episode than any of the ones since I've been following along for some reason. I guess it's because it has it's share of awkward moments and a whole host of wonderful Giles moments, which always makes me fond of an episode. Plus now we're getting into the episodes I've watched most out of all of them so I know this series pretty well, more than say series 1 which I barely bother to rewatch aside from a few episodes.

    I'm glad you mentioned the mask thing in your bad section, it's something I've only just noticed myself somehow so I thought I might have been imagining things. It does seem a bit suspect of the writers but Giles' comment about it is one of my favourite lines in the whole show so that redeems it slightly. Someone on Tumblr made a great gif set of it which I wish I could put on here somehow as ASH's facial expressions are a joy to behold :D.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      Dangerously close to going into Ripper mode? I'd say he's full on Ripper mode.

      Shooting Script:
      Giles puts his hand to Snyder's chest and SLAMS HIM UP AGAINST THE WALL with one violent, swift motion. He looks coldly down at the man, all Ripper.
      GILES: Do you want me to convince you?

      • Fiona says:

        Well it's still slightly below the level he was in Passion but that was Ripper + extreme amounts of grief and anger so it makes sense :).

  33. rabbitape says:

    It's true that no one is 100% wrong, but… My god, everyone is a total fucking asshole this episode!


  34. Amazing commentary – as always!

    You nailed all the stuff that really irritates me about this episode. it's never been a favorite of mine, perhaps in large part because I too love zombie stories and it just doesn't FEEL like a zombie story. Oh…one thing I also disliked, and which bothers me every time is the way Cordelia and Oz get left at the door by the rest of the group. This just seems totally out of characters (especially that Willow would leave, because Oz has clearly been grabbed). It makes the core group kind of look like assholes. I understand they needed to be separated for the story, but I just think it could have simply been choreographed better to make it appear less obvious/awkward.

    But you missed MY FAVORITE line of the show…!

    OZ (In reference to the zombie cat): Well I like it. I think you should call it Patches.

    I die from how perfectly adorable that is every time. Oz forever!

  35. notemily says:

    "I want to find Willow and Xander." "Will you be slaying?" "Only if they give me lip."

    Right, so I HATE this episode. Not because it's badly written or anything, but because EVERYONE IS SO GODDAMN MEAN TO BUFFY. It's like "When She Was Bad" in reverse. I fucking hate everyone in this ep. Except Giles. Giles is awesome. Especially when he is making fun of Americans and their pretty masks that raise the dead.

    – Xander is "Nighthawk"!
    – Cordelia's "Hey, Buffy!" right before Buffy shoves her aside in order to stake the vamp is priceless.
    – Giiiiles
    – Buffeeeeee
    – "How did you find her?" "Well, I pretty much remembered the address."
    – Giles is so happpeeeeeee his Buffy is back <3333
    – Yeah, you can't go back to normal. Can't go back at all. There's only forward. "Going back" is a myth.
    – The mysterious stuff about the Mayor is back! ~~~mysterious~~~
    – The original plan of having people over for dinner is not that bad, but the party is an AWFUL idea.
    – Someone on the spoiler blog who was spoiled for SOME things but not others mentioned evil art, and I was like "oh, have you seen that episode about evil art?" and they were like "that was just a guess" and then I felt bad for spoiing them.
    – Is David Boreanaz on a contract or something where he has to appear every episode? Because that would explain the once-an-episode cheesy Angel dream.
    – I don't get why everyone is so angry at Buffy for running away. I mean, I DO, but she had her reasons. Her mother, especially, TOLD HER NOT TO COME BACK and I think she should be a little more apologetic jka;dsfjklsdjkaskl;
    – Giles is the only voice of reason here with the party thing.
    – Buffy, you are far too pink.
    – Why wouldn't JOYCE be like "what are all these people doing in my house, get the hell out of here with your band"? That's what moms are FOR.
    – Also, Buffy is TRYING to talk to everyone about this. They're the ones who are changing the subject and avoiding talking about it directly. I hate you all.
    – I also kind of hate the whole "Buffy walks in on a conversation at the worst possible moment" thing. It's been used so many times before and it feels like the writers are just trying to set things up to be as painful and uncomfortable as possible. It doesn't feel natural.
    – At least Willow is trying to talk to Buffy about things reasonably, but then Joyce comes in and it all goes to hell.
    – Fuck you, Xander.
    – Hi Jonathan by the dip!
    – Xander, I want to punch you in the face.
    – It's just like… Buffy feels like she HAD to leave because everyone was pushing her away, and now they're pushing her away now that she's back? Yeah, I don't have a lot of sympathy for people who aren't Buffy in this ep. Unless they are Giles.
    – Giles hotwires his own car!
    – Cordelia tries to make things better.
    – Buffy crying πŸ™ πŸ™
    – I hate you, Xander.
    – "No, not vampires." They're obviously zombies, you guise. Doesn't anyone here know a zombie when they see one? YOU LIVE ON A HELLMOUTH.
    – Joyce beating up zombies with a baseball bat!
    – Everyone just… disappears? The dead bodies just go away, instead of going back to being dead? That's weird. What is Book Club Friend's family going to think?
    – Giles standing up to Snyder! Giles continues to be awesome. "Would you like me to convince you?" FUCK YEAH GILES
    – Mark, one of your predictions was right! Willow is already doing more magic! Man, I wish I had magical zit-hiding glamours in high school.

    My roommate and I were discussing how Giles is the only awesome character in this episode, and she said it's because HE KNOWS. He knows what it's like. He did all sorts of monumentally foolish things in his youth and they got somebody killed, so he knows all about living with guilt and wanting to run away from your life. <3 Giles.

    • hpfish13 says:

      This comment is fabulous and I agree with it all!

    • misterbernie says:

      I agree with hpfish13's comment about your comment's fabulosity and my agreement with it all, but

      – Fuck you, Xander.
      – Hi Jonathan by the dip!
      – Xander, I want to punch you in the face.

      MARRY ME K

    • cait0716 says:


      So true. I've taken to just referring to it as an online book club. I get fewer funny looks that way.

      Buffy, you are far too pink.

      I usually don't mind that dress, but I watched this right after the Susan G Komen debacle and I was irrationally angry at that color, so I had this exact thought.

    • pica_scribit says:

      What is Book Club Friend's family going to think?

      Another mysterious Sunnydale disappearance? All I could think was, "Evaporating zombies! Neat! No cleanup necessary!"

    • echinodermata says:

      YES this comment is good.

    • Carrie Ann says:

      Um, I posted a big long response to a comment on Page 1, but I basically should have just come here first, and then said, "Yes this." UGH I hate everyone in this episode who is not Buffy or Giles.

    • dasmondschaf says:

      Oh my gosh, WORD to the Giles thing!

      My own parents lightened up on me a lot after I graduated high school and left the house, even when I made bad decisions, because… well, let's just say that their own late teens/early 20's were a LOT more rambunctious than mine.

    • cemeterybaby says:

      Your thoughts are my thoughts! I understand her friends being upset that Buffy ran away without saying anything. But sorry, when it comes to sympathies, mine go to the person who was expelled from school, considered a fugitive, told not to come back to her house, and killed her boyfriend. And what bugs me is NO ONE says anything about it…like, I understand Willow being devastated that her best friend left town and she was lonely and miserable. I get that. But everyone is not only mean, they're so goddamned self-centered about all the pain they went through when Buffy was gone and they blame her for not being there without EVER asking her about what she went through. And considering she's gone through more than any of them and they should KNOW THAT…they all just seem like monumentally shitty, self-centered, self-righteous friends. WHICH MAKES THIS EPISODE VERY DEPRESSING, especially as none of them actually, you know, apologize for it.

    • arctic_hare says:


    • butterandsteel says:

      You said everything I wanted to say! I HATE HATE HATE this episode. Except for Giles.

    • LTodd820 says:


  36. Ginsue says:

    Is anyone really disturbed by how "delighted" Snyder is about making a teenager's life miserable? I know we all have our own perversions, but this is beyond perverse. I kind of felt dirty hearing about his tingly feeling. Buffy may have been right to assume he never had a date in his life. Just ew. I haven't seen this episode for a week, since I peeked ahead, but this is the one disturbing thing I remember.

