Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S03E12 – Helpless

In the twelfth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I AM SERIOUSLY SO UPSET. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

Dear David Fury,

I don’t know what you are trying to do to me. I don’t know where you get off thinking that it is at all acceptable to play with my heart like this. I am offended. I am outraged. And it is time for me to write you a furious and angry letter.

In many ways, Giles is the moral core of the Scoobies. He is reliable. He is dependable. He is full of knowledge, advice, and tact. He is the one thing the Scoobies can always turn to. He is the one person who regularly has Buffy’s back, who cares for her, who tries to help her be a better Slayer and a better person, and who routinely acts the most selfless out of the group. He just put aside his burning discomfort and rage for Angel a few episodes ago in order to help him! This show has spent years bringing us to this point, too. In a way, Giles is Buffy’s father, or at least a father figure to her. He’s even compatible with Joyce! THIS IS ALL WONDERFUL! He’s such a fantastic part of her life!

AND YOU DECIDED TO DECONSTRUCT THIS. You decided to take that implicit, unspoken trust that Buffy has in Giles, and you put Giles in a situation where he must exploit that. He has to purposely break her trust, lie to her face, and put her at risk for death. He has to do this JUST DAYS AFTER BUFFY’S OWN FATHER DISAPPOINTS HER. In the process, he stands up to the Council of Watchers. (I have no idea if this is the actual name for it, but whatever. I’m so angry I don’t care.) And after standing up to this organization that would justify doing such a horrible thing to a Slayer, HE IS FIRED. HE IS PUNISHED BY THE COUNCIL FOR TREATING BUFFY LIKE A DAUGHTER. Something that is lovely and pure and gorgeous is treated like an abominable sin by Quentin Travers, whose face I will hate on principle from here until eternity.

On top of this, you made Buffy’s “test” for her eighteenth birthday happen anyway, and you wrote the scene to unfold like a slasher movie, and it’s utterly terrifying. You want me to feel absolutely no good things from this episode, and it is not fair. You even wrote a line in the episode about not being in the business of being fair. YOU KNEW I WOULD SAY THIS WAS NOT FAIR. I hate that you are already aware of how distressed I would be by watching “Helpless.” Wait, is the title of this episode an accurate description of how I feel right now? GREAT. THERE’S THAT, TOO.

This whole episode addresses the idea of Buffy’s identity and how tied it is to her being a Slayer. Your episode made me think things about my own identity. Like, what if you took away my gayness? (Don’t fucking write anything about that, dude, I swear. You’ve already upset me enough for one lifetime.) I don’t even know who I’d be without that. And then you have Angel telling Buffy he loves her regardless of her powers, and you melt my heart right before you crush it.

You are evil, David Fury. You have taken joy from me. So here’s my angry letter to you. You can’t even complain about it because it’s now established canon that Willow is going to write an angry letter to the Council, thereby validating my own actions. I suppose I should thank you for that. For the time being, though, I’m watching you. You’re not allowed to do this again. I’M WARNING YOU.

Yours,
Mark

PS: I better not find out that you wrote anything in the script about the Scoobies making PB&J sandwiches with smooth peanut butter. Crunchy only in my world. I will fight you on that.

PPS: Nice touch by having Buffy kill Kralik with the Holy Water. I still am not forgiving you, though.

 

Dear Joss Whedon,

Stop enabling your writers to be evil. Just stop it.

Yours,
Mark

PS: Just a heads up. Whomever is Buffy’s next Watcher now that Giles has been fired will be irrationally hated by yours truly. I don’t care. They’re not Giles. They deserve all of my hatred.

Death Count: 3. Kralik, Blair, Hobson. Total: 34

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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404 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S03E12 – Helpless

  1. <img src="http://i.imgur.com/fW1xZ.jpg"&gt;

    ILU BUFFY.

    In other news, here are pictures from the Mark Does Stuff Tour Kick-off Party! It was a fun, nerdy time indicative of the fun, nerdy times to come. And there was some Q&A. Behold:

    Show He's Most Looking Forward to Watching: Supernatural. Because he likes Zvfun Pbyyvaf's faaaaaaace.

    Book He's Most Looking Forward to Reading: The Newsflesh Trilogy!!!

    In conclusion, Mark is a big horror fan.

    (There was other stuff, but it is TOP SECRET NYAH NYAH stuff he might talk about on the tour, so I don't want to spoil it. I look forward to hearing about all you guys meeting each other and having fun!)

    • Clare says:

      …Zvfun qbrfa'g fubj hc hagvy frnfba SBHE. Bu, Znex.

    • NB2000 says:

      THIS MACRO AND YOUR COMMENT ARE PERFECT! Seriously that's almost exactly what I wrote in my notes for this episode.

      • I just love SMG's dry, badass delivery.

        • Dru says:

          Even more than I love the fact that it's Buffy's badass brain that saves her when she's physically incapacitated. (I remember being REALLY glad I was alone in the house while watching this, because ngl, I CHEERED at the bit with the holy water).

          Buffy ilu.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      *sigh*

      That tour sure does sound like fun…

      RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU'VE EVER FELT PERSONALLY VICTIMISED BY THE ATLANTIC OCEAN.

    • dasmondschaf says:

      Oh man I meant to go to last night's shindig but instead I stayed home doing a rush job for my freelance work ;_; Sounds like it was fun!

      • ZOMG AHIRU ICON.

        Mark is going to try to organize more events for the locals, so I hope you can join us sometime!

        • dasmondschaf says:

          Yay more events! I mean, it didn't help that I was also feeling SO SHY OMG ALL THE MARK-DOES-STUFF FOLKS ARE TOO COOL FOR ME TO HANDLE, but I'd like to make it to an event one of these days!

          Re: my icon–Cevaprff Ghgh vf zl frpbaq snibevgr navzr nsgre Hgran! Nyfb V sryg gur arrq gb EBG13 orpnhfr V'z fher Znex qbrfa'g rira xabj Cevaprff Ghgh vf nobhg n Qhpx; ubj tybevbhf.

          • tigerpetals says:

            Re: the rot13 – V qba'g xabj nobhg beqre ohg gurl ner nzbat zl snibevgrf. Ubj pna n fubj or fb tbbq.

    • KatieHal says:

      That is awesome because I love that show and I love that book series!

    • I saw on one of your Facebook comments that you think Mark looks like Zachary Quinto…

      THANK YOU! I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE!

      I've seen and heard Quinto in real life and there are some definite similarities between the two. Especially with the new haircut. Quinto is like the missing triplet O-o

    • robin_comments says:

      "Supernatural. Because he likes Zvfun Pbyyvaf's faaaaaaace."
      Guvf znxrf zr fnq orpnhfr gur natryf cybgyvar vf zl nofbyhgr yrnfg snibevgr cneg bs Fhcreangheny naq abj V jbeel gung uvf erivrjf naq zr jba'g zvk, naq fbzrubj V unir orpbzr rzbgvbanyyl vairfgrq va guvf. V ynhtu ng zlfrys. OHG NG YRNFG V JVYY TRG GUERR FRNFBAF BS WBL.

    • _Bailey_ says:

      "Show He's Most Looking Forward to Watching: Supernatural. Because he likes Zvfun Pbyyvaf's faaaaaaace."

      Who doesn't?

    • BradSmith5 says:

      Thank you so much for the pictures and info. I cried when Mark went to Broomfest or whatever and the only picture I saw was from some guy in the back row. πŸ™

    • Coughdrop01 says:

      MAN I am SO disappointed I couldn't come to this. I had class last night and I'm in grad school so missing class is roughly equivalent to murdering babies. All this means is that IT MUST HAPPEN AGAIN.

    • Katie says:

      Supernatural and face: then he _really_ should watch Gilmore Girls (yes, yes, I'll make my way over to the suggestions page and make the suggestion there, just that for days now there have been signs that Mark really should watch Gilmore Girls. Plus, that guy is way cuter on GG than on Supernatural…

      • awildmiri says:

        I think you're mixing up Zvfun Pbyyvaf (Pnfgvry) and Wnerq Cnqnyrpxv (Fnz). They're both very attractive, though, so I can see the confusion.

        • Clare says:

          Fnz! That looks so funny. Everyone's going to get really good at translating "Fnz naq Qrna" from rot13 pretty fast, aren't they?

          (Nyfb V'z ubarfgyl ybbxvat sbejneq gb Znex'f ernpgvba gb Wrafra Npxyrf, orpnhfr V fjrne gung zna vf abg uhzna. Rfcrpvnyyl uvf F1 naq F2 yriryf bs cerggvarff.)

    • GamgeeFest says:

      Supernatural!!!!!! I will rewatch with him if he watches this!

  2. Seventh_Star says:

    so, the council finally shows up, and, when they do, you just want them to go away. they're nothing but condescending to giles, and they're downright cruel to buffy, while hiding behind the guise of tradition and civility. AND THEY FIRE GILES. AND FUCK THEM.

    -guvf svefg fprar jvgu gur pelfgnyf nyjnlf erzvaqf zr bs gur cneg bs tvyrf' qernz frdhrapr va "erfgyrff" jurer ur vf qnatyvat gur jngpu va sebag bs ohssl'f snpr. naq gura v whfg jnaan jngpu "erfgyrff" orpnhfr vg'f shpxvat terng.

    -a phallic crystal joke. fun for everyone.

    -"ice is cool. it's water, but it's not."

    are you stoned, oz?

    -vg'f gung perrcl zbgureshpxre, enpx. v fnj guvf npgbe ba FIH bapr, cynlvat n perrcl zbgureshpxre. guvf cbbe thl cebonoyl pna'g trg nal bgure xvaq bs npgvat wbo.

    -"guys? reality?"

    oh, buffy. i enjoy any sort of line like this cos LOL THIS IS A SHOW ABOUT VAMPIRES AND OTHER SUNDRY SUPERNATURAL CREATURES.

    -"that's beautiful. or taken literally, incredibly gross."

    this is one of my favorite bangel exchanges. the characters are self-aware and have senses of humor even when they're declaring their undying love for one another.

    -watching buffy being chased here is so much worse than the similar situation created in "halloween". buffy hasn't magically transformed into a helpless creature; you're seeing buffy as she actually would be if she were not the slayer.

    -necessary comic relief from cordelia chase.

    buffy: i don't know you.

    cordelia: did something take her memory? he's giles. GI-LES (the accompanying hand movement kills me). he hangs out here a lot.

    -kralik pressing the cross to his stomach, and taking sexual pleasure from it, is one of the most disturbing images in this or any btvs episode. WHY, GOD?

    -i think the holy water bit is clever. i do. it was established that kralik needed those pills to function, and buffy used that to her advantage. it only leaves superficial burns on their skin, but i would imagine that ingesting the stuff would result in death.

    -the xander-can't-open-the-peanut-butter-jar gag is a good gag. i usually like it when shows end on something inconsequential.

    • cait0716 says:

      I think Oz is always stoned. That's why he's so laid-back. And so bad at playing the guitar.

      I love the defeat by holy water. Buffy may not be good at school, but she's actually super smart and a really quick thinker, even when she's terrified.

      • Dru says:

        And that is what makes her such a badass Slayer, and is probably why she's survived as long as she has on the job – I can't imagine most Slayers live to see their 18th birthday, if they were called up before it.

        And oh, Watcher's Council. FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCKFACES.

    • DreamRose311 says:

      vg'f gung perrcl zbgureshpxre, enpx. v fnj guvf npgbe ba FIH bapr, cynlvat n perrcl zbgureshpxre. guvf cbbe thl cebonoyl pna'g trg nal bgure xvaq bs npgvat wbo.

      Uru whfg fnj uvz va na rcvfbqr bs Arj Tvey. Perrcl Ynaqybeq. Bx, abg perrcl, whfg zvfhaqrefgbbq. Uvf ibvpr jvyy arire or abg erpbtavmnoyr, naq V jvyy nyjnlf vafgnagyl fuhqqre nf zl oenva urnef uvz fnl 'Fgenjoreel'.

    • robin_comments says:

      -"that's beautiful. or taken literally, incredibly gross."
      Jura Natry fnlf ur jnf whfg guvaxvat gung gbb, ur frrzf FB ZHPU yvxr NgF Natry gung V whfg jnag gb uht uvz sbe n zbzrag.

    • Rayne says:

      Jeff Kober (Kralik) will always be Dodger from China Beach for me (not dating myself at all!) Or Deadalus from Kindred: The Embraced.

    • GamgeeFest says:

      I love that scene in the library with Cordy. She's just hilarious.

      "If the world doesn't end, I'm going to need a note."

  3. hpfish13 says:

    Sheesh, the members of the Watcher’s council are worse than the Time Lords from Classic Who. They both get on my nerves, but at least the Time Lords have their silly costumes to distract me. This “tradition” of theirs is truly horrific and makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

    But really, this episode is all about Buffy and Giles and their relationship. It breaks my heart that when Buffy is coming to Giles to have act in her absent father’s stead on her birthday, that is the point at which he is seemingly betraying her. Honestly, when I first watched this episode, I started freaking out when Giles pulled out that syringe. I was like “WHAT?!! GILES WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HAVE YOU SUDDENLY TURNED EVIL?”

    Watching Buffy struggle with having no strength is incredibly awful. And particularly this bit “I guess. But what if I can't? I've seen too much. I know what goes bump in the night. Not being able to fight it… What if I just hide under my bed, all scared and helpless?” It’s not just for herself that Buffy feels lost without her powers. She hates the idea of not being able to help people, to fight the fight, to keep evil in check.

    I just broke down crying when watching her find out that it was Giles who did this to her. She always has felt like she could rely on Giles, he was a rock in the chaos of her life. And now she finds out that he’s been the one who’s caused her to feel this awful, to put her in a state that just almost got her killed.

    Buffy: You bastard. All this time, you saw what it was doing to me. All this time, and you didn't say a word!
    Giles: I wanted to.
    Buffy: Liar.
    Giles: In matters of tradition and protocol, I must answer to the Council. My role in this… was very specific. I was to administer the injections and to direct you to the old boardinghouse on Prescott Lane.
    Buffy: (crying and shaking her head) I can't… I can't hear this.
    Giles: Buffy, please.
    Buffy: Who are you? How could you do this to me?
    Giles: I am deeply sorry, Buffy, (reaches out to her) and you have to understand…
    Buffy: If you touch me, I'll kill you.
    Giles: (imploringly) You have to listen to me. Because I've told you this, the test is invalidated. You will be safe now, I promise you. Now, whatever I have to do to deal with Kralik… and to win back your trust…
    Buffy: (interrupts, sobbing) You stuck a needle in me. You poisoned me!
    And now that fabulous pseudo-parental relationship is broken. And honestly the first time I watched this I felt so betrayed by Giles.

    But Giles comes back from this! When he tells off the Watchers and runs off to help Buffy I actually cheered! And then he helps to save the day. And gets fired for interfering, and you can see the bond between him and Buffy beginning to re-form in that moment. And then she lets him treat the wound on her head. And then I started crying all over again.

    A few lighter notes:
    •What was going on with Willow’s hats in this episode? Seriously, why costumers, why?
    •Cordelia was great in this episode. The heartfelt way she says “Of course” just gets to me each time I watch this episode. She realizes so much is going on, but she’s not going to press the issue.
    •Buffy’s slaying of Zackary Kralik is in my top favorite creative slayings done by Buffy (this list also includes Buffy killing the Judge with the rocket launcher, and the “Did I get it?” moment in the last episode)
    •Qvq gur zhfvp jura gurl svefg fubjrq gur cynpr gur Jngpure’f jrer cercnevat fbhaq n yvggyr ovg yvxr gur zhfvp sebz “Uhfu” gb nalbar ryfr?

    And now the official stuff!
    Episode 12: Helpless
    Written by David Fury, Directed by James A. Contner
    Original Airdate: 1/19/99
    “As Buffy’s 18th birthday approaches, she begins losing her powers. When she finds out from Giles that it is a test that she must pass at this age, she feels betrayed by him. As she struggles to regain her powers, Giles is fired for not being an impartial Watcher.”

    In other words “Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, spoilers, and more spoilers.”

    • What the heeeeeeeell is that description??

      Buffy’s slaying of Zackary Kralik is in my top favorite creative slayings done by Buffy (this list also includes Buffy killing the Judge with the rocket launcher, and the “Did I get it?” moment in the last episode)
      I also like the one with a No. 2 pencil. Really, there are so many to choose from! But I do love this one for showing that Buffy is actually smart in addition to being strong. I mean, that's kind of the whole point of the test, and, like, I think I support that idea if they took away her powers with her consent? And, like, with supervision in case things got hairy? It's obviously good not to rely too much on your superpowers.

      • alwaysAmy says:

        But how would they get a new more adaptable slayer that way? You don't get a new slayer till the old one dies and I don't see anybody volunteering for retirement.
        That's what makes the watcher counsel Evil. they view slayers as expendable, If one dies they move on to the next.
        How many slayers have died of this kind of test over the years? It's not like slayers have a tendency to die of old age. How many times has the watcher counsel "retired' a slayer?

    • cait0716 says:

      Cordelia is amazing! This scene shows so how far she's come since the first season. And even since The Wish. I like that she can be there for Buffy like this.

      God, even the transcript of that scene makes me tear up

      • icy says:

        Triple that on Cordelia–I like that this episode showed quite clearly that Xander's folly didn't cause her to revert to Cordelia 1.0 but brought on Cordelia 3.0, sassy as ever, with layers!

      • Karen says:

        YESSSS. I love seeing that Cordelia HAS been changed by her experiences as a Scooby. <3

    • knut_knut says:

      I love Cordelia in this episode too <3 She doesn’t question Buffy, and even though she’s being her usual, tactless self, you can tell she really does care when she says "of course".

      Willow’s hats were amazing! They were the one happy thing in this really upsetting episode.

    • ZeynepD says:

      "V pna'g… V pna'g urne guvf. "

      …V zvtug or zvferzrzorevat, ohg vfa'g guvf nyzbfg _rknpgyl_ jung fur fnlf jura Tvyrf gryyf ure va Frnfba 6 gung ur jvyy yrnir? Qhevat "Gnohyn Enfn," V guvax? Hsssss, zl npuvat urneg…

  4. Dear David Fury,

    And it is time for me to write you a furious and angry letter.
    I see what you did there.

    Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq.
    Abbbbb, Jrfyrl vf njrfbzr naq unf bar bs gur orfg punenpgre nepf va gur frevrf! Ohg vg'f bxnl gb ungr uvz ng svefg. Ur'f xvaq bs n ceng.

    • cait0716 says:

      Rirelbar ungrf uvz ng svefg! Gung'f cneg bs gur gevpx gb trg lbh gb yvxr uvz va gur raq. Nf gur punenpgref pbzr nebhaq, fb qbrf gur nhqvrapr.

    • Nattlinnen says:

      Jrfyrl qrfreirf nyy ungerq hc gb ur fgevcf bhg bs gung yrngure guvat va Natry. Gura znnnlor lbh pna gnxr uvz frevbhfyl. Ubjrire, ur'f terng yngre ba.

    • L_Storm says:

      V qvfnterr… sbe zhpu bs uvf graher ba obgu Ohssl naq Natry, gurer vf ab "xvaq bs" ur'f whfg n ceng.

    • Seventh_Star says:

      vs v whfg unq uvf punenpgrevmngvba ba ogif gb tb ba, v cebonoyl jbhyqa'g pner sbe uvz zhpu, rkprcg sbe gur snpg gung ur vf gunaxyrffyl shaal, naq nccneragyl unf ab rtb nf na npgbe.
      ohg orpnhfr bs uvf qrirybczrag ba natry, v unir tebja gb ybir uvz fb zhpu. fcvxr vf gur bayl punenpgre va gur ohsslirefr gung v ybir zber guna jrfyrl.

