Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S03E20 – The Prom

In the twentieth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I JUST HAVE TOO MANY FEELINGS AFTER THAT. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Buffy.

It’s just absurd at this point how good this show is. Season three has, largely, been consistently entertaining and thoughtful, and I’m shocked that I ever once thought I would be bored by Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also think it’s a good sign when an episode of television can make me tear up and want to reach through the screen to hug all the characters. THIS EPISODE JUST NEEDS SO MANY HUGS.

I had a feeling from the opening scene that this particular episode was setting up something horrific. It just seemed too nice to see Buffy and Angel hanging out in bed. Like, they were being too cute. JOSS WILL NOT LET THIS STAND. Truthfully, though, I fought it the entire way. I could see the awkwardness on Angel’s face when Buffy spoke about the prom, and it was a look I’ve seen before. A great deal of this episode reminded me of the first boyfriend I had and how that relationship fell apart. He used to give me that same look towards the end of our time together whenever I talked about anything that had to do with the future. In his head, he was already dumping me, but he didn’t have the guts to tell me at the time. So, instead, his facial expressions would betray his words.

I wonder if Buffy saw them, or if she just chose to ignore them. Either way, what I enjoyed about “The Prom” was the way that love can prevent a person from seeing what’s right in front of them. I think Buffy so readily accepts that her and Angel are done because there’s a part of her that knew their relationship couldn’t last. Do I blame her for initially refusing it? No, not at all, and from experience, I know what that sort of situation feels like.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The first fifteen or twenty minutes of “The Prom” is a way for the writers to set up the inevitable fall that hits in the middle of the episode. I think the contrast between the joy of the upcoming prom and Joyce’s confrontation of Angel is intentional. In this case, we see Xander, Anya (OHMYGOD I LOVE HER MORE ANYA), Willow, and Oz discussing dresses, surprises, dates, and generally being distracted by everything that the event represents. It’s an adorable scene, and it’s one filled with hope. It’s why the next scene is one entirely about doubt. Joyce doubts what Angel has to offer. Angel doubts that he can give Buffy a future. What struck me most about that scene was how calm the confrontation was. Normally, you’d see something far more fiery and furious. But I think these two characters have a sort of mutual respect for one another. More important than that, though, Angel knows that what Joyce is telling him is true. He doesn’t fight. In fact, it’s clear that it’s all that he is thinking of lately.

It’s with that in mind that I feel this story becomes one of distraction. Angel is distracted when he talks to Buffy. The Scoobies are distracted when Giles tries to talk about the Mayor’s Ascension. I am constantly distracted by Joyce’s conversation. I recognized that this was a set up for something, and as badly as I didn’t want this to be the end, I had to accept that this was probably what I was about to witness. I was distracted by the idea that the Mayor could turn into pretty much any demon on graduation day, and then I was distracted by WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT THING IN THE CAGE. Did anyone else think it sort of looked like the Grinch? You know, the live-action one?

And then Angel has a dream. AN EXTREMELY FUCKED UP DREAM. Like, for real, it bothered me so much to see Buffy burn up in the sun, even though I knew it wasn’t real. For Angel, that dream represented what he thought he was doing to Buffy. It’s why things fall apart on the next patrol he goes on with her. And look, I probably don’t comment on this as much as I should, but sweet Gandalf’s beard, the acting is just so amazing to me in all of “The Prom.”

I don’t know how many of you have ever experienced a surprising and traumatic break-up. I definitely don’t think that I want to say that the break-up scene in “The Prom” triggered me or anything, but it absolutely reminded me of the first time I had a boyfriend, and how that relationship fell apart. For those unfamiliar (and this will date me so badly but FUCK IT), my first boyfriend told me he was moving home to Washington, D.C. (we lived in Los Angeles) over Christmas break. While he was in D.C. Which means he told me OVER MYSPACE. My god, it was so shitty that in hindsight, all I feel like I can do is laugh at the absurdity of it. If I still had my MySpace page, I would log in and paste the message here for all of you to see what a colossal fool this guy was. The best way I can describe the message is that he wrote this super long bit about how he was doing, how his family was, what he’d been up to for the holidays, and then casually tacked on, “Oh, just wanted you to know I’m moving back in with my mother here in D.C. at the end of January. Hope you’re doing well!”

SERIOUSLY THIS WAS A THING A PERSON DID TO ME. Unfortunately for me, I was so infatuated with this person (WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYY) that I still believed we were going to stay together. It certainly caused me a lot of pain before he came home a couple weeks later, but I held firm to the idea that we were going to make this work.

The truth was that months before, he’d already started cheating on me, and that he was only in a relationship with me because I had money and I was nice to him. I wasn’t rich, but I had just started working at Buzznet and I was living for free with my brother. Aside from a $30 cell phone bill, I had no other expenses in my life, so I had disposable income for the first time ever. Did I waste a great deal of it on this sad fucker? Of course I did. OH LOVE, YOU’RE THE BEST.

I didn’t find out any of this until months after my first boyfriend dumped me. I remember how horrific that event made me feel, and how it took me nearly a year to get over it. It’s why New Moon frustrates me so much. There’s so much to be said about being heartbroken and losing someone you love. I think it’s something we all should talk about because it’s a painful, disorienting process. And yet that book treats it in the silliest, most dismissive way possible. That’s not the point of this, though. I remember crying when my ex told me that we shouldn’t see each other, that he didn’t have any feelings for me, and that it would be best if we went our separate ways, and I remember that I cried just like Buffy did here in “The Prom.” It was an ugly, messy cry. I fought it. I fought everything he said so hard, despite that it really was better for me that we broke up, because it made me feel worthless.

I think that might be a part of why this hits Buffy so hard. She doesn’t feel like she’s good enough for Angel, and it’s something I recognize myself. It’s not that she’s a bad person or that she’s not compatible. There’s a part of who she is – in this case, her mortality – that will never work with Angel, and it tears her apart to finally have to admit it. (Oh god, sorry, I have to, but WHAT THE FUCK, TWILIGHT SERIES. THIS SHOW DID EVERYTHING YOU DID BUT A BAJILLION TIMES BETTER.) I think I just gave up trying to hold back my tears when Buffy and Willow have their talk in this episode. Ugh, to just see her give herself to that sadness? You know, that particular scene affected me not just because I know what it’s like to lose someone you love like that, but because the first time I got dumped, I did not have a Willow. I had no one to tell about what had happened. I had to keep it all to myself. I literally had just moved into an apartment in MacArthur Park to live alone, and I had gotten it specifically because it was the same building my boyfriend at the time had lived in. He recommended it. And just two weeks after moving in, I had to deal with this horrible thing in my life, and I’d have to go home to that vacant, unfurnished apartment every single day. I had no Internet, no computer, no friends nearby, and no social life either. I’d given so much of my free time to this guy that my friends hadn’t really seen much of me.

This is also why I am just floored at how Buffy deals with this. I just have so much respect for her as a character because she takes this pivotal, depressing moment of her life, and she turns it into a positive experience. Before this happens, though, the writers introduce the main conflict for “The Prom”: Tucker Wells, bitter because one girl rejected him for a prom date, has brought Hellhounds to life, and he’s trained them to attack people wearing formal wear. I found it brilliant how the show addressed Tucker’s backstory because it was such a biting commentary on how ridiculous it is that he would create this whole plan just because someone didn’t want to go to the Prom with him.

It’s also because of this that Xander finds out that Cordelia works at April Fools, the best-named fictional store in the universe. Cordelia’s father committed tax fraud, and now she and her family are broke. UGH MY HEART. What an uncomfortable scene, I swear. I wish we got more of this because I want to see Cordelia’s family. Actually, I want to see Xander’s as well. Where is Cordelia living if her family lost their home? Also, during that entire scene, did you think Cordelia’s boss was going to interrupt her and fire her? Because I did, and it made me nervous. REALLY NERVOUS.

So, with all this going on at once, I was so surprised how much this story actually finds a way to give these various characters a happy ending. Most of all, though, I was impressed with Buffy Summers. I don’t know how she does it. I was such a mess post-break up that I didn’t do anything but go to work and watch Arrested Development and The X-Files alone in my apartment for nearly a month. Buffy puts aside all her feelings so that SHE CAN GIVE EVERYONE A PERFECT PROM. Do you know what sort of capacity for kindness a person has to possess to do this? And that’s not even factoring the reality that SHE JUST GOT DUMPED FOR THE FIRST TIME, or that SHE PROBABLY ISN’T GOING TO HAVE A PROM HERSELF. Buffy Summers, I just love you so, so much.

There was a beautifully shocking moment when Buffy discovers that Tucker raised FOUR Hellhounds, but otherwise, she’s able to take care of the problem entirely by herself because she’s a selfless badass. I thought it was a tad strange that she killed a Hellhound in front of a student and he barely seemed shocked by it, BUT THIS HAD A REASON. OH MY GOD. This whole episode is wrapped up so perfectly, too. Anya and Xander have a good time. Oz and Willow look gorgeous. Xander pays off Cordelia’s dress and AHHHHHHH MY HEART IS GOING TO BURST.

But let’s get real for a moment. The Class Protector Award scene made me do that I’m-So-Happy-I-Can’t-Help-But-Weep kind of cry. It has this unique sense of finality to it. School is coming to an end. Season three is almost over. And all these years of no one really saying anything about what’s going on in Sunnydale High is acknowledged, and Buffy gets her perfect moment at the prom and I just have so many feelings, okay?

Angel’s appearance is bittersweet. It’s clear that this is the impetus for him getting his own show, so I know that his presence in Buffy’s life is not going to last. But I remember the first time I hung out with my ex after he dumped me, feeling that flood of emotions pouring back, and I recall how just the sight of him was enough to tell me that I would be okay, and that for the briefest moment in time, I was appreciated. And sometimes, that’s all a person needs.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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431 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: S03E20 – The Prom

  1. "The Prom" is the only Buffy episode that's made me cry. Like, really cry. And it has nothing to do with Buffy and Angel breaking up and everything to do with everyone's selflessness. Xander buying Cordy's dress. Buffy risking her life for the sake of others. The Class Protector Award. Angel showing up to give Buffy her perfect night. It's just all so fucking beautiful.

    Not to mention hilarious:

    Anya: Men are evil. Will you go with me?
    Xander: One of us is very confused, and I honestly don't know which.

    Anya: Look, I know you find me attractive; I've seen you looking at my breasts.
    Xander: Nothing personal, but when a guy does that, it just means his eyes are open.

    Cordelia: Look! Right there, zoom in on that.
    Xander: It's a videotape.
    Cordelia: So? They do it on television all the time.
    Xander: Not with a regular VCR they don't.

    [youtube Vxq9yj2pVWk youtube]

    Oz: What's that? Pause it.
    Xander: Guys! It's just a normal VCR. It doesn't…oh wait, uh, it can do pause.

    Buffy: I'm gonna give you all a nice, fun, normal evening if I have to kill every person on the face of the Earth to do it.
    Xander: Yay?

  2. enigmaticagentscully says:

    I admit it, I…I maybe teared up a little when Jonathan presented Buffy with her award. A little. I mean that’s normal right? You’d have to be some kind of heartless monster not to find that whole scene unbelievably touching.

    Anyway the plot wasn’t really important in this one (though I loved the bad guy’s really hilariously sketchy motivations) and the main topic of the episode was…Angel is leaving. Presumably to get his own show? I figure that must be happening soon.

    You know what I love? I love how mature Buffy is about the whole thing. To be honest, when Angel broke up with her I expected her to take it badly – I expected the show to make her be the typical irrational teenage girl in love, but they didn’t, and I love that, because it’s not who she is at this point. This is what I was talking about yesterday , the thing I usually love about this show – it’s constantly subverting clichés and surprising me by having the characters act in ways they usually wouldn’t on TV.
    Buffy actually DOES think about what Angel says, and though it hurts her, she admits that he has a point. It also means that him leaving isn’t just going to be on his terms, but will be a clean break for both of them.
    That doesn’t mean to say it’s easy though. Oh god, the scene where she just breaks down in front of Willow…that was heartbreaking to watch. Though I’m glad that the whole Buffy/Angel thing seems to be drawing to a close, I hate to see her hurting like that, especially after all they’ve been through to even get to this point.