    I remember one other thing. Anyone notice that extra guy at the party, the one with the long hair? He walked around, just chillin' with a chip in his mouth for a few frames, until one scene the chip was gone, but his cheeks were full. For some reason, I remember him clearly.

    Unfortunately, this episode did not grab my attention. I am not into zombies. Wasn't Giles in this episode saying witty things? I need to watch it again. &gt;.&lt;

  37. Karen says:

    I think it’s very easy to take Buffy’s side in this whole thing because the audience just spent most of the last episode with her, experiencing her struggles along side of her. But the truth of the matter is, the people she left behind suffered too. They didn’t know where she was and worried about her, and her friends had to risk their lives, doing her job of protecting Sunnydale from vampires.

    The conversation that Willow and Buffy have is so painful and honest. Buffy was going through a lot, it’s true. But she’s not the only one who was dealing with things, and Willow felt abandoned and alone. She’s going through a lot of changes in her life right now, and she wanted her best friend.

    I do get why Xander is mad too, BUT I think he does take it too far when he starts attacking Buffy for her relationship with Angel and blaming her for him turning evil. FUCK YOU XANDER. I understand him being mad at her leaving without a word. I get that completely. But Xander definitely went too far. I did love that Cordy tried to help Buffy out and take her side, but by that point tensions had escalated too much, so Buffy snapped at Cordelia too. That entire scene was incredibly well done in that it was a realistic way of showing how ugly arguments can get.

    I love all the Joyce and Buffy stuff in this episode. I think it’s so obvious how much Joyce loves her daughter, going to bat for her with Principal Snyder and all. And she IS glad to have Buffy back (and THE SCENE WITH THEM BURRYING THE CAT IS GREAT), but as Buffy unfortunately overhears only the 2nd part of Joyce’s conversation with Pat, it IS still difficult and there ARE consequences to Buffy’s decision to run away. I think there’s a bit of a trust issue between them now which is why Joyce was so eager to keep Buffy at home by feeding her and offering to drive Buffy at the beginning of the episode. Joyce is afraid to lose Buffy again which makes her reaction to seeing Buffy packing up again very believable.

    She’s angry, and the way that Joyce delivers the line, “you put me through the ringer, Buffy. I mean it. And I’ve had Schnapps” is so perfect. OMG. Joyce has been thorugh a lot and she’s hurt and a little angry and she’s had something to drink. And how much do I love this line: “Well guess what, Mom’s not perfect. I handled it badly. That doesn’t give you the right to punish me.” I LOVE that Joyce admits that she handled things badly and that she’s not perfect. I love that Joyce is a Mom Character who is allowed to be more than just that. She is the mom, but she also mishandles things sometimes AND SHE OWNS UP TO IT. ILU, JOYCE.

    This whole situation is just painful because yeah, I think that Xander, Willow and Joyce are all entitled to their hurt feelings and anger. But at the same time Buffy is going through all this stuff that is hard for her. And that she won’t talk about it, so they can’t help her. And yeah, it’s just painful, but in a very real way where there are no real bad guys, just a lot of hurt feelings, anger, defensiveness and misunderstandings.

    The resolution to their argument is a bit non existent, but I can buy the theory that the fight for their lives against the zombie reminds them that there are more important problems out there and gets them to put their issues aside.


    • Ginsue says:

      You have a good point. I started this episode already emphasizing with Buffy because I KNEW everything she went too. It was only when Willow was relating what she went through, her fears, and all the times she just wished Buffy was there, but she wasn't and nobody knew why, that I understand her point of view. Suddenly, I was Willow who was yelling at my friend for not being around for three months and giving me no reason. All I knew was that she wasn't there when I desperately needed someone, and because she never answered, I didn't even know if she was alive (Her being in a different town). It is a bad feeling, and Buffy is a little accountable, so I understand Willow's feelings. However, just because she is accountable, that does not mean she is undeserving of empathy or a chance to explain what she went through *cough*Xander*cough*

      • lurknomore says:

        See, I find Joyce's reaction reasonable, given the information she has. I don't think the same can be true of Xander and Willow, who have a LOT more first-hand knowledge of what she's been through. Also, Joyce really tries to support Buffy, whereas Xander and Willow pretty much freeze her out from the get-go.

        • Ginsue says:

          I agree. I find Joyce's reaction the most reasonable, and it is arguable whether Willow's is reasonable or not. However, I related with Willow more. I made the same arguments as her, and I felt the same fears, and the same lost feeling when a support system is suddenly gone. I also felt very selfish because of the issues. I did not talk about Joyce, only because I did not think I needed to. I had no conflicting emotions regarding her, as she was one of the few people expressing a reasonable argument.

          There must be some dissenting opinions about Joyce in the fandom, that I am not aware about because I am at a loss as to why she needs defense. (Edit: Okay, I just read some dissenting opinions about Joyce on this board, so now I am more aware.)

    • hassibah says:

      I don't have a lot to add but major thumbs up to this comment.

    • @cykotyks says:

      And how much do I love this line: “Well guess what, Mom’s not perfect. I handled it badly. That doesn’t give you the right to punish me.”

      That's the line that pretty much seals my dislike for her. Joyce told Buffy to get out. Buffy got out. Joyce made her bed and then didn't want to lie in it. Naq gura fur npgf yvxr whfg orpnhfr fur nqzvggrq fur unaqyrq vg onqyl, fur unf gur zbeny uvtutebhaq. Ncbybtvmvat – gevgryl – sbe lbhe npgvbaf qbrf abg znxr gur pbafrdhraprf bs gubfr npgvbaf tb njnl. Buffy knows that she hurt the people around her by doing what she did, but she's a 17-year-old superhero dealing with the grief of having to kill her boyfriend, it's not unreasonable that she did something selfish in order to deal with that. It was unreasonable that Joyce demanded to be walked through Buffy's identity without regard for the job Buffy needed to do. Buffy said "I can't right now" and Joyce threw her out. That ain't right. "Handled it badly" is an understatement.

      • Karen says:

        But Joyce didn't have any of that context. All she knew was that her 17 year old daughter tells her she's a vampire slayer and she's going to go out and save the world now. So she tried to stop Buffy from leaving and then when Buffy shoved Joyce aside, Joyce just shouted an ultimatum at Buffy to get her to stay (NOT to make her leave) because Joyce felt like she was out of options. And Joyce admits in this episode that she didn't react well.

        And the reason Buffy didn't come home wasn't because Joyce told her to leave. That was never somethign she struggled with in the previous episode. Buffy left because she was dealing with having to kill Angel and because she was running away from her identity. If it had been something purely to do with Joyce's wrds to Buffy, Buffy could have gone to her dad's. But she didn't because the reason Buffy left is becaue she wanted to be alone and anyone other than The Slayer.

        Joyce doesn't know and therefore can't understand about everything that happened with Angel. All she sees is her daughter running away again.

        Idk. For me the good thing about this episode and the entire situation is that no one is the Bad Guy. Everyone did something hurtful and there is just a lot of misunderstanding and poor communication.

      • Raenef_the_5th says:

        idk I find Joyce's reaction incredibly understandable.

    • kristinc says:

      Yeahno, Joyce, you put you through the wringer. You're the adult. You had all the power in the relationship by any real measure of the word. I really, really hate when adults act like their non-adult children are on equal footing with them — hell, even an adult child who's financially stable on their own will never be on quite the same footing as their parent, it's the nature of the relationship, but a dependent child? Never, ever, ever has even close to the responsibility their parent has.

  38. znachki says:

    Fb…jung cynaf ner va cynpr sbe na vagreiragvba jura "Gur Obql" vf hc? Orpnhfr Znex vf tbvat gb unir n ZNWBE zrygqbja.

  39. misterbernie says:

    So, originally I wanted to finally get around to watching an episode and posting random listy thoughts again, but instead I got caught reading about the history of crowns on Wikipedia. Sue me.

    Thus, only two thoughts:
    – I want Giles to come over and I'll even try and make tea for him and then we can make fun Americans all day long.

    – Please get punched in the face by something, Nighthawk. Are you hurt, and is feeling hurt legit? Yes. Look at Willow. She's angry and hurt by Buffy's disappearance, and venting about how it hurt her*. You?
    I'm sorry your honey was a demon, but most girls don't hop a Greyhound over boy trouble!
    Get off your high horse, you condescending bag of douchery, and … stop being a condescending bag of douchery.
    This is pretty much the moment where I just throw my hands up in the air, go fuck you Xander and decide that learning about the history of separate coronation crown was a better way to spend my time than watching your assholery again. I'm just about done with you, Xander Harris.