    • JRFYRL OR FGVYY ZL URNNNNNNNEG!!! :Q

      Gur oblsevraq naq V jrer jngpuvat gur raq bs Frnfba 5 bs Natry ynfg avtug, naq V erznexrq gung Znex jnf whfg nobhg trggvat gb gur cbvag jurer ur vf vavgvnyyl vagebqhprq va Frnfba Guerr bs Ohssl. Vg'f FHPU n jbaqreshy punenpgre nep Jrfyrl unf, vg whfg znxrf zr tvqql. Abg rirelguvat vf tbbq, bs pbhefr, naq ur znxrf fbzr ubeevoyr zvfgnxrf naq shpxf hc. Ohg uvf punenpgre qrirybczrag vf whfg gehyl erznexnoyr. V ybirf uvz. <3

      Bs pbhefr, V shyyl rkcrpg Znex gb unnnnnngr uvz jvgu gur oheavat sverf bs entr jura ur'f svefg vagebqhprq.

    • Ophiucha says:

      Jura ur fnvq gung, V yvgrenyyl synvyrq n yvggyr va zl frng. Jrfyrl vf cenpgvpnyyl Pbeqryvn 2.0 jura vg pbzrf gb VAFNAR punenpgre nepf. Naq jr unira'g rira *ortha* Pbeqryvn'f, ernyyl. Abg va gur tenaq fpurzr bs guvatf. Ur'yy unir gb jnvg Jrf ng svefg. V guvax zbfg crbcyr qvq. OHG TBQ UR'F WHFG FB HACERCNERQ.

    • sirintegra42 says:

      Nuuuuuuu. V pna'g jnvg gb frr jung ur guvaxf bs uvz. V zrna va gur ortvaavat ur'f n pbzcyrgr orex ohg ur'f fb uvynevbhf gung vg'f uneq gb pbzcyrgryl ungr uvz. Gura ur orpbzrf n pbzcyrgr ONZS, rrrrxxxx.

      Nyfb, V jrag guebhtu nyy bs Ubj V Zrg Lbhe Zbgure n pbhcyr bs zbaguf ntb sbe fbzr ernfba naq Fnaql Eviref cebirf gung Nyrkvf Qravfbs ernyyl qbrfa'g pner nobhg ybbxvat yvxr n zhccrg :).

    • Kickpuncher says:

      Ohg jung vs Jrfyrl orvat xvaq bs n ceng vf unys bs gur ernfba V ybir uvz?

    • Linzy says:

      Nhtuuuu, qnzzvg, arneyl frira lrnef nsgre gur Natry Frnfba svanyr naq V'z fgvyy grnevat hc ng gur zragvba bs Jrfyrl.

      Zhfg abg pel… zhfg abg pel… zhfg abg pel…

      :fbof:

    • @mossomness says:

      V jvyy ybir Jrfyrl Jlaqnz-Cevpr hagvy gur qnl gung V qvr, naq V guvax Znex jvyy ybir uvz gbb. : )

  5. glyneth says:

    Ohg Znex, Qnivq Shel tbg gur Zhfgneq Bhg!

  6. knut_knut says:

    Dear Joss Whedon (I’m just going to pin this all on him because SOMEHOW it’s his fault)

    <img src="http://i1168.photobucket.com/albums/r489/knutiscute/hate-elijah.gif"&gt;

    I HATE YOU SO MUCH. I hate what you did to Buffy and to Giles, and I hate that this episode was so good. WHY MUST YOU GIVE YOUR CHARACTERS DEPTH? Why can’t Giles just be the loveable, British Watcher? Why am I so attached to these characters on a show that aired over 10 years ago? The first thing that popped into my head after the episode ended was “I wish I was a dog so I could shit all over everything Joss Whedon loves and not get carted off to jail”. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever thought. Look at what you’ve done to me.

    • darkwater says:

      Aww.. hugs!

      And yet.. this episode was awesome. Admit it.

      • knut_knut says:

        yes…it was pretty awesome. But not in the "hmm, I think I'll rewatch Helpless today!" kind of way. I don't want to relive all the disappointment!

    • sirintegra42 says:

      That video is both hilarious and terrifying. How are your eyes real Elijah? Dominic Monaghmannaman has to be my favourite part though :D.

      Now you finally start to understand the true evil of Joss. He will KILL EVERYONE YOU LOVE and you'll still keep watching just to get constantly punched in the face every time something terrible happens.

      • knut_knut says:

        I LOVE THAT PART! Especially because I have no idea how to actually pronounce Dom's name so that's how I say it in my head xD

        • sirintegra42 says:

          I think it's Mon-a-han but with a short a, not like Han as in Han Solo :D. I think some people with that surname pronounce it more like Mona-hern though so I have no idea. It's one of those things where once you start thinking about it you start to doubt yourself.

    • Dru says:

      All I can see is his TERRIFYING resemblance to Andrew Scott's Moriarty **shivers**

  7. cait0716 says:

    I almost have coherent thoughts. Almost.

    This episode really drives in how expendable the slayer is in the eyes of the Council. They put her through this archaic ritual in the guise of training her or honing her skills. And Quentin Travers really doesn't seem at all concerned that Buffy could die. If she does, well, another slayer will just get called. He doesn't care about the person at all because in his eyes, the slayer is just a tool for him to wield however he wants.

    Season 3 spoilers:
    Vg cynlf vagb gur znva gurzr bs guvf frnfba juvpu vf gung gur cngevnepul fhpxf. Ohssl qrsrngf gjb ercerfragngvbaf bs gur cngevnepul ol gur raq bs guvf frnfba. Fur xvyyf gur znlbe naq nyfb dhvgf gur Pbhapvy. Jr'er ragrevat gur onpx unys bs gur frnfba, fb gurfr gurzrf ner fgnegvat gb cbc hc, whfg yvxr gurl qvq ynfg lrne nebhaq Ohssl'f oveguqnl.

    This episode also demonstrates Buffy's amazing capacity for forgiveness. Giles betrayed her. He violated her bodily integrity and then lied to her about it. And when he does come clean, it's too little, too late. But when Buffy sees how trapped how was, and how much he ended up sacrificing in an attempt to be on her side, she's able to forgive him. I'm not sure if that forgiveness would have come so easily if he hadn't been fired. He is (or was) as much a tool of the Council as she is. His attempts to buck the system are what pave the way for them to repair their relationship.

  8. monkeybutter says:

    <img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/200zo1d.png"&gt;
    Immediate thought: oh god, Giles is working with Nina!!

  9. enigmaticagentscully says:

    THE WATCHERS ARE DICKS THE WATCHERS ARE DICKS THE WATCHERS ARE COMPLETE AND UTTER DICKS.

    I’m just gonna admit this now – the fact that Malcolm Reed from Star Trek: Enterprise was in this episode was really goddamn distracting. I’m glad that Willow is still trying to turn Amy back from being a rat though. That’s good to know.

    But I digress.

    Buffy really has bad luck with her birthdays, huh?
    So…there’s a ritual where they take away the Slayer’s powers and lock her in a house with a vampire?? The fuck? Who came up with that? That is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas. Ok, I need to know more about the Watchers because they are just a supremely weird organisation. Seriously, fuck those guys. Who ever thought that was a good plan?

    “Hey, lets take this innocent teenage girl who’s been risking her life daily battling evil with no choice in the matter, and reward her by stripping her of her only defences and putting her in a life-threatening situation. Just to pass some arbitrary test that we thought up because we don’t trust that all the times she’s saved the world before means she’s good enough.”

    And Giles goes along with it! The moment he took out that needle…ohhhh my god I just started shrieking ‘WHAT THE HELL WHAT THE HELL WHAT THE HELL???” at the screen. That is just SO fucked up! He’s DRUGGING her without her knowledge and…GOD. How COULD he? I mean, at least he felt bad about it and changed his mind enough to eventually tell her and help her I guess?

    Urgh, I don’t even know. I mean, in the end it looks like Buffy forgave him so I guess I can too. He did risk everything to save her life, and after all he’s done so far for her…maybe we can call this a blip and move on. Everyone on this show has done something I find pretty awful at one point or another (except maybe Willow?) and I can sort of accept that these things are bound to happen as a result of the weird-ass lives they lead. But this is a BIG one. It’s lucky Giles is my favourite character, because I’m much more forgiving with him. I suppose he did get fired and all, which evens the score a little.

    Still. Bad Giles. NO BISCUIT.

    The important question is…who’s going to be the new Watcher? Please be a woman please be a woman please be a woman. Fuck it, I secretly just want Gwendolyn Post back. Why did she have to be evil??

    • SecretGirl127 says:

      I had the same problem with Malcolm Reed. Not that he was bad, but that he was Malcolm Reed from Star Trek.

      What, no comments from your dad?

      • darkwater says:

        What about sister?

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          Actually, she did say that if she were in charge of the Watchers, she’d devise it so that the test was really secretly a test for the Watcher, not the Slayer.

          That in order to pass the test, the Watcher must crack and reveal to his/her Slayer what’s going on (whilst believing they are defying the Council to do so), thus proving that they care enough about their charge to put the Slayer’s safety above anything else, including their orders.
          Hence the test would actually be about the relationship between Slayer and Watcher, and how well they work as a team, rather than a simple test of the Slayer’s strength.

          So that was pretty interesting, I thought. But obviously now we know more about the Watchers we know they are complete controlling douchebags who wouldn’t do anything like that, because they don’t actually care about the Slayer, only about their own agenda.

          I keep telling her to get an account on Mark Watches, but she insists she doesn't have anything to contribute.

    • Laneswitch says:

      I think they do the test as way to get rid of slayers they dont like, or to keep the slager from being able to grow up enough to get out from under their control. If you think about it, if Buffy hadnt been warned, she wouldnt have had holy water on her and wouldnt have been able to poison the vampire. There is realistically NO WAY that Buffy could have lived through that without being able to prepare.

      The watchers arnt dicks, Theyre COLD BLOODED MURDERERS.

      Also, why doesnt anyone ever kill in luke warm blood?

    • darkwater says:

      THE WATCHERS ARE DICKS

      True. Heheh

      Lrnnnnu… Jvyybj… jnvgvat cngvragyl sbe ure zntvp nqqvpgvba naq Frnfba Fvk shaf!

    • gonzoron says:

      Wait, what? Malcom Reed? I have to back and watch this again now that I have Enterprise-infused eyes.

      I apologize in advance, but, everytime I hear the show mentioned I must do this, but I'll rot13 it for those who haven't watched Enterprise:
      Gevc qvqa'g qvr, qnzzvg! Naq Evxre naq Gebv, V yvxr lbh thlf jryy rabhtu ba lbhe bja fubj, ohg trg gur shpx bhg bs zl svanyr!

      • Rob M says:

        Vg'f nyy Evxre'f ubybqrpx snagnfl. Abar bs vg npghnyyl unccrarq. Vg'n pyrneyl abg erny orpnhfr jul jbhyq ur chg ba n sng fhvg whfg gb tb cynl va gur ubybqrpx? Ur'f pyrneyl abg gung jryy-cebcbegvbarq va gur Arkg Tra rcvfbqr vg'f fhccbfrq gb or na vagreyhqr sebz.

      • Noybusiness says:

        Gurer'f npghnyyl n abiry qribgrq gb ergpbaavat gung rcvfbqr. Gur uvfgbevpny er-ranpgzrag vf jebat orpnhfr Gevc jnf vaibyirq jvgu Frpgvba 31, naq gubhtu ur bssvpvnyyl qvrq, ur ernyyl qvqa'g.

    • rabbitape says:

      I suspect the thought process behind the test was more like, “Hey, lets take this innocent teenage girl who’s been risking her life daily battling evil with no choice in the matter, and reward her by stripping her of her only defences and putting her in a life-threatening situation. Just to emphasize that even though she has the Slayer abilities, we are the ones in control, and we are the ones in power, not her. That'll keep her in line, right?”

      • g_aurelia says:

        It is all about power. Power over the slayer and the watcher.

      • stormwreath says:

        Even more cynically:

        "Let's take this innocent person who's just reached 18, and so is now an adult and will probably start thinking for herself and being assertive – and put her in a situation where she'll probably get killed. At which point, a meek, naive 15-year old girl will be called as the next Slayer, so we'll be able to control her properly. But we'll call it a 'test' and pretend the Slayer is supposed to be able to pass it, so she won't get too suspicious."

        • Nos says:

          This is pretty much fanon at this point.

        • EMM says:

          I ran into that theory via Liz Marcs (fanfic author) and thought it was was scarily plausible. It's not like vampires only show up in Sunnydale. Getting a new one popping up somewhere else means that Evil gets culled globally via a random-walk. Much more sensible than keeping one individual in a single location (with growing independence).

    • robin_comments says:

      He’s DRUGGING her without her knowledge and…GOD. How COULD he? I mean, at least he felt bad about it and changed his mind enough to eventually tell her and help her I guess?
      I like to imagine that if Jenny had lived then she would have broken up with him for like 4 or 5 episodes at this point, despite Buffy's forgiveness. (it actually would have been a great twisted mirror of the S2 betrayal subplot)

      • enigmaticagentscully says:

        I imagine she would have been really pissed off with him, at the very least. Or perhaps she would have been able to talk him out of it? I feel like Giles does need someone to temper his whole dedicated-to-being-a-Watcher thing, and Jenny fitted that role pretty well. Since his personal life has been effectively screwed recently, it means his sole identity is his role as Watcher, and that (in my opinion) makes him more willing to go along with what they want.

        You know, it is very interesting how similar Jenny's character is to Giles in many ways. They're both people with kind of shady pasts, who are willing to do things they might personally find morally dubious in order to comply with the wishes of a greater authority. It's interesting that Buffy came down so hard on Jenny for her actions, but forgave Giles quite readily. I guess just because she has that closer friendship with Giles anyway.

        • sirintegra42 says:

          Now my heart hurts. I need some kind of macro of that line from Futurama, 'I made myself sad'. I will never forgive them for killing Jenny, as much as I love Passion as an episode in some masochistic way.

          • enigmaticagentscully says:

            I'm right with you.

            I said I'd never get over it, and I still haven't. It makes my stomach hurt to think about it. πŸ™

        • Hanna_the_Glam says:

          I think she'd be able to talk him out of it. Really, just being able to put into words what he was expected to do would probably make him talk himself out of it. That's one of his problems — he's got no one on the outside to share with except the Scoobies, and they aren't his peers.

    • g_aurelia says:

      Rirelbar ba guvf fubj unf qbar fbzrguvat V svaq cerggl njshy ng bar cbvag be nabgure (rkprcg znlor Jvyybj?)

      Bu, jba'g frnfba fvk or sha?

    • ghostofdurruti says:

      Rirelbar ba guvf fubj unf qbar fbzrguvat V svaq cerggl njshy ng bar cbvag be nabgure rkprcg znlor Jvyybj

      "Bar bs gurz'f qvssrerag guna gur bguref. Avpre. [Fur]'f gur bar gb jngpu bhg sbe."

    • Noybusiness says:

      "I’m just gonna admit this now – the fact that Malcolm Reed from Star Trek: Enterprise was in this episode was really goddamn distracting."

      Oh, THAT'S where I recognized him from!

    • Ginny C. says:

      Does is "distract" anyone that Principal Snyder was once a STTNG Feringi (sp?)? πŸ™‚

    • Dru says:

      THE WATCHERS ARE DICKS THE WATCHERS ARE DICKS THE WATCHERS ARE COMPLETE AND UTTER DICKS.

      ……………..cosigned, Dru. Oh, and also FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCKFACED ASSHOLES I HATE YOU PLEASE GO GET EATEN BY VAMPIRES AND THEN DIE IN A FIRE.
      _________________________________

  10. guest_age says:

    Envfr lbhe unaq vs lbh abj pna abg JNVG sbe Znex gb frr gur wbhearl Jrfyrl gnxrf va NgF. (Be Pbeqryvn be Natry uvzfrys, sbe gung znggre.)

    0 .

  11. settlingforhistory says:

    Today we learn that the Watchers Council is not only incompetent but also a great bunch of jackasses.

    "He likes it when I call nim daddy" „Your father. It is your father?“ Such silly joke, but I always laugh at David’s dry delivery.

    So sweet that Buffy wants to go with Giles to the ice show and even more painful that he breaks Buffy’s heart later on.

    The sudden introduction of crystals to Buffy’s training made me believe at first that they were making her weak and not anything Giles did. Ohg jr frr gurz ntnva, jura Qnja vf cynlvat jvgu gurz naq Ohssl snyyf ba ure ohgg.

    It’s interesting to see how much being the Slayer gives Buffy; not only strength but also good aim, coordination and a natural talent with weapons.
    It’s also shows how much her powers have become part of her, so much so that she feels completely helpless without them.

    What a nice birthday gift for a Slayer: you’ve managed to survive till 18 and now you’re invited to a battle to the death with a super horrible vamp without your powers.
    What gives them the right to do this? If a girl was unfit to be a Slayer wouldn’t she already be dead?

    I’m really disgusted by how they treat the vampire. Sure he is a monster and he already was as a human, but it’s similar as to how Faith needlessly beat that vamp into a pulp.
    There is doing your duty and there is unnecessary cruelty.
    Gung’f bar ernfba jul V ernyyl ungr gur Vavgvngvir.

    Oh god, now the truth is out and Buffy starts crying. It’s so similar to “Prophesy Girl” where she also threw something at Giles and she was devastated at his apparent betrayal.
    I can’t believe how much I hate the Council for putting Giles in this situation.

    Naq urer jr frr gur bayl gvzr n inzcver vf fghcvq rabhtu gb qevax ubyl jngre.

    Yay, Giles to the rescue and he didn’t even get knocked out! It's so wonderful to see him win Buffy's trust back by recklessly endangering his life.

    Quentin, you horrible old man, how can you fire Giles? We need Ripper now, cheering Buffy on “Hit him, hit him!” Seriously DIE IN A FIRE Quentin! Be va na rkcybfvba.

    Gur bayl tbbq pbzvat sebz guvf vf Jrfyrl, nabgure punenpgre jub tbg fb zhpu zber vagrerfgvat (naq nggenpgvir) va gur fcva-bss.

    I love that scene at the end with Giles taking care of Buffy’s wounds, so glad the Council did not manage to destroy their father-daughter relationship.

  12. Anninyn says:

    I love Giles so much. I love that he loves Buffy like a daughter, and I love that that love, plus her friends is probably why she made it this old.

    OMG OMG OMG Watchers HOW DO YOU NOT GET THIS The only reason she is alive to face your test is because of her close and loving links with these people. I hate you SO MUCH (I also hate the trope of the Brits being all evil and buttoned up because HELLO, no. I AM BRITISH please stop)

    AND THAT TEST. What is the point of it? I truly do NOT understand. So, you have an amazing and capable slayer who has survived longer than you thought, presumably because she's GOOD at this. So… you take her powers and put her in a situation she will die? Well done for removing a slayer with several years experience and a great amount of skill, I guess?

    I suppose the point is she's supposed to be able to use not jsut her superior strength and speed and blah blah blah but it seems short sighted and silly to me.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      "I also hate the trope of the Brits being all evil and buttoned up because HELLO, no. I AM BRITISH please stop"

      Heheheh, I actually kind of love this trope? There's something rather sweet about the idea that the rest of the world thinks we're all tweedy and diabolical tea-drinkers.

      Which we are of course. SHHHH.

      • Anninyn says:

        The main reason I like it is because it startles foreigners when they come here and see how much alcohol we drink.

        Otherwise it irritates me, because it's wrong.It's not that we're emotionally repressed, we're just emotionally controlled. We're the result of several hundred years of warlike people beating each other up and we live on a tiny, damp island. You HAVE to be emotionally controlled!