    Oh my god, Giles offering Buffy ice-cream and sympathy though…I just…I can’t. I can’t even. I HAVE LOST MY ABILITY TO CAN.
    And then he wears a tux to the prom, because apparently the writers of this show had a direct line into my future thoughts when they wrote this and decided to give me everything I wanted out of life.


    I have never loved a fictional character more than I love Rupert Giles.

    Screw you Dana Scully, goodbye Laura Roslin. Adios Londo Mollari and to hell with Remus Lupin. Forget about Bob the Skull or Olivier Armstrong. Sam Vimes and Brienne of Tarth mean nothing to me now.

    Ok fine, wild hyperbolic statements aside, I do really really love Giles.
    Look, though I love Buffy, this is not by a long shot my favourite show, but I just can’t get over how endlessly intriguing and wonderful I find this single character. It’s not just the fact that I have a massive crush on him (and frankly, who wouldn’t?) but there’s something about him that I find fascinating. I just love everything he says and does, and since the first episode he’s been the most likeable and consistently written character. I love his paternal relationship with Buffy, and I love the conflict between his duty and his personal life. I love his snarky dry wit and his rebellious past and the way his character had changed over the past three seasons.

    Ok, Giles stanning over with for now. I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. My god, what has this show DONE to me??

    • I have never loved a fictional character more than I love Rupert Giles.

      Screw you Dana Scully, goodbye Laura Roslin.
      ZOMG. WHAT ARE YOU SAYING. Are you going to change your name to enigmaticlibrariangiles?

      • Kickpuncher says:

        Or enigmaticwatchergiles. Could go either way.

      • enigmaticagentscully says:


        But maybe. Don't get me wrong, I still love my Scully. But…but…GILES. Honestly, I tend to fall in love easily, Scully will probably re-gain favourite character status when I do my next X Files re-watch. 😛

        Incidentally, in my mind The X-Files and Buffy take place in the same universe and Giles went to Oxford at the same time as Mulder and YOU CAN'T TELL ME ANY DIFFERENT STOP OPPRESSING MY BELIEFS.

        • dazyndara says:

          YES OMG this is a magnificent universe.

        • gonzoron says:

          Well… actually….

          (I'm not sure if this is a spoiler or not, at this point, but if it is, it's the most minor of spoilers ever):
          Gur Pvtnerggr Fzbxvat Zna naq Fcvxr obgu fzbxr "Zbeyrl" pvtnerggrf. Juvpu pbhyq or pbafgehrq gb zrna gurl NER va gur fnzr havirefr. 🙂

    • Mary Sue says:

      I have never loved a fictional character more than I love Rupert Giles.

      Welcome to the club! We have tea. And scones on Sunday!

    • Summeriris says:

      Be thankful he never offered you a cup of coffee. The man made coffee sales go through the roof in the UK. I still drink Nescafe Gold Blend.

      • kte says:

        Gah! I had almost forgotten about that

      • sirintegra42 says:

        I always think of that every time he drinks coffee on Buffy. I wasn't even alive when those adverts were on but I feel like they're burned into my memory somehow.

        • Summeriris says:

          The last of those ads got higher viewing figures than the show they were on. Everybody was on the edge of their seat waiting to see if Tony and Sharon would end up together. It says something about their sexual chemistry.

    • mzh says:

      I love Giles but… YOU TAKE THAT BACK ABOUT SAM VIMES!!!

    • darkwater says:

      Here! I have a new CAN for you… it's filled with stewed tomatoes.. but it's a CAN!

    • pica_scribit says:

      Oh, c'mon; to a certain extent, Giles *is* Remus Lupin.

    • NeonProdigy says:

      Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

      Yeah, Giles is amazing and sexy and a badass, but don't go dropping Remus Lupin, Olivier Armstrong, and especially Sam Vimes!

      …Heh, it occurs to me that Znex qbrfa'g xabj ubj njrfbzr gjb bs gur guerr crbcyr V cbvagrq bhg ner… LRG!

      Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh!

    • clodia_risa says:

      DUDE! I love Rupert Giles, but I love no character more than I love Londo Mollari! He makes me so full of emotions!

      • dazyndara says:

        LONDO! He makes me have all the feelings. V whfg jnag gb tvir uvz n uht. Ur pbhyq hfr n uht. (not really a spoiler, but erring on side of extreme caution)

        • enigmaticagentscully says:

          V whfg ybir ubj lbh pna'g rira GNYX nobhg Ybaqb jvgubhg hfvat Ebg13 orpnhfr onfvpnyyl uvf ragver punenpgre nep vf bar uhtr fcbvyre. V zrna, tbq, nyy gur fghss ur tbrf guebhtu…nyy gur fghss ur QBRF. Fbzrgvzrf lbh jnag gb uht uvz naq fbzrgvzrf lbh jnag gb chapu uvz, ohg ZNA vf ur bar nznmvat punenpgre!

        • BornIn1142 says:

          I can't even regard Londo and G'Kar as separate. They are true equals and opposites; I couldn't possibly choose one over the other.

    • enigmaticagentscully says:

      It just occurred to me that if all the favourite characters I mentioned got together, they would kick some fictional ass.

    • nanceoir says:

      I have to say, good job on landing on a favorite character here. It took me… considerably longer to realize that Giles was my favorite. (Telling you when it happened would, however, be a spoiler, and rot13ing it would be tantamount to taunting you, so it's a story that will have to wait.)

      The other day… week… whatever, I posted a picture of Giles and dared him to be more perfect. Then he made that ice cream comment. Clearly Giles won that round. 😀

      (Dear Giles, Please continue winning all the rounds. Much love, Nancy)

    • theDMG says:

      I just love everything he says and does, and since the first episode he’s been the most likeable and consistently written character. I love his paternal relationship with Buffy, and I love the conflict between his duty and his personal life. I love his snarky dry wit and his rebellious past and the way his character had changed over the past three seasons.

      When my brother got the Buffy season 1 DVDs, I missed the first half of the pilot, but was hooked in before the teaser was over by a stray line I overheard while messing around on my computer. The line?

      "It may be that you can wrest some information from that dread machine…..that was a bit, um, British, wasn't it?

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      My main thought about rewatching this episode was 'Yay! Enigmaticagentscully gets to see Giles in a tux, and NO ONE HAD TO DIE for it to happen!"

    • sirintegra42 says:

      As no one is defending Bob I feel I have to. The brilliant perverted spirit :D. I feel like him and Murray from Monkey Island would get on if they ever met. It still saddens me a bit that Mark's vetoed The Dresden Files but it's up to him obviously. I mostly stay out of the fandom so I'm not sure about what he referred to on the suggestion page. I'm sure he has a good reason though.

    • Gill says:

      I agree! Also:

      "For God's sake, man, she's eighteen. And you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. Just have at it, would you, and stop fluttering about."

      • ZeynepD says:

        Oh, that line. I had forgotten about that line.

        I have some rewatch-catching-up to do tonight, haven't I.

    • minxdelovely says:

      It’s okay, I love Giles, too. It kinda snuck up on me and now I just embrace the fact that I want him to take me to his horse farm.

  3. Kickpuncher says:

    Thoughts on The Prom:

    -Angel what the fuck you doing

    -Here Comes the Sun do do do do

    -Hey it’s Anya!

    -Haha yes Xander/Anya is my OTP now. Now and possibly forever.

    -“Buffy&Angel 4ever!” Buffy is so high school. Angel, are you seriously just noticing this NOW?

    -Only instance I will ever be interested in Buffy/Angel: double date with Spike/Joyce.

    -Wesley/Cordelia should awkwardly flirt ALL THE TIME.

    -Giles update: still the coolest

    -oh no a monster that looks even sillier than Were-Oz!

    -Haha oh angel

    -Sweet I love the Burning Brides.

    -On one hand, I am tickled by the fact that Buffy stakes that vampire in one second flat like it ain’t no thang, but on the other it means more time left for B/A angst.

    -“You should be with someone who can take you into the light. Who can make love to you.” I take it back. This shit is hilarious. 😀

    -“I kill my goldfish.” Good news Buffy! Angel kills them too!

    -“Heart? You have a heart? It isn’t even beating!” Like that’s ever bothered you before, Buffster.

    -“Is this really happening?” I would have laughed forever if this was another Angel dream sequence.

    -Oh please, Joss, as if rich people cheating on their taxes EVER face consequences for it.

    -Tucker Wells? Naqerj’f oebgure?

    -“Sunnydale High lemmings…” Seriously, Tucker? Thanks for taking time off from your busy listening-to-Smashing-Pumpkins schedule to e-mail your friend about how YOU’LL SHOW THEM ALL.

    -I love how seriously Buffy is taking the prom.

    -lmao Buffy just runs into Angel at the butcher shop and it’s gloriously awkward. Sometimes I wonder how the writers expect us to take them at all seriously ever.

    -Iiiit’s the 90s! Do a lotta coke and vote for Billy Clinton!

    -I’m in love with Anya’s stories.

    -“It looks good on you.” “Well, duh!” Xander, Cordelia, you’re all right.


    -Poor Tucker. Despite all his rage he is still just a hellhound in a cage.

    -Also I love how simple and petty his motivation is.

    -LOL these hellhounds

    -LOL Celebration

    -The winner of Class Clown should’ve been whoever yelled out SNYDER during Jonathan’s speech.

    -I love Jonathan’s speech. Also I hope that the low mortality rate means that Sunnydale High School Football ROCKED.

    -Wesley/Cordelia endless timeless love, now with Giles’s blessing.

    -“This isn’t bad.” The latest in a long line of ringing Xander Harris endorsements, joining such glowing testimonies as “That was great. Gotta shower.” and “He kinda grows on you, like a Chia Pet.”

    -Trivia time! This song foreshadows the conclusion of Season three, wherein Angel is dragged away to his own show by wild horses.

    • knut_knut says:

      I COMPLETELY forgot that Wild Horses song existed until this episode. Thank you, Buffy, for bringing back the flawlessness that is the 90s.

      • cait0716 says:

        I took a recording of that song to my prom with me and had the DJ play it and made my date dance with me. I was (and still am) a huge geek. No shame.

    • Plactus says:

      -"I kill my goldfish." Good news Buffy! Angel kills them too!

      Technically, that was Willow's. Still, upvoted.

      • Kickpuncher says:

        I went for simplicity of wording over strict canonical accuracy. These are the sort of tough decisions one has to make to be in the running for Comments Clown.

    • arctic_hare says:

      "-Iiiit's the 90s! Do a lotta coke and vote for Billy Clinton!"


    • L_Storm says:

      Bayl vafgnapr V jvyy rire or vagrerfgrq va Ohssl/Natry: qbhoyr qngr jvgu Fcvxr/Wblpr.

      Guvf vf obgu uvynevbhf naq jebat va uvaqfvtug.

  4. Mez says:

    Failure of Secret Identity Count:

    23 + 86 (the REST OF THE SENIOR YEAR) = 109

    86 estimated by:
    – rough estimate of 100 kids in the whole senior year, nf zragvbarq ol Knaqre va gur irel arkg rcvfbqr
    – minus the 14 who already knew (Xander, Willow, Amy, Blayne, Owen, Kyle, Rhonda, Tor, Heidi, Cordelia, Chris, Eric, Oz, and Jonathan)

  5. arctic_hare says:

    More Buffy/Angel relationship stuff. Bored now.

    I hate that line about "it just means his eyes are open". Gross gross gross in so many ways.

    The "kick" dress? What is this slang they have sometimes, I don't even. STOP TRYING TO MAKE "KICK" HAPPEN.

    I'm just surprised that they didn't have her writing on a Lisa Frank notebook or something. Sheesh.

    How in the world would caffeine make him jittery?! This makes no fucking sense. It is, in fact, the latest addition to the Buffyverse Vampires Make No Sense And Here's Why list.


    Ooh, Giles is snippy. Not that I blame him.

    Huh, Buffy paid attention in English class and remembered that line. I like that poem.

    Look, I watched the Breaking Dawn Rifftrax over the weekend, and I must say, that fulfilled my quota for vampire/human weddings for the rest of my goddamn life. This one is only a dream, thankfully, but it does bring up some flashbacks, so ugh.

    Seriously? In a sewer? That's where you're gonna have this conversation?

    Eeegh, I dunno. I hate the paternalistic vibe Angel's giving off in the breakup scene, and I feel for Buffy, but at the same time I am just tired of this relationship and the unending angst. It's played itself out and needs to end.