    German title time: Die Nacht der lebenden Toten – 'The Night Of The Living Dead'. And I checked and apparently, the German title is the same as the German title of the Romero movie.
    V jnag gb cbvag vg urer, gbb: Gur Mrccb jnf gvgyrq Qvr Anpug qre yroraqra Yrvpura – 'Gur Avtug Bs Gur Yvivat Pbecfrf', juvpu… whfg ab, crbcyr. Ab.

    ETA: *Not that Willow acts perfect, mind, but at least she's somewhat less of a douchebro.

    • Ginsue says:

      "I'm sorry your honey was a demon, but most girls don't hop a Greyhound over boy trouble!
      Get off your high horse, you condescending bag of douchery, and … stop being a condescending bag of douchery. "

      I…forgot about that line. Rage rising.

      Xander, most girls do not have to kill their boyfriend (as far as YOU DO KNOW), or damn their boyfriend to hell.

      Thanks for reminding me of my rage. I almost forgot why I had an unaccountable rage for this episode. I just assumed it must have all been Snyder, but no, Xander contributed too.

      • misterbernie says:

        You're welcome. I mean, yeah, we know about how much more tragic and traumatic it was for Buffy than they assume, but even so, this line just speaks to me of a complete lack of empathy on Xander's part, as if he never got over his initial "told you so!" reaction after Angel lost his soul.

        Though to be frank I'm a little disappointed in the Scoobies' brainpower that they haven't figured out on their own why Buffy was apparently so traumatised she felt the need to take off.

        • Ginsue says:

          I think I know what they were aiming for, as we all had one of those fights because we felt abandoned by a friend who never told us what was going on. BUT for pete-sake, you are right. They should have at least had a general idea. Every time they wondered why Buffy left, I waited for someone to just put it together. The world is saved. Angel is gone… Could it be that she had to kill her boyfriend who lost his soul to save the world, experiencing a dilemma that no average girl has?

          • Noybusiness says:

            To be fair, at the time of "Becoming", Buffy had been ready for quite some time to kill Angelus and they knew that. They didn't have reason to expect such extreme fallout from her killing him (and they must have assumed she did kill him). They don't know about the last-minute re-ensoulment that made it so traumatizing.

          • Noybusiness says:

            Which isn't to say that it isn't ridiculous to call it "boy trouble".

    • arctic_hare says:

      Your rage against Xander is my rage too. <3 I agree, that was definitely a better use of your time.

  40. Inseriousity. says:

    I quite like this episode. Apart from the mask, surprise surprise, being from Nigeria just cos it's supposed to look scary and menacing, there are some really funny jokes in this one. Giles starts talking to himself.

    "Like riding a bloody bicycle"
    "Do you like my mask? It raises the dead. Americans!" (lol been waiting for ages after all the British-stereotype jokes for this comeback! go giles!)

    Sadly, I think Xander had some good points in his side of the argument but it was rather lost in the very macho-aggressive way he decides to say it. Oh and thinking Buffy would be a prostitute during her summer "vacation", urgh xander! and urgh everyone else for silently agreeing with him!

  41. echinodermata says:

    I'm on Team Buffy during the fight. Frankly, I think Willow, Xander, and Joyce are all acting way more selfishly than Buffy is.

    It seems like Willow and Xander and the rest of the Scoobies (not including Giles) are resentful about having to take up the responsibility of fighting vampires, but it's not like it was ever fair to Buffy that she carried that responsibility in the first place. And they're angry Buffy left without a goodbye, but seriously, she was hurt enough to leave her friends and family – they don't seem to offer her any sort of sympathy or understanding of what she's going through. It's all about how her leaving hurt them, when Buffy was the one hurt the most. Also, why the hell would you throw a big party for what was meant to be a dinner get-together – that's a big miscalculation and perhaps even over-the-top in obtuseness.

    And Joyce needs to own up to the fact that she hurt Buffy a lot by telling her not to come home, which she doesn't really do. She admits it was a mistake, but she acts like it shouldn't matter in the long run. Be the adult, Joyce.

    So Willow, get over yourself – not having your friend around to talk to is not remotely equivalent to what Buffy went through. I appreciate Willow just wants Buffy to open up, but really, Buffy isn't to blame so the whole 'moral superiority' bit as Buffy puts it is totally grating. And frankly, standing Buffy up screws up the whole moral superiority bit anyway.

    Xander, shut the fuck up – it's gross as hell to call what Buffy went through 'boy troubles' and you're the one who didn't tell her she'd have to kill a souled Angel. Xander took the fight to a totally over-the-top aggressive place, and he was the one least hurt by Buffy leaving.

    Joyce, take some damn responbility and own up to what you did. I understand where she's coming from given Buffy is her daughter, but damn, she's being a bad parent.

    Buffy, you did not deserve to have all of them angry at you. I have no problem with the fact that she left, and I think the only thing one could honestly blame her for is not dropping them a line once she was in LA.

    • rabbitape says:

      Amazing comment, and I agree with every word. This is everything I meant to say when I said "everyone is a total fucking asshole this episode."

    • etherealclarity says:

      To be fair, none of them actually know what happened to her. All they know is that the world didn't end and Buffy was gone, not how or why. And after months of them worrying and searching and trying to get by and handle things in her absence, she comes back and acts like she expects everything to be exactly the same. Of COURSE that's upsetting.

      I agree that I feel more for Buffy than I do for them here. She's been through way more and had some extremely compelling reasons for doing what she did. But THEY don't know that, and it's also understandable that they'd feel the way they feel here.

      The thing that I fault them for primarily is how they handle it – which is to say, completely terribly and insensitively.

      • echinodermata says:

        But even though they don't know she killed Angel (with a soul), then that means they think she had to kill Angelus. And either way, she had to kill her old boyfriend and her first love – so either way, it's hard on her. I'd still think even if Angel didn't get his soul back, it still would have been pretty hard on Buffy and they still don't act like she deserves much in the way of sympathy.

        • etherealclarity says:

          Agreed, which is why I think that they handled it abysmally. They still had a legit reason to be upset but the way they handled it was awful.

    • Carrie Ann says:

      This comment is perfection. I hate that the show presents everyone's feelings as more important than Buffy's, and makes her plead for forgiveness for being so traumatized that she felt her best option was to leave everything and everyone she knows. "Oh, my bad that I was so depressed guys, I'll make sure my mental and emotional state never impact your lives again."

      Her entire life is sacrificing for others and putting their well-being above her own. She gets to take care of herself too sometimes.

    • Bonnie says:

      About Willow:
      I agree, and I jbhyq'ir orra hcfrg jvgu ure n jubyr ybg zber vs V unqa'g qrpvqrq gb whfg punyx vg nyy hc gb frnfba fvk sberfunqbjvat (lrnu, V xabj gung ng guvf cbvag vg'f cebonoyl abg, ohg jungrire) naq gnxr guvf rcvfbqr nf gur fvta gung jr'er fhccbfrq gb abg yvxr Jvyybj'f orunivbhe naq zbeny fhcrevbevgl naq ure havagragvbany ubeevoyrarff gb Ohssl naq nyy gung, naq gung jr ner fhccbfrq gb flzcnguvfr jvgu cbbe Ohssl N YBG, orpnhfr abar bs gurfr crbcyr urer xabj jung fur'f orra guebhtu.

      Also, Buffy looks so pretty in that dress and that butterfly in her hair is so cute, and you're not supposed to make her cry!

    • arctic_hare says:


    • notemily says:

      This comment is good.

  42. @sesinkhorn says:

    It is truly a testament to how much this show brings out my inner teenage girl that I was going SHUT UP XANDER. YOU SHUT YOUR FACE. YOU DON'T ~UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE WAS GOING THROUGH~. During the shouting match scene. Yeah. I'm pretty Team Buffy here. Although I do TOTALLY understand why Joyce and Willow are upset and they have every right to be — I mean, Buffy, you can't just leave them with NO INDICATION YOU ARE EVEN ALIVE — I think it's a testament to how well they've built Buffy's *angst* that I'm totally on her side.