        • Dru says:

          That last paragraph actually sounds more like the Japanese, but the similarities on some level are astonishing.

          (oh, and both nations' capitals seem to have large areas packed with wildly creatively dressed ~bordering on weird~ people).

      • sirintegra42 says:

        I like it too in an odd way, it's not the worst national stereotype to have. Plus I do rather like tweed, oooh, and elbow patches. I'm more bothered by the hilarious way that establishing shots of London always have the Houses of Parliament with a red bus and a black cab going past, while it pours down because of course it rains constantly here! Even that's so ridiculous that I have to laugh at it though.

      • ZeynepD says:

        tweedy and diabolical tea-drinkers

        There is nothing I don't love about this description purely as a description.

        (No commentary on the stereotyping, because am not British and therefore have no right.)

      • Pseudonymph says:

        I would definitely prefer this stereotype to any of the stereotypes about U.S. citizens.

      • Dru says:

        lol, every Brit on this show so far has been either tweedy (Giles), evil (Spike – oh, ok, he's just bad) or both (the Watchers, EEEEEEEEEEVILLLLLL).

        I would love to see a weaselly little thing like Badger on Buffy though πŸ™‚

    • virtual_monster says:

      I clearly need to pracise being more evil, because I'm obviously letting the country down. And I actually have the sort of name they give the watchers. You know the sort, one that is technically a possible British-sounding name but hardly anyone in real life actually has a name like that.

      Obviously, that 's my real name I'm talking about. The watchers only behave like monsters, they don't self dentify as them.

    • cait0716 says:

      I hate the test so much. But I understand it so much. And I really wish I didn't.

      In high school, I had a really good friend who was taking jujitsu lessons. She was getting really good when all of the sudden her father made her stop because he felt that she was getting "too confident". That's the mindset that's at work here. The Slayer is expendable and only useful to the Council so long as they can control her. It's why Kendra had no friends or family. It's why Gwendolyn Post was so good at manipulating Faith and turning her against the friends she was making. It's why Giles gets fired for treating Buffy like a person instead of a weapon.

      So, if she dies in the Cruciamentum, another slayer will be called, no big deal. If she survives, well I guess it's a bit like hazing. They have a firmer grip on her.

      • rabbitape says:

        Further, another slayer would be called who, having less experience and possibly less of a support system, would be more vulnerable to the council's control. It's really a win-win for them.

      • _Bailey_ says:

        Your "too confident" comment makes me think of the idea that people who are overly confident in their abilities are sometimes less than careful. Perhaps the test started as a (admittedly rather cruel) way to remind good slayers that they are not invincible, but got twisted around later into a "male power" thing.

        • Danel says:

          Yeah, or it could be a way to ensure that the superhero understands and hasn't forgotten what it would be like for an ordinary person without their superpowers to be facing a vampire.

          Or to give them a lot of confidence and an opportunity for formal recognition of their skills as they become an adult – an opportunity to bring home to them that they themselves have great strength, and that it isn't merely about their powers.

          Sadly, the Watchers are just dicks.

        • Patrick721 says:

          I…kind of like this idea? I don't know, I just like it when the bad guys don't start out bad, they start out with good intentions and then stuff just gets screwed up over the years.

      • Dee says:

        well said!

      • Pseudonymph says:

        She was getting really good when all of the sudden her father made her stop because he felt that she was getting "too confident".

        Woo, patriarchy microcosm! Fun stuff.

  13. LadyViridis says:

    Yeah, this is pretty much the episode where I was like "You know what Buffy? Fuck the Watchers and their Council. Fuck them. If they somehow justify this as being okay, you don't need anything to do with them."

    Seriously. IN WHAT WORLD IS THIS OKAY OR EVEN REASONABLE. We've heard that Slayers tend not to live very long. So why the hell would you punish those who do make it to be 18 by "testing" them with this? Take away their supernatural abilities and see if they can still best a vampire? What purpose does that even serve? And you do it without even gaining their consent? I could almost see it if you were like "okay, we need to test your ability in problem-solving, so we're going to have you do this test without your normal speed and strength." BUT JUST DRUGGING THEM WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OR PERMISSION? NO. Fuck you, Watchers. Not only are you incompetent, but you're also clearly assholes with no sense of morality.

    Ugh. No. Just no. Watchers, you fail everything forever, please gtfo.

    I just can't even fathom how this organization has continued for so long without any sort of challenge. Why would you do this???

    • robin_comments says:

      Yeah, this is pretty much the episode where I was like "You know what Buffy? Fuck the Watchers and their Council. Fuck them. If they somehow justify this as being okay, you don't need anything to do with them."
      THIS. I really wanted to see her tell them straight out that no one in the Council was welcome in her life at all, ever again.

      Sadly, I see this organization continuing so long BECAUSE they do things like this: keeping the slayers uninformed about the ways of the Council (while making those like Kendra feel informed with their cute little handbook and supernatural reading materials), cutting the slayers off from friends & family so that they're totally dependent on their watcher, frequently killing off some of the slayers who are lucky enough to reach the ripe age of 18.

      • Skyweir says:

        Exactly.

        Sebz gur Pbhapvy'f cbvag bs ivrj, n cbjreshy naq rkcrevraprq Fynlre (gung vf nyfb n yrtny nqhyg) vf cbgragvnyl ceboyrzngvp. Fb jrrq bhg gur ceboyrzf jvgu gur Pehpvnzraghz, erzbivat gur zber "ceboyrzngvp" fynlref jvgu na vzcbffvoyr grfg juvyr fcnevat cyvnoyr barf jvgu na rnfl bar.

        Erzrzore, gur Jngpuref unir yvgrenyyl na varkunhfgvoyr erfreir bs Fynlref, gurl pna nssbeq gb hfr gurz hc yvxr guvf. Juvpu vf jul, bs pbhefr, gung gurl graq gb qvr rneyl.

        Jura jr svanyyl svaq bhg ubj gur Jngpuref npghnyyl perngrq gur Fynlre naq jul gurl znqr ure n lbhat tvey, vg nyy pbzrf gbtrgure va n qrfcvpnoyl vafvqvbhf jnl. Vg vf n oevyyvnag, ohg ubeevoyr naq qrrcyl vzzbeny fpurzr gubfr byq onfgneqf qernzrq hc.

        • LadyViridis says:

          Okay, yeah, they can pretty much join my "go die in a fire" list of characters then. D< WTF.

        • robin_comments says:

          bu lrf, vg nyy qrsvavgryl pbzrf gbtrgure jura lbh svaq bhg gurl perngrq fynlref. Naq rira zber njrfbzryl shpxrq hc jura lbh cnve gur Fynlre'f qrzbavp bevtvaf nybat jvgu gur Jngpuref' grnpuvatf gung pbafvfgragyl qrinyhr naq qrcrefbanyvmr aba-uhznaf (jura jr xabj sebz NgF gung fbzr qrzbaf pna or bx crbcyr). Vg rafherf gung rira vs n fynlre fbzrubj qvfpbiref guvf uvfgbel, svaqvat bhg gung fynlref jrer znqr ol shfvat n tvey jvgu n urneg&fbhy bs n qrzba zrnaf gur tvey zvtug fgehttyr jvgu frys-ungerq naq vqragvgl vffhrf gung jvyy znxr gurz dhrfgvba gurve bja whqtrzrag naq fgvyy or rnfvyl pbagebyyrq. Vafvqvbhf vaqrrq!

      • LadyViridis says:

        Ouch. Yeah, that kind of logic is painful but does seem rather accurate from what we know of the Watchers. D:

  14. Kickpuncher says:

    Thoughts on Helpless:

    -lmao Angel Buffy can you not do this

    -Happy Birthday to you Buffy πŸ˜€

    -OK Faith does walkabouts I guess that explains her attendance record

    -oh no! Sure looks like Buffy is… Helpless!

    -uh-oh, the Edgar Allen Poe Reenactment Society has something in store for the Slayer!

    -STOP BEING SINISTER GILES.

    -“Posse? PassΓ©!” Cordelia, keep being amazing for me?

    -Buffy, what is happening.

    -“I throw knives like a-” “-a girl?” Really, Giles? Really?

    -Watchers? More like awful people… tchers.

    -Oh no the Watchers’ plan is not going smoothly who would have thought?

    -Oh Angel you and your silly gifts.

    -Buffy, Cordelia would look like a classical philosopher next to anyone because she is super layered. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    -lmao Angel what is with you?

    -So this vampire turned the Watcher into a vampire so he could escape. That’s pretty clever. I like your moxie, vampire of the week whose name I didn’t catch.

    -Giles, you dumb.

    -Oh this scene is all sorts of painful to watch. πŸ™

    -Giles you goddamn asshole. Why you gotta be like this?

    -Zachary Kraylik you say?

    -Cordelia I still love you at least.

    -ZACHARY NO STAY AWAY FROM JOYCE.

    -ZACHARY I DON’T LIKE YOUR MOXIE ANYMORE. I DON’T CARE HOW BAD YOUR CHILDHOOD WAS, NOTHING CAN JUSTIFY THIS GROSS MISUSE OF YOUR NATURAL TALENT FOR MOXIE.

    -QUENTIN TRAVERS GO EAT A BAG OF ASS AND POO. MORAL OF THE STORY: THE REAL MONSTER IS WATCHERS.

    -Buffy here is a pun for you: “Holy water, Batman!” No charge.

    -Quentin, your mouth is full of stupid words instead of ass and poo like it should be.

    -On one hand, I think that Giles’ betrayal of Buffy in this episode is the worst that anyone in the group has had to deal with, and I’m not sure I’m prepared to forgive him. On the other hand, I don’t really know if there was anything he stood to lose if he refused to drug Buffy in the first place. Like, does the Watcher’s Council have the ability to take Slayers from their family’s custody? Under those circumstances, I could see Giles reluctantly playing along with the Cruciamentum so that the WC wouldn’t try to displace Buffy, but that’s really just fanwank. I wish the episode had tried harder to explain why Giles did this, because as it is, I’m having a hard time forgiving or even understanding why he took so long to defy the Council.

    -That scene where Buffy is walking down the street, gets catcalled, and can’t do anything but walk faster is a strong contender for most demoralizing scene of the series. So painful to watch.

    -P.S. I don’t know if I’m spelling Zachary Kraylik’s last name right. SECRETLY, I HOPE I’M NOT.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      "Watchers? More like awful people… tchers."

      I was thinking of referring them as 'The Scumbaggers' from now on, myself.

    • Riel says:

      "Like, does the Watcher's Council have the ability to take Slayers from their family's custody?"

      You made this thougth pop into my head:
      If there's any problem with the Slayer, they might just have her killed so the next one is called.

      • cait0716 says:

        That was always my assumption. The problem with Buffy is that she already died. If they kill her, they're stuck with Faith, who appears to be somewhat less than reliable.

    • Laneswitch says:

      They took kendra from her family, and that was BEFORE she was called, when they didnt even know if she was worth it.

      And what exactly is a walkabout? Do you just….walk about? Does it mean anything other than simply 'not here'?

    • Pseudonymph says:

      -That scene where Buffy is walking down the street, gets catcalled, and can't do anything but walk faster is a strong contender for most demoralizing scene of the series. So painful to watch.

      I agree so much. It really guts me because I know exactly how that feels (as many people do) and I recognize the pain on Buffy's face. Seeing her fear when she's faced with an everyday kind of evil that she wouldn't normally find frightening is upsetting. What really gets to me, though, is the hint of shame on her face because she feels like she shouldn't be afraid, she shouldn't have to just run away, she should be able to confront them. That's the part I really relate to. Even though it doesn't make sense to feel ashamed, I can't help feeling it whenever I get harassed like that.

      Also, I love your pun.

  15. Jenny_M says:

    This episode upsets me more than most things. I honestly think I'd blocked it out in my head, because as the plot started unfolding on my rewatch, all I could do was GAPE IN HORROR.

  16. haguenite says:

    The Watcher's Council is the WORST. Everything about this episode is the WORST. Kralik is so. frakking. scary. I mean, I always find villains who imply rape scary so I guess he's not scarier than most villains who do this, but wah. WAH.

    I tend to rewatch a lot of s3 but hardly ever this one because it just breaks my heart.

  17. elisi says:

    All good writers are evil.

    And David Fury is [sometimes, like here] a REALLY good writer.

    This is an excellent episode, and I am GRATEFUL for it. Thank you Mr Fury. Thank you Joss. And thank you Buffy for being awesome.

    <img src="http://pics.livejournal.com/elisi/pic/000h20sy"&gt;

    That's all.

    • devilscrayon says:

      word. what a fabulous twist in this already twisty story. a hard one to watch at times, but clearly a game changer. and nothing gets to me more than defiant Buffy (above).

    • cait0716 says:

      God I love her in that scene

    • darkwater says:

      I just love her choice of words there.. hehe

      "Yes. Colourful girl." ass

    • gonzoron says:

      Yeah, I was just thinking this. For all we fans jokingly curse at Joss & co, it's precisely because they are so good that they can get under our skin and infuriate us. Thank you, Joss, and David Fury, et al!!!

      except Marti Noxon. She knows why.

      • elisi says:

        except Marti Noxon. She knows why.
        Please allow me to point you towards this article (it contains spoilers for the later seasons btw):
        http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/06/11/

        (I'm not a particular fan of Marti Noxon, nor do I want to start any arguments – I'm generally a Pollyanna – but Marti deserves her share of thanks, and the men deserve their share of blame. Just sayin'. I could go into further detail, but I'm too sleepy to start rot-13-ing stuff – plus I've been on this carousel before… )

        • arctic_hare says:

          Lrnu, guvf. V unir zl vffhrf jvgu Abkba, ohg gurl'er gur fnzr barf V unir jvgu Jurqba, naq va snpg V fvqr-rlr Jurqba gur zbfg.

        • PheasantPlucker says:

          V nofbyhgryl nterr gung Wbff Jurqba vf whfg nf zhpu gb oynzr sbe gur Frnfba 6 furanavtnaf nf Znegv Abkba, naq obgu ner sberire qrnq gb zr. V tnir hc jngpuvat Ohssl rneyl va Frnfba 4 qhevat vgf bevtvany eha naq bayl pnhtug zlfrys hc n pbhcyr bs lrnef ntb, fb zl vzcerffvba bs Frnfba 6 vf cebonoyl jbefrarq ol zl ybat-ragerapurq oryvrs gung Frnfba 4 jnf onq. V qba'g guvax vgf uneq gb nethr gung frnfba 6 jnf vasvavgryl jbefr guna frnfba 4: vf gurer n fhvgnoyr jbeq sbe zhpu-jbefr-guna-onq? Nobzvanoyr be ubeevsvp qba'g frrz gb tb sne rabhtu. Ohg va nal pnfr, ab fvatyr crefba pbhyq cbffvoyl ubyq shyy erfcbafvovyvgl sbe gung urvabhf pevzr.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Ng yrnfg Shel ncbybtvmrq sbe gur njshy gerngzrag bs Jvyybj naq Gnen. Jurqba, ba gur bgure unaq, pynvzrq gung gur vqrn gung ur jnfa'g nyybjrq gb xvyy bss Gnen orpnhfr fur jnf tnl jnf "whfg nf bssrafvir" gb uvz nf gur vqrn gung ur xvyyrq ure bss orpnhfr fur jnf tnl. Nu, fgenvtug cevivyrtr, ubj V QBA'G ybir lbh.

            • Nattlinnen says:

              V yvxr frnfba 6. V qba'g nqber vg, ohg V yvxr vg, be zber pbeerpg V yvxr Ohssl va vg. V ernyyl yvxr ure rfgenatrzrag sebz gur jbeyq. V yvxr Jvyybj gheavat znavchyngvir nf jr frra uvagf bs fvapr frnfba 3. V yvxr gung ubj Jvyybj jnf n fjrrg nggnpuzrag gb Bm naq jvgu Jvyybj trggvat fgebat ur dhvgf, abj Gnen fhssre gur fnzr sngr.

              V qvfyvxr gung Gnen vf abg tvira nal qrcgu va punenpgre. Fur npgf nf abguvat zber guna na nggnpuzrag, qrsvarq ol ure ynpx bs perqvgf. Frevbhfyl. V qvfyvxr gur trareny cybg. V jbhyq yvxr gb frr gur jbeyq gerzoyr jvgu n sernxvat ohvyq hc!!! Ubjrire, frnfba fvk fgevxrf zr nf n pbzzba "gbjneqf gur raq frnfba". Vg vf n ovg gverq. Abg nf onq nf frnfba 7 gubhtu… be 4.

              Shegure, V'z tynq V unir abg ernyyl qvirq vagb gur ohssl-snaqbz. Vg frrzf yvxr gurer vf gbb zhpu jevgre-ungerq naq sna qvfnccbvagzrag. Gverfbzr bar pbhyq fnl.

            • DreamRose311 says:

              V'z fgnegvat gb jbaqre vs guvf unf gb qb jvgu qvssrerag ernqvatf bs jung ur fnvq? Yvxr jura V ernq lbhe pbzzrag V ernq vg nf "Ur jnfa'g nyybjrq gb (xvyy bss Gnen) orpnhfr fur jnf tnl", naq gb zr gung vf na bssrafvir guvat gb gryy n jevgre. Ohg nf V jnf tbvat qbja gb shegure cbfgf V ernyvmrq gung vg jbhyq or ubeevoyr vs vg jnf ernq nf "Ur jnfa'g nyybjrq gb (xvyy bss Gnen orpnhfr fur jnf tnl)". Gura V jbhyq unir n ceboyrz jvgu Wbff vs ur gubhtug gung jnf bssrafvir, ohg V'z cerggl fher gung jbhyqa'g or jung ur jnf guvaxvat…

              V ubcr gung znxrf frafr va glcr, V xabj vg qbrf va ibvpr…

          • stephanie says:

            nf na hanonfurq ybire bs frnfba 6, (jvgu gur rkpyhfvba bs gur onq zntvp vf qehtf zrgncube) v'z fbeel – v zhfg qvfnterr jvgu lbh! frnfba 6 tnir hf BZJS, bar bs gur orfg rcvfbqrf RIRE. nyfb, v qba'g oryvrir gung wbff xvyyrq gnen orpnhfr fur jnf tnl. gung'f whfg abg wbff. wbff xvyyrq gnen orpnhfr, jryy, gung'f jung ur qbrf. unir jr abg orra jngpuvat gur fnzr fubj sbe 6 lrnef??? frevbhfyl abj. fgbc oynzvat wbff naq znegv sbe fgbelyvarf lbh qvqa'g wvir jvgu. sbe gur zbfg cneg, gur fubj yvirf hc gb rirel rkcrpgngvba evtug guebhtu "pubfra" VZB. lbh pna'g gnxr gung njnl sebz zr.

            • misterbernie says:

              fgbc oynzvat wbff naq znegv sbe fgbelyvarf lbh qvqa'g wvir jvgu.
              Jnvg, ner lbh fnlvat jr fubhyqa'g oynzr fgbelyvarf jr gnxr vffhr jvgu ba gur crbcyr jub jebgr gubfr tbqqnza fgbelyvarf? JUNG
              Nyfb, abobql jnagf gb gnxr nalguvat njnl sebz lbh, ohg fbzr bs hf jrer/ner frireryl qvfnccbvagrq ol fbzr qverpgvbaf gur fubj gbbx, naq jr jvyy ibvpr gubfr qvfnccbvagzragf naq gung natre.