    🙁 Poor Buffy.

    OH GOD SHUT THE FUCK UP, XANDER WITH YOUR SLUT-SHAMING BULLSHIT. Another thing I'm really really tired of, here.

    Cordy. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    Okay, you just won some big points with me for keeping Cordelia's secret, Xander.

    V ybir ubj Pbeqryvn fcbgf gur jubyr "tbvat nsgre sbezny jrne" guvat. Fur'f cerggl tbbq ng vairfgvtngvat, jbhyqa'g lbh fnl? Jvax jvax ahqtr ahqtr.

    Man, what is it with guys named "Tucker" being douchebags? Is it the name? Does it seal their destiny like some elf names in Middle-Earth?


    I'm just going to be over here headdesking because of Buffy's line about going catatonic over their breakup and the bad memories of Twilight it brings up and believe me I hate bringing that series up again BUT IT'S JUST TOO GODDAMN EASY HERE, OKAY? Sob. I hate that line so much for so many reasons.

    Awwww, I want to sit and eat ice cream with Giles. Also, hahaha, I totally get Buffy's line about kicking ass being comfort food. Though being a weakling myself, I tend to go strictly for the "beating up pixels in video games" variety of asskicking when I need that kind of comfort. But you get the general idea.

    You know, I never went to the prom. Or any other kind of dance. Nor was I interested. I mean, it's great, I'm sure, for those who care about those things, but I just can't relate to that part of the high school experience because it wasn't something I wanted for myself. I'm not a terribly social person and I can't dance, I honestly and genuinely WOULD rather be at home reading or watching a movie or playing a video game or something. I like quiet and find situations like big parties and dances more stressful than fun. I'm just too much of an introvert to get much out of them. So I don't really connect to the all the hype and worries about prom in fiction.

    Okay, I really love this moment with Xander and Cordelia. I love that he paid for the rest of her dress, and it feels like this is a really nice moment of closure for them after everything that happened. They can part on friendly terms, and that's so relieving to me to see. Also his eagerness to talk to her and Wesley is hilarious, it's a callback to that scene with Angel in The Zeppo, only his situation here is arguably more dire and thus the desperation is even more understandable. But that's because Anya's conversational topic is horrifying and cannibalism is a particularly visceral squick to me, so I'd be much more eager to get away from that than from someone who was merely boring the shit out of me.

    As a shallow note, I am loving the abundance of bow ties here. Bow ties are cool.

    Oh man, this creep is like the ultimate Nice Guy. Kick the shit out of him, Buffy.

    Aw, she only tied him up.

    I'm totally not crying during the scene when Buffy gets her award. Nope, not all. Just got something in my eye. Been cutting onions. Yeah.

    ILU forever, Giles. <3

    • guest_age says:


      That was totally my thought, too.

      Was the BD Rifftrax good? I've loved the others but somehow I've been putting off watching the Breaking Dawn one because of how much I hate that book (even more than I hated the others in the series, and that's saying a lot). But if it was good, then I will totally take the plunge.

    • monkeybutter says:

      Man, what is it with guys named "Tucker" being douchebags? Is it the name? Does it seal their destiny like some elf names in Middle-Earth?

      Tucker from Flash Forward is the exception that proves the rule. Unless my memory is being affected by the rose-tinted glasses of youth.

      The dress thing was the sweetest Xander and Cordy moment ever, and completely makes up for the heinous crime of using the word "dazzle."

    • robin_comments says:

      Eeegh, I dunno. I hate the paternalistic vibe Angel's giving off in the breakup scene
      I am so so glad I'm not the only one. It makes me want to kill things.

    • tzikeh says:

      I hate that line about "it just means his eyes are open". Gross gross gross in so many ways.

      I get that there's an I Hate Xander brigade here; I'm not fond of that, but plenty of people view Xander through that lens, and I can read their concerns as legitimate. HOWEVER. Xander is not being "gross gross gross" here; he's telling the truth. Teenage boys are *always* thinking about sex, and are *always* looking at the bodies of people of the gender they're attracted to. He's stating a fact, not being a jerk. It's unfair to run this statement through the XANDER SUCKS lens.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Brigade? Excuse you, we're a CULT, get it right. You need to respect our religious traditions. 🙁 FREEDOM OF RELIGION, Y'ALL.

        Okay, putting on my srs hat: knock it off. I don't appreciate lines like the brigade one and I don't care if you don't like it that some of us don't like him. Also, nice gender/age group stereotyping there. In fact, that stereotyping is exactly why I dislike this line, and my issues are with the writers. So, you fail on that count too.

        • Danny_SAP says:

          Don't we have a chant that goes something like this?

          <img src=""&gt;

          I think there are some dudes who don't stare at boobs. It's a pretty easy critique to be like, "Hey Xander, maybe you should speak for yourself instead of 18 year old boys everywhere." Or, alternately, "Hey Xander, that's gross, keep your eyeballs off my tits."

        • tzikeh says:

          knock it off…. I don't care if you don't like it that some of us don't like him.

          Wow. That's a pretty hostile response, and I don't think my comment warranted it. There is a group of people who hate on Xander, and they do feed off of that sentiment. A lot of it was formed during Buffy fandom when it aired, and it hasn't gone away. I specifically said that I can read those concerns as legitimate concerns. I did not *dismiss* the low opinion of Xander that many people here have. I pointed out that, in this specific case that hate is unfair.

          nice gender/age group stereotyping there.

          Seriously? It's not a stereotype; and it's a neutral statement. It's a fact regarding the progress of hormonal and cognitive growth in teens that young men (specifically from middle-school to college) are wired to a preponderance of sexual awareness, and their attention is much more focused on it than in earlier or later years. A stereotypical statement would be "all teenage boys are pigs," and I didn't say anything like that.

          So, you fail on that count too.

          "I fail?" What is it I've said that's made you so hostile? I didn't say "you fail" because you don't like Xander. I didn't say "you fail" because you have issues with how he's written. How is it that I "fail" by pointing out that this one line is not worthy of a nasty response? One line. One. But thanks for attacking me.

          Jeez Louise.

          • arctic_hare says:

            Oh yay, tone argument, my FAVORITE THING EVER.

            It IS a stereotype, and moreover, it's a really creepy line too. Why is it supposed to be funny that women are supposedly constantly being objectified by men? It's not.

            Also, "I get that there's an I Hate Xander brigade here; I'm not fond of that" is, in fact, a pretty damn dismissive way of putting it. I'm really tired of being seen as part of a "brigade" or "cult" of "haters", and I really resent the "I'm not fond of that" part too, as if we're supposed to care that other people don't like that we call out a character's sexism.

            • tzikeh says:

              Oh yay, tone argument, my FAVORITE THING EVER.

              Invoking the tone argument is really overkill when it comes to discussing a tv show. Racism? Sexism? Misogyny? Sure. A discussion about the differences in opinion about a character on a tv show? No. Also, the tone argument would require that I say something like "the fact that you're being rude and hostile to me means that I won't listen to you; if you were nicer I might consider your opinions," which is not what I said. I said you were being hostile to me, full stop. Not that I'm ignoring you because of how you're stating things, and not that you'd catch more flies with honey than vinegar. We disagree about what this line says about Xander's character (and/or the writers' approach to the portrayal of Xander). If you were offended by my use of "hate brigade," then I apologize for using that phrase. I'm sorry I offended you. A real apology, not a faux "I'm sorry you feel that way about what I said" bullshit apology.

              Why is it supposed to be funny that women are supposedly constantly being objectified by men?

              It's not. The line is a dig against boys, and how they think, not girls, and how they look.

              as if we're supposed to care that other people don't like that we call out a character's sexism.

              I in no way said, or even implied, that you're supposed to care whether I don't like how Xander is discussed here. I'm not scolding anyone. I'm saying I don't like it. I'm not allowed to dislike it?

          • Danny_SAP says:

            But there's a difference between hormonally sex obsessed and staring at boobs. That's the issue here. I love Xander's line about how being 17 means looking at linoleum makes him want to have sex. But that's not justifying ogling tits like they're on a meat rack.

            • tzikeh says:

              He's not justifying ogling tits; he's saying that *teenage boys ogle tits because they are teenage boys*. It's a dig against boys.

              • Danny_SAP says:

                Perhaps normalize is the more correct word? But is painting boys as a bunch of tit oglers any better? The hard Xander critiques that come out here come from the understanding that Xander is a protagonist who is more or less written with approval. That's why Angel saying "I just want you to wriggle" when he's pretending to be evil doesn't get a HEY THAT'S GROSS. Because it's supposed to be gross. But Xander saying boys staring at your breasts means their eyes are open both erases gay men and is a given the tacit consent of the writers as a thing that's okay.

                • tzikeh says:

                  But Xander saying boys staring at your breasts means their eyes are open both erases gay men

                  No, it doesn't, because Xander is only talking from *his experience*. He's not expected to speak for the wider world, because he's self-centered.

                  is a given the tacit consent of the writers as a thing that's okay.

                  I don't know how to address that, because that's a different concern. I'm not talking about the writers' problems with heteronormativity; I'm talking about Xander as a character within the show. This is a Watsonian point, not a Doylean point.

                  • Danny_SAP says:

                    It seems like we're both critiquing Xander for the line with different wording.

                    • tzikeh says:

                      I'm not criticizing Xander for the line. I do think we might be talking past one another, rather than to one another, though.

                    • Danny_SAP says:

                      So calling him self-centered and saying that he's calling all teenage boys straight horndogs is… not a critique?

                    • tzikeh says:

                      No. He is self-centered. He is calling all teenage boys straight horndogs. These are factual statements, not criticism. Most teenage boys are self-centered, and most teenage boys are horndogs. If he were bullying someone, then that would be deserving of harsh criticism. If he were grabbing women's asses, that would be deserving of harsh criticism. The fact that he's bursting with sexual hormones can't be criticized, because it's not something he's *doing*. It just is.

                    • Danny_SAP says:

                      I think it's wrong to think only of yourself and stare at breasts nonconsensually all the time. There can be an understanding of why his character does these things, as, like all characters, he's supposed to mirror something back to the audience… while still criticizing the worldview that creates these young men.

                      I don't agree with your argument that people can't be faulted for their behavior because it's just who they are.

                    • tzikeh says:

                      he's supposed to mirror something back to the audience… while still criticizing the worldview that creates these young men.

                      I disagree that he's supposed to criticize the worldview that creates those young men. He's not "supposed" to do anything. There is no mission statement for what the character is or is not supposed to represent or mirror for the audience.

                      I don't agree with your argument that people can't be faulted for their behavior because it's just who they are.

                      I am not saying that. I'm saying Xander can't be faulted for not knowing about the Invisible Queer, or not being aware of the problem of society's heteronormativity.

                    • Danny_SAP says:

                      I was afraid that wasn't clear… let me try again.

                      I am the one doing the the criticizing of Xander. I don't expect his character to be anything but his character. I think the line we're talking about here is extremely in character for him.

                      I don't expect his character to be a microphone from which my worldview spouts. I do, however, reserve the right to criticize him as if he was a friend of mine who said something I think is wrong and hurtful.

                      Your argument seems to be that it's in character so I shouldn't be criticizing him for it. Am I reading that right?

                    • tzikeh says:

                      Your argument seems to be that it's in character so I shouldn't be criticizing him for it. Am I reading that right?

                      No; I don't have a problem with criticizing the character. My argument is that, in my opinion, this single line of dialogue doesn't merit the criticism. That's the sum total of what I'm saying. You disagree. That's what makes horse races.

                    • Danny_SAP says:

                      I think this is where i get off the ride. (Not trying to be snarky. I don't like leaving threads hanging. It's like walking away without saying anything.)

                    • tzikeh says:

                      No snark from me either–thanks for not abandoning the thread without saying "I'm finished now." I'm always glad of that, and I try to always do it myself.

                  • misterbernie says:

                    No, it doesn't because Xander is only talking from *his experience*. He's not expected to speak for the wider world, because he's self-centered.

                    <img src=""&gt;

                    • tzikeh says:

                      Please actually reply. What is it that you take issue with in what I've said above. Tell me why Xander Harris, of all people, should be addressing the fact that gay men wouldn't be looking at breasts, in this scene, in this instance.