    Giles talking to himself in his car is easily the best scene of the episode. AMERICANS. Though I was like GILES COME ON when he hit the obvious zombie and then got out of his car to check on the guy. GILES. YOU KNOW THERE ARE ZOMBIES. WHY WOULDN'T THAT GUY BE A ZOMBIE COME ON.

    Oz forever. "BUFFY!" *Buffy stabs the thing in the eyes* "NEVER MIND."

    • Kris says:

      Although, to be fair, she did leave her mom at the end of Becoming part II, which she presumably told the rest of the scoobies about. So they knew she was alive, and that she voluntarily left.

  43. monkeybutter says:

    It's Hollywood, ain't it?

    • Mary Sue says:

      Yes, you are correct, I forgot momentarily. V nffhzrq gung fvapr gur obbx unq n erserfuvatyl jvqr frg bs ivrjcbvagf, gung gurl ZVTUG NPGHNYYL HFR GUNG FBHEPR ZNGREVNY VA ZNXVAT N SVYZ. Silly me.

      Grrr. I have three dollars, can I start my own major film studio?

  44. Noybusiness says:


    Flash of light. It should have reanimated as a zombie right after death, and then gone poof with the rest of them.

  45. bearshorty says:

    I want to add to the growing Giles appreciation comments. Giles makes this episode for me. I love him more and more as I get older. All the moments in this episode from the sheer joy and happiness in the kitchen, making fun of Americans, hot wiring his car "Like riding a bicycle", and threatening Snyder – he just owns this.

    • pica_scribit says:

      Fancy meeting you here….

      • bearshorty says:

        I know. I think a week or so ago my brain finally registered your name here as I did a double take and I smiled at fandom convergence. But since I started following Mark's projects during his Harry Potter read, perhaps not so surprising.

        • pica_scribit says:

          I've been hanging out here off and on since the days of Mark Reads Twilight (which I have a special dislike for, since I grew up near Forks, WA), but I've only been following full-time since midway trough Mark Reads HP.

  46. Plactus says:

    • "Vg'f nyy sha naq tnzrf hagvy fbzrobql ybfrf na rlr." V'ir arire frra frnfba frira naq arire vagraq gb, ohg V xabj fbzr bs jung unccraf naq… bj.
    • Holy hell. I knew how that scene with Snyder played out, but having never seen it, I had no idea how wonderful Armin Shimerman was in it. Naq vg'f whfg tbvat gb znxr gbzbeebj'f fprar rira orggre.
    • Kitty πŸ™
    • Okay, I'll come out and say it… I knew this was going to be painfully awkward and hard to watch, and it hasn't disappointed the least in that regard. And I'm not even to the party yet.
    • Now I am. "Painfully awkward" about sums it up.
    • "Unbelievable. 'Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!' Americans!" is one of my three favorite funny-Giles lines of all time.
    • Wbanguna πŸ™‚
    • I have to confess: I'm not a fan of zombies. Maybe I just haven't seen the right zombie movie, but aside from Shaun of the Dead I can't think of any that I've liked. So while I thought the monster plot this week was kind of meh… well, maybe it's just that it's zombies and not a more interesting monster.
    • V'z cebonoyl abg nybar va jvapvat ng gur "gvyy fbzrobql ybfrf na rlr" yvar sebz rneyvre, ohg vg'f eryrinag gb guvf rcvfbqr, gbb. Uru.
    • I wish there had been a longer reconciliation scene between Buffy and the full group. After the things that were said before the zombies showed up, I felt it needed more than an almost nonverbal acknowledgement that they're okay now. I'm glad for the Buffy and Willow scene in the end; I wish Xander, at least, had been there too.

    • Raenef_the_5th says:

      Zombie movie recommendation: Zombieland

      • TrampyMcBitca says:

        I am not a fan of zombies either, but I did like Zombieland.

        And I disagree with "I'm glad for the Buffy and Willow scene in the end; I wish Xander, at least, had been there too."

        God no. It was one of the very few scenes I liked in this episode and I am glad that Xander wasn't there to ruin it for me.

  47. plaidpants says:

    And of course things couldn't be happy, could they? Gah, this episode. I appreciate that Buffy coming back wasn't just a yay, things are back to normal, but they're dealing with the actual consequences of her running away.

    I really felt for the Scoobies here (I LOVED seeing them in action to take down the vampires. I didn't get to comment on it yesterday because I work all day Wednesdays, but really awesome scenes). While we've been with Buffy, we've seen the pain that she's been through, we know why she felt she had to leave, they didn't. She didn't really tell them anything, the last thing they knew she was going off to fight Angel – they didn't know about the fight with her mom, or about how Angel came back and the last minute and Buffy had to kill him. So while Buffy is mainly thinking about her own pain, she forgets to realize the pain that she caused her friends.

    Now I don't like that they didn't confront her about it, but I can understand them wanting to avoid confrontation. I don't know if the solving the MotW storyline is enough to completely heal everything, I feel like there's going to be threads of their shaken faith in Buffy underlying the whole season.

    (THEORIES AHEAD) – Willow saying she got in communication with the dead – maybe that's how they're going to get Angel back?

    I loved seeing Xander and Cordelia together, opening admitting how they liked each other. I also appreciated Giles' crack about Americans in the car – I think it was the funny voice that did me in.

    And I really want to meet/see the Mayor now, but threatening!Giles is always nice to see.

  48. HonoreDB says:

    So, does the fact that the zombies don't eat people's brains count as a continuity nod? From Some Assembly Required:

    [Willow asks Cordelia whether she wants to go on the zombie-hunting adventure]
    Cordelia: Darn, I have cheerleader practice tonight. Boy, I wish I knew you were gonna be digging up dead people sooner. I would've canceled.
    Xander: All right, but if you come across the army of zombies, can you page us before they eat your flesh?
    [Cordelia huffs and leaves the library]
    Giles: Xander?
    Xander: Huh?
    Giles: Zombies don't eat the flesh of the living.
    Xander: Yeah, I knew that. But did you see the look on her face?

  49. ajaxbreaker says:

    – I actually really like this episode… apart from the last 10 or so minutes where Willow, Joyce and Xander act like assholes towards Buffy. The rest is pretty good!

    – I know Xander gets a lot of flak on this website but I don't think anyone can claim that Nicholas Brandon is a bad actor – he played Xander's stunned reaction to seeing Buffy perfectly.

    – The other acting MVP of the episode is ASH – that solitary moment in his kitchen where he is overcome with relief and happiness is beautiful.

    – Love the Scooby gang all kitted out to fight vampires and especially that Cordelia is a willing participant in the Slayage. She's come so far!

    – Dude, Joyce, your death mask has frigging vampire teeth! Why would you want that in your bedroom?

    – I'm gonna pretend that "Night Hawk" is an homage to the great British comedy series Allo Allo πŸ™‚

    – Love Jonathan chasing after the zombies with a guitar πŸ˜€

    – Oh Snyder, I missed your epic sliminess. "Nasty little horrid bigoted little rodent man" indeed (though I think that's insulting to rodents everywhere)

    – Oz's little monologue about shindigs vs. hootenannies is the best of all things.

    – Boreanaz must have enjoyed these two episodes: Pop in for your one scene, chill by the pool the rest of the week πŸ˜€

    – I would totally watch an Oz & Cordelia spin off.

    – When ASH grins "Would you like me to convince you?"… Chillssss…..

    And now my big gripe which I sense is going to be everyone's big gripe too:

    – UM WHY DOES NO ONE ASK BUFFY WHAT HAPPENED WITH ANGEL??? OK yeah Giles tells them not to, but seriously. Do any of them even know that Angel is dead, by Buffy's hand? Or do they just think that the ensouling spell worked and Buffy just went away to frolic with Angel for 3 months?? I find it really out of character that Willow would start whining to Buffy about how bad HER life is without even prodding Buffy about what happened with Angel. I mean she doesn't even ask about the ensouling spell that she did! Wouldn't she want to know about the result of that? Then Joyce and Xander pile on. I get where they're coming from but it enrages me that nobody tries to see it through Buffy's eyes (EXCEPT CORDELIA OMG ILU CORDELIA YOU ARE PERFECT NEVER CHANGE) And then what, everything is forgotten cos they fought some zombies? Nope, not loving it. I find this behavior totally out of character for Willow and super douchy from Xander.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      "- Dude, Joyce, your death mask has frigging vampire teeth! Why would you want that in your bedroom? "

      At first I thought she was going to say something like "look at this mask I found, it is blessed to ward off vampires" or something.