            • DreamRose311 says:

              Ur qrsvavgryl qvqa'g xvyy ure bss orpnhfr fur jnf tnl. V'z ernyyl fubpxrq gb svaq bhg gung nalbar rire gubhtug gung… Vs gung jrer gehr, gura Jvyybj jbhyq'ir orra zntvpnyyl fgenvtug be qrnq va frnfba 7, Xraarql jbhyqa'g rkvfg… Ur xvyyrq ure bss orpnhfr ur jnagrq Jvyybj gb or gur ovt onq, naq sbe gung gb unccra ur arrqrq na vzcrghf. Ur nyfb jnagrq gb oevat Gnen onpx, jvgu yvxr n zntvpny jvfu sebz Ohssl… V jbhyq'ir ybirq gung, ohg V'z nyfb tynq vg qvqa'g unccra orpnhfr, jryy bapr jr fgneg oevatvat rirelbar onpx sebz qrngu gura jr ghea vg vagb Urebrf naq V jbhyqa'g unir jnagrq gung.

  18. fantasylover120 says:

    I have no words except all of what Mark said in the letter (especially the part about the peanut butter. It's crunchy or nothing) and a big Fuck You to the Watchers Council. Seriously, why IS there a Watcher's Council anyway? They don't seem to do anything remotely helpful.
    Daily Buffy Quotable
    "Ice is cool It's water, but it's not."-Oz
    "Where's it written that quiet reflection can't include cake and party hats?"-Xander
    "Rebound! Look it up!"-Cordelia (and may I just say her hitting that jock was beautiful?)
    "Aha! A curse on Slayers! No wait…it's lawyers."-Willow
    "Faulty metaphor."-Oz
    "That's beautiful. Or taken literally kind of gross."-Buffy
    "Oh God is the world ending? I have to research a paper on Bosnia but if the world is ending I'm not going to bother."-Cordelia
    "But if the world is ending, I'm going to need a note."-Cordelia
    "If I was at full slayer power, I'd be punning right now."-Buffy
    "You're not cruising past that concept anytime now are you?"-Xander

  19. enigmaticagentscully says:

    "Like, what if you took away my gayness?"

    Mark, I love how your Gay is basically like a super-power. This is kind of beautiful to me.

  20. Inseriousity says:

    Aww this episode has me feeling really sad. It doesn't help that Buffy's own dad ditched her and she drops anvil-sized hints that she'd like to go with Giles only for him to abuse her trust and poison her. The scene in the house is terrifying watching a character you've grown to love turned into one of the side-characters we regularly see who attempt to flee. Luckily, Buffy's a badass who got out with some genius method of holy water! If Giles hadn't had doubts though and not told her about the test, it's unlikely she'd have took any though. Might've had a different outcome… I shudder at the thought

    • t09yavosaur says:

      "If Giles hadn't had doubts though and not told her about the test, it's unlikely she'd have took any though. Might've had a different outcome… I shudder at the thought "

      I not so sure as Giles didn't tell her about the test until after Zachary had escaped and taken Buffy's jacket. Buffy knew she wasn't able to fight, and Joyce would have been taken anyway. It is hard to imagine what-if's but if Giles still saved her, and brought her home without telling her it is highly likely she would have taken the water anyway.

      Of course if Giles hadn't had doubts he might not have been there to save her.

  21. dasmondschaf says:

    GILES HOW COULD YOU

    HOW COULD YOU

    how could you be anything less than perfect. how could you make a mistake. no, this is wrong ;_;

    ***

    That being said: I am really fond of this episode. When the 3rd season was airing, I was in my first year of middle school, and was basically way too busy to make time weekly for Buffy (usually, my brother had basketball games on Tuesday nights, so I missed a lot of episodes because I was out with my family cheering for him). But I remember watching this episode when it aired, and oh boy.

    It's just such a great return to classic horror movies. I mean, Buffy is meant to be a subversion of the scared little blonde girl trope, and now we get to go back to the trope in its purest form: a scared, normal teenage girl alone in a rickety house with a serial killer. My favorite moment has to be the room full of pictures of Joyce; that scared the hell out of me as a kid and it still creeps me out today.
    The set design is also great; I honestly have no idea how that boarding house is laid out, and everything about the episode makes it seem so much more maze-like than it could possibly be. I love it.
    I also love scary-vamp's final lines:

    "You don't seem to understand your place in all this…"

    Buffy sure doesn't! AND THAT'S WHY I LOVE HER.

    ***

    Re: the final scene. I had a friend visiting from out of town last week, and was having trouble with a jar of pickles.

    "Wow, a house of three women and you don't own one of those jar opener thingies?"

    "NO." >:|

    And then I triumphed over the pickle jar with a little ingenuity and that run-it-under-a-hot-tap trick. Ha..

    • Mary Sue says:

      Oh, I think Buffy understands her place in all this perfectly well.

      Which is why she refuses to accept what everyone else insists is her place.

    • pica_scribit says:

      There's running it under the hot tap, tapping the edge of the lid on the edge of a counter (not hard enough to break glass, but really quite firmly), and there's trying to turn it using a kitchen towel over your hand for extra traction. I've rarely found a jar lid that could defeat me.

  22. Mark says:

    Whfg n urnqf hc. Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq.

    BZT ABRM JRFYRL <3

  23. KatieHal says:

    "Whfg n urnqf hc. Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq."

    UNUNUNUN. Vg'f tbvat gb or njrfbzr jura ur pbzrf nebhaq gb gbgnyyl ybir Jrfyrl va gur raq. Naq gura unf uvf urneg evccrq bhg va gur svanyr bs Natry jura ur qvrf.

    Nyfb, lnl, Jrfyrl vf pbzvat!!

    • Mary Sue says:

      Jbb ubg fjbeqcynl npgvba!

      Juvpu vf cerggl zhpu nyy V ernyyl erzrzorerq bs F3, gung rcvp fjbeq cenpgvpr orgjrra Tvyrf naq Jrfyrl jurer Tvyrf qbrfa'g rira obgure chggvat qbja gur obbx orpnhfr UR VF TVYRF.

    • darkwater says:

      Yrg'f abg sbetrg gur sbyybjvat…

      Jrf orgenlvat Natry naq noqhpgvat Pbaabe.
      Jrf trggvat vf guebng fynfurq.
      Jrf fyrrcvat jvgu Yvynu.
      Jrf univat gb jngpu Serq fyvc njnl va n cnvashy qrngu.

      Bu lrf, guvf jvyy or tbbq.

    • magpie says:

      Bu tbq. V sbetbg gung ur qvrf! Gur cnva vf fb serfu V oynpxrq vg bhg… lrnu, V svavfurq gur Natry frevrf svanyr ynfg Sevqnl fb V qb unir na rkphfr. πŸ™

      • Seventh_Star says:

        v unir frevbhfyl oybpxrq bhg jrfyrl'f qrngu, abg bapr, ohg GJVPR. whfg guvaxvat nobhg vg abj guerngraf gb ehva zl qnl.

  24. ajaxbreaker says:

    Angel spoilers:
    Qbrfa'g Ohssl fnl va "V Jvyy Erzrzore Lbh" gung fur cersref pehapul crnahg ohggre? BZT ZNEX VF OHSSL

  25. 00guera00 says:

    Ah, this is the Giles' betrays Buffy episode…I don't like this episode. (V qba'g ernyyl erzrzore n jubyr ybg bs Frnfba Guerr, unira'g jngpurq vg nf zhpu naq whfg lrfgreqnl jngpurq Rnefubg sbe gur svefg gvzr) Trust is such an easy thing to shatter and so so hard to build back.

    (naq jr trg gur svefg tyvzcfr gung gur Pbhapvy jbhyq unir ab ceboyrz xvyyvat bss Ohssl nf ybat nf gurl pbhyq qvfthvfr vg va n jnl gung yrnirf gurve unaqf pyrna. Gurl qba'g yvxr ure, cebonoyl gubhtug fur fubhyq unir qvrq yvxr n tbbq yvggyr fynlre jura gur cebcurpl gbyq ure gb, naq gurl qba'g yvxr Tvyrf. Ohg hayvxr Ohssl, gurl pna sver Tvyrf (naq yngre guerngra qrcbegngvba). V guvax guvf vf gur svefg jr frr bs Tvyrf npgviryl tbvat ntnvafg gur Pbhapvy. Naq fbeel Znex, Jrfyrl'f bar bs zl snibevgrf. Gubhtu bs pbhefr, yvxr Natry naq Pbeqryvn, ur'f orggre ba Natry.)

  26. robin_comments says:

    So this is like part 2 of the discussion I see opened in “Revelations”: Why do Watchers have the right to control these young women’s lives and why do the slayers let them… especially when we now see that the Watchers think it’s justifiable to play games with them in this way.

    Because that’s what it is – playing games. Our American (and UK) generals don’t run “tests” by pumping their soldiers with drugs to extremely hinder their capabilities and then trap them weaponless & alone for a fight to the death against a strong, psychotic, and armed enemy.

    The idea that Giles goes along with this for any time at all is completely disgusting to me. Just following orders is not a valid excuse. It’s not okay to me that he participated in an organization for decades(?) that treated courageous and self-sacrificing teenage girls in this manner.

    Which would all be very sad and fascinating as a character arc, except for the way it (predictably) plays out in the end. You know what? I don’t get the heroism in initiating a completely reprehensible betrayal of someone who trusted you, was dependent on your guidance, and then changing your mind at the last minute. SORRY, NOT GOOD ENOUGH.

    I’m not saying he shouldn’t, like Angel, continue to move forward and try to do good. I’m not saying I wish he was completely out of the show and Buffy’s life after this episode. But I’m so sick of how almost every time I see this basic subplot in a book or tv series (trusted person in position of power betrays and then comes around in the last act), that last minute pull-back is framed like a bold, admirable act and now they’re a hero. That frustrates me SO MUCH every time I come across it. And I personally feel like that’s how Giles’ actions are framed in this episode arc.

    But let’s get to the details:

    We start out with a “not exactly satisfied” crack from Angel that’s a little passive aggressive. Not a big deal, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

    And then Giles is snapping about Buffy’s concentration on a task he’s having her do in order to hypnotize her as he violates her? PEOPLE CAN STOP BEING AWFUL TO BUFFY ANY MOMENT NOW. (“if it’s within your capabilities”? Die in a fire, Giles)

    I can’t even deal with most of this episode, as Giles stands there silent as Buffy’s worried and vulnerable and talking about patrolling. GRRRRRR
    Aaaaand then Buffy’s life continues to be surrounded by older men who exist to crush her dreams, as we see shades of S1’s Nightmares — Absent father!

    AND THEN BUFFY TRIES TO FISH AND GET GILES TO COME WITH HER TO THE ICE SHOW IN PLACE OF HER FATHER, TALKING ABOUT THINGS FAMILIES CAN DO TOGETHER, AND HE BETRAYS HER IN ONE OF THE WORST WAYS POSSIBLE.

    This is so much harder to watch than Innocence for me. I may never fully recover from the image of Giles subduing and injecting Buffy. If I developed any trust issues as a teenager THEY CAME FROM THIS EPISODE.

    Oh, you are so right Watcher’s Council. If you’ve done something for a long time, clearly it’s the right thing to do! There’s never been anything in history to dispel that notion, right? … wait a minute

    Giles, it’s so good that you understand it’s an archaic exercise in cruelty and yet YOU’RE PARTICIPATING IN IT ANYWAY. Xander, I retroactively apologize for any time I ever said or thought you were the worst. Clearly I was wrong.

    And the fail continues with Sonnets from the Portuguese. ok, Angel, now I need to have a word with you about something. I know, I know, it was established just a few episodes ago that you and Buffy weren’t friends and will never be friends. And I can see how that might prevent having relationship with depth. But could you maybe try a little harder at understanding your girlfriend beyond giver of smoochies, sexual tension, and slayings? This is not what Buffy Summers wants for her 18th birthday. She will never read more than 3 pages of this book, whatever lies she later tells you. (And no, it was not thoughtful in the slightest. *facepalm*) Yhpxvyl lbh frrz gb svther guvf bhg ba lbhe fcva-bss, cbffvoyl ol npghnyyl ortvaavat gb yvfgra jura gur crefba lbh pner nobhg gnyxf, naq fb jura lbh arrq gb ohl tvsgf sbe Pbeqryvn gurl ner npghnyyl irel nccebcevngr naq pbasbez gb URE crefbany vagrerfgf naq gnfgrf. Juvpu xvaq bs… whfg znxrf guvf ybbx rira jbefr va ergebfcrpg, gubhtu.

    LOL and then Angel’s like p.s. I perved on you when you were 15. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.

    Yep, the revolting paternalistic ritual has turned around on the Watchers! I can’t tell you how bad I do not feel about that.
    (continued in reply)

    • robin_comments says:

      Buffy’s tear streaked faaaace as she sees the needles and understands what Giles has done to her. I CAN’T. I JUST CAN’T. This episode is really perfect except for how I hate the ending.

      And then he starts trying to talk about tradition and protocol and answering to the Council – which is just insult on top of injury, because NO. If it was part of tradition to sacrifice a baby and feed the Slayer its brains, would you do it? WTF is wrong with you?!

      “Who are you?” It hurts me so bad to see Buffy’s face when she looks at him. Perfection.

      I don’t give a rat’s ass about the Council’s orders. There will be no test.” oh, so NOW you don’t care. Dear Giles, let me give you a hint: the time to say there won’t be any test is actually before you poison the girl who considers you a father figure. Not after everything starts falling to pieces.

      And then Buffy defeats the bad guy, because she is resourceful and awesome.

      So, yeah, feel like at the end of the episode Buffy should have been like, ‘No, you still don’t get to touch me. You lost that right. Sorry but you violated my body and my trust in a terrible way and I don’t want to see you for a long while. I’ll continue to do my job and you can call me for world saving concerns. Maybe we can interact in person again beyond slayer business someday after you’ve proved yourself, slowly. We’ll see.’

      It bothers me that we see Cordelia still turning from Xander at the end of Lovers Walk and yet Buffy allows Giles’s company at the end of this episode after a much worse crime.

      And Willow all worried about Giles being fired? I don’t get it.

      Gubhtu V rawbl fbzr bs jung V guvax jnf obea bhg bs guvf… uvf genafvgvba gb fbzrguvat pybfre gb n crre/zrzore bs gur tebhc engure guna n qverpgvir nhgubevgl svther guebhtu frnfbaf sbhe, svir… V ENTR nobhg gur jnl gur vapvqrag vf gerngrq naq gur ynpx bs pbagvahrq qvfcynlf bs gehfg vffhrf naq erzbefr va gur arkg frireny rcvfbqrf (jura jr unq 3 rcvfbqrf bs gung sbe gur vasvqryvgl cybgyvar!). V xabj OgIF vfa’g nf frevny nf fbzr fubjf, ohg gurl qb fgergpu gurfr punenpgre fhocybgf bhg jura gurl qrrz vg arprffnel naq vzb vg jnf arprffnel urer.

      V zrna, V haqrefgnaq JUL gurl qvq guvatf guvf jnl: gurl jnagrq gb znxr Tvyrf "pbbyre" naq eroryyvbhf nf gur genafvgvba gbjneqf cbfg-uvtu fpubby jbeyq va frnfba 4 (juvpu vf nyfb jul Jrfyrl vf senzrq nf ur vf), naq gurl jnagrq Ohssl & Tvyrf gb or n havgrq grnz ntnvafg Jrfyrl… ohg vg qbrf abg jbex sbe zr ng nyy va n fngvfslvat rzbgvbany frafr naq V crefbanyyl guvax gur jevgref fubhyq unir fuvsgrq guvatf nebhaq nppbzzbqngr n zber rkgraqrq rzbgvbany snyybhg naq rfgenatrzrag orgjrra Ohssl naq Tvyrf (pbhyq unir orra na vagrerfgvat pbagenfg jvgu Snvgu & gur Znlbe). Whfg orpnhfr gurl unq n ernfba qbrfa'g zrna gung V nterr jvgu vg be guvax vg jnf n tbbq vqrn gb znxr guvatf cynl bhg guvf jnl. Ohg gubfr ner whfg zl bcvavbaf.

      • Noybusiness says:

        "And Willow all worried about Giles being fired? I don’t get it. "

        What's his position now? What's his place in the world? How do we interact with him? My world is all askew.

        I can understand; like Willow, I'm more prone to worrying like this.

    • _Bailey_ says:

      "We start out with a “not exactly satisfied” crack from Angel that’s a little passive aggressive. Not a big deal, but it rubbed me the wrong way."

      OMG ME TOO. It's just . . . . so weird. Like, if you can't sleep together why are you drawing attention to the fact that you can't sleep together and thereby making harder on the both of you?

      "And the fail continues with Sonnets from the Portuguese. ok, Angel, now I need to have a word with you about something. I know, I know, it was established just a few episodes ago that you and Buffy weren’t friends and will never be friends. And I can see how that might prevent having relationship with depth. But could you maybe try a little harder at understanding your girlfriend?"

      ALSO THIS. Brownies for coherently stating exactly how I feel about this!

      "Yhpxvyl lbh frrz gb svther guvf bhg ba lbhe fcva-bss, cbffvoyl ol npghnyyl ortvaavat gb yvfgra jura gur crefba lbh pner nobhg gnyxf, naq fb jura lbh arrq gb ohl tvsgf sbe Pbeqryvn gurl ner npghnyyl irel nccebcevngr naq pbasbez gb URE crefbany vagrerfgf naq gnfgrf. Juvpu xvaq bs… whfg znxrf guvf ybbx rira jbefr va ergebfcrpg, gubhtu."

      Naq jvgu Pbeql, vs ur pna'g erzrzore jung fur yvxrf, ur ohlf ure rirelguvat, yrnqvat gb bar bs zl snibhevgr Natry/Pbeql fprarf:

      PBEQRYVN: Jung'f nyy guvf?
      NATRY: Yhapu. V jnf uhatel.
      PBEQRYVN: Lbh qba'g rng sbbq.
      NATRY: Bu, V pna. Vg qbrfa'g xrrc zr nyvir, ohg, lbh xabj, fbzrgvzrf V trg n unaxrevat.
      PBEQRYVN: Lbh unq n unaxrevat sbe ghexrl, unz naq ebnfg orrs fnaqjvpurf?
      NATRY: Lbh zvffrq gur irtrgnevna.
      PBEQRYVN: Fbhc naq fnynq, gbb? Jung vf tbvat ba urer?
      NATRY: V sbetbg jung lbh yvxrq.
      PBEQRYVN: Jul qvqa'g lbh nfx zr?
      NATRY: Jryy, lbh fnvq, jul vf rirelbar nfxvat lbh vs gurl pna trg lbh nalguvat, naq-naq V qvqa'g jnaan *qb* gung…
      PBEQRYVN: Fb lbh qvq guvf vafgrnq.
      NATRY: Lrnu?
      PBEQRYVN: V ybir lbh.

      Nyfb: ARJ PYBGURF! Naq gur arpxynpr ur ohlf ure ng gur ortvaavat bs Frnfba Guerr. Ur qbrf frrz gb xabj Pbeql fb zhpu zber guna ur rire xarj Ohssl.

      • robin_comments says:

        bu, frr guvf vf tbbq. Lbh'er znxvat zr srry nyy fjrrg naq tbbrl vafvqr guvaxvat bs Natry naq Pbeqryvn'f obaq naq gung vf whfg jung V arrqrq gb pyrnafr gur fbhe gnfgr bs guvf rcvfbqr bhg bs zl zbhgu.

      • Karen says:

        V YBIR NATRY/PBEQL FB ZHPU. Gurve eryngvbafuvc whfg nyjnlf sryg n zvyyvba gvzrf zber betnavp naq angheny guna Ohssl naq Natry'f. Yvxr Natry ernyyl XARJ Pbeqryvn va n jnl ur qvqa'g xabj Ohssl.

      • arctic_hare says:

        NAQ GUNG VF RKNPGYL JUL NATRY/PBEQL VF GUR OHSSLIREFR BGC. V ybir gurz fb zhpu. Gung fprar vf n cresrpg vyyhfgengvba bs ubj njrfbzr gurl ner gbtrgure.