                      Engage me; don't snark at me with gifs. I'm taking part in this discussion in good faith. If you think I'm wrong, then tell me that, and tell me why.

                    • misterbernie says:

                      I'm sideeying the fact that you just told someone that something they felt was erasing was not, in fact, erasing. It's another instance of writers putting a heterocentric male perspective in their show, and it's legit if some of us queer folk feel annoyed by that, whether it's the character or the writing decision.

                    • tzikeh says:

                      Okay, that's true — I dismissed a legitimate concern about the invisibility of queers in the show's worldview. I shouldn't have done that. But I don't see how this one moment, and one line of dialogue, could have included a point about the queer community. And I don't know that it should have, either.

                      Gurer ner qrsvavgryl bgure zbzragf va gur frevrf gung fubhyq nqqerff gur vffhrf bs dhrrearff gung pbzcyrgryl snyy qbja ba gur wbo. V unir znwbe vffhrf jvgu Jvyybj'f "tnl abj!" frys-vqragvsvpngvba guvat jura fur fgnegf frrvat Gnen; vg abg bayl renfrf ovfrkhnyvgl (juvpu vf gur cebcre frkhny vqragvgl sbe fbzrbar jub vf frkhnyyl nggenpgrq gb obgu zra naq jbzra, juvpu Jvyybj vf), ohg gevivnyvmrf nyy bs dhrre gurbel.

                    • Bill says:

                      Yeah you have a point. Xander does not exist to be a commentary on all men. He has a skewed perspective on the world. Why would you side eye that? I don't understand that criticism. It is a legitimate point. He is self centered. YOU HAVE ALL BEEN SAYING THAT CONSTANTLY RIGHT?! Otherwise, I like that gif. I am wondering what I just defended, because I did not read the rest of that. Maybe I should be ignored afterall, and not made fun of as you all have a habit of doing. Okay now I'm done.

          • SelphieFairy says:

            Who cares if there is a group of people who don't like Xander? They're not a "brigade" of people gearing up for battle. And they don't have a "lens," they just have an opinion that's different from yours. And people here tend to disagree with the idea that teenage boys think about sex all the time. It's no "fact;" there is absolutely no research or evidence that would suggest that this is true. And even if it was, it's still wrong to suggest that ogling at women's breasts all the time is OK. Women are human beings, not sex objects. And I like Xander, btw.

            The fact that you call it a "lens" is basically implying that their comments are wrong simply due to the fact that they must be "blinded" by their hate for Xander. Not so.

            • tzikeh says:

              It's no "fact;" there is absolutely no research or evidence that would suggest that this is true.

              There is TONS of research that proves this, among other things, about the adolescent male brain. I'm make no bones about that fact that I'm far from an expert, but I did a degree in Secondary Education, and we spent a significant amount of time studying how teenagers' brains function, change, and process the world around them, as well as teenagers' sexual awareness from the first inklings to the full-on hormonal overload, and how that grows and changes from the ages of twelve to eighteen in order to be able to take into account what is going on with students when teaching middle school and high school.

              The fact that you call it a "lens" is basically implying that their comments are wrong simply due to the fact that they must be "blinded" by their hate for Xander. Not so.

              No, it really doesn't. If you're looking through a lens, then by definition, you can't be blind. And I didn't say their comments are wrong–I said that this one instance out of the whole show is not Xander being gross and out of line.

              • SelphieFairy says:

                Again, it doesn't make it OK to stare at women's breasts all the time like it's "normal."

                I don't really care about the literalness that you choose to take my statement about lenses. The point still stands; there have been plenty of disagreements about Xander's words and actions that didn't revolve around the argument, "You're just saying that because you hate Xander," which is really all that you're saying.

                • tzikeh says:

                  "You're just saying that because you hate Xander," which is really all that you're saying.

                  That is not what I'm saying. Xander is a massively problematic character. I am saying that in this instance, this one fucking instance, what he is saying is not problematic. That's all.

        • Bill says:

          Seriously though we are all getting sick of the constant xander bashing (Well, I am at least. Shouldn't speak for everyone). He may not be the most likeable character, but he is so FUN to analyze! Especially in erfgyrff. The show wouldn't be the same without him. Though I will give you credit this time for having a legitimate complaint and acknowledging his good moment.

          • Danny_SAP says:

            Isn't critique the same as analysis?

            • Bill says:

              It isn't good analysis if it is constantly negative. Especially if the character in question is not written to be the perfect character. Its a lack of appreciation for his internal workings. I get the most angry when you all act like we shouldn't spend time developing him because he's a waste. That's really frustrating because he has great development. Yes, he's kind of an asshole, but he's clearly meant to be. You guys tend to demonize him without trying to understand why he is from an analytical standpoint. It definitely relates back to his parents and childhood. He lacks social skills for a number of reasons, but people don't bother thinking about it. I'm not saying love him, but you are being unfair to his complexity, so you guys aren't critiquing him well either.

              • arctic_hare says:

                Really? We’re *really* still doing this nonsense where you people are saying I’m not being fair, not seeing the good points, etc. and you’re complaining about my “bashing”? Godfuckingdammit I am sick and fucking tired of this bullshit. If you don’t like that I criticize this or that character, don’t read it. Simple as hell solution. As for how you feel on my criticisms, suffice to say that you all really need to read this (warning: spoilers for A Song of Ice and Fire in there), especially this paragraph:

                “Secondly, do not gloss over the issues or derail conversations about the problematic elements. Okay, so you can admit that Dune is problematic. But wait, you’re not done! You need to be willing to engage with people about it! It’s not enough to be like “Ok, I admit that it’s problematic that the major villain is n sng ubzbfrkhny encvfg, but come on, let’s focus on gur tvnag fnaqjbezf!”. Shutting people down, ignoring or giving minimal treatment to their concerns, and refusing to fully engage with their issues is a form of oppression. Implicitly, you’re giving the message that this person’s feelings are less important than your own. In fact, in this case you’re saying that their pain is less important than your enjoyment of a book, movie or tv show. So when people raise these concerns, listen respectfully and try to understand the views. Do not change the topic.”

                And then you all need to leave me the hell alone about my “bashing” and my “cult” and my “brigade” and just let me post my opinions and criticisms without all this BS.

                • Bill says:

                  I am not trying to shut you down, or telling you your feelings are wrong, but I am telling you that you have not fully explored the depth of a character I personally love and that you have unfairly judged him. Also, I don't want to comment on your current complaint about xander because this time I actually agree. I believe I said that. But this feeling has been building up within me too long for me to just ignore your constant criticism of him. I feel like I need to encourage you to be more balanced in your opinions. And if we have different opinions, where are we supposed to express them if not with replys? Our opinions are no more bullshit than yours, and we will voice them just as you have. When you tell us something we listen, and when we tell you we think you are being unfair, shouldn't you listen as well? I apologize if this sounded rude, but if someone criticizes your interpretation long enough, shouldn't you maybe listen?

                  • arctic_hare says:

                    Oh my fucking god. What the fuck is this? You're not trying to shut me down or tell me I'm wrong, yet you're free to tell me that I haven't looked at the character the right way? Bzuh? And fuck no, you do not get to "encourage" me to be "more balanced" in my opinions. JFC I can't even, this is making me too angry. I'm not obligated to "balance out" my opinions to please you or anyone else, or to listen "if someone criticizes [my] interpretation long enough". You have some goddamn fucking nerve asking me to bow down and alter my opinions and the expressing of my opinions to suit those of you who like the character. Which I will not do, not one bit. Fuck this shit.

                    • Bill says:

                      yeah, sorry about that. I just apologized a ways down. I'm not making sense today, and I'm not used to arguing on the internet. I said some arrogant and stupid things and I'm not proud of that and you are right to have your opinion. I apologize again here profusely.

                • tzikeh says:

                  If you don't like that I criticize this or that character, don't read it…. And then you all need to leave me the hell alone about my "bashing" and my "cult" and my "brigade" and just let me post my opinions and criticisms without all this BS.

                  Hang on a second. We're supposed to not read your criticisms if we don't like them, and "leave you the hell alone," and just "let you post your opinions and criticisms," but you get to read ours, and not leave us the hell alone, and not just "let us" post our opinions? You engaged with me because you didn't like my comment, but you're telling me to ignore things you say that I don't like? "I get to say whatever I want, but you don't get to reply." That's not how it works.

                  "Just don't read it–simple as hell solution." So, I should ignore what you write if I don't like it, but you didn't ignore what I wrote because you didn't like it. If your philosophy is that we should ignore comments we don't like, why did you respond to my comment in the first place? You can't have it both ways.

                  • Bill says:

                    Yeah, I think I'm going to just drop this. This argument will never end and we will all just end up hating each other and if you want to go down that road its fine, but I withdraw all previous arguments in favor of not stressing everyone out when we are all here for the same reason (that reason being mark's analysis, which we all enjoy). You all go at it, but I've had enough of being an ass for the day.

                  • arctic_hare says:

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

                    Ever since I started posting my criticisms of Xander's sexist behavior in Mark's reviews, people have felt the need to pick on me and come down on me for having those opinions, and daring to express them. They want me to be more "balanced" in my critiques (see Bill's comment below for the most egregious example of this – I know he apologized, but the point here is that is just the latest example of such behavior from a variety of people). They say things like what you did about a brigade, and did you think I pulled the "cult" thing out of my ass? No – a commenter expressed their hope a few episodes into the first season that Mark wasn't being influenced by the "cult of the Xander haters". I've seen all kinds of comments designed to guilt me and others for having these feelings, pretty much outright saying that my feelings on his sexist behavior were less important than their enjoyment of the show. I've been told I'm examining the show through the wrong lens, called a radical feminist… the list goes on and on. And I'm sick of it. I'm so, so sick of it. If you don't like that I don't like this character, then scroll on by. Start a love thread of your own for Xander or whoever. I won't come in and rain on your parade. Debating something with me is one thing, but I am sick and fucking tired of getting all this bullshit in response to the slightest negative thing I have to say about Xander or the way he's written. The apologists don't want to debate with me, really, they want me to shut up and go away and stop talking about the problematic things Xander says and does.

                    I did, for a while. I might do it again, more permanently, even though I hate to let them win. But I'm frustrated and exhausted, all the more this time around. Also because you know what? I don't do this sort of thing at the people who dislike my favorite Buffyverse character, Cordelia. I see a lot of comments criticizing her in various ways, and I just scroll on by. Faith, too. I love her a lot and not everyone feels that way. I don't feel the need to plead with anyone to be more balanced about these characters or whatever. I just shrug and move on. Why can't I get the same respect in return?

                  • notemily says:

                    Arctic_hare STARTED THIS THREAD.

          • misterbernie says:

            Well, I am at least. Shouldn't speak for everyone

            but he is so FUN to analyze
            So we should analyise him, but not… critically? Only when it's FUN?

            I will give you credit this time

            (the ellipsis constitutes my commentary)

            • Bill says:

              Sorry, but I don't understand the ellipsis thing. Is it confusion? Hate? Agreement? Indigestion? What? If you think I'm being unfair just say so! I'm just getting sick of how little attention people pay to his complexity. He has it, as does every character in buffy. They would not exist otherwise. And I'm fine with criticism, but you guys do it far too often and never really think about why he is an ass so often! Why would the writers create him if only to piss the audience off? Don't you think there might be more to that? And ALL analysis is fun. Including critiquing him. You just have to do the good AND the bad. Wow, I just realized I should have started with that. Eh, fuck it.

              • arctic_hare says:

                No. Nobody is required to do both the good and the bad. If someone wants to only talk about one or the other, that is their right. Stop trying to tell us how to comment and critique. I don't care how sick you are of people paying little attention to his complexity. If you're really that interested in it, go start a Xander Love/Analysis thread. Don't pull this crap with me or anyone else.

              • Danny_SAP says:

                I think there is a lot of room for everybody to bring their analysis of xander to the table. Some people want to focus on a feminist analysis, others a psychoanalytical. Both are definitely valid ways to read a text. Xander cries out for attention and pushes boundaries until somebody pushes back. The home lives of all the scoobies are either terrible or completely non-existent, except for Buffy's. Which is why they all rally around Joyce as a mom and Giles as a dad.

                V ybir gur fprar va tenqhngvba qnl cneg 1 jurer gur znlbe gryyf tvyrf jung n fchaxl yvggyr tvey ur'f envfrq nybatfvqr gur rneyvre fprar jurer gur znlbe gryyf snvgu gung ab sngure pbhyq or cebhqre.