  50. canyonoflight says:

    I really, really, really do not like how Xander is like "You didn't talk to anybody!" Who was she going to talk to? Willow, who had troubles of her own in the hospital? Her mom, who kicked her out? Cordelia??? Certainly not Xander, who hated Angel even when he was good and was a total dick about everything.

    Buffy didn't handle it well at all, especially from their perspective that she just killed Angelus. However, Xander just really ticks me off in this scene because he seems more self-righteous than actually hurt (like Willow and Joyce).

  51. hassibah says:

    it’s an easy thing for people to rely on because it is so specifically depends on the concept of ignorance about other cultures. There is no attempt to explain it, to bring in the people whose culture this belongs to, or to give the artifact any depth. You’re just supposed believe that people in Nigeria do this sort of thing, you know?

    Yeah so I'm quoting this.

    What else?

    the "Isn't it pretty it raises the dead? Americans" line is perfection.
    also "would you like me to convince you"
    if these aren't gifs I will be all kinds of sad.

    Also I don't care if the look is trendy and dated I like Buffy's bleached stripey hair and you can't do anything to stop me.

    This episode gives me flashbacks to the time my friend ran away to do acid for three months. Except Buffy has much more serious reasons for running away, so I was pretty confused when the actual fight came up and people made it out like she was just running away because she was bummed about Angel. I'm not just saying this cause I'm a heartless asshole who hates Angel and lives in a house made of kittens I murdered. I mean the hating Angel part yes but Buffy was already sad about Angel half a season ago and she didn't run away then, I thought it was kind of odd that everyone (including Buffy) forgets that there were murder charges against her and she didn't have a way of knowing that they were dropped. So when watching the fight I mostly counted the missed comeback oppourtunities. Like oh okay mom you want to make a scene, remember the time you said you liked it better when I wasn't around? I do cause I totally overeard you.

    So this whole thing? I totally feel for Joyce even though she makes me mad when she blames GIles. All this information is new to her and she feels betrayed and powerless to do anything about it so she lashes out. I feel for Giles too. Willow's behaviour makes sense to me so much, she is happy that Buffy's back and she's wanted it that way for a long time so she feels like an asshole if she achknoweldges she's mad. I feel for Buffy a lot too cause it's the most frustrating thing ever. Basically I agree with the nobody is wrong or right deal. Cordelia tried to play ref but it didn't work out, and Giles might have been a better moderator but he was busy with zombies.

    Unlike a lot of people I was never really obsessed with zombies, I like a zombie movie if it's well done or can put a new spin of the genre(MARK-and all interested parties-have you seen Les Revenants/They Came Back cause you should,) but I don't really feel like I need to read or watch everything involving them. Putting aside the random African culture being used for no reason whatsover (which this show really loves to do) I was fine with the usage of the actual monsters OHG V'z n zhpu ovttre sna bs gur mbzovr pbcf rcvfbqr bs Natry. Why the flashing eyes though, I really didn't get what was going on there.

  52. t_town2 says:

    Yay, Belgium!!
    You should totally come to Belgium/Brussels (capital of the EU, you know). If only in a parallel universe…

  53. I always liked Buffy's line at the start of the episode. "It's angry at the room, mom, it wants the room to suffer." There's something in the way SMG says it that amuses me.

    I'd say something about zombies in Buffy but I think it would be considered spoilery so rot13 to be safe.

    V guvax Naln fnlf fbzrguvat va frnfba 4? be znlor vgf 5 nobhg "mbzovrf bayl rng oenvaf jura pbzznaqrq ol gurve mbzovr znfgref"

    I wanted to post a gif of Giles saying ""Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!" Americans!" but I couldn't find one =(

    Xander really pissed me off at the party. ""Look. I'm sorry that your honey was a demon, but most girls don't hop a Greyhound over boy troubles." YOU INCONSIDERATE JACKASS! HAVE YOU NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION AT ALL. She was kicked out of school, kicked out of her own house, had to kill the man she loved which he kind of contribute to and he makes it sound like its all her fault. Was running away selfish on her part yes but she felt like she had no other choice and felt completely alone. No one's really right in this situation but he words it in such a way that everything is on Buffy and I just ASKJ94UW49TU. damn you Xander. Damn you.

    And what's more disappointing is that after the fight Buffy and Xander never talk. Neither of them apologize. Willow and Buffy talk not her and Xander. It kind of makes me wonder how they're still friends. Like he's just tagging along for the ride. I have many conflicted feelings about Xander. =/

    "Okay, you basically ripped off Pet Semetary and then didn’t bother making any other reference to it? LOST OPPORTUNITY." I never made that connection before.

    The little moment with Johnathan has to be my favorite in the whole episode. Buffy: "Great. Would anybody else care to weigh in? What about you? By the dip." *pause* Jonathan: "No thanks. I'm good."

    Giles getting his Ripper on in Synder's office: YES PLEASE!

    Fb rkpvgrq sbe gbzbeebj! SNVGU!!

  54. Enigmatic Mr Wu says:

    I don't really buy how angry everyone was at Buffy this episode. I don't feel like these are the reactions of people who care about her. Well maybe Joyce, but the rest of them. Given how dangerous Buffy's life is, I would think the natural reaction would be an overwhelming sense of Thank God you're alive, we were so worried. I would expect a period of being afraid to let her out of their sites in case she disappeared again. I feel like the writers forced them into these angry aggressive stances in order to do this dogpile on Buffy thing, and it didn't feel natural. These are people who have proven they would die for each other, how can they be so petty?

  55. 00guera00 says:

    I HATE this episode.

    I think I was the most disappointed in Willow. I kinda expect Xander to open his mouth and say something selfishly hurtful (dude's got a serious empathy problem) but Willow? She knew it was going to be a huge traumatic thing for Buffy to kill Angel (souled or otherwise) and she whines about not having Buffy around to talk about her growing relationship with Oz? I know Giles told them not to ask her about Angel, but did she even once ask how Buffy is doing? Or hell, even offered to listen whenever Buffy was ready to talk? And the passive aggressive 'I can't hear you, isn't this loud and obnoxious and overly crowed party the best?' just made me want to shake her.

    And Joyce, who gains points for admitting she made a mistake…and loses ten times more for never once saying she was sorry. 'I made a mistake, I'm not perfect, get over it' is really not what needed to be said. And the whole, having this private conversation in a room full of strangers just so you can shame her further really pisses me off.

    Giles zombie car scene is the only good thing in the episode.

    • sushi says:

      I totally agree. I used to be a huge Willow fan when I first watched the series, because I totally identified with her. But with multiple rewatches, I've come to like her less and less, she tends to get a lot of passes for the things she does, is a huge control freak and is incredibly passive-aggressive. Yes Willow you were learning magic, but were you kicked out of school and had to kill your ex-boyfriend? No. Don't tell me your problems and issues are bigger than Buffy's.

      • I don't think she was trying to say her issues were bigger then Buffy's I think she was saying that she has problems too and Buffy shouldn't feel like she has to keep everything to herself.

    • cemeterybaby says:

      I have always hated that line about "Well guess what, Mom's not perfect" because she is sitting there lecturing Buffy for not being perfect. Like gee I don't know you might give the seventeen year old more leeway in making mistakes if you're going to complain about having too much expected of you yourself. If Joyce can't immediately deal perfectly with being given the news that her daughter is a vampire slayer, how the hell does she figure that her daughter who is actually the slayer is going to always deal super well with it and be 100% well adjusted?

      • amyrouse says:

        I find it interesting…

        I've been lurking, but this comment really struck me…

        I'm a rape survivor. One of the things that hurt the most in the aftermath, though, was my mom's reaction. I told her, and instead of her comforting me, she became distant and angry. Didn't I understand how much it hurt her to imagine that happening to her daughter? It took some time for me to come to terms with that. I was, rightly so, wrapped up in surviving what happened myself that I didn't give a damn how it effected anyone else.