    • Noybusiness says:

      I was trying to think of examples where someone's last minute pull-back doesn't result in their being forgiven, and came up with Boomer.

  27. Mary Sue says:

    This ROT13 shall contain: Spoilers for BtVS show and S8 comics, Fray, and Angel.

    V ernyyl yvxrq gur cneg va Senl jurer gur Jngpuref ghea bhg gb or n phyg jub ner gbgrf vagb frys-vzzbyngvba va sebag bs gur Pubfra Bar. Orpnhfr JUNG GUR SHPX, JNGPUREF. Vg ubarfgyl frrzf yvxr gur ybtvpny rkgrafvba sebz guvf svefg vagebqhpgvba bs gurz, gur shgher jnlf gurl fubj hc, naq ubj gurl orunir nsgre orvat znqr hfryrff.

    Lrf, fbzrbar'f tbvat gb or nyy, "Ohg gurl nyy oyrj hc!" naq V'z tbvat gb or nyy, "Lbh qba'g guvax gurer jrer fbzr puvyqera bs jngpuref bhg gurer jub jrera'g nyy, 'BZT NIRATR BHE 'ERAGF" naq tbg nyy fhcre-fcrpvny fgnepuloevgpurf jngpure va gur orfg Jrfyrlna genqvgvba (orsber ur orpnzr gur ebthr qrzba uhagre jr nyy xabj naq ybir) naq fcrag gur gvzr crevbq orgjrra gur ab-Fynlref-ng-nyy naq Senl trggvat rira fhcre-fcrpvny fgnepuloevgpurf bss gur envyf?"

    V guvax V'z abj znxvat hc jbeqf, ohg va zl qrsrafr V nz qevaxvat Gurensyh.

  28. geo_hof says:

    i was scared when i watched "helpless" for the first time because it was done not to long after "i know what you did last summer" and i kept having flashbacks to Sarah getting stabbed to death in that alley. i wonder if that was what they were going for.

    • NB2000 says:

      I'm pretty sure the only reason I got through "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was by having a taped episode of Buffy on standby in my VCR in case I got too scared (which I did, more than once) which made for a kind of surreal viewing experience.

      • Dee says:

        It's really weird seeing SMG in that role in 'I know what you did last summer'. I just end up screaming at the screen yelling 'Kick his ass Buffy! It's only a guy with a hook! You're the slayer!'

        I'm always surprised when it doesn't quite happen that way..

  29. feminerdist says:

    I spent most of this episode smacking my husband (who has already seen Buffy/Angel) on the leg going, "No no no no no, I don't like this. Why is Giles drugging Buffy? Is he possessed? Did an alien take over his body? No, it's a test?! No no no no no no this is mean! NO! THEY FIRED GILES?! They can't do that, right? FUUUUUU!" while he just smiled at my unpreparedness.

    I really really hate this. This entire episode is not okay!

    • darkwater says:

      Awesome episode.

      Awesome first timer reaction. Exactly as it it meant to be.

      +1 to hubby just smiling!

      • feminerdist says:

        Yeah he learned his lesson regarding spoilers after the accidental spoiling of Doctor Who when he almost got thrown out of the house. Now he just smiles and says nothing.

  30. Suzannezibar says:

    AAAH THIS EPISODE DESTROYED ME SO COMPLETELY I HAVE NO WORDS OR COMMAS OR PUNCTUATION JUST A LOT OF CAPSLOCK SERIOUSLY DAVID FURY DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH THIS EPISODE CONTINUES TO HAUNT ME EVEN THOUGH IT'S BEEN TEN MONTHS SINCE I FIRST SAW IT BUFFY GILES BAD GILES BUT OH GILES THAT LAST BIT BETWEEN THE TWO OF THEM MY HEEEEEAAAART

  31. Plactus says:

    "Helpless"

    • "Glib-free attention." Giles, if she's making stupid jokes, you know she's paying attention. Okay, maybe I'm projecting a little.
    • "Okay, it's a big dumb girly thing, but I love it." Who doesn't love the chance to be a kid again for a couple hours?
    • See, Giles, now she's not paying attention.
    • Willow likes having a pet! Bs pbhefr, arkg frnfba, ure tveysevraq trgf n png, naq gubfr frrz yvxr vapbzcngvoyr crgf, rfcrpvnyyl fvapr gur bar gung snyyf ba gur rngrr fvqr bs gur fcrpgehz vf n genafsbezrq uhzna…
    • Re: The Cruciamentum. I can see the purpose in testing a Slayer's abilities without her powers. But the implementation… ugh. And exploiting, and presumably harming, the trust between Slayer and Watcher can't be good for their long-term relationship unless the Watcher does something like Giles does later. Naq gung ynaqf Ohssl jvgu n arj Jngpure jubz fur gryyf gb tb onpx gb Ratynaq va uvf frpbaq rcvfbqr naq gura zhgvavrf ntnvafg va gur frnfba svanyr.
    • By the way, Mr. Travers. You do realize you have a Slayer with no assigned watcher in town, and that someone claiming to be from the Council came and messed with her head and she could really use a real not-evil Watcher of her own. And you're coming to town anyway…
    • Before someone corrected me, I thought Kryptonite was the source of Superman's powers. I was much more into Marvel than DC.
    • "Jryy, lbh'er va ab qnatre bs svaqvat nal urer." "Inzcverf?" "Pbagebyyrq pvephzfgnaprf."
    • Buffy playing the typical horror movie heroine and running for her life – when she's usually able to stand up to and defeat her enemies – is simultaneously upsetting, terrifying, and brilliant.
    • Strain the relationship between Giles and Buffy. Good show, Council.
    • Thank you, Cordelia, for adding humor to that scene.
    • So that's what happens when a vampire drinks holy water. Impressive.
    • It looks, to me, like they're trying to pry the lid off. Well, no wonder that's not working.
    • …abj, V'ir bayl frra n srj rcvfbqrf bs Ragrecevfr, ohg V fgvyy pna'g oryvrir V qvqa'g pbaarpg Oynve jvgu Znypbyz Errq. (Spoilers here are for Star Trek.)

    (Body count addition: Buffy staked a vampire after the opening credits.)

    • magpie says:

      The source of Superman's powers, most simply put, is the Sun. Kryptonite, depending on the source material, can make Superman feel pain, lose his powers, even kill him.

      Oh, this is the episode where Xander goes into the different types of Kryptonite, right? So both Xander and Oz are right: Green Kryptonite both weakens and kills Superman, Red Kryptonite does random things (in the comics and TV show; in Smallville, it makes him lose his inhibitions), and Gold Kryptonite makes Superman lose his powers permanently.

    • stormwreath says:

      Willow likes having a pet!

      Evil Vampire Willow had a pet puppy, now real Willow has a pet rat. πŸ™‚

    • Noybusiness says:

      "• Before someone corrected me, I thought Kryptonite was the source of Superman's powers. I was much more into Marvel than DC. "

      So was I at first, but then I discovered The Sandman and other Vertigo comics.

  32. mzh says:

    Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq.

    Whfg gjb rcf abj hagvy gur vagebqhpgvba bs gur terngrfg punenpgre nep va gur Jurqbairefr. Bar bs gur orfg V'ir frra naljurer.

    (Naq bar bs gur znal ernfbaf V terj gb ernyyl qvfyvxr GJBC. Fuhg hc, GJBC.)

    • Jenny_M says:

      "Fuhg hc, GHBC" never needs to be rot13ed, my friend. Because that site is the worst, and needs to be told to shut up ALL OF THE TIME.

      • Noybusiness says:

        Like that Jacob BSG and Doctor Who re-capper, who occasionally came up with a good insight but mostly gave us purple prose. And had an annoying tendency to attribute lines to the wrong characters. The thing that made me most angry was when he insisted that anyone who said they liked "The Woman King" was lying! Unmentionable-organs-face!

        • cemeterybaby says:

          lol Jacob is the worst. I remember reading his Maelstrom recap and I thought it would be really good and emotional because hello, MAELSTROM, but it turned out to be mind bendingly terrible. The best comparison I can think of is this book we used to use in one of my middle school English classes. Every page had a different illustration and IIRC a phrase that was the beginning of a sentence. We had writing exercises where the assignment was to write our own short stories based off of it. That's what Jacob's recaps are like. Presumably based on the show, but then they spin off into something that doesn't even approach recapping what actually happened in the show and instead is some bizarre combination of his personal head canon, a horrible piece of like post modern fanfiction, occasionally peppered with actual things that happened in the show.

          • Noybusiness says:

            Oh, that reminds me. He complains at the end of his "The Son Also Rises" recap that the ritual of putting Kara's picture up should have no meaning to Sam because he wasn't there when it was established. Um… hello? It's a wall of photos of dead people! To who, exactly, does that not have meaning! Common sense trying to get in, the way's blocked! Gb dhbgr Naqerj va "Gur Ybat Jnl Ubzr".

    • Noybusiness says:

      Ubj pbhyq gung Natry erpnccre qvfyvxr Jrfyrl? Jura gurl jrer cergraqvat gung Jrfyrl jnf gur qrsvpvrag bar va gur cubar pbairefngvba jvgu uvf sngure va "Orybatvat", vg pnzr bss nf gurve abg trggvat vg ba checbfr.

    • cemeterybaby says:

      Orsber V rire npghnyyl jngpurq Natry V jbhyq ernq gur erpncf ba GJBC (abg gur sbehzf, fb V qba'g xabj vs gurl ungrq Jrfyrl nf zhpu nf gur erpnccre qvq). Naljnl, V thrff V whfg vagreanyvmrq nyy bs gung JRFYRL VF GUR JBEFG raretl, naq V jnf fb pbashfrq jura V npghnyyl jngpurq gur fubj naq V jnf yvxr jnvg guvf vf npghnyyl n cerggl nznmvat punenpgre nep???? V nyernql qvqa'g yvxr gur Ohssl erpncf/sbehzf orpnhfr vg jnf cerggl zhpu n abafgbc cnenqr bs FGBC JUVAVAT OHSSL juvpu V qba'g xabj frrzf gb zr gb zvff gur ragver cbvag bs ure punenpgre nep naq gur fubj vgfrys, ohg jura V npghnyyl FNJ ubj Jrfyrl'f punenpgre terj vg frrzrq gb zr yvxr vg jnf whfg n uvirzvaq guvat obear sebz gur erpnccre'f bja bcvavba bs uvf punenpgre. V zrna V qvfyvxrq uvz BSGRA ohg V arire jnagrq uvz bss gur fubj orpnhfr V sbhaq uvz fb pbzcryyvat.

  33. myeck says:

    You’ve made some questionable statements from time to time, Mark, but this time, really…

    CRUNCHY?!?!

    Next you’ll probably say you don’t like PB and mayo sandwiches.

  34. NB2000 says:

    – hee breadstake
    – Ah yes this supposedly annual birthday trip to the ice show that we never heard of last year, I guess we're just meant to assume it happened offscreen at some point.
    – "Faith's on one of her unannounced walkabouts" Nice cover there show. It's interesting to think how Faith would have reacted to all of this, not well I'm guessing.
    – Not even a phone call to explain why he's not coming, just leave Joyce to explain. What happened to the Hank Summers from "When She Was Bad" who was upset that they hadn't connected over the summer?
    – FUCK YOU TRAVERS! That's all I really want to say about him tbh.
    – Buffy not-so-subtly trying to get Giles to take her to the ice show is adorable, and I hope he ended up going after everything that happens.
    – Kralik may me the creepiest villain this show has had. Every one of his scenes just made my skin crawl. It's a fantastic performance by Jeff Kober, I just…I want to pick out the creepiest things he does but they're all SO BAD that I don't know where to start.
    – Speaking of creepy NOPE ANGEL WATCHING HER AT THE SCHOOL IS STILL CREEPY AND NOT BEAUTIFUL at least to me.
    – "Or taken literally incredibly gross" Okay that makes does make me laugh.
    – The scene where Giles reveals what's happenind to Buffy, ASH and SMG are just AMAZING in it. The "Liar" callback to "Lie to Me" is heartbreaking.
    – "Did something take her memory?" I don't think I've ever been so happy for Cordelia to break up a scene.
    – Okay the purposefully burning himself on the cross is a Kralik moment I have to point out because…OH GOD NO
    – The way Buffy defeats him is one of her best moments, well see spectralbovine's post for how amazing it really is. Joyce's pride in her in the final scene is well placed (and so wonderful to hear after Gingerbread).

    • Fuzzysnowpuffs says:

      "Speaking of creepy NOPE ANGEL WATCHING HER AT THE SCHOOL IS STILL CREEPY AND NOT BEAUTIFUL at least to me."

      Yeah…… At first I think "Meh, yeah okay, he was watching her because he wants to help her" but then Angel starts talking about how he fell in love with her then, and I start to feel the creepy

      • caia says:

        Yeah, I'm very firmly in the "Grown man falling in love at first sight with a fourteen-year-old (sucking a lollipop) CREEPY AS FUCK FOREVER."

    • Noybusiness says:

      "What happened to the Hank Summers from "When She Was Bad" who was upset that they hadn't connected over the summer?"

      I think he's decided that he doesn't get her and stopped trying.

  35. So it's been a few years since I've watched the entire series and I'm racking my brain trying to think of any other episode…

    nope, this one's my favorite (I retain the right to redact this statement at any time)

    Something about the Watcher/Slayer Father/Daughter relationship that is almost severed, but then cemented in the last few moments is completely beautiful and heart-wrenching and SMG and ASH are just PERFECT. My heart hurts after this episode, but it's a good hurt, a hurt that has lasted since I first saw this episode 10 years ago.

  36. 00guera00 says:

    I had another thought…

    jung vs gung'f gur cbvag bs gur Pernzhz…jungrire vgf pnyyrq, gb trg evq bs gur ceboyrz fynlref? Sbe gur 'tbbq borqvrag' fynlref gurl guebj va n jrnx inzcver, jurer nf jvgu ceboyrz fynlref gurl tvir gurz gbhtu inzcverf. Naq gurl xabj gurl'yy unir nabgure, lbhat naq pbashfrq tvey gb zbyq vagb n 'orggre' fynlre nf fbba nf gur ceboyrz fynlre trgf gnxra pner bs…gung'f xvaqn perrcl.

    • Enigmatic Mr Wu says:

      Fbzrobql bapr fhttrfgrq gung va n svp V ernq. Trggvat evq bs gur ceboyrz fynlref naq trggvat nabgure fynlre pnyyrq fbzjurer ryfr, fvapr gur ybatre n fynlre yvirf va bar cneg bs gur jbeyq, gur jbefr vg trgf rireljurer ryfr fvapr gurer vfa'g n fynlre gb guva bhg gur ureq va, fnl obyvivn.

      Nyfb V guvax gurer znl or fbzrguvat gb gur vqrn bs qevivat n jrqtr orgjrra gur fynlre naq ure jngpure, orpnhfr vs gurl'er gbb pybfr, ur zvtug or hajvyyvat gb fraq ure gb pregnva qrngu.

  37. Delta1212 says:

    As I’ve said before, I watched this series once through, in the space of a couple months, two years ago. Episodes sort of blur together and how well I remember them varies. Some I remember completely, other I only remember once they’ve gotten going. Sometimes it takes half the episode before it rings a bell.

    Because of that, my reaction to the episode played out roughly as follows:

    Oh, Buffy is suddenly having trouble with a vampire. Wait, does the “Helpless” in the title mean she’s going to lose her powers? So we’ll get to see how Buffy handles life as if she wasn’t the Slayer, that’ll be interesting.

    Wait, wait, Giles, what are you doing? No, no! Don’t do this! OH! THIS EPISODE! Then, having remembered the rest of the episode more or less, I spent my time mulling over the issue of Giles’s actions.

    First, would I ever be able to trust someone again knowing that they had secretly drugged me and placed me in a position where I could have easily been killed? I mean, the obvious answer is “No” but I’m trying not to be knee-jerk about it, so I spent some considerable time trying to figure out a way this person would be able to win my trust back and I’m still a bit conflicted on the whole subject.

    Then I went off musing on the concept of authority and responsibility as it pertains to Giles’s situation. He obviously knows this is wrong, and states that outright, but he still goes ahead and follows along with the plan. A dozen centuries of tradition and the explicit commands of the people I would assume have been the primary authority figures of his adult life is a lot of pressure, and I suppose it’s realistic that a person could bow to that, but at the same time, how would he live with himself if Buffy got hurt or killed?

    I think I could understand better if this seemed more… Necessary? Like it’s a ritual the Slayer has to go through in order to keep her powers or survive or something along those lines. It seems, though, that it’s just a practice the Watchers have because they think it seems like a good idea, and while I kind of understand the abstract idea behind it (A Slayer who can succeed without her powers will be even more effective when she has them) this test doesn’t seem like it actually helps her get better at fighting without her powers, just tests whether she already can, with death being the outcome if she can’t.

    That doesn’t seem like a particularly useful practice for doing anything except possibly killing off less competent Slayers so more competent ones can be called, which is… Yeah. Given that, how utterly unnecessary it seems and how little benefit there is to Buffy for succeeding and how much is at stake if she fails, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around why Giles would consent to it in the first place. Him getting fired helped answer my question of “What, exactly, could the Council even do if he just told them to sod off?” but even that…

    I don’t know.

    • stormwreath says:

      I assume it's actually a test for the Watcher as much or more than it is for the Slayer. Doe he have the ruthlessness to send her into danger and risk of death every night? Is he going soft on her? Where do his loyalties lie? So the Council puts him in this awful situation, and if he refuses to cooperate or obey orders, he find himself removed from active Watcher duty and set to mucking out the vampire pits at Watcher HQ for the rest of his life.

  38. DreamRose311 says:

    Dhragva Geniref, jubfr snpr V jvyy ungr ba cevapvcyr sebz urer hagvy rgreavgl.

    Vg jba'g unir gb or whfg ba cevapvcyr. Lbh'yy ungr uvz rirel gvzr, naq zber fb rnpu gvzr.

  39. monkeybutter says:

    Okay, serious comment, this episode made me so angry at so many people. While I love stories about identity, especially the loss or muddling of it, it was so hard to watch Buffy weakened and believing herself to be helpless. SMG does too good a job of it, and the episode does a good job of showing the pervasive misogyny in our society. I felt genuine fear and discomfort, just a rottenness that reminded me of watching "Ted."

    And I was so angry at the Watchers, and Giles in particular. I hate this cabal of men, plotting to weaken Buffy for a test. For tradition. I hate Giles' betrayal — and god, there has been so much betrayal this season, or really since Buffy's last birthday, that it just feels like a punch to the stomach for it to be Giles' turn to break trust, especially right after Buffy's father let her down. He turns around in the end, but I'm so disheartened by Giles' betrayal. I hate, hate, HATE the way Quentin Travers calls Buffy "girl" at the end, since she was being put through this trial on her 18th birthday, she's an adult, and she proved herself though she should have never had to. And most of all, since the word "girl" or "girly" had been used as in a diminishing way twice this episode (not necessarily intended as an insult, but as something Buffy was beyond at this point in her life.) I hate that Buffy, the one doing all of the heavy lifting, is treated as lesser than, and having a Watcher who actually cares about and (with this major exception) respects her is impermissible.

    Angel, you're creeping me the fuck out, and I do not need that, especially not during this episode.

    And more than anything, I hate creamy peanut butter, so I will join in that fight, and maybe even make some picket signs. Creamy peanut butter is a tool of the devil.

    On the plus side, I loved Cordy, and Xander and Oz's apropos discussion about kryptonite.