                The analyses that we choose to spend our time airing don't prevent you from presenting your own.

              • misterbernie says:

                "I will give you credit" comes off as incredibly condescending, and the ellipsis in this case means "I don't even know what to fucking say to that".

                As for the "why he is an ass" so often… okay, see, I actually understand very well why he is.
                To take a real life example I'm more familiar with than straight cis guys, you can very often find gay guys saying grossly misogynist things and exhibiting crassly sexist attitudes.
                And it's easy to find explanations for that, and even more sympathetic explanations than "they like wallowing in their male privilege because they don't need to impress women" – for example, a lot of it is hypermasculine posturing to make up for the fact that society tells them they're not "real" men. So yes, I can see how the patriarchy with its strict gender binary and association of specific traits with one gender or the other royally fucks things up for everyone who doesn't naturally conform to models of hegemonic masculinity/femininity – hell, I've said some grossly sexist and transphobic things, too, in an effort to assert my own masculinity. Sometimes I still catch myself thinking gross thoughts in that direction.
                Here's the thing – even if there's an explanation for the why, that doesn't change the fact that this – whether it's the gay men I've mentioned, men like Xander, or me – is behaving like gross sexist douchebags.
                It doesn't mean I have to like him just because there's a reason, or because it's realistic. I also don't have to like people like him in real life for that very same reason.

                • arctic_hare says:

                  Yeah, I've known a real-life Xander. Didn't like him much.

                • Bill says:

                  See, that I get. Thanks for actually sitting there and actually telling me this in a non-angry style. Sometimes I don't make sense, but I try to. I just really like complex characters regardless of whether they are assholes or not. Okay now I feel like an ass. Can we all just pretend I never spoke today? I get the whole "everyone has multiple opinions" making a whole thing now. Shit, I feel like a moron now. I fucked up, my bad. Sorry arctic hare and misterbernie! Please accept my apology!

          • Pseudonymph says:

            So it's "fun to analyze" Xander as long as you like everything he does?

            That's a really bad opinion.

            How about, instead of getting mad at someone for expressing their annoyance at Xander's sexist behavior, you could actually engage with their opinion and have a discussion. You could say why his behavior isn't sexist or say why you're totally cool with sexism (good luck with that one), if that's what you think (and I really can't imagine what you're disagreement would be if it's not one of those). It seems like you're saying, "Xander does sexist things sometimes. Oh well, get over it, stop talking about it." Those of us who are hurt by sexism aren't going to stop talking about it. And there are a lot of us.

            "I'm sick of people saying an opinion that's different than mine" is utterly unproductive. I mean, I really really don't understand the point of comments like this.

            • Bill says:

              Not in any way what I meant and I apologized for what I said. Like three times. I'm never okay with sexsm, don't put words in my mouth.

        • Karen says:

          If we're a cult, do you think that one day we can achieve religion status and get days off of work for special holidays?

    • notemily says:

      LOL LISA FRANK NOTEBOOK omg I loved those so much when I was a kid

      I need to watch the Breaking Dawn Rifftrax because I am pretty sure that is the only way I could remotely tolerate watching that movie.

      This is random but: I do like Xander's line here of "but I thought you already had all the dresses." Hee. Cordy has ALL the dresses! *Allie Brosh gif*

      I always liked dancing itself, so I wanted to go to school dances, but then it turned out none of the boys could actually dance beyond moving their feet back and forth so I was inevitably disappointed.

      I remember once I went to a school dance that was lit by a black light, and I was wearing a light-colored dress over white underwear, and… the black light illuminated my underwear for all to see. That was probably my worst high school dance experience. *shakes fist at whoever made that decorating decision*

      • arctic_hare says:

        IT'S SO HILARIOUS. Possibly the best one yet of their Twilight riffs, and yes, those are the only way I can watch those movies because they're so bad. I – I mean, yeah, I could totally… not watch them this way either, but I'm an MST3k fan, I pretty much HAVE to watch terrible movies these guys shred. I mean, if I can get through the likes of Hobgoblins and Manos, what's a couple hours of sparkly vampires? 😀

        EEEEK that sounds mortifying. D: Suddenly glad I match my underwear with my clothes…

        • notemily says:

          I have since realized the benefits of beige or "nude" underwear under flimsy dresses/skirts. But nobody thought to clue me in when I was fifteen.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Reading through the entire mess above, and then seeing "LOL LISA FRANK NOTEBOOK" made me laugh. I'm so glad you're back <3

      • misterbernie says:

        I like dancing too! BUT NOT FORMAL DANCES
        I just like to vaguely sway my hips back and forth in what in my head is a sexy mating call but actually… is not (where did Allie Brosh put the Beyonce – herself comparison because SO APT).

        I have a friend who can dance Charleston and Lindy Hop. I saw him dance once. Drunk, in a gay bar, at 4am on a Sunday night.


        Also, black light is EVIL.

        • notemily says:

          I have actually taken a lot of dance lessons, including swing and I'm pretty sure I learned the basics of lindy hop at one point but I never actually got good at it. This just makes me MORE jealous of people who do it really well, because I know exactly how I don't measure up! Also, my body doesn't have the stamina it used to due to chronic illness and such, so I haven't taken actual dance lessons in years, and every time I watch people dancing really well I get all nostalgic and wistful about What Could Have Been. I mean, I was a dancer for SEVEN YEARS. Then I quit because my body decided to hate me and also because of reasons. Sigh.

          I can still follow pretty well though, which is the benefit of swing and other social dancing–if you follow, you don't have to remember all of the moves, you just have to go where the lead takes you. I am a damn good follow if I say so myself! *proud*

      • MaggieCat says:

        Yikes, I am dying of embarrassment for you over here. That's the kind of thing that would have made me beg to transfer to the other high school.

        I'm a serious introvert who doesn't dance, which is why I skipped prom my junior year and was happily planning to do the same senior year until my mother flipped, in a looking-at-me-like-I-shot-her-dog kind of way. Which is weird because she was NEVER that kind of mom (this is a woman who was fairly horrified to discover other parents considered me a "good influence" because as a teen she so wasn't) even though she's as unbelievably extroverted as I am the opposite. It was reasonably fun — I still don't get all the fuss though — but did have one particularly lovely moment: learning that all my guy friends had *actually been listening* all those times I was talking about costuming and sewing. Another girl there was wearing the same dress I was, and three of them practically in unison not only turned to tell me mine looked better before I'd even finished the thought "Huh, that's my dre…" but two then proceeded to prove they weren't just trying to salve my ego by pointing out the problems with hers. Bought a size too small (and we were about the same size, both on the rather pudgy end of the spectrum), and an unflattering pastel in that unfortunate super-shiny satin that looks like plastic.

        These were the world's most stereotypical high school geeky guys. I don't think I'd ever seen any of them in anything but baggy jeans and a worn t-shirt until that night's formal wear. And yet they had all picked up the skill of being aware of women's fashion, that it is important to some of us, and how to critique WITHOUT body shaming. (It's always the clothes' fault, never the girl's. Why do people not get this?) One of the proudest moments of my life.

        And apparently a skill that makes a straight boy quite popular when he moves to a co-ed dorm in college. 🙂

  6. Danny_SAP says:

    <img src="; />

    ANYA Men are evil. Will you go with me? XANDER One of us is very confused, and I honestly don't know which.

    I know, Anya. I know.
    <img src="; />

    OZ Anya, huh? Interesting choice. XANDER Choice is kind of a broad term for my situation. See, it's either Anya or the sock puppet of love for this boy. I love you, Xander. I'll never leave you. WILLOW Well, if Anya tries to get you killed, put me down for a big 'I told you so.' XANDER Who's this Anya? Is she prettier than me? WILLOW: She just better not try to cross me. That's all I'm saying. BUFFY Well, at least we all have someone to go with now. Some of us are going with demons, but I think that's a valid lifestyle choice. More importantly, I have the kick dress. WILLOW Ooh, the pink one? BUFFY Angel's gonna lose it. But not his soul. He's gonna lose it. His it.

    Very much quoted in my youth
    <img src="; />
    <img src="; />
    Hello effects budget.
    <img src="; />

    BUFFY Then what? What's with the dire? ANGEL It's uh, it's nothing. BUFFY No, you have 'something' face. ANGEL I think we need to talk, but not now and not here.

    The Buffy writers play with language very well.
    <img src="; />
    If you didn't live through it I can't explain just how pervasive this song was.
    <img src="; />
    Jonathan's date is hot!
    <img src="; />
    Willow looks gorgeous.
    <img src="; />

    JONATHAN We have one more award to give out. Is Buffy Summers here tonight? Did she, um… This is actually a new category. First time ever. I guess there were a lot of write-in ballots, and, um, the prom committee asked me to read this. We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here. CROWD Zombies! Hyena people! Snyder! JONATHAN But, whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you, or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the Class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history. And we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class, offers its thanks, and gives you, uh, this. It's from all of us, and it has written here, "Buffy Summers, Class Protector."

    <img src="; />

    WESLEY Mr. Giles. I'd like your opinion. While the last thing I want to do is muddle bad behavior in front of impressionable youth, I wonder if asking Miss Chase to dance would… GILES For God's sake, man, she's eighteen. And you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. Just have at it, would you, and stop fluttering about.

    If Wesley was a teacher it would be one thing but he's in no position of authority over her whatsoever so GO WESLEY GO.

  7. settlingforhistory says:

    Finally we have the end of Angel/Buffy.
    I used to ship them passionately when I first watched the show, but the older I got and with every re-watch I saw more and more flaws.
    The conversation in Angel’s apartment shows how invested Buffy has become in the relationship, she thinks of a future with him, of visiting during college and she almost forgets that he is a vampire. Angel knows however that it won’t work out , that he can’t grow old with her and that this relationship can’t be like anybody else’s with drawers for staying over and marriage and children.
    I like how the break up in the sewers mirrors that in “I only have eyes for you”, both Grace and Angel know it’s the responsible thing to do to end a relationship that will hinder their partners to have a normal life.

    I remember how the scene of their wedding was all over the internet and fanvideos would use it to create AUs where Buffy and Angel stayed together. I saw this before the episode aired here and was totally confused, because I could not understand how this would ever happen.

    Yay, Anya is back!
    “Well, you're not quite as obnoxious
    as most of the alpha males around
    What great compliment.
    When I heard Anya and Xander talk about her losing her powers because of Cordy’s wish, I wondered how much do the Scoobies know about the Wishverse. Xander didn’t seem to be surprised that Cordy had made the wish, so they have to know more than that it resulted in Vamp!Willow.

    Another thing: how does Joyce know where Angel lives?
    When would she have ever had a reason to ask someone about this?

    I love the conversation between Joyce and Angel though, it’s so stiff and serious.
    Joyce is trying to do small talk with him like she does with Spike, but they just have no chemistry and it certainly doesn’t help that the only other conversation they’ve had was when Angel had turned back into a serial killer.

    “Can't you ever get your mind out of the Hellmouth?”
    is a question that should be asked much more often in everyday life.

    Can we just all have a Xander-party now? That he buys Cordy the dress is so wonderful, considering that he doesn’t have much money and they are not on good terms. I just love that guy so much, because he is kind and considerate when it really matters.

    You just have to love the shopkeepers of Sunnydale, they sell blood at the back entrance, brains to school kids and they don’t mind giving customer information to perfect strangers.

    Bu gurer vf Ghpxre Jryyf, Naqerj’f oebgure! : )

    “Besieged, bedeviled or beheaded” would make another great episode title.

    Ooh, even Jonathan has a date, good for him.

    Oh god the class protector award, one of the most beautiful things in all of Buffy.
    I actually cried more at that moment than for the breakup the first time I watched this.
    “The lowest mortality rate” Well, that’s something to be proud of on the Hellmouth.
    So everyone in Sunnydale knows what’s going on, they just chose to life in denial.
    I can’t even imagine how it would be to go to a school where it is more important to survive than to graduate. Be jurer lbh qba'g fheivir tenqhngvba.

  8. pica_scribit says:

    Buffy Summers: Class Protector

    Will there ever come a time when I don't choke up during a re-watch of this scene? I doubt it. Apparently I find total failure of secret identity very affecting.