        Now, years later, I have a child. I couldn't imagine what reaction I would have if she had to experience what I did. Sometimes I think it may hurt me worse than surviving my own rape. This in no way diminishes the pain I felt when I was just surviving or saying that what my mom felt was worse. At the time, though, I had a hard time empathizing that it was really fucking hard for my mom to deal with. It doesn't excuse her actions; I just understand them better.

        Besides that, even now, my mom is my best friend. In the long run, I've been lucky, because, flaws and all, she is the one person (other than my dad and my husband) that I know truly loves me and accepts me. I think this is true for Buffy as well, or ng yrnfg vg jbhyq unir orra vs vg unqa'g orra sbe Wblpr'f fghcvq ghzbe.

  56. kelseyofcake says:

    "I get that Joyce is trying to right by Buffy and make her happy, but the episode totally glosses over the fact that she was excited to have this fancy dinner and then all of sudden there are a hundred strangers in her house drinking and playing loud teenager music and leaving a hot mess of chips next to the phone?"
    Yes! This has always bugged me and I am still surprised that Joyce didn't go "uh what's with all this? No We are not having all these people over to trash my house." She just wanted to spend some time with Buffy and her friends and try to reconnect, and I think it was really disrespectful of the Scoobies to do this.

    "Cordelia’s tan looks GORGEOUS. Sorry, I refuse to get over how pretty she is. FIGHT ME."
    I refuse to fight you over this, Mark, because I agree wholeheartedly. Charisma Carpenter/Cordelia is never not stunningly beautiful and fabulous.

    -Would an art gallery actually let an employee take home pieces? I doubt it. Or I would at least be very surprised to learn that yes, this actually happens.
    -Oh man, the code names and the walkie-talkies. I wonder what Cordy's code name was.
    -Aaaww, Giles, you're so happy to see Buffy! No, please don't look like you're trying to not cry. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
    -YES! Joyce is going to take on Snyder!
    -Zombie kitty!
    -Looks like Angel showing up in dreams is gonna be a thing.
    -They certainly did a good makeup job on that kitty.
    -I love the side-eye everyone gave Xander here. Especially Giles. He has the best looks of disgust/disapproval/every other judgey feeling.
    -Hoot-nanny is now my new favorite word. Thank you for that, Oz. But….why are none of you guys saying "Oh, shouldn't we check with Buffy's mom to make sure she's okay with this?"
    -Cordy, you look great in that outfit, and I love that tan.
    -Well I'm glad these zombies don't look as freaky as the zombie-ghost-face from “I only have eyes for you”. Yes, I know I'm a wuss.
    -Buffy, couldn't you just ask your mom what that was all about, or evesdrop for more context?
    -Aaww, Willow was all sad and lonely πŸ™ But….if you wanted so badly to talk about stuff, why were you avoiding her earlier? Just talk and stop being awkward with each other, please.
    -Giles, that….that isn't how hotwiring a car works. I'll let it slide though because your comment about us silly Americans and our complete ignorance and stupidity is funny.
    -Where on earth are they going to get the money to repair all this???? The house is destroyed!
    Well that's convenient that the zombies all disappear instead of leaving the Scoobies with a bunch of corpses to clean up.
    -"Would you like me to convince you?" Oh snap, GO DADDY!GILES GO!
    -Buffy and Willow: best friendship

    So, not the worst episode of all time, but I'm still not all that fond of it. The thing with the ~Scary African Mask~ is really uncomfortable and cringey, as is everyone's behavior towards Buffy.

  57. So…I know we're all REALLY EXCITED for Mark to meet snvgu, ohg univat whfg qvfpbirerq guvf fvgr bire gur cnfg jrrxraq (naq gura cbjre ernq yvxr n penml crefba gb pngpu hc)…V qba'g xabj ubj V pna cbffvoyl jnvg sbe uvz gb frr gur Ohssl/Fcvxr eryngvbafuvc qrirybc.

    FCVXR!!! Znex unf AB VQRN jung vf pbzvat jvgu FCVXR.

    Cannot contain excitement.
    Feel I will probably die from excitement.
    I feel like this insane cat.

  58. Darlene Crane says:

    Okay. Once more. "Primitive Cultures" — Giles never says it. What he (and the show) acknowledge is that ALL religions are based in one way or another on the simple concepts of "magic".

    All religions — all cultures — have "magical" objects, whether Nigerian masks (for invoking the dead, the spirits, the gods, or just good weather), Catholic icons (frequently containing actual body parts, and designed as objects of prayer, etc. And CROSSES, anyone?!?! What, no complaining about the denigration of a "WHITE" religion's "sacred" symbol? Just kidding. Or am I?)

    Hell, Southern Baptists dunk you in a tank of ceremonial water in order to cleanse you of all your deamony sins! If that ain't "magic", I don't know what is?

    So. Let the "black" cultures have their props too. Sacred tribal masks are designed specifically to channel spirits and gods… and, yes, the dead. Just like western funerals and high mass.

    So stop being so sensitive. It's a TV show.

    Shut up and dance. πŸ˜‰

    • Avit says:

      "So stop being so sensitive. It's a TV show."

      "So stop being so sensitive. It's a TV show."

      "So stop being so sensitive. It's a TV show."


      • robin_comments says:

        I always wonder… if it's just a TV show then why do these people feel such a strong need to comment and convince others that their opinions about it are unfounded. Seems pretty SENSITIVE to me. lol.

    • misterbernie says:

      So stop being so sensitive. It's a TV show.
      …seriously? We're seriously doing the "tell a POC not to be so ~sensitive~ about racial issues" bullshit AGAIN?

      Shut up and dance. πŸ˜‰
      Okay, let's turn to Simon Pegg for an excellent quote on being condescending about people's analysis of pop cultural media:
      “People will often cry gross over-intellectualisation when popular culture is critically addressed, as if it is somehow exempt from serious consideration because it is itself ‘non-serious’, just a bit of fun that doesn’t require or deserve dissection. I disagree; every expression of art is a product of its environment and as such will reflect the concerns, preoccupations and neuroses of the time. Mainstream entertainment particularly, by its very nature, has to reflect the dominant modes of thinking in order to qualify as mainstream, and in that respect, mass entertainment is even more fun to pick apart.”

      <img src=""&gt;

    • echinodermata says:

      "Okay. Once more."

      There was a goddamn reason I deleted your first attempt. This shit isn't welcome here.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      I want everyone to know that I tolerate and welcome disagreeing with me at all time, but the second you tell me to stop being sensitive or that I, or others, need to stop talking about something, is the instance I not only refuse to listen to you, but you toe the line of not being welcome here.

      I will not tolerate comments that aim to tell us to stop discussing things. Ever.

      • Noybusiness says:

        Why is there a thread like this every other post, and at Reads too, where someone talks like this until you have to get personally involved? I mean, I never noticed the trope until you mentioned it, and it still doesn't bother me because shows like Buffy thrive on the trope of dangerous mysterious artifacts from far away and/or long ago (even Christian ones, like in "What's My Line?"). But that this person feels compelled to start doing the equivalent of mansplaining at you, Mark, boggles my mind. And the making of ridiculous overstatements like "you were saying no one can write about something outside of their experience". How are you supposed to respond to either of these things? They are inherently discussion-stoppers.

  59. Stephanie says:

    Don't forget about the doctor who died in this ep, that makes 3 in this episode. I mean, it was kind of the reflection we saw of him being killed, but we still saw it. So we're up to 6 by the second episode, whoo!

  60. Darlene Crane says:

    More about traditional African masks… and their magical properties. πŸ™‚

    • dasmondschaf says:

      Did you miss this part of Mark's statement?

      There is no attempt to explain it, to bring in the people whose culture this belongs to, or to give the artifact any depth. You’re just supposed believe that people in Nigeria do this sort of thing, you know?

      No one is denying that ceremonial masks have great meaning attached to them in the cultures that have created them. The real question is why the only times we see them in US media is when they are used to cause chaos/work dark magic and make life miserable for a bunch of white people, with even less cultural nuance and understanding than can be gleaned from a Wikipedia article.

      • Zoli says:

        Hmmm. This makes me want to recommend the webcomic Digger to Mark. One, the author/artist got her degree in anthropology, so pretty much all the cultures are given fair treatment (and about half the cultures covered are non-human), and also there's a pretty neat bit involving statues based off of Barong masks, without any chaos or dark magic involved (they're basically just very cool sign posts.)