  40. Fuzzysnowpuffs says:

    Bxnl fb guvf vf fhssvpvragyl enaqbz, ohg qvq nalbar ryfr urne Ohssl fnl "Gnyxvat crbcyr'f rnef bss nobhg zl tybel qnlf" naq fuhqqre sebz gur gubhtug bs Frnfba 5? Lrnu, gur jbeq "Tybel" vf sberire ehvarq sbe zr. Abg gung V qvfyvxr ure, fur vf n terng ivyynva."

  41. zephyras13 says:

    You know, I don't know why Buffy forgave Giles. I certainly wouldn't (though that's probably because I am a far more vindictive person than Buffy is.) This isn't even the first time he's ever done anything either. He tried to hide the prophecy from her in "Prophecy Girl" and I hated how he tricked her into revealing what really happened to Angel in "Faith, Hope, & Trick." I'm probably the only one who feels this way, but I thought that was majorly crossing the line, even though it turned out to be a good thing for Buffy to talk about. He pressured her into believing there would be a problem with Acathla if she didn't tell him something extremely private that he had no way of knowing she was ready to talk about. Sure, Buffy needed to come to terms with it, but lying to her and tricking her into it is NOT a healthy way to go about that. Most people would be furious if someone they trusted did that to them, ohg vg'f arire rira oebhtug hc ntnva. Naq vs V'z erzrzorevat gur erfg bs frnfba guerr pbeerpgyl, gurer vfa'g nal snyybhg sebz Tvyrf' npgvbaf (orgjrra ur naq Ohssl, naljnl.)

    I understand that Giles was only doing his job, but when your job requires you to drug your student (while letting her go out and LOOK FOR VAMPIRES in the process without any sort of warning) and lock her up with a vampire, that kind of isn't an excuse anymore.

    *is done ranting*

    • robin_comments says:

      You know, I don't know why Buffy forgave Giles.
      THIS. I side-eye the ending of this episode sooooo much. I could buy Buffy forgiving him by the season finale, but so quickly just honestly is beyond my suspension of disbelief.

  42. arctic_hare says:

    – This episode is so hard to watch, argh. I hate seeing Giles betray Buffy like that. Also, did we really need the "like a girl"? line? Ugh.

    – Fuck the Watchers Council, bunch of scumbags.

    – Fuck that asshole harassing my Cordy. This is EXACTLY why Nice Guys scare me, because I wonder if this sort of thing and worse is going to come out to play. Creepy bastards.

    – Also just ew what go away @ Angel's whole confession about the time he perved on Buffy in a high school parking lot.

    – ILU forever, Cordelia. You can tell she cares about Buffy and it warms my heart so much.

    – I love Buffy's red coat in the episode. Very Little Red Riding Hood, extremely fitting for the episode.

    – I loved the scene at the end until the bit with Xander. It's gross and disturbing to me that he's enjoying Buffy being without her powers, and his comments are just a world of ew do not want. "Little lady"? "Admit it, sometimes you just need a big strong man"? Ew, fuck off, Xander. I like that he can't get it open either, but it doesn't make his attitude any less skeevy and awful.

    • Danny_SAP says:

      Re: Little red riding hood

      Particularly with Kralik dressed in it on the Summers' porch. It's a very good touch.

    • robin_comments says:

      ILU forever, Cordelia. You can tell she cares about Buffy and it warms my heart so much.
      The way that Cordelia's face changes and her voice softens! Be still my heart.

    • Karen says:

      YESSSSS. Angel's confession is CREEPY. It is not romantic or whatever like Buffy seems to think it is.

      And Cordelia is great in her two scenes in this episode (BOOO WHY DO WE ONLY GET TWO SCENES WITH HER? I WANT MORE.)

      And yes, Xander's attitude is obnoxious even though he isn't able to open the jar in the end.

  43. lawrence_s says:

    So, we were re-watching this episode last weekend, as we watch all five of the to-be reviewed episodes before reading Mark's posts on them, and it was kind of epically windy outside.

    Pretty much immediately after Buffy threw the drug case at Giles, the power went out for just long enough to cause the DVD player and TV to shut off. It was more than a little distracting having to track to that point in the episode again. (Should have just watched the whole thing from the beginning.) V zrna, jul pbhyqa'g vg unir unccrarq va na rcvfbqr V qba'g pner nobhg, yvxr Gur Mrccb?

    But … wow, this episode. Brilliant and heartbreaking, and uh, I have a couple of issues with it.

    For one thing, WTF is with the exposed needle, Giles? I get that you're already doing something unpleasant and, well, downright evil, to your Slayer, but do you have to risk infection, too? Does the Council not have access to sterile, disposable needles that come with covers? (Also, that thing looked like it was about 14 gauge it was so thick. OW. But I must say, I'm glad Giles covered the injection spot with his thumb as he drugged her, because for whatever reason, despite my complete non-anxiety about sticking a needle in myself, I always cringe watching another person receive an injection, in real life or on TV. but not if it's covered up, apparently. So, a small thanks to Giles for sparing me on that one.

    Also, Angel. Seriously. You were watching a 15-year-old girl from a car with darkened windows (yes, I know the darkened windows were only so you didn't catch fire, but still). Not only is that not romantic in the slightest, but you could not possibly have seen Buffy's 'heart' or her 'personality' from your vantage point. What I think you're really trying to say is that you have a creepy 'purity' obsession and that Buffy looked all 'pure' and 'innocent'. In other words, exactly your type. As Angelus, innocence was something to be destroyed, and as Angel, something to be protected. Neither of those positions is really particularly praiseworthy.

    However, I do see what the writers were attempting with that speech of his, and I think it would have been OK (as much as I find any grand expressions like his OK, anyway) if the circumstances weren't quite so creepy.

    And now for some rot13 for a question to those who've seen the whole series…

    Vs gur Pbhapvy pna fb rnfvyl guerngra Tvyrf'f vzzvtengvba fgnghf va Purpxcbvag, jul jbhyq gurl abg npghnyyl qb gung urer, fvapr gurl boivbhfyl jnag Tvyrf gb fgnl njnl sebz Ohssl naq abg vagresrer jvgu gur arj Jngpure… V zrna, abg gung V jbhyq engure vg unir cynlrq bhg gung jnl, ohg vg frrzf yvxr n onq ergpba bapr gurl trg gurer va frnfba svir.

    • stormwreath says:

      Znlor gurl whfg nffhzrq gung bapr ur jnf ab ybatre va punetr bs Ohssl, Tvyrf jbhyq unir ab ernfba gb fgnl va gur HF naq jbhyq tb ubzr naljnl. Gur snpg gung ur fgnlrq gurer whfg pbasvezrq – va gurve rlrf – jung n ybfre ur jnf.

      Ohg abg gb jbeel: gurl'er fraqvat gurve Gbc Zna bhg gb gnxr pbageby bs gur fvghngvba. Ze Jlaqunz-Celpr jbhyq fbba fubj Tvyrf ubj vg'f fhccbfrq gb or qbar! πŸ™‚

  44. enigmaticagentscully says:

    In other news, I'm going to see my uncle in a pantomime tomorrow, so I won't be commenting 'til Saturday. Y'all have fun now! I'm looking forward to reading your comments when I get back…

    And now I'm really selfishly hoping it's a boring and inconsequential episode. :/

  45. @Ipu_chan says:

    You know, I'd forgotten how awesome season 3 was, Thank you Mark for reminding me!

  46. Hanna_the_Glam says:

    So many thoughts about this episode. It's awful and brilliant.

    – SMG is great when it comes to portraying that raw emotional hurt. But I have to give major props to ASH here for the barely controlled hysteria during Giles' confession about the drugging. I was convinced he was going to burst into tears at any moment.

    – I feel like this episode is of a set with the previous one. The scary side of 'matriarchal' authority (and I realize that characterizing M.O.O. as matriarchal is worth an essay in its own right) first, then the betrayal of the patriarchy, both on a personal and institutional level. Unlike the last one, this episode seems like it'll have actual consequences.

    – The worst part of the Council's reasoning, to me, is that they aren't completely wrong about everything. Quentin is right about the fact that Buffy came out of the test more powerful than ever. And frankly, I can see the point of being leery about over-attachment between Watcher and Slayer. It's a relationship that's doomed to end in brutal death.

    – BUT. Two things. Even if those are reasonable concerns, there are surely other ways to deal with them. Like, I dunno. COMMUNICATION? SUPPORT? Maybe the Slayer would be willing to voluntarily push beyond her abilities if she actually had a real network of support. They aren't all as lucky as Buffy, after all. However, this is moot. Because it's clear that the Council doesn't really even care about those things. They are convenient justifications. It's all about having control over the Slayer. The older she gets, the less dependent she is. I think they just figure if she fails the test they get a new, young, impressionable Slayer. If she passes then her strengths outweigh the 'inconvenience' of her maturity.

    – The only reason I have any sympathy for Giles before he made a clean breast of things is because he has clearly been a rebel WRT the Council for a long time now. I have to think that they may have had some pretty good ways of being nasty to him, and that he actually got off easy. Still, Buffy would have been justified if she couldn't forgive him.

    If I were her, I would have been thinking of that time in 'I Only Have Eyes For You' when he gave her the speech about forgiving. I think they both must have appreciated the irony of that.

  47. Danny_SAP says:

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi7weF31v1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    BUFFY Gotcha!
    ANGEL Uhh! Right in the heart.
    BUFFY Satisfied?
    ANGEL I'm not sure that's the word.
    BUFFY Okay. I didn't mean 'satisfied' like…
    ANGEL No, I, I wasn't trying to…

    Please note she stakes him with a baguette.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi7wuxh4O1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    BOY You made me look like some kind of dork in front of my posse!
    CORDELIA First of all, 'posse'? Passe'! Second of all, anyone with a teaspoon of brains knows not to take my flirting seriously. Especially with my extenuating circumstances.

    Cordelia vs. The Patriarchy
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi7x6Txlh1qz5stv.png"&gt;
    Vampires can metabolize drugs… that doesn't make any sense… nor does it make sense that they can get drunk a la Spike. Also pills don't metabolize this fast… My vampire fiction needs realism, damn it!
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi7zn5c8z1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    ANGEL I saw you before you became the Slayer.
    BUFFY What?
    ANGEL I watched you, and I saw you called. It was a bright afternoon out in front of your school. You walked down the steps… and… and I loved you.
    BUFFY Why?
    Angel: 'Cause I could see your heart. You held it before you for everyone to see. And I worried that it would be bruised or torn. And more than anything in my life I wanted to keep it safe… to warm it with my own.
    BUFFY That's beautiful. Or taken literally, incredibly gross.
    ANGEL I was just thinking that, too.

    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi8piupLg1qz5stv.gif"&gt;
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi800VcAK1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    MAN Hey, sweet girl! How much for a lap dance for me and my buddy?

    Buffy vs. The Patriarchy
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi80n544y1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    GILES You can't walk home alone, Buffy. It isn't safe.
    BUFFY I don't know you.
    CORDELIA Did something take her memory? He's Giles. Giiillles. He hangs out here a lot.
    BUFFY Cordelia, could you please drive me home?
    CORDELIA Of course.

    Pause from this gut wrenching scene for Cordelia's heartfelt, "Of course." She may hate Xander and blame Buffy for her loving Xander but she still cares about Buffy. I really like that.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi82jXen11qz5stv.png"&gt;
    Polaroid, the film of choice for sociopaths everywhere.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi829yq3m1qz5stv.png"&gt;
    The overalls of sadness become the overalls of utilitarian determination.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi848MarJ1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    GILES Interestingly, I don't give a rat's ass about the Council's orders. There will be no test.

    For use in internet arguments.
    <img src="http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lzi858IfUY1qz5stv.png"&gt;

    QUENTIN We're not in the business of fair, Miss Summers, we're fighting a war.
    GILES You're waging a war. She's fighting it. There is a difference.

    Introducing the theme of the Watcher's Council.

    This is such a well written, acted, and directed episode. WELL DONE TEAM MUTANT ENEMY.

    Transcripts by BvA.

  48. magpie says:

    CF: Whfg n urnqf hc. Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq.

    OJNUNUNUUN UBJ JEBAT LBH JVYY RIRAGHNYYL OR, ZNEX.

    Nyy ner cbjreyrff gb qb nalguvat ohg ybir Jrfyrl sberire naq rire.

  49. misterbernie says:

    GILES YYYYYY πŸ™ also BUFFY NO :(((
    That said, this is another one that's not on my usual rewatch list because I'm not much of a fan of the creepy guy in a creepy house creeps after someone setting, and it takes up too much of the ep for my tastes.

    German title: Die Reifeprüfung – the regular meaning would be 'final exam', though a bit more specific? Not quite sure BUT there's a pun because literally, it means 'maturity test'.

    Oh, and it's also the German title for The Graduate. I don't know what the dubbers were thinking, make of that what you will.

  50. Auracounts says:

    I'm not going to quote it, because it would be redundant, but it amuses me silly when Mark and enigmaticscully post ultimatums, because we all know how those end.

  51. BornIn1142 says:

    This episode is stupid. The test is stupid, and the whole damn Watchers' Council is so damn stupid that it crosses the line of bad writing.

    This test is, in a nutshell, impossible to rationalize. It's pointless. Its only function seems to be to whittle down the average Slayer lifespan even further. I'm pretty sure the Watchers would lose less Slayers in naturally occurring freak scenarios where they have their powers disabled and have to get by on their wits and skills than they do in the test. The whole thing is just a massive contrivance, and it pisses me off.

    • ghostofdurruti says:

      V qba'g guvax gur Jngpuref' Pbhapvy arprffnevyl pnerf ubj znal Fynlref gurl ybfr. Gurer'f nyjnlf nabgure bar, nsgre nyy. Va snpg, vg znxrf frafr gung gurl'q jnag Fynlref gb qvr lbhat, fb gung gurl jbhyq or rnfvre gb pbageby.

      • BornIn1142 says:

        I don't really think this is a spoiler, but I'll just go ahead and reply in rot13 anyway…

        N qrnq Fynlre rdhnyf gvzr naq erfbheprf jnfgrq ba genvavat nabgure bar, juvpu uvaqref gurve rknygrq jne ntnvafg guvatf gung tb ohzc va gur avtug. Hayrff gur Jngpuref trahvaryl qba'g rira pner nobhg gung naq unir ab tbny bgure guna shegurevat gurve bja pbzcyrgryl cbvagyrff pbafcvenpl, guvf znxrf ab frafr. Va bgure jbeqf, vg'f fb fghcvq vg fgenvaf perqvovyvgl. Ng yrnfg gung'f gur jnl V frr vg.

        • Noybusiness says:

          Vg qbrfa'g ernyyl gnxr gung zhpu gvzr be erfbheprf, Fynlref ner anghenyyl gnyragrq naq gurer ner ybgf bs Jngpuref. Ohssl naq Snvgu obgu orpnzr pbzcrgrag qrzba svtugref fbba nsgre orvat pnyyrq. Naq Fynlref qb fheivir gur Pehpvnzraghz, vg'f abg n fragrapr bs pregnva qrngu.

          L'xabj, gur jubyr pbaprcg bs gur Fynlre vf ernyyl perrcl. Tvey nsgre tvey trgf gbyq "Lbh ner gur Fynlre. Gur Pubfra Bar. Gur bayl bar jub pna svtug gur inzcverf." naq qvrf gjb be guerr lrnef yngre. Ohg gung'f jul gur zrffntr Wbff vf fraqvat vfa'g gung Ohssl'f na rkgenbeqvanel jbzna *orpnhfr* fur'f gur Fynlre; fur'f na rkgenbeqvanel jbzna, naq gung znxrf ure gur terngrfg Fynlre va uvfgbel naq gur bar jub punatrf rirelguvat.

          • BornIn1142 says:

            I like that interpretation of Buffy's character.

            Anyway, I suppose the test isn't impossible to rationalize after all. Still, it goes over by personal BS tolerance to the point where it rendered the episode mostly unenjoyable to me, despite the general quality. And as a plot device, it does still seem like a very forced way to inject drama into Buffy's and Giles's relationship.

            • Noybusiness says:

              To me it seems like the sort of thing a shadowy, controlling, echo-chamber-y organization like the Watchers would have.

        • echinodermata says:

          Someone reported your comment for the line "In other words, it's so stupid it strains credibility" because they felt it was getting too close to a personal attack. If the "it" that you refer to as being "so stupid" is someone's theory/explanation regarding the test, then I would agree with the person who reported it that it comes off too strongly against another commenter for no reason. But I also believe you may be referring to the test itself and the actions of the Council as presented in the episode and not ghostofdurruti's rationalization of the test, so I wanted to point out to whoever reported it that there's a more charitable explanation for that line in the comment.

          • BornIn1142 says:

            I was referring to the actions of the Council, and by proxy, the script of the episode. There was certainly no personal attack there.

            • echinodermata says:

              I figured that was what you were saying, but I did want to address the concern brought forth in the comment report.

              Miscommunication resolved, hopefully.

  52. Andie says:

    V PNA'G JNVG SBE JRFYRL.

    He is my favourite character in the whole Whedonverse.

  53. cemeterybaby says:

    I love Buffy in this episode so so so much because it's really easy to not give her credit for all the work she does as a Slayer because, hey, magical super powers. But here's an episode where she has NO powers, where she is in extreme distress, and she's still so capable and quick-thinking and brave. It's a really nice way of showing that being the Slayer has made Buffy change and mature, but it's like…her power gives her the physical ability to do shit, but her smarts and heart? That's all Buffy.

  54. Weird ! I'm posting for the 1st time in days and my comment has disappeared or it misses a part ? lol
    So this is the 2nd post, sorry if it's a double.

    Dear everyone watching those episodes for the first time.

    I feel your pain and your anger.

    I know it's hard. I know it's hurtful. I know you want to cry in your corner and hate those fucking minds that have broughts these stories and make suffer your favorite characters. I know…

    But yet, in the end, after years of loving this show, loving the good and the bad, the happiness and the heartcrushing, you'll feel grateful.

    You'll realize that this experience, this path that you've been going through, was priceless. And you'll want to erase nothing. You'll cherish all these feelings even the hard ones, all these questionings, all these yells in front of your screen.
    After 15 years, those feelings are still vivid for me and I can't imagine my life without them.

    At the end, you'll end up worshipping Whedon and his "evil" friends for having given you this show and some of the best stories that you'll watch in your life.

    Signed, Nora. With love and hugs.

    And I'm back! I can't catch up now on the 5 reviews that I missed those last days, but will do first thing in the morning! I missed you Mark. πŸ˜‰

  55. t09yavosaur says:

    -Smiley Angel? <img src='http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p150/Falcon823/HPQuirrellWhat.gif'&gt;
    -Giles usually puts up with her jokes, what's up?
    -“That was really funny looking, could you do it again?” It really was.
    -Paralyzing Ominous Noise!
    -Does Buffy's Aura need cleansing?
    -If Buffy and her dad go every year than why didn't they we hear about it last year?
    -Buffy can't be drafted Willow. She can join the army, go to prison, and buy cigarettes though.
    -Giles, she is inviting you!! Pay Attention!
    -Where is the real Giles? What is going on? Why is he injecting her? It this like the fish people steroid?
    -What are they going to tell the school when Amy is done being a rat.
    -Jerk! Buffy! Cordelia! What?
    -I see. The real Giles is being held captive by stupid Watchers Council traditions.
    -Wow Angel, that was a beautifully poetic way to reveal your stalker days.
    -Hahahahaha, considering Angel has given people hearts as presents
    -I like you Demon-In-A-Box. Ya know, as much as I can like murderous evil vampires.
    -Uh Oh. Vampire Watcher.
    -I love how memory loss is Cordelia's first thought. It isn't her fault she walked in at the middle.
    -Noooooo, sneaky vamp. <img src='http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p150/Falcon823/jurassicCleverGirl.gif'&gt;
    -I have been wondering about the Slayers who must have been turned. Are they more dangerous than other vamps? Is Buffy going to have to face one?
    -Ripper!! I know you won't make it in time but do your best!
    -Has Joss/David Fury written any actual horror movies? Or just all of them at once.
    -Holy water in the glass. Poor guy, I'll miss him.
    -“Oh My,” he is seriously the best vamp ever, even while dying.
    -“his” so the new Watcher will be a man. And the only woman Watcher we know of was kicked out.
    – πŸ™

    Let me get this straight. They don't bother sending Giles memos or giving Faith a new Watcher, while having time to find a murderous vampire for Buffy's test, AND they are going to fire Giles because he cares more about keeping his Slayer alive.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      "Hahahahaha, considering Angel has given people hearts as presents "

      BWAHAHAHAHA I didn't even remember that, but it just made that whole scene ten times funnier.