  9. Seventh_Star says:

    -v thrff pbssrr fgbccrq znxvat natry wvggrel whfg va gvzr sbe uvz gb qevax vg ba uvf bja fubj?

    -jr urne n pbhcyr bs ohssl'f dhbgrf sebz guvf onatry oernxhc fprar va gur natry rcvfbqr "fbhy checbfr". v jbhyq nffhzr gung gur dhbgrf jrera'g whfg enaqbzyl pubfra. gur ernyvmngvba gung gurl pna arire or gbtrgure vf bar gung lbh jbhyq guvax jbhyq jrvtu ba natry sbe lrnef gb pbzr, fb vg znxrf frafr gb zr.

    -fbzrgvzrf v jbaqre jung frnfba fvk (naq orlbaq) jbhyq unir orra yvxr vs gur npgbe gung cynlf ghpxre urer unq orra ninvynoyr gb cynl bar bs gur rivy gevb. naq gura v vzntvar ab naqerj naq gura v'z fnq.

    -"right now i'm just trying to keep from dying."

    smg's delivery of this line gets to me. yes, it's totally overwrought and melodramatic. but have i felt like this? absolutely, i have. it's not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's real.

    -running into your ex when he's buying pigs blood=awkward

    -my insides do the happy when xander and cordelia are nice to each other. he pushes her out of the way immediately when the devil dog attacks. and he uses his own money, which there cannot be much of, to buy her that dress. MY HEART. i needed them to end up on good terms, dammit. NEEDED IT.

    -it's safe to assume that from when buffy gets the class protector award until the end of the episode i am weeping like a little baby.

    so, ok, there is this:

    "for god's sake, man, she's 18. and you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. just have at it, would you? and stop fluttering about."


    • L_Storm says:

      -fbzrgvzrf v jbaqre jung frnfba fvk (naq orlbaq) jbhyq unir orra yvxr vs gur npgbe gung cynlf ghpxre urer unq orra ninvynoyr gb cynl bar bs gur rivy gevb. naq gura v vzntvar ab naqerj naq gura v'z fnq.

      Rfcrpvnyyl nf V svaq gur rkphfr nf gb jul vg'f n qvssrerag npgbe npghnyyl vaperqvoyl gryyvat bs Naqerj'f punenpgre, gung ur vf fb sbetbggra nobhg gung ab bar erzrzoref uvz whfg gung ur'f Ghpxre'f lbhatre oebgure.

    • notemily says:

      I agree, SMG's delivery of that line is what makes it. It's over-the-top on paper, but she says it with such genuine despair that you can't help but feel for her.

  10. knut_knut says:

    – ok is that a GIANT window at Angel's place or a very realistic painting?
    – GILES IN PINK TAFFETA. YES. And please go have breakup ice cream with Buffy.
    – Oh god, I felt so bad for Buffy when she broke down in front of Willow 🙁 But, I really like that the episode isn’t a Buffy pity party, and celebrates the fact that she is loved and has the rest of her life ahead of her.
    – Other than the line at the very beginning, I’m proud of Xander in this episode!
    – AWWW Wbanguna! I like how the show doesn’t try to cover up the fact that really weird shit is going down and instead gives Buffy ALL THE AWARDS in the most adorable way ever.
    – I'm sorry but I hate Buffy's dress- it look like bed sheets, the colour is weird, and the broach is OFF CENTER AGH (it matces the one in her hair but still)

  11. Jenny_M says:

    Class Protector Award = guaranteed tears. It is one of the 5 moments on Buffy that are guaranteed to make me weep. Only one of the others has happened already – Buffy killing Angel at the end of season 2. The other three are…coming. Muah-ha-ha.

    • Bonnie says:

      Are the rest of them Ohssl qlvat, Gnen qlvat naq Fcvxr qlvat?

      • Jenny_M says:

        Two out of three ain't bad! Ohssl qlvat, Gnen qlvat, naq Naln'f fcrrpu va Gur Obql ner zl guerr thnenagrrq pevrf. Gung'f abg gb fnl gurer nera'g ZNAL zber zbzragf gung oevat zr gb grnef, ohg yvxr…100% bs gur gvzr V jvyy pel qhevat gur nsberzragvbarq zbzragf, jurernf gur bguref ner zber va n 50-75% enatr, unun.

        • cait0716 says:

          Bu Tbq, Naln'f fcrrpu. Htyl fboovat, rirel gvzr. Znex whfg vfa'g cercnerq.

        • Nnetu, gur sehvg chapu fcrrpu xvyyf zr gbb. Rira gubhtu crbcyr unir cbvagrq bhg gung vg'f xvaq bs ovmneeryl bhg-bs-punenpgre sbe n iratrnapr qrzba jub unf yvxryl xvyyrq urncf bs crbcyr gb or hasnzvyvne jvgu gur pbaprcg bs zbegnyvgl, vg'f fgvyy fhpu n cresrpg rapncfhyngvba bs gur jnl gur yvggyr guvatf trg nzcyvsvrq jura lbh'er tevrivat.

          • Jenny_M says:


          • cait0716 says:

            V'ir arire pbafvqrerq vg bhg bs punenpgre. Guvf vf Naln'f svefg rkcrevrapr jvgu gur qrngu bs fbzrbar fur npghnyyl pnerf nobhg. Naq gur svefg gvzr gung fur unf gur xabjyrqtr gung fur'f riraghnyyl tbvat gb qvr, gbb. Fur znl unir xvyyrq n ybg bs crbcyr, ohg fur'f arire ernyyl qrnyg jvgu gur pbafrdhraprf bs gung. Vg'f gur fnzr ernfba ure npgvbaf va Frysyrff fubpx ure fb zhpu guna nalguvat fur cerivbhfyl qvq nf n iratrnapr qrzba.

          • Fuchsia says:

            V fgvyy qba'g guvax vg'f bhg bs punenpgre sbe ure gb or nssrpgrq ol gur qrngu bs Wblpr. Lrf, fur'f frra n ybg bs qrngu nf n iratrnapr qrzba ohg gubfr jrer qrnguf qbar ol ure unaq, yvirf fur qvqa'g pner nobhg. Guvf vf gur svefg gvzr gung fbzrbar pybfr gb ure unf qvrq, naq rirelbar gung fur pnerf nobhg vf tevrivat. Vg'f nyfb ure svefg gvzr qrnyvat jvgu gur snpg gung *fur* vf zbegny, fbzrguvat gung fur unfa'g ernyyl fgbccrq gb guvax nobhg va gur pbapergr frafr fvapr ybfvat ure cbjref. Fb, ab, V guvax vg'f ragveryl va punenpgre sbe ure.

    • Karen says:

      Bu zna, V nz abg tbvat gb or noyr gb unaqyr "Gur Obql". Yvxr vg'f abg whfg Naln'f fcrrpu sbe zr. VG'F GUR RAGVER RCVFBQR. V unir htyl pevrq zl jnl guebhtu gung jubyr rcvfbqr. Vg xvyyf zr sebz gur ortvaavat jvgu Ohssl'f ernpgvba. Fur'f gur FYNLRE, fur vf fhccbfrq gb or noyr gb fnir crbcyr, naq fur'f whfg cbjreyrff gb uryc ure bja zbgure. Naq gura QNJA'F ernpgvba. Yvxr gur whkgncbfvgvba bs ure pelvat gur onguebbz orpnhfr bs fbzr fvyyl whavbe uvtu guvat gung whfg frrzf FB vzcbegnag jura lbh'er 14, ohg gura vg whfg nyy cnyrf va pbzcnevfba gb ybfvat lbhe zbz. Naq rira Jvyybj whfg abg xabjvat ubj gb or gurer sbe ure orfg sevraq. FB ZNAL SRRYVATF.

    • arctic_hare says:

      Gur raq bs "Lbh'er Jrypbzr" sebz Natry gur frevrf uvgf zr uneqre guna nalguvat ryfr ba rvgure fubj. V'z abg bire gung bar lrg.

      • Karen says:

        V'yy arire or bire gung rvgure. Gur bgure cneg sebz rneyvre va gung rcvfbqr gung ernyyl trgf gb zr vf jura Natry fnlf gung ur vf ybfg jvgubhg Pbeqryvn. HTU. V UNGR LBH WBFF SBE ARIRE YRGGVAT ZL BGC OR GBTRGURE.

        • arctic_hare says:

          ALL OF THIS.

        • MaggieCat says:

          Sbe zr vg'f jngpuvat gur ivqrb bs Qblyr gung znxrf zr fgneg. V qba'g hfhnyyl pel ng gi fubjf sbe fbzr ernfba, ohg gung naq gur Pynff Cebgrpgbe fcrrpu whfg yrnq gb rzoneenffvat favssyvat naq zl png tbvat vagb uvqvat.

        • lyvanna says:

          P: V anghenyyl nffhzrq lbh'q or ybfg jvgubhg zr, ohg guvf?
          N: V nz ybfg jvgubhg lbh.
          P: Lbh whfg sbetbg jub lbh ner.
          N: Erzvaq zr.


          P: Qb lbh rire guvax nobhg vs jr'q zrg hc gung avtug naq unq n punapr gb—
          N: Nyy gur gvzr.
          P: Thrff jr zvffrq bhe zbzrag, uhu?
          N: Znlor jr jrer zrnag gb. Be znlor crbcyr yvxr hf whfg qba'g trg gb…unir gung.
          P: Natry, gurer ner ab crbcyr yvxr hf.


      • zephyras13 says:

        ME TOO! V xarj vg jnf pbzvat gbb, orpnhfr V'q ernq fcbvyref, fb vg jnfa'g yvxr V jnf fhecevfrq yvxr va Wblpr'f naq Gnen'f pnfr. NAQ FGVYY. Vg'f gur Ohsslirefr qrngu gung znxrf zr gung fnqqrfg naq nyfb unq zr ybyvat jura rirelbar jnf pbzcynvavat nobhg Wraal. Bu, svefg-gvzr Ohssl jngpuref, lbh ner FB HACERCNERQ.

  12. Noybusiness says:

    So with this episode, the bloopers / outtakes video is finally not spoilery and I can post it! All these outtakes are from Season 3, but it came on the Season 5 DVD set. Includes the famous sequence of Mrs. Post hitting Giles on the head over and over again.

    [youtube JO7YFRerU40 youtube]

  13. Maya S. says:


    I still refuse to believe SMeyer when she says she wasn't familiar with Buffy when she was writing the series. Before you started watching this series, I genuinely believed everyone on Earth knew about Angel being a vampire and his romance with Buffy. Obviously, I've been proven wrong, but there are just TOO MANY SIMILAR PLOTLINES for her to not even be somewhat familiar with the show.

  14. Sindragosa says:

    If SMeyer was the head writer, the next four episodes would be a blank screen with just the episode number on a placard.

  15. NB2000 says:

    – That probably wasn't the best place to put your bed Angel. What happens if you forget to close the curtains before you go to bed?
    – Hello again Anya! Have you died your hair? It looks lighter.
    – I start to make fun of Buffy for the "4 Ever" doodle and then I remember that I was probably still doing that at her age too, except with celebrities I had a crush on. And I'm pretty sure I never actually wrote "4 Ever".
    – Awww Joyce being the sensible protective mother. She makes a very good point about why she's going to Angel and not Buffy, and it's the same reason why Buffy refused to listen to the Mayor when he said roughly the same thing.
    – Poor Giles trying to get everyone to focus on the Ascension vs. the Prom.
    – That's an…interesting dream you have there Angel. Hey David Boreanaz gets to go outside in the daytime for once!
    – And then they break up….I'd probably have more to say if I actually cared about Buffy/Angel. But I don't so I'll move on.
    – Awww Willow trying to be the supportive friend and make fun of angel for her. Despite my previous point, I still get upset for Buffy when she starts crying.
    – Go Cordelia spotting the formal wear clue. The arguing about what the VCR can do never gets old. "Oh wait it can do pause!"
    – Buffy's in scary, determined mode. Love Xander's "Yay?" after her speech.
    – Helpful butchers in Sunnydale.
    – Helping Cordelia with her dress is genuinely sweet of Xander.
    – "Have. A nice. Time." hee
    – Yay Fatboy Slim to start the Prom.
    – And naturally everyone looks gorgeous in their Prom clothes, especially Cordelia.
    – Hello there Brad Kane, singing voice of Aladdin, as Tucker! That's kind of my main thought throughout his scenes.
    – NAQ ur jnf Wbanguna'f fvatvat ibvpr va Fhcrefgne. Juvpu jbhyq unir orra xvaq bs jrveq (ohg abg ernyyl) vs gurl'q npghnyyl tbg uvz onpx sbe frnfba 6.
    – Oh come on Buffy "Celebration" is a cheesy classic! Or I just have weird tatse in music. Whatever.
    – "Buffy you look awesome." She really does.
    – ROFL at the random class clown we've never heard of before.
    – And I start to tear up as soon as Jonathan arrives on stage (and what a lovely touch having him be the one to present it to her, Danny Strong's face as he hands the umbrella to her is so sweet). Buffy finally gets acknowledgement for her work and her Perfect High School Moment.
    – "Zombies!" "Hyena people!" "SNYDER!" Never gets old.
    – I can't help but wonder if Giles is just, understandably, proud and happy for her or if he knew what was going to happen. His expression could be read either way I suppose.
    – And this episode is responsible for my love of The Sunday's cover of Wild Horses (although it's slightly distracting to notice they've cut a large chunk of the beginning). So pretty!