        • Avit says:

          Oh, Digger is fantastic. Worldbuilding, plotting, general heartstring-wrenching… the works. Also proof that "nonfaily" does not require "~issues-focused~", now that I think about it.

          Ursula Vernon in general is pretty damn fantastic. I didn't know for ages that she was the one who drew the "LOLWUT" pear πŸ˜›

  61. Imo says:

    Ooh, I love it when Ripper comes out to play!

  62. Binx says:

    I just have to mention a Xander quote that really pisses me off every rewatch: "So, Buffy, did you meet any nice pimps on your travels? And by the by, thanks for ruining our lives for the past three months."

    Firstly, what on earth is he trying to imply with the "pimps" comment? That she was working as a prostitute while she was gone? That pimps are somehow drawn to her? That she hangs out a lot with pimps? Did "pimp" mean something different in the 90s, or what?

    Secondly, I don't remember her leaving gifts of stakes and instructions on their doorsteps when she left. I understand that they felt compelled to keep fighting evil after she left, but they weren't forced to (you know, like how she had been for years). It just squicks me that they're actually pissed that they've been "having" to do good and save lives, and they need the involuntary hero to come back and take that "duty" off their shoulders so they can continue doing what they want with their free time. Because saving people isn't their job – it's her's. How dare she take a 12 week break after having to literally murder her first true love and saving the world yet again.

    • Sean Murphy says:

      " That pimps are somehow drawn to her?"

      I think the implication is that pimps would be drawn to runaways as they would be vulnerable and therefore more exploitable. Last ep with Ken showed a similar side of "lost" people being exploited in LA. I don't for a second believe Xander was implying she was a prostitute, just that she would have had to fend off skeevy people during her vacation, what with the no money and homeless thing.

    • Danny_SAP says:

      He's just got his white knight fantasy going on in his head where he gets to rent buffy and then save her from the evil life that is not centering Xander in her every action.

      Oh, I'm… even more bitter about that comment than I thought.

      The ruining our lives bit just doesn't make sense for all your reasons.

  63. UnstrungZero says:

    I think Ted is the only episode that I find more uncomfortable to watch than this one. I can't even watch most sitcoms like Seinfeld or I love Lucy because the EVERYONE MISUNDERSTANDS EVERYONE ELSE trope just pushes my anxiety buttons like WHOA. And at least those are framed as if they're supposed to be humorous, this is just so utterly painful and scary for me. Though I did rewatch it for this review (this is the first time I'm rewatching something along with Mark, YAY), and Ted I will not ever watch again ever.

    Although I have to say, everything Giles in this episode makes up for all the squickiness I was feeling and just GUH, RIPPER!GILES, why so sexy. "Would you like me to convince you?" Dayum.

    • robin_comments says:

      I have the same problem. Uncomfortable misunderstandings on screen like this just push this button in me where I need to change the channel or leave the room. I can't watch most sitcoms or comedic movies. I have actually walked out of a movie once after only about 15 minutes to wait at a coffee house down the street for my friends to finish, because I couldn't take it anymore (it felt like scene after scene after scene, and it was only the beginning!).

      • Seventh_Star says:

        agree agree agree! i was forced to see meet the parents by some relatives, and it was the most painful movie-going experience i have EVER HAD.

  64. quenstalof says:

    Best way for them to have a reunion ever? y/y?
    Happy Giles ^^
    Is it weird that my first thought upon hearing about Buffy's grades was to wonder if she needs a tutor? And to mentally volunteer?
    Yes it would be interesting because we want to find out all about Mr. Mayor (Ms. Mayor? I can hope)
    The mask is evil! …well I don't know how evil reviving a cat is.
    Oz i love your love of semantics
    Giles American imitation. Isn't it pretty?
    I like how the Scoobies are circling this Buffy/JOyce fight
    Xander I get that you're mad, but its not exactly your fight right yet.
    Eee ganging up is never a good way to get people to see your side.
    Hello Ripper. Ugh I love badass Giles so much.
    I love this WIllow and Buffy besties moment. They're so cute calling each other names.

    Oh yeah and there were zombies. πŸ™‚ Ur ybirf mbzovrf, naq vf rawblvat Ohssl…V fb pnaabg jnvg sbe Znex Ernqf Srrq, Qrnqyvar naq Oynpxbhg!

  65. Jordan says:

    FYI I went on amazon and bought World War Z for my kindle the second you recommended it. I have been needing a new book to read and I know I'll like just about anything you recommend. plus i love zombies. So thank you in advance for the recommendation. πŸ™‚

  66. fantasylover120 says:

    ;sticks tongue out at the artifact trope and the poorly done zombies; Other then that, liked this ep. Honestly I think they were just fishing around for a way to bring the Scoobies together and then some writer (probably a white guy) said "ancient artifact that raises the dead!". Whedon said cool and poor Nixon was stuck trying to come up with a way to do it all in a semi-plausible manner (I like to imagine there was a lot cursing while she was doing this).
    Daily Buffy Quotable:
    "It's angry at the room, Mom. It wants the room to suffer."-Buffy
    Oz: So, hey you're not wanted for murder anymore. Buffy: Good, that was such a drag.
    "I'm sorry, another tingle moment."-Snyder
    "Thanks for stopping by and dying."-Buffy
    Cordelia: I'm the dip. Xander (after everyone's looks): You have to admire the purity of it.
    "Partyville. How may we rock you?"-Partier
    "Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead. Americans."-Giles
    "Generally speaking, when scary things get scared. Not good."-Xander

  67. stephanie says:

    cbfgvat nurnq – orfg wblpr zbzrag va SU&G

    V guvax jung zl qnhtugre'f gelvat gb fnl vf: alnu alnu alnu alnu.

    v pync rirel gvzr v jngpu gung.

    ba nabgure abgr, zl 14 l/b unccrarq ol juvyr v jnf erjngpuvat guvf rc, naq gbgnyyl tbg fhpxrq va (vg'f snvgu, jung pna ln fnl – arxxvq nyyvtngbe enfgyvat (gubhtu, abg ernyyl arxxvq, gubhtu, gung'f jung knaqre jbhyq'ir yvxrq)naq v guvax v'ir tbg n pbaireg!!! v'z fb zvyxvat guvf sbe zbzzl/xvq gvzr!! njrfbzr!!

  68. WhiteEyedCat says:

    I like this episode for getting everybody's feelings out in the open. I'm basically annoyed at all of the characters in this, the Scoobies for ganging up on Buffy and Buffy for thinking that she could just sweep what happened under the rug. Except maybe Cordelia…she's actually pretty compassionate for Cordy in this episode. Also, I agree with Mark, she looks fantastic.

    This is unrelated to the episode, but related to BtVS overall. Kind of Angel spoilers – it doesn't spoil any plot points, but rot 13ed just to be safe : V jnf jngpuvat fbzr pbzzragnel gung Wbff Jurqba qvq ba na rcvfbqr bs Natry naq ur fnvq, "Tbbq [ebznagvp] eryngvbafuvcf znxr sbe obevat gryrivfvba – sbe zr naljnl." V qba'g guvax nal gehre jbeqf unir rire orra fcbxra.

    • Zoli says:

      Vaqrrq. Zl sevraq naq V jrer jngpuvat frnfba sbhe bs Ohssl, naq qvfphffvat Evyrl naq Ohssl'f eryngvbafuvc. Bhe pbapyhfvba jnf gung Evyrl jbhyq or gur cresrpg oblsevraq sbe ure va erny yvsr– ur'f fgnoyr, ur'f fhccbegvir, naq vs fur pbhyq yrnea gb eryl ba uvz, V guvax vg jbhyq or n irel tbbq ybat-grez guvat.

      Ohg bs pbhefr, fgnoyr = obevat, fb anghenyyl vg pna'g ynfg naq jr unir gb raq gung eryngvbafuvc naq unir ure tb onpx gb fbzrguvat zber qnatrebhf naq qenzngvp. Juvpu… V guvax vf jvgu Fcvxr? V unira'g frra zbfg bs F5, ohg V jnf fubpxrq gung Evyrl rira znqr vg nyvir guebhtu gur F4 svanyr. V jnf fher ur'q trg xvyyrq bss.