    • Fuchsia says:

      V unir orra jbaqrevat nobhg gur Fynlref jub zhfg unir orra ghearq. Ner gurl zber qnatrebhf guna bgure inzcf? Vf Ohssl tbvat gb unir gb snpr bar?

      V ernyyl jvfu gung jr unq frra guvf ng bar cbvag be nabgure. V zrna, Snvgu nyernql tvirf Ohssl n eha sbe ure zbarl jvgubhg inzcver cbjref ba gbc. Vg jbhyq'ir orra na vagrerfgvat fubjqbja.

    • @farwell3d says:

      Joss has co-written a horror film with Drew Goddard, that Drew directed, which, after being shelved for years by the MGM bankruptcy, is hitting theaters later this year, called Cabin In The Woods.

      • theDMG says:

        Just what I was going to say. April 13……so cannot wait. I'm hoping it holds over in theaters long enough that I can do a Joss double-dip when Avengers comes out May 2. This year just makes me filled with happiness.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I have been wondering about the Slayers who must have been turned. Are they more dangerous than other vamps?

      That was always my thought. Seems like Slayer blood would be a much-sought-after vampire delicacy, and a vamp!Slayer would be extra-super-badass because of all the training (like that vamp who was a good fighter because he was on the gymnastics team a few episodes back).

      “his” so the new Watcher will be a man. And the only woman Watcher we know of was kicked out.

      Faith's first Watcher was also a woman.

  56. RaeBear says:

    this is the one episode I can't rewatch, ever, not even for Mark. It's so painful.

  57. KatieHal says:

    I kind of love imagining how the Watcher's Council got to be like this. Think about it: untold centuries/millennia ago, some dudes learn about this Slayer and how she fights demons and try to help her. But when she dies, they think crap, it's all over, and probably take up the fight themselves. Until hey! There's another one! So that must be how it works! Well, we should keep helping her, so when she does die (inevitable), and the next girl is called, someone's there to help her. She'll know what's going on, and why, and we'll fill her in on the details.

    It's such a *good* idea, when you look at it that way. Gather demon and mystical intel, use it to help the world.

    But then someone naturally starts to think, hey, it'd be a lot easier to (a) control her instead of guide her and (b) not get attached to her since we know she's going to die horribly someday. And then over the years, it just gets to be that way instead, because these are the guys who know the things, who've been around all this time, who can do the training and the guiding and the pointing the Slayer at whatever target is dangerous (oh, and did we mention, we're the ones who define dangerous now?).

    And Giles, he gets brought up thinking this is great, these are the good guys and I'm one of them! Awesome! Okay, she has to take this test at one point, but it makes sense, she needs to have good instincts, to be smart as well as strong, she needs to know what it's like when an opponent is stronger than she is. And then oh crap, I didn't realize how totally shitty this is for her.

    Just, it's an interesting evolution to imagine. I can completely see how it would come about, and as shitty as the Council is now, I get how they think it's the right thing to do, too.

    Naq lrf, V xabj nobhg Frnfba 7'f erirny nobhg gur Funqbjzra naq ubj gurl jrer onfvpnyyl gur cebgb-Jngpuref. Ohg V fgvyy guvax fbzrguvat yvxr guvf fpranevb vf ernyvfgvp, gbb!

  58. threerings13 says:

    I have a lot of FEELINGS about this episode. I can't decide if I love it because Giles/Buffy is my favorite relationship on the show, or HATE it because Giles/Buffy is my favorite relationship on the show. I do love that by the end of the ep, they are ok enough for him to be physically comforting her by treating her wounds. (I guess this is where I confess that I kinda ship it? And this is about the point where my shipping starts. Don't judge me. Or, you know, go ahead, but keep it to yourself. I cannot help having an older British man thing.)

    But then I have lots of feelings about the episode itself. I love that this is Buffy as Final Girl, in the big scary abandoned house with the psychopathic killer.

    BUT, I have some issues with Kralik and how he is portrayed. He's a big scary vampire, who was a serial killer BEFORE he was turned. Ok, that is legitimately scary. But why do we then have to add all the SCARY MENTAL ILLNESS bullshit on top of it? He's in a straight jacket. He takes pills for NO GOOD GODDAMN REASON BECAUSE HE IS A VAMPIRE AND VAMPIRES DON'T NEED MEDICINE. I really hate the Mentally Ill Person=Scary Villain trope (although I hate the mental institution as torture chamber trope worse because I think it does more harm).

    Just…really? Otherwise the episode is stellar, but the thing with the pills just drives me NUTS.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Please don't say "nuts" on this site.

    • robin_comments says:

      Ur "pna'g cynl gur sngure" — V jvyy nyjnlf ivrj gur O/T eryngvbafuvc guebhtu fhogrkgl yraf nsgre gur zhfvpny. πŸ˜‰ Naq guvf O/T snasvp ol Lnugmrr vf cerggl tbbq naq unf n cnvashy yvggyr pnyy onpx gb Urycyrff: uggc://jjj.gurpuvpntbybbc.arg/lnugmrr/vafrpg/vafrpgsvp/Qrfgva1.ugz

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      V qba'g fuvc vg, ohg V qb guvax vg trgf znwbeyl fhogrkgl va yngre frnfbaf. V cersre gb guvax gung fhogrkgl jrveqarff vf cneg bs gur ernfba sbe gurve qlanzvp va frnfbaf fvk naq frira, orpnhfr vs gung nva'g vg, gura senaxyl vg znxrf ab frafr.

      • robin_comments says:

        lrc, V fbzrgvzrf pubbfr gb vagrecerg gur frnfba fvk naq frira qlanzvp nf Tvyrf orvat yvxr nnnnnu V qba'g xabj jung gb qb jvgu gurfr pbzcyvpngrq aba-sngure/qnhtugre glcr srryvatf.

        • Hanna_the_Glam says:

          Lrf, gung'f vg rknpgyl! Vs V guvax nobhg vg gung jnl, V pna haqrefgnaq jul ur'q xvaq bs sernx bhg naq or yvxr 'V zhfg trg bhg bs guvf fvghngvba, abj!'

  59. queenelizthe3rd says:

    CF: Whfg n urnqf hc. Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl.

    Oh, I don't know about that…

  60. _Bailey_ says:

    "I better not find out that you wrote anything in the script about the Scoobies making PB&J sandwiches with smooth peanut butter. Crunchy only in my world. I will fight you on that."

    My sister will only eat smooth peanut butter. I don't know what is wrong with her. She has major problems when she comes to visit me.

    "Whfg n urnqf hc. Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq."

    Bu Jrfyrl. V ybir lbh abj, ohg vg gbbx zr n juvyr. Qba'g jbeel nobhg Znex, ur'yy trg gurer gbb.

    • TrampyMcBitca says:

      ::scoops up all the jars of smooth peanut butter::

      Yes!!! Mine all mine!!!

    • aliciaspinnet says:

      Vg'f tbaan or uneq sbe rirelbar gb xrrc dhvrg nobhg ubj njrfbzr Jrfyrl vf tbvat gb or – qba'g jnag gb fcbvy Znex. Ybir gur punenpgre qrirybczrag!

  61. Scottish Eddie says:

    Dear lord!? This episode is like watching liquid sadness. I know it's brilliant and I know it's well acted but I skip it very often because it's just so painful.

    GILES!!!!!!!! Just go to the ice skating. Please!!!!

    It never happens though and that stupid test always happens.

    Sad face.

  62. @owldragon says:

    Everyone has already covered most of my thoughts on this episode. So good. So painful.

    I have some thoughts on the Watchers and Giles, though. First of all, I definitely is a terrible betrayal on the part of Giles. But I am willing to forgive him, because I think his intent is good. Giles doesn't like what he's being told to do, but he still feels compelled to follow the orders of his superiors, and trust them rather than himself. I theorize that some of this may stem from his past; he may feel the Watchers saved him from the mistakes he made as Ripper. "I was just following orders" definitely doesn't make it OKAY. At least he was trying to do what was right, though, and eventually realized how wrong his actions were. I think this episode shows us the worst side of Giles, but I'm glad that at the end Buffy shows a willingness to forgive him.

    As far as the Watchers are concerned, SO MUCH HATE. It's obvious to me now that while the Watcher's Council may claim this is a test for slayers, that is not the real purpose. Because hey, if a girl reached the age of 18 without having it reinforced that she's under the control of the Watchers, she might start thinking for herself like an independent adult. Maybe the test will reinforce the power dynamic, or maybe another slayer will be called (though Buffy already died). Either way, the Watchers would probably consider a win. I say there should be an episode that consists of Buffy tracking down each individual member of the Watcher's Council, and beating the crap out of them.

    • robin_comments says:

      I say there should be an episode that consists of Buffy tracking down each individual member of the Watcher's Council, and beating the crap out of them
      I might watch that every day and twice on Christmas.

  63. fandomphd says:

    This is the point in the show where I felt like all of the characters had betrayed me at some point. Xander and Willow, clearly, with the cheating thing. Giles, with the whole POISONING AND STABBING BUFFY IN THE BACK thing. These are all things for which I feel like I will never 100% forgive the characters. The only character I will always forgive for everything is Buffy! (Well, so far at least.)

  64. Binx says:

    Heart-wrenching betrayal aside, I do love this episode, though the "glass of holy water" thing never struck me as clever – mostly just because of the fact that they set up a vampire villain who needs to take pills and water all the time specifically so Buffy *could* trick him into drinking holy water. It always struck me as a "well isn't that CONVENIENT?" type of ploy.

    But that also aside, I just love the idea of an episode where, a) we see more of the council, b) Giles must ultimately choose between Buffy and the Council, and c) we get to see Buffy without her slayer powers and yet still in this dangerous world. All very intriguing.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      I thought is was kinda silly that a big tough vampire had to take those little pills with water every time. I know that not everyone can do it but those were about the size of ibuprofen and I can manage those, and I am not undead.

  65. jne says:

    The Watchers do seem to feel that Buffy is expendable. What is this? Do they not want to invest more in her training if she's not resourceful enough to NOT DIE in their little experiment? No biggie – just wait for the new slayer to be called? Yech. Giles is the one who is tested here…. Mark this is your fault. You asked for character growth! Did Giles "pass" by revealing the test to Buffy once things seemed to be out of control? Or not?

  66. Karen says:

    Wooo late to the party! But I was helping my mom get her car towed so. Yes. Anyway, THIS EPISODE.

    Giles is set up as a father figure in this episode which is something that has been an undercurrent in the show before, but never as explicit as it is here. When Buffy’s dad can’t take her to the ice show (which Buffy is adorably excited about), she looks to Giles to take her. And Giles is clearly starting to view Buffy as a daughter or at least as more than just his ward. If he were just a detached Watcher, he wouldn’t feel as conflicted as he does. Anyway, the fact that Giles is being set up as a surrogate father just makes his actions in this episode all the more painful.

    Earlier in the season Giles felt betrayed both personally and professionally when Buffy kept Angel’s reappearance a secret. And now Giles is betraying Buffy by participating in this rite of passage in which he weakens her.

    Her last birthday her boyfriend turned into a soulless killer. This birthday she’s being forced to fight a dangerous vampire after being put in a weakened state by her Watcher. Poor Buffy! I just want to give her hugs and bake her a birthday cake!

    Is there a bit of an identity crisis going on with Buffy losing her super strength and coordination? Without those, Buffy is not the Slayer. And if she’s not the Slayer, then who is she? I think this touches on something that was introduced with the arrival of Faith. If Buffy isn’t the Slayer, then Faith would be the Slayer and Buffy could be free to have a normal life. If she’s not the Slayer though, then what makes her special? She’s freaked out by what she’s feeling. She can’t just be a normal person. She hates feeling helpless and powerless. I do think it’s really interesting though because the initial idea behind Buffy as a character is that she looks like the girl who will get killed at the beginning of a horror movie, but then she secretly has super powers. Now though she’s been stripped of those powers. BUT IN SPITE OF THAT SHE STILL FIGHTS AND IS CLEVER AND IS ABLE TO SURVIVE AND BEAT THE MONSTER. So like even though she’s not super special anymore, she still wins.

    But oh god the look on Buffy’s face when she finds out what Giles has done… She’s so hurt and has been so betrayed. Giles violated her. First Buffy was let down by her biological father and now she’s been let down by her surrogate father. I JUST WANT TO LOVE YOU, BUFFY. I WON’T BETRAY YOU.

    Buffy being Buffy has to go after the vamp. She can’t let her mother be hurt. And Giles being Giles can’t let Buffy be sent into the lion’s den alone, so he goes after her. I think the fight sequence goes on a bit long, but I do think that it’s super clever how Buffy defeats the vampire by making him drink holy water.

    I LOVE what Giles says to Travers at the end of the episode: “You’re waging a war; she’s fighting it. There’s a difference.” I think there’s something really interesting to be said about these people, the Watchers, who use young girls (the Slayers) to fight their wars and use them and do bullshit tests like this. Like, what RIGHT do they have? Something to think about.

    Anyway, Giles didn’t pass the test. He’s too emotionally involved. He loves Buffy like a daughter and couldn’t go through with his side of the test in the end. Buffy is still hurt by Giles’s actions, but she allows him to tend her wounds.

    Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel seem to be pursuing something of a relationship, but it’s frustrating because they can’t have sex or else Angel will lose his soul. But LOL @ him getting Buffy a book of poetry. Has he MET her? I love Buffy, but a book of poems is not exactly the first gift I’d think of when I think of Buffy. And idk. Angel being all “I loved you before you became the Slayer” is kinda creepy. Because he didn’t know her then. He just saw her and loved her because he could ~see her heart~. And THIS is why Buffy/Angel just doesn’t do it for me. This is just some weird sort of paternalistic bullshit right here. It’s not beautiful, Buffy. It’s creepy. Love at first sight just kind of IS creepy because you know nothing about the person. If the show portrayed it as being weird, I’d be down, but the show is just trying to get us to be all “how ~romantic~!” and I’m just like “…no.”

    And again, the writers don’t know what to do with Cordy. She gets shoved into the episode since she’s still in the opening credits, and she spends most of her screentime getting manhandled by an asshole. πŸ™ DON’T TREAT MY CORDY LIKE THAT! I do love that although Cordy might not be a Scooby anymore, but she has changed. When Buffy tearfully asks Cordy to take her home later in the episode, she just says “of course.”

    • _Bailey_ says:

      "Meanwhile, Buffy and Angel seem to be pursuing something of a relationship, but it’s frustrating because they can’t have sex or else Angel will lose his soul. But LOL @ him getting Buffy a book of poetry. Has he MET her? I love Buffy, but a book of poems is not exactly the first gift I’d think of when I think of Buffy. And idk. Angel being all “I loved you before you became the Slayer” is kinda creepy. Because he didn’t know her then. He just saw her and loved her because he could ~see her heart~. And THIS is why Buffy/Angel just doesn’t do it for me. This is just some weird sort of paternalistic bullshit right here. It’s not beautiful, Buffy. It’s creepy. Love at first sight just kind of IS creepy because you know nothing about the person. If the show portrayed it as being weird, I’d be down, but the show is just trying to get us to be all “how ~romantic~!” and I’m just like “…no.” "

      I'm also all about the NO.

    • cemeterybaby says:

      Hey, Buffy can bust out a Death of a Salesman reference on the fly! Maybe she has a secret literary side that would appreciate the poetry. πŸ˜‰

    • Seventh_Star says:

      although i DO love when cordelia starts hitting that guy. she's pretty great at the physical comedy, and it's so satisfying to watch her do it.

    • ClaretStock says:

      I agree with you on the whole "love at first sight" being rather creepy. Especially alongside the very un-Buffy like gift. It makes me think that as much as Angel says he loved her from first sight, he didn't know her then, and he doesn't know her very well now. He seems to love the 'idea' of Buffy. Plus some sexual attraction, which, after the point of him 'loving' her as a 15 yr old seems even more creepy.

      I just can't… get over the weirdness, and it sure as hell does not come across as romantic, no matter how the writers treat it.

  67. holypotatoes says:

    For all of you who get very sad and down in the dumps over the scene between Buffy and Giles, I suggest you go and watch the movie Jawbreaker (specifically the end), then come back to Helpless and watch the scene. Honestly if this comparison:

    <img src="http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff299/holypotatoes_photos/Random%20pics/BuffyandCourtney.jpg&quot; alt="Photobucket" border="0">

    doesn't even get you to crack a smile, there is no hope for you in ever getting over the heartbreak of Buffy/Giles' relationship imploding in that moment.

  68. Noybusiness says:

    "Kralik's House"

    [youtube 6XQBL5N7KdU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XQBL5N7KdU youtube]

  69. quenstalof says:

    So many thoughts today.

    * Oh God….I don't think I'm going to like an episode called "Helpless" very much.
    * What? Buffy doesn't lose!
    * Didn't she already have two on-screen birthdays? And this is the first we're hearing of this tradition? Hmm…
    * Aww what's the point of a letter if you're just going to summarize it for her Joyce?
    * Giles, she just asked you to ask her to go to the ice show! Come on now, pay attention. What did that do? Grounded her i guess. Needles?! Do not want. What are you doing Giles? I thought he might be taking blood to see if she's sick, but nope, full on injecting something.
    * Is Giles doing this to her?! WTF show? He can't even meet her eyes.
    * What? What? that creepy guy is a Watcher and they're doing this on purpose? How ridiculous! there's (traditionally) only one slayer and they have a time honored tradition of locking them up and unleashing bad guys on them when they're helpless? what is the average survival rate of Slayers anyway? I just don't understand how it would have become a tradition to test the ONLY person who can save the world from demons and vampires etc. And why do they harbor whatever "that" is? Aren't they duty-bound to kill demons and such rather than try and domesticate them? Maybe I should watch some more…
    * I love Xander and Oz nerding out over the correct type of kryptonite to use in their metaphor. <3
    * Why would they have even developed a Slayer power draining drug in the first place? Shouldn't they be worried that it'll get into the wrong hands? Have there always been Watchers to go with Slayers? and one just decided to drug up and sic something bad on their Slayer? I'm sorry I cannot brain this.
    * Angel…that's some creepy stalker vibes you're giving off.
    * Ok so this is a time-honored tradition, but they haven't fully worked out the security detail? Buffy has been Slayer for what three, four years now? What happened to the one before? You'd think that probably they would have had to do this at least once before in the last decade. Can't brain it.
    * Don't you feel silly for drugging your only hope now Giles?
    * My thought is maybe this is a trick? We know how bad Giles is about getting the Watcher memos, so some kind of imperoster thing?
    * Straitjacket monster guy looks really familiar. I'll have to look him up. (Vf vg Nneba Rpubyyf? sebz IZnef?)
    * Wow way to pick a winner. A vamp who was a murderer as a human seemed like a good test for a helpless Slayer. (V jnf tbaan fnl "n inzc jub jnf va na nflyhz sbe gur pevzvanyyl vafnar" ohg V qvqa'g xabj vs gung jbhyq or bx urer fvapr vg'f npghnyyl pnaba?)
    * I'm glad Cordy is there to make me feel less awkward about this.
    * I really enjoyed that trick with the red coat.
    * Oh and the vampire pills! What's the deal with those? If they work to calm vamps down, shouldn't a tranq gun be a part of Buffy's arsenal?
    * I guess the first step is admitting you have a problem with mothers?
    * That was a lot of film!
    * Ok so I have issues with this episode, but that was AWESOME with the holy water. "If i was at full slayer power I'd be punning right now. just awesome
    * New watcher? BS
    * "His authority"? BUt We've seen female Watcher's before…
    * I would have bought that jar opening scene a little more if it had been the jelly jar

    So this is the first episode that's really bugged me. Really a Slayer test? Really? I just don't get it. I guess I'm "not cruising past that concept any time soon."
    I get that this is probably just a way to bring in a new watcher but still.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Ab, vg'f abg Nneba Rpubyyf.