    • Bonnie says:

      Hey David Boreanaz gets to go outside in the daytime for once!

      When I first saw Bones, I was shocked to see him in the daylight, and then I remembered it's a different show.

      • @Jody_927 says:

        YES! I totally did the same thing. It took me a while to get used to him in daylight instead of expecting him to burst into flames.

        • Dee says:

          A reason I don't watch Bones. Too confusing. I end up thinking 'but why is he in direct sunlight…and tanned?'

          Sorry David Boreanaz – you'll always be Angel to me!

    • Andie says:

      Hyena people!

      Kills meeeeee.

  16. Oh god. This episode. I love it so much and yet it crushes my heart so hard.

    I might be a little long in my comments today :

    – I love seeing Angel & Buffy just sleeping together after a late patrol.
    – I love Angel's smile when he looks at her and all the love radiating over his face.
    – I love Buffy's funny bed hair or something.
    – I love that Buffy talks about drawers.
    – I love how this perfect sweet couple bed scene ends with a burn warning.
    – I love the " Buffy & Angel 4ever ! " written in Buffy's school book.
    – I love the face on Joyce, genuinely impressed by Angel's place and then seeing the chains on the wall…
    – I wish we had more scenes between Angel and Joyce.
    – I love that Joyce is basically saying the same things than the Mayor, but this time Angel knows that he can't stay in denial.
    ( V nyjnlf jbaqrerq jung jbhyq unq unccrarq vs Ohssl unq yrnearq gung Wblpr jrag gb gnyx gb Natry )
    – I love Giles saying "And I shall wear pink taffeta, as chenille will not go with my complexion".
    – I love the wedding dream and this time, it's Buffy that literally burns.
    – I love that the breaking up scene takes place in a sewer. Totally a wrong place but completely meaningful.
    – I hate to see Angel trying to find the words to do what is costing him so much. I hate that he had to use the term "freak show".
    – I hate that everything he is saying is true. I hate that he had to say it outloud and make it happen. I hate that he had to hurt Buffy and lie to her when he says he doesn't want to be with her because of course he wants.
    – I hate that Buffy is crying and Angel is crying too. I hate that they can't be together.
    – I hate that they made Angel leave but then I love that they made him leave to get his own show.

    Everything in this scene is perfect. The writing, the acting, the tone, the sad music. Damn you Joss Whedon! ( and Marti Noxon, and David Solomon! )

    – I cry when Buffy cries "…right now, I'm just trying to keep from dying".
    – I love that after the sewer, Buffy and Angel's next meeting is at the butcher's.
    – I love that Sunnydale butchers supply blood and stuff to the population. haha
    – I hate that they are "ex" now.
    – I love that Xander bought the dress to Cordelia.
    – I love that Giles understood that something was wrong with Buffy.
    – I would have loved to watch Buffy and Giles eating comfort break up ice creams.
    – I love that everybody is so nicely dressed and cute at the prom.
    – I love and cry when Buffy is honored as the "Class Protector". This scene is just beautiful and moving.
    – I love that it's Jonathan that gives her the price. I love that Buffy's Slayer work is acknowledged and thanked. I love that the class of 99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history.
    – I love that every now and then people surprise you.
    – I love Angel in a tux. I love how he walks to her. I love that he came to the prom just for her.
    – I love this version of "Wild horses" by the Sundays. I can't listen to this song without thinking of "The Prom" anymore.
    – I love that he understands that she understands.
    – I love that their dance is full of sweetness, romantism, love and pain at the same time.

    – I love Buffy and Angel.

    • cait0716 says:

      I love that Buffy's bed hair is really not that bad. I would love it if it were that easy to tame my hair when I wake up

      I love this episode, and your list of awesome (and painful) moments

  17. Daniel says:

    I cry just *reading* about the Class Protector scene. So good.

  18. Noybusiness says:

    "Wild Horses"

    [youtube 9wvwUDw4OwQ youtube]

  19. stellaaaaakris says:

    All right, I think I finally hit the point where this show clicks for me. I don't really love dramas until they make me cry. Doctor Who: I cried during Father's Day and when Captain Jack thought he was going to die before Nine decided it would be a day where nobody dies and when Nine turned into Ten and, from then on, I was a huge DW fan. BSG: I cried when Helo gave up his spot in the miniseries and then when Billy died. After that, I was hooked. When Jonathan read his speech to Buffy, my eyes started welling up and I got the warm tingly feelings in my heart. Plus, everybody was being nice to each other. Oh, be still my heart.

    Of course, I'm sure the finale is going to ruin me and this was Joss's little present before he crushes me.

    This is how I like Xander. I don't mind a few biting remarks as long as he shows he's still got a good heart. Also, "Yay?" lol

    How old is Wesley? I'm liking Cordy and Wes better here and I loved the attempt at Watcher bonding session.

    • Alexis Denisof was 33 at the time. Charisma Carpenter was 29. So if you magically transpose Charisma Carpenter into the 18-year-old Cordelia, that would make Wesley 22. Which, er, he clearly is not, so that math sure doesn't work. Let's say late twenties to mitigate some of the skeeviness.

  20. Danny_SAP says:

    <img src=""&gt;

    JOYCE I'm sorry to, uh… Well, I would have called, but, you know.
    ANGEL Please, you're always welcome.
    JOYCE My goodness, your place is amazing.
    ANGEL Yeah, I like a lot of space. I don't get out much during the day.
    JOYCE No, you wouldn't.
    ANGEL Can I get you something? I don't have any coffee.
    JOYCE Oh, no thank you, I, uh… You don't drink? Beverages, I mean?
    ANGEL No, I do. It's just the caffeine. It makes me jittery.

    I failed to include this scene in my recap for some reason. So you get a bonus picture.

  21. cait0716 says:

    This is the "Everybody lives!" episode of Buffy. It's cute and warm and cheesy and happy and I just absolutely love it. Buffy gets her perfect high school moment when she learns that, far from ignoring her, her classmates really do appreciate her. I seriously tear up every time with Jonathan's class protector speech.

    Oh, and Xander and Cordelia sort of make up and are able to be civil and wonderful and my heart just melts for them. Go Xander! You did a good thing (This is the Xander that I love)

    It's possibly a little strange that I consider this a feel-good episode, given that it also marks the end of Buffy and Angel's relationship. I think the last act just makes up for all the earlier heartache.

    On that note, I'm going to segue into a Twilight comparison. Feel free to scroll on by.

    This episode is an excellent case study for the argument that Buffy is a much better role model than Bella. We can compare how she deals with being dumped by Angel in this episode to how Bella deals with being dumped by Edward. In both cases, the relationship is presented as true love and the girl very much considers the boy to be her soul mate. Both girls have expressed a complete lack of interest in any future that doesn't include said soul mate. Although Buffy is looking to trade in her mortality to achieve this result, she is definitely clinging pretty hard to Angel and her idea of the perfect relationship (see her Buffy+Angel 4ever doodle)

    So, both girls get dumped. And Buffy handles it so much better than Bella. Bella goes catatonic, sinks into depression, cuts off all ties with friends and family, and even stops listening to music. And that's just the beginning. New Moon should really be titled How Not To Handle a Breakup

    But let's look at Buffy. Buffy expresses a tendency to go catatonic when she thinks too hard about Angel, but she is actively resisting that. She's clearly heart-broken in this episode. Who wouldn't be? Rather than deal with the pain alone, she calls up her best friend and has a real good cry. She is able to acknowledge that some of what Angel said made sense; they probably don't have much a future together. She's able to have a conversation with him at the butcher's. And then she's able to focus on the other things in her life, like killing hell hounds and attending a dance with her friends.

    Buffy is far more mature than Bella and a much better example of how to handle the end of a relationship. The fact of the matter is that relationships end. Very few people go through their entire life with one person by their side. Being able to deal with a breakup is a necessary skill and a sign of maturity. Buffy handles hers in a healthy and realistic manner. But then, Buffy is a healthier and more realistic girl. She knows that the end of a relationship, though painful, is not the same thing as the end of a world. She loves Angel, but she also has a complete life outside of him: friends, interests, and responsibilities. Bella had Edward and nothing else.

    Have I mentioned before that Buffy is my hero? I'm so glad that this is the role model I grew up with.

  22. monkeybutter says:

    But let’s get real for a moment. The Class Protector Award scene made me do that I’m-So-Happy-I-Can’t-Help-But-Weep kind of cry.

    <img src=""&gt;
    Me, too. Even though I knew it was coming. Or maybe because I knew it was coming. I think it's my favorite moment of the show so far. Probably would have bawled at "We Are Family" with Oz, too.

    Oh, Mark, I remember you talking about that guy (way back in MRHP days?). I'm so sorry he was such a loser jerk, but I'm also glad you can laugh about it now. I also think it's funny that you're in DC the same day you're posting this review.

  23. Mary Sue says:

    Mark, dude.

    I straight up married that ex-boyfriend of yours spiritual sister.

    (Really, I was reading all that and going, "Wait, is he describing my ex?" Right down to the I was just there to provide cashy money and I found out about all the shenanigans I funded with my hard earned dollars over six months of marriage about three months after she left.)

    (Except there wasn't a breakup over MySpace, she just left me and stole all my Harry Potter books in 2002).

  24. Raenef_the_5th says:

    I pretty much cried all through the Class Protector scene the first time I saw it, and it still makes me feel all verklempt.

  25. misterbernie says:

    Oh, this episode. The episode where I kind of come off as a heartless bastard, probably, but it just doesn't do anything for me. I mean it is nice that Buffy is appreciated and acknowledged, but that moment still doesn't do anything for me. I AM SORRY OKAY

    It probably didn't do much for the dubbers, either, because they just titled it Der Höllenhund – 'The Hell Hound'. You might say we're cynical about it (cookies if you get why I italicised that).

  26. LucyGoosey says:

    The second musical beat in the series that just makes me tear up: The Sunday's "Wild Horses" (which I am probably committing musical blasphemy by admitting I like more than the Rolling Stones version) playing at the very end, when Buffy knows, for the first time, that her entire class do recognize and appreciate what she does for them.

    Also: Jonathan: it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here."
    Student: Zombies!
    Student: Hyena people!
    Student: Snyder!

    • cait0716 says:

      I like The Sundays' version more, too. Sometimes covers are better than the original. See also: Jimi Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower" and Johnny Cash's "Hurt".

      • arctic_hare says:

        THIS, especially re: Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower". So much better than the original.

    • arctic_hare says:

      I like it more too. But then, I'm not a big fan of the Rolling Stones.

    • PheasantPlucker says:

      Add me to the "like the cover more" pile too. Gorgeous (although given that this episode was the first place I heard it, for me its also always and forever pretty heartbreaking).

  27. guest_age says:

    I wish I could be coherent about this, but let's just have some favorite quotes instead:

    "I think horrible is still coming. Right now, it's worse. Right now, I'm just trying to keep from dying. I can't breathe, Will. I feel like I can't breathe."

    "She's 18 and you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."

    "Best thing about being a Slayer? Killing is comfort food."

    "We're not friends. Most of us never took the time to get to know you. But that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you." (I love this because it mirrors Buffy's speech to Jonathan in the tower. "I don't think of you much at all." It's impossibly kind while also brutally honest.)