      • amyrouse says:

        Cbvag bs pbagragvba jvgu zl uhfonaq naq V… Evyrl jnf gur ybir vagrerfg bs Ohssl'f gung V yvxrq gur orfg. Uhool, ba gur bgure unaq, pbhyq abg fgnaq Evyrl.

        • WhiteEyedCat says:

          Uzz, V qba'g yvxr Evyrl, ohg V guvax gung bhg bs ure ybir vagrerfgf ba gur fubj ur jnf gur orfg sbe ure. Fb V jnf tynq jura ur yrsg orpnhfr vg znqr guvatf zber vagrefgv- Bu qrne ybeq, qb V funer gur fnzr zvaqfrg nf Wbff Jurqba!? Zl ybir yvsr vf qbbzrq!

  69. notemily says:

    jryy, rkprcg sbe gur nggrzcgrq encr. gung jnf whfg onq. ohg gung tbrf jvgubhg fnlvat, v guvax.

    Lbh'q guvax fb, ohg sebz qvfphffvbaf V'ir frra ba guvf urer oybt, lbh arire xabj. :/

  70. Dee says:

    All the characters (except Giles, but of course) seem to be getting flak for their what they said or what they did etc in this or recent episodes.]

    Willow is meek and passive aggressive, Joyce reacted the wrong way. Xander is over-sensitive and almost always says the wrong thing. Buffy ran away from home and left no word of her well-being. Cordy is..well she's Cordy.

    And yet I love each one of these characters as if they were my friends. This is the reason why I love this show! They act out and fuck up but it comes from a place of truth and sincerity. Joss Whedon how do you write this?!

    • Binx says:

      We don't give them flak just for being imperfect and having not-shining moments. I'm pretty sure all of us actually love that, as it's the mark of a well-rounded and interesting character.

      When I and many others get irritated and speak up is when a character says/does something that's terrible and it just goes by ignored. That shows that the writer/s obviously wasn't aware of what they did or how they presented something, and forces us to be the ones to then point it out.

      For example, Xander stating that Buffy had ruined their lives for the past three months did not come from a place of "truth" – it had no truth in it, and yet everyone in the room just let him say it and moved on. The consensus is then "well, if they aren't going to say anything, we are".

      But that doesn't mean that we too don't love the characters and Joss' writing (for the most part). Buffy is a favorite amongst many of us – especially me. I have been an uber-fan for more than a decade. And that sort of dedication to and interest in something naturally comes with picking up a few criticisms along the way.

  71. yorkshiregal says:

    Excellent comments Mark. ITA that this is a painful conversation and I like that Joss went there.

    I think it's a really underrated episode.

  72. fandomphd says:

    I know you said that there's no right side, but I am completely on Buffy's side on this one. She has to do TERRIBLE THINGS in the course of her Slayerage and for that I am willing to forgive her for ANYTHING. I also I think I am still very much a teenage girl on the inside and running away because you're mad at everyone just sounds very satisfying. Like … that whole scene where she feels like nobody wants her, I was totally yelling at the screen "They don't appreciate you! Just leave again! Then see how you like it!" Clearly I need to work on this whole maturity thing …

    • Binx says:

      Yes, Team Buffy, definitely.

      'Cause…hey guys? Notice how you're not in a hell dimension and the world is still bright and sunny and goin' round, and you have your whole lives ahead of you? That's because of Buffy.

      You volunteering yourselves as a group for 12 weeks to do what she's been doing alone for years doesn't even come close to putting you on equal footing, let alone give you the moral high ground.

      And that's entirely besides your shitty complete lack of empathy for the fact that she was forced to kill her first true love for all of you.

      /Scoobie-directed rant.

      There is a right side, and it is blonde.

      • amyrouse says:

        There is a right side, and it is blonde.

        Yes. This. I cannot up vote this enough.

        Scoobies, you don't want to empathize with Buffy. Fine, whatev. Gurl don't need your approval. She proved that in Anne when she came to the realization that she was who she was without regards to anyone else. That was her moment where she matured immensely. That is why I loved Anne so much…it was Buffy's acceptance of herself, or her coming out.

        Just don't target her in front of a crowd she didn't even want in her own house. Don't avoid her. At least give her a chance to try to explain herself instead of avoiding her. Buffy was selfish and immature for running away? Sure, I can buy that. Doesn't excuse the selfish and immature actions of every single other person in this episode.

  73. TrampyMcBitca says:

    One of my least favourite episodes. I am actually angry with it because I forgot that this is the episode where Giles confronts Snyder.

    Some random comments about the episode:

    You can just take artifacts from a gallery to decorate your home?

    "It's angry at the room, Mom. It wants the room to suffer."

    How did Buffy get cleared of murder? Was it mentioned and I just forgot?

    The Espresso Pump!

    Ew, it's Pat!

    Aww, poor kitty.

    "Next time I get to pick the mother/daughter bonding activity"

    "You know, I wanted Forest Pine or April Fresh, but Mom wanted Dead Cat"

    Gathering/Shindig/Hootenanny I love Oz

    Giles, you might want to look at the book before you flip the page.

    "Do you like my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead! Americans."
    (Ohg vg'f fbzrguvat ur'q cebonoyl fryy ng gur Zntvp Obk. Yvxr gung vyyrtnyyl bognvarq fgnghr sebz Ohezn gung pna zryg uhzna rlronyyf)

    I think I'd like this episode more if it didn't contain any Xander.


    "Made you look!"

    Ok, why are Xander and Willow hiding behind the bed while Joyce is fighting a zombie by herself?

    How convenient, the zombies just disappear. I guess poor Patches is gone too.

    "Would you like me to convince you?" I love it when Ripper surfaces.

    I liked the back and forth at the end between Buffy and Willow.

    Vg'f yvxr n qeht! AB! Ab qeht zrgncubef!!!

  74. trepkos says:

    Joyce can complain at Buffy all she wants but SHE told her that if she left, she should never come back.
    The scene where Buffy tells Joyce she'd even rather be studying is one that makes me tear up every time – for Buffy, not Joyce. I pretty much hated the Scoobies for being so selfish in this episode. I don't see how Buffy could (emotionally) have done anything else BUT run away, having killed the love of her life. How can you talk about that straight away? You can't. And arranging for all her non-friends to suddenly, overwhelmingly, invade the house was the stupidest thing they've done.

  75. BornIn1142 says:

    To be honest, Buffy held the entirety of my sympathy this episode. I felt bad that everyone seemed to be ganging up on her while she was in such a sorry state – especially since she didn't even throw Joyce's comment about things being easier without her back in her face.

    Anyway, I think this episode presents a MAJOR missed opportunity. I would have really liked it if the Scoobies and the partygoers had completely missed the zombie holocaust going on due to the argument going on, and the whole situation had been resolved by an exasperated Giles busting in and breaking the mask on his own. I can see how that wouldn't have been quite as dramatic as what we got, but it would have been darn hilarious!

  76. Raenef_the_5th says:

    No season 3 banner πŸ˜• Should we get our photoshopping skills on?

  77. candace says:

    I enjoyed reading your perspective Mark, I always have a hard time with how everyone treats Buffy in this episode. Xander, Willow & Giles have spent 2 years fighting by Buffy's side, they know she had to kill Angel; I always feel like they should have given her the benefit of the doubt and realized that if Buffy took off there must have been a reason. And Joyce did tell Buffy at the end of season 2 that if she walked out she shouldn't bother coming back. So I always felt like they should have given her a chance to explain herself. But if I was one of the friends that Buffy left behind, I would have been hurt for sure so it is a messy situation.

  78. Noybusiness says:

    I love that line!

    [youtube RBOo8pOkwwM youtube]

  79. rianne says:

    Giles hotwiring a car and saying "Just like riding a bicycle."

  80. NB2000 says:

    V'z thrffvat Wblpr fgrccrq va ba gung bar, cebonoyl juvyr fur jnf erzbivat nyy gur bgure cvrprf fur'q chg hc jvgu gur znfx (fur qbrf fnl " n srj cvrprf").

  81. Danielle says:

    I should have clarified and said "modern, mainstream Judeo-Christian faiths". So not so much modern Catholicism, but a lot of the older mystery traditions and gnostic falls under Western Mystery tradtions for me (much in the same way Qabalah/Kabalah does for Jewish faiths).

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