      The pills seem to be something Kralik, specifically, has a dependency on.

      More like they came up with the idea of firing Giles, and then it would lead (presumably) to a new Watcher.

    • t09yavosaur says:

      "Why would they have even developed a Slayer power draining drug in the first place?"

      My theory is possibly an evil Slayer who went rogue or an evil Watcher that turned against their Slayer. This is of course giving the Watchers the benefit of the doubt.

  70. Kickpuncher says:

    Fb… Ubj ybat jvyy vg gnxr Znex gb ybir Jrfyrl? V’z guvaxvat ur’yy tehqtvatyl npprcg uvz ol Gur Cebz.

  71. Ginsue says:

    I don't have much time today, but here are some things I learned.

    All watchers other than Giles are pricks.
    I should never get emotionally attached to physically attractive authority figures. It just never works out.
    Amethysts glow… really?
    My eighteenth birthday really wasn't that bad.
    This isn't a lesson; I just really want Giles to stay.
    Angel can be cute.
    Being a Slayer is a raw deal.
    Angry letters are serious business.
    Howlers should exist by now! Why don't you exist?

  72. WhiteEyedCat says:

    This episode is so fantastic and horrible at the same time. I don't really have anything to say about it that hasn't already been said in the comments. I just love how complicated the character's relationships are.

    "Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq."
    Ur ur, bu Jrfyrl. V'z cerggl fher gung gur jevgref xarj gung gur arj jngpure jbhyq or ungrq ba cevapvcny, fb gurl whfg gubhtug, "vs ur pna'g or yvxrq, ng yrnfg ur pna or fvyyl!" Gung fnvq, V ybir Jrfyrl, nygubhtu jung ur qbrf gb Snvgu vf njshy.

    On a really unrelated note, I just looked at the updated suggestions page and I'm really psyched that Mark's doing My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. I think that he'll be pleased about the messages that it's sending to young girls. Also, it's pretty short, so it would be great to break up some longer, darker series. Also really excited for Supernatural. (Supernatural spoilers) Gur bayl guvat V qba'g yvxr nobhg gung fubj vf gung NYY bs gur znva srznyr punenpgref qvr. Hfhnyyl ubeevoyl.

  73. John says:

    I really enjoy Mark's reviews, so let that be said first.

    I gotta say, I enjoyed it the first few times I saw Mark write angry letters to Joss (or other writers) about what happened in the episode. It was funny and very appropriate. But — and this is ONLY my opinion and please don't take it the wrong way — I think that if this is gonna be a trend, it's gonna become very repetitive, very quickly. Whedon's got a lot more in store for you, Mark, what with 4.5 more TV seasons of Buffy left (and 5 whole seasons of Angel still waiting for you). Are you going to frame your reviews exactly like this every single time one of these shows disappoints, upsets, and surprises you? If so, then that's going to be a not-small portion of the time.

    I'm saying this because the above review didn't really feel like a review to me…it just felt like you were ranting at David Fury for HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME. Sure, you gave a synopsis of the episode, but I feel like your thoughts were a bit lacking in this one. You started an AWESOME paragraph about how this episode is about Buffy's identity, but then it kinda fell apart into more ranting at the writer. =/

    I understand that this is YOUR blog and you're gonna do whatever you want, and I love your reviews so I'll keep reading them no matter what. I also understand that the point of your reviews is to reveal a complete newcomer's visceral thoughts and reactions to what is being seen/read. I get it! I really do. I just hope you take this as a grain of constructive criticism is all. Like I said, this didn't really feel like a review to me. =/

    Though to be fair, I do understand why you would react this way considering what happens in this episode. I dunno, man. I hope I'm not coming across as a massive tool or anything like that.

    Oh god don't taze me, bro. =(

    • echinodermata says:

      I'm pretty sure you're fairly new around here, yes? So let me clarify something for you: people have been telling Mark that they don't like this-and-that-style reviews since way back. Definitely since Harry Potter, and who knows, maybe since Twilight. Mark, I believe, changes up his style of reviews specifically because writing only "proper reviews" can get repetitive. So he plays with the format of reviews. It's a thing.

      Please see the beginning of this post and this comment thread specifically for an example of this sort of thing being a rehash of older arguments.

      • John says:

        Well I feel sheepish.

        I still maintain that the above format doesn't work as a review for me personally, but I also know that it's not about me personally. I guess it's only because you're right, I AM new here, and I've been seeing lots of the Buffy reviews framed exactly like this. And I know there's so much more to come, because we all know what Whedon likes to do to us.

        Edit: We all know what Whedon likes to do to us, but if you're watching Buffy (and eventually Angel) for the first time…..you are NOT prepared. I know, I know, it's the blog's motto…but it still holds true. Oh god so true.

        But I know that the show will only get more complex as the seasons go on (that's not a spoiler, right? It's already gotten way more complex here than in season 1…) so I'm pretty sure Mark's style of reviewing will also change to accommodate the episodes as he sees fit.

        Either way, thanks for the link.

    • Noybusiness says:

      Also, you know he's not really ANGRY angry at the writer when he says that, right?

  74. Imo says:

    "CF: Whfg n urnqf hc. Jubzrire vf Ohssl’f arkg Jngpure abj gung Tvyrf unf orra sverq jvyy or veengvbanyyl ungrq ol lbhef gehyl. V qba’g pner. Gurl’er abg Tvyrf. Gurl qrfreir nyy bs zl ungerq."

    Cbbe Jrfyrl. Fhpxf, zna!

  75. @farwell3d says:

    David Fury talked once about how he pitched the idea of Giles getting fired, and then, getting his job back at the end end of the episode. He was still a freelance writer, not a staff writer at the time. And David Greenwalt immediately latched onto the "fired" plot and David was all "What have I done?"

  76. Katie says:

    "Or if someone wanted to take their Slayer to the ice show…"

    Their slayer.

    Never fails to break my heart, even on the hundredth viewing.

  77. Noybusiness says:

    Gur Jngpuref nera'g irel avpr gb gurve bja xvqf, rvgure. Znxvat gurz crre vagb uryy qvzrafvbaf naq yvfgra gb pncgvir inzcverf erpbhag gurve cnfg ngebpvgvrf.

  78. kelseyofcake says:

    -Buffy, you probably shouldn't be practicing your slaying on Angel considering you're trying to be “just friends”. Or was I misinterpreting the end of “Amends”?
    -I'm sitting here thinking how painful it would be to actually have a wooden stake go through your heart. OW.
    -Yay skeleton effect!
    -Can't Buffy have one birthday that doesn't go wrong? Please, Joss? Can't you just give her a happy birthday with no monsters and no horribleness?
    -Aaaww, Buffy wants to go with Giles! And she calls him family.
    -Creepy! Giles, no, what do you think you're doing???
    -Willow, what even is that hat?
    -Thanks for pounding on that asshole, Cordelia.
    -Okay, fuck the Watcher's Council. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with you??? What good does it do to take away a slayer's powers in order to test her strength if she's going to have them in a normal fight with a vampire? How many slayers have actually passed this test without dying? I would guess very few.
    -Okay, so a vampire, which has a dead body, can take pills? Is there an explanation for this anywhere?
    -Why is Willow still wearing that awful hat?
    -Angel, you don't see how your story about seeing Buffy is weird or creepy? How 'bout you Buffy? No? Uh, okay then.
    -Okay, points for the show making fun of this exchange right after.
    -NO! Giles, get out! You don't need to investigate to know what happened!
    -Seeing Buffy run in terror from those vampires is way more disturbing than I remember.
    -I do however remember 100% how horrible this exchange between Buffy and Giles is. The acting between ASH and SMG is really good. I still don't understand how Giles was able to get so far into this before saying “no, fuck you guys, I refuse to do this.” Really, WHY DID IT TAKE YOU SO LONG???? That should have been your reaction the minute they told you to drug your own slayer! Did you really not realize how fucked up this was until now? She trusted you!
    -Okay I just have a lot of feelings, sorry.
    -This plan of Kralik's is still creepy as hell. Maybe it's just because I'm a complete scaredy cat, but he's only been around for a few minutes and I'm already frightened by him.
    -Oh wow, fuck you Quentin. After all this he's still insisting on going through with the test??? You are a horrible man and you obviously don't give a fuck about Buffy at all.
    -Again, this guy is incredibly creepy and I can safely say this is the first time a purely supernatural element in this show has actually frightened me to this degree.
    -OH GOD the part where he grabs her leg while she's running up the stairs. NO!
    -And now he's getting off on Buffy's cross. EW.
    -YES GOOD BUFFY KILL HIM DEAD! YES!
    -NO ONE FIRES GILES! May you fall into a pit of ravenous snakes, Quentin! I hate you forever, you stuck up asshole. You don't give a rat's ass about the safety of the slayer. You just see her as your little soldier in your war and you can just go fuck right the hell off. And punishing someone for showing actual human emotion? Fuck you.
    -I'm not going to be cruising past this concept either, Xander. Willow and I can fret about Giles together. Also I wish I could read her angry letter because I'm sure it's beautiful.
    -Um, isn't peanut butter typically easy to open? It's metal lids on glass jars that are actually difficult. Oh well, it's still a funny scene.

    Let's all write angry letters together. How dare they make Giles anything other than an innocent, perfect human being.

  79. LadyPeyton says:

    The one thing I came away from Helpless absolutely adoring is that Buffy discovers that she can be strong and successful even without her superpowers.

  80. GamgeeFest says:

    You can’t even complain about it because it’s now established canon that Willow is going to write an angry letter to the Council, thereby validating my own actions. I suppose I should thank you for that.

    I thought of you when Willow said that line. πŸ˜€

    The next Watcher: Bu, V pnaabg JNVG gb frr Znex'f ernpgvba gb Jrfyrl Jlaqnz-Celpr naq nyy uvf qbbsl Cvrepr Oebafba-l-arff. V org ur ungrf uvz sbe nyy bs gra frpbaqf. πŸ˜‰

  81. @Ivana2804 says:

    I haven't rewatched this yet (I'm a few episodes behind), but I just want to mention something unrelated to the main issues in this episode but that is quite memorable. This episode has a line that would be one of the worst lines in the history of the show, in its utter cheesiness and ridiculousness (comparable only to "When you kiss me, I want to die"):

    Angel: I watched you, and I saw you called. It was a bright afternoon
    out in front of your school. You walked down the steps… and… and I
    loved you. (…) Because I could see your heart. You held it before you
    for everyone to see. And I worried that it would be
    bruised or torn. And more than anything in my life I wanted to keep it
    safe… to warm it with my own.

    (LOL what? This is all the funnier when you've actually seen that flashback in Becoming I. )

    … if it wasn't just a setup for the best line of the episode:

    Buffy: That's beautiful…Or taken literally, incredibly gross.

    Angel: I was just thinking that, too.

  82. Ellie says:

    “Just a heads up. Whomever is Buffy’s next Watcher now that Giles has been fired will be irrationally hated by yours truly. I don’t care. They’re not Giles. They deserve all of my hatred.”

    Lrf, Znex, lbh ner tbvat gb ungr uvz. Naq bar qnl lbh ner tbvat gb fbo lbhe urneg bhg jngpuvat uvz qvr.

  83. Kari18212 says:

    God, this episode. I mean, I did not ask to be punched repeatedly in the stomach today actually!!! Weirdly, I don't remember this episode affecting me *that* deeply until I randomly rewatched it a couple years ago and cried my eyes out through the entire scene where Giles confesses what he's done to Buffy and she yells at him.

    And because it needs to be said… FUCK YOU WATCHER'S COUNCIL (AND ESPECIALLY YOU QUENTIN TRAVERS YOU COMPLETE ASSHOLE). Die in all the fires please. On a related note, Giles, telling the Council that they are completely stupid is wonderful, but I feel very strongly that the effect would have been greater if you were not at the same time having some freaking tea with them!!! Tea is far too civilized. But it's possible I'm overrreacting because I am so annoyed that you were able to watch Buffy absolutely terrified about losing her powers and continue lying to her!

    To sum up, this episode breaks me every time. But moving on from the betrayal that I can't even deal with, I do find it interesting to see Buffy's reaction to possibly not being the Slayer anymore. In theory, her life would be more 'normal' and, as Willow starts to say, there are so many more possibilities open to her without this destiny. BUT, this is who she is now, and it's hard to imagine trying to be 'normal' anymore. It's something they explore in Charmed a lot (yep, watched it and loved it, no shame lol) and I loved it every time. Fighting against evil isn't something you can walk away from, no matter how much easier your life could be if you did.

  84. RobotNinja says:

    There's even more reasons to hate Quentin Travers' face. He also irrationally passed judgment on the Ghostbusters in their second film.
    [URL =http://gifsoup.com/view/3426242/burned-at-the-stake.html][IMG]http://gifsoup.com/imager.php?id=3426242&t=o[/IMG][/URL] [URL =http://gifsoup.com/]GIFSoup[/URL]

  85. mgauck says:

    V pna'g jnvg gb frr Znex'f ernpgvba gb tbbq byr Jrfyrl. Cebonoyl bar bs zl gbc 5 punenpgref va gur Ohsslirefr pnhfr vs uvf nep va Natry. Jrfyrl vf gur zna. Naq fbzrgvzrf abg.

  86. I forgot to add this yesterday. I feel the need to say it with this episode.

    I am not finding Angel creepy or else for having watched Buffy called as a Slayer. I don't see this moment as something pervy or bad. I don't see it like that. I've never seen it like that.
    It was a genuine moment, a moment of revelation for him.

    At this time of his life, Angel was a lost person, carrying the burden of his soul, only feeling guilt and sufferings. He had no purpose, no hope.
    A glimpse at young Buffy, changed everything. He saw her heart and her new burden as a Slayer. He understood her instantly.
    He saw a soul mate. He saw a promise of destiny. A promise of a future that was different from what he was living at the moment.
    He saw a love that he had never felt before. A love that he didn't think he would ever felt. And he knew that this love would change his life. And her age at this moment really didn't matter.

    And after this meeting, he didn't stalk her. He waited for her to come to Sunnydale. Without knowing what could come next.
    We saw it in "The Wish". In this alternate world, he was still waiting for Buffy to come to Sunnydale. He never stalked her. He has been a witness of her first steps as a Slayer. A privileged witness, chosen by the Powers through Whistler.

    That's what I see in Angel meeting Buffy for the first time. And him confessing that he would always love her, with or without her Slayer powers, just shows us how much Buffy is the only thing that matters in his life. Buffy is his world.

    And I find it romantic. Like I find the love story between Angel and Buffy a pure form of Romanticism. In its original literary meaning.

    • icy says:

      I also saw this as the true beginning of Angel's journey. Up until this point he had been wallowing in guilt and fear, but he hadn't actually been trying to change anything. He wasn't necessarily trying to be actively evil anymore, but he also wasn't doing any good. He was just existing. And that spark he saw inspired him to do good, to be better. It's what Buffy tried to clue him in to in Amends, and here he gave it back to her–always be the best of who you are.

  87. Don Sample says:

    The BuffyBodyCount total for this episode is 5, 2 people and 3 vamps.
    Unnamed vamp in playground
    Blair
    Hobson
    Vampire Kralick
    Vampire Blair

  88. 1. PB AND NUTELLA OR GTFO
    2. oh god when I predicted we'd see another Watcher I didn't think it'd be like this …..
    3. Love love love love the symbolism of Buffy's red coat ngl

  89. I'm glad I'm not the only one. πŸ˜‰

  90. TrampyMcBitca says:

    Hmm, the Ice Show that her father takes her to every year that we've never heard of before. Guvf vf gur fgneg bs Unax orpbzvat Qrnqorng Qnq, vfa'g vg?

  91. V jvyy arire sbetvir Unax sbe whfg yrnivat Ohssl naq Qnja jura Wblpr cnffrf njnl. Ur qbrfa'g rira pnyy orpnhfr ur vf gbb ohfl jvgu uvf frpergnel.

    Vg'f n tbbq guvat gurer'f Tvyrf, orpnhfr V pna'g guvax bs n fvatyr punenpgre va gur Ohsslirefr gung unf n "tbbq" sngure. Ohssl'f inavfurf; jr arire urne nobhg Jvyybj'f rkprcg gung ur vf hygen-Wrjvfu; Pbeql'f vf senhqhyrag naq arire urneq sebz ntnva; Knaqre'f vf nyfb arire erznexrq hcba (nygubhtu cerfhzhoyl nf artyvtrag nf uvf zbgure); Jrfyrl'f vf n cbzcbhf wrex (naq vg'f shyyl oryvrinoyr gung ur jbhyq gel gb xvyy Serq); Natry'f jnf n frys-evtugrbhf wrex (nygubhtu ur cbffvoyl unq tbbq ernfba)…

    Npghnyyl, Serq vf gur bayl punenpgre V pna guvax bs jub unq n qrprag sngure. Uzz.

  92. .Per. says:

    I have not finished watching Buffy yet, and despite having witnessed a lot of tough episoodes this still take the price.

  93. RoseFyre says:

    No one has done this a week later? (I've been out of town – actually, out by Mark – so I've been absentee.)

    Well, then!

    Qnja Guernq!

    Fb…jnf Qnja xvqanccrq jvgu Wblpr? Jnf fur fgnlvat jvgu n sevraq? Jnf fur xabpxrq bhg naq yrsg sbe Ohssl gb svaq jura fur erghearq gb gur ubhfr naq sbhaq bhg ure zbz jnf zvffvat? V'z tbvat gb fnl fur jnfa'g xvqanccrq, ohg V'z abg fher juvpu bs gur ynggre gjb vf zber yvxryl. V guvax V yvxr gur vqrn gung fur jnf xabpxrq bhg naq Ohssl nfxrq Pbeqryvn gb jngpu ure naq ABG GB YRNIR GUR UBHFR juvyr Ohssl jrag gb tb svaq ure zbgure.

  94. Ashes says:

    PS: Just a heads up. Whomever is Buffy’s next Watcher now that Giles has been fired will be irrationally hated by yours truly. I don’t care. They’re not Giles. They deserve all of my hatred.

    *shakes head* LOL

  95. notemily says:

    So my favorite part of this episode is Buffy getting the vamp to drink holy water. Other than that, it's by turns too painful to watch (the stuff with Giles) and just really uncomfortable to me, so I don't relish rewatching it. I mean, seriously, first of all, what kind of mental illness does the vamp have, and secondly, how do psychiatric pills even have an effect on vampires, and thirdly, THEY DON'T WORK THAT FAST. Nothing that gets absorbed through the digestive system works that fast, and many psychiatric meds take WEEKS to work. Maybe if it was an injection… but then we couldn't have the holy water thing. Oh, whatever. The whole plot with the vampire is nonsensical.

    I do like that Buffy dresses as Little Red Riding Hood during this episode though.

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