  28. DonSample says:

    The Prom body count, from

    Vampire — The Sewers — Staked by Buffy
    Guy in a tux — April Fools — Shredded by a Hellhound
    Hellhound 1 — Outside Sunnydale High — Shot with crossbow by Buffy
    Hellhound 2 — Sunnydale High, outside the gym — Stabbed with a knife by Buffy
    Hellhound 3 — Sunnydale High, outside the gym — Neck broken by Buffy

  29. RaeBear says:

    not Quite over….graduation to come…..You are not prepared!

  30. fantasylover120 says:

    I will forever adore the class protector scene. It's just so wonderful seeing Buffy getting recognition for once and it kind of shows my theory that the Sunnydale students totally know stuff is not right in their town. But they try to live as normal lives as they can so they ignore it best they can.
    Daily Buffy Quotable
    "One of us is very confused and I'm not sure which."-Xander
    "I know you find me attractive. I've seen you staring at my boobs."-Anya
    "Can't you ever get your mind out of the Hellmouth?"-Buffy
    "What's with the dire?"-Buffy
    "Once again, Sunnydale puts the special in special occasion."-Oz
    "Right as rain. Whatever that means."-Buffy
    "I understand this kind of thing requires ice cream of some kind."-Giles
    "For God Sakes man, she's eighteen and you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."-Giles

  31. DonSample says:

    Jonathan's speech at the Prom has a whole different feel to it, if you haven't seen Earshot, which most of us hadn't, the first time this aired, especially his opening line of "We're not good friends." You start out thinking that maybe Buffy's going to get one more high school humiliation.

  32. BGF says:

    <iframe src=";byline=0&amp;portrait=0&quot; width="400" height="300" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>

  33. the_elisi says:

    OK, one thing… And this isn't really directed at Mark at all, it's just an issue I have. There is this whole emphasis in this episode on *Angel* having to be 'the strong one' – the one to take the step to say 'This is over' etc etc. And it just plain annoys me. Because of this (from Lovers Walk):

    Angel: Hey. (stands up) I was wondering when you were coming.
    Buffy: I'm not coming back.
    Angel just looks at her.
    Buffy: We're not friends. We never were. And I can fool Giles, and I can fool my friends, but I can't fool myself. (shakes her head) Or Spike, for some reason. What I want from you I can never have. You don't need me to take care of you anymore. So I'm gonna go.
    Angel: I don't accept that.
    Buffy: You have to.
    Angel: How can…
    He takes a step toward her, and she backs away.
    Angel: There's gotta be some way we can still see each other.
    Buffy: There is: tell me that you don't love me.

    Of course that couldn't be the final word, as there was still most of a season to go, and I don't think that their relationship in S3 badly done, as such. It just annoys me that the writers seem to forget that Buffy was the one who made the call first. (Basically, no one puts my Buffy in the corner.) /end rant

    And, since I'm here, this is spot on:

    Buffy puts aside all her feelings so that SHE CAN GIVE EVERYONE A PERFECT PROM. Do you know what sort of capacity for kindness a person has to possess to do this? And that’s not even factoring the reality that SHE JUST GOT DUMPED FOR THE FIRST TIME, or that SHE PROBABLY ISN’T GOING TO HAVE A PROM HERSELF. Buffy Summers, I just love you so, so much.


    • robin_comments says:

      There is this whole emphasis in this episode on *Angel* having to be 'the strong one' – the one to take the step to say 'This is over' etc etc. And it just plain annoys me.
      yeah, it bugs me as well how it's kind of framed like Angel = adult, Buffy = child // Angel = rationale, Buffy = emotional. When Buffy has shown that she can take control of her life, be resilient, make hard choices.

      • the_elisi says:

        It's the point where a specific narrative (the painful end of first love) takes over the characters, and it's an uncomfortable fit, as Buffy specialises in subversion…

  34. Maize says:

    By this point in the series I had jumped the Bangel ship long ago….but my heart still breaks for Buffy. I was in 6th grade when this episode first aired and because of my lack of romantic experience, it didn't really affect me. In every rewatch since my first experience with heartbreak many years ago, I have cried when Buffy talks to Willow because we all know that empty, like-you-can't -breathe feeling. This episode handles a high school break up perfectly, giving it the respect it deserves and highlighting how devastating it can be. At the same time, it tells us that we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and kick some ass.

    Because I was so young when I began watching, I took a lot of cues from it as I came of age. Without Buffy and the gang to be there to guide me, I might not be the person I am today. I know that sounds super-dramatic but it's true!

    • cait0716 says:

      Because I was so young when I began watching, I took a lot of cues from it as I came of age.

      Me, too. This show was formative for me in so many ways.

  35. mzh says:

    You know, if this class has the lowest mortality rate in Sunnydale High history, good god it must have been a bloodbath before Buffy showed up.

  36. Inseriousity. says:

    The Prom where there's happy endings all round (mostly). Don't get too comfortable though cos you are not prepared (oh but don't you do this a week in advance… which means you probably are).

    Anya is hilarious lol. Asking someone to a dance and then blabbing on and on about her days casting vengeance on unfaithful men. That's not going to be the most awkward thing in the world especially when she's there because he was unfaithful. Aren't you lucky Xander that cordelia only wished for an alternate dimension?!!

    Aww xander bought Cordelia the dress she wanted and didn't rub it in her face, didn't brag about having to buy her the dress or anything, hooray xander you're getting more mature! I like this progress.

  37. t09yavosaur says:

    -The episode is titled Prom and Buffy hasn't officially asked Angel?
    -Rough wake-up call dude. Good Morning Sunshine!
    -Awww, Anya likes Xander. (And she acknowledges his Alpha Male-ness which I would think would boost Xander's ego.)
    -Wesley, I have already stated my position on age differences and that they don't bother me. However, your behavior is creeping me out.
    -Why is there an orc in a dog crate.
    -Hmmm, whose dream are we in. Angel's suit jacket is longer and a more old fashioned style than traditional today.
    -I can't interpret that dream. I mean, I know the thoughts behind it but I don't get it.
    -My “Best Friend Job” is offers of violence and has been for 15 years. I have only twice been told to go for it in all that time.
    -Buffy 🙁 It is good that you are able to not blame Angel though.
    -That is worse than being cut off or job losing. Poor Cordy.
    -See Xander? Hostility sometimes just gets you guilt later.
    -The orc has been trained to hate prom.
    -A hellhound? Really?
    -Angel and Buffy have matching leather overcoats at their awkward butcher meet-up.
    -Ice Cream. That is part of my job too.
    -That is the Cordy/Xander relationship I like to see.
    -Was that Johnathan with Nancy? My video quality was fuzzy.
    -<img src=''&gt;
    -Thank you Giles!! The fluttering is what bothered me most.

  38. plaidpants says:

    So this episode is the one that got me. It wasn't when Angel did the break up, or when Buffy was crying on the bed, or when they had their dance together, it wasn't when Xander found out about Cordelia or when she discovered he bought her dress, it was the "Class Protector" gift and speech to Buffy.

    First time I've legit cried because of this show. I mean, so often we joke about how clueless and in denial the citizens of Sunnydale are, but to have that lampshaded and have them all recognize just how much Buffy has done for them over the years, it was pretty awesome. Especially since Jonathan was the one giving the award – Buffy had just helped him out a few episodes ago! (And I loved that they had the lowest mortality rate, considering all the people that we know have died from their class, I shudder to think how high that was for other classes!

  39. darkwater says:

    Best line..

    "And you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."

    Laugh every time.

  40. 1979semifinalist says:

    I tear up every goddamn time in this episode when Buffy gets her award.


    This episode, perhaps over any other shows the quintessential heart and soul of Buffy. Of why she's a hero, of why I love her.


  41. hpfish13 says:

    THIS EPISODE MAKES ME CRY SO MUCH (from both joy and sadness!) But, I have couple of things before I get to what I really want to talk about.

    •Aladdin why are you being so evil?
    •Anya, you are wonderful! Just keep being you!
    •Xander getting the dress for Cordelia, awwwww…..
    • Giles, you are wonderful too!
    •Buffy: No! You guys are going to have a prom. The kind of prom that everyone should have. I'm going to give you all a nice, fun, normal evening if I have to kill every single person on the face of the earth to do it.

    Xander: Yay?
    •Buffy is dealing much healthier with her vampire boyfriend breaking up with her than some other fictional character……and I think a lot of that is that she has a backup system in Willow, Giles, and Joyce.
    •“For God's sake, man, she's eighteen. And you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. Just have at it, would you, and stop fluttering about.”

    Well, you know how enigmaticagentscully was asking what are favorite moment are? This may be my favorite emotional moment on the show, so I’m going to quote the whole thing:

    Jonathan: We have one more award to give out. Is Buffy Summers here tonight? Did she, um… This is actually a new category. First time ever. I guess there were a lot of write-in ballots, and, um, the prom committee asked me to read this. "We're not good friends. Most of us never found the time to get to know you, but that doesn't mean we haven't noticed you. We don't talk about it much, but it's no secret that Sunnydale High isn't really like other high schools. A lot of weird stuff happens here."

    Crowd outbursts: Zombies! Hyena people! Snyder! (laughter)

    Jonathan: "But, whenever there was a problem or something creepy happened, you seemed to show up and stop it. Most of the people here have been saved by you, or helped by you at one time or another. We're proud to say that the Class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history." (applause from the crowd) "And we know at least part of that is because of you. So the senior class, offers its thanks, and gives you, uh, this."

    Jonathan produces a multicolored, glittering, miniature umbrella with a small metal plaque attached to the shaft.

    Jonathan: It's from all of us, and it has written here, "Buffy Summers, Class Protector."

    It never fails to make me cry. There’s something so beautiful about the fact that Buffy thinks that no one has noticed what she’s been doing for everyone for years, but they have and, they appreciate it. There is so much hope and affirmation all wrapped up in that speech and everyone’s reaction to it.

    I watched this episode and then watched the Doctor Who episode Midnight right in a row, and the contrast between the depictions of human nature was stark watching them back to back. While Midnight was AMAZING, I would much rather re-watch “The Prom” because I just love this sentiment about the potential for good in human beings:

    Giles: I had no idea that children en masse could be gracious.
    Buffy: Every now and then, people surprise you.


    And now the official things!

    Episode 20: The Prom
    Written by Marti Noxon, Directed by David Solomon
    Original Airdate: 5/11/99

    “The only thing more worrying than finding a date for the dance is whether or not the students are safe from the Hell Hounds, who have been unleashed by a kid in Oz’s chemistry lab. Even though Angel breaks up with Buffy, he shows up at the prom to share her big night with her.”

  42. Karen says:

    The highlight of this episode is when Buffy wins Class Protector. :’) It always makes me a bit emotional. Like Buffy has given up so much of her life for slaying and has gone through so much. It just feels GOOD that she’s finally getting some recognition.

    Oh Cordelia, my love! After making classist remarks to Xander, Cordelia has lost her money. She’s finding herself in an unprivileged position and idk. I actually think she’s handling it pretty well. I mean, she probably had her whole life planned, but now she can’t afford to go to the colleges she got into and her entire life seems to be changing. Xander and his “nympho” remark can go die in all the fires, but he keeps her secret which is nice. And the moment where it is revealed that he paid off her dress is wonderful. Va snpg, vg’f zl snibevgr Knaqre zbzrag va NYY bs gur fubj. Cordelia really does look stunning in that dress though. I love it when Xander says, “It looks good on you.” And Cordy responds, “Well, duh!” because it’s such a Cordy response.

    Personally, Buffy/Angel don’t do much for me as a relationship, so like, I’m not sad because their relationship is over, but my heart really hurts for Buffy because I love her so much. Sarah Michelle Geller just has this ability to make me FEEL ALL THE THINGS. So seeing her be so broken over this makes me want to hug her forever. But in spite of that she’s just so adorably DETERMINED to make sure that her friends have a great prom, even if she can’t.

    But I still can’t believe that Angel broke up with her days before prom. Did he not hear how excited she was about it? SHEESH, ANGEL. WAY TO BE A JERK. At least he figured out it was important to her eventually and showed up so they could slow dance to “Wild Horses”.

    I do think the break up was for the best. And I love the scene where Joyce talks to Angel. Sure, maybe Slayers don’t have a long life expectancy, but I think that as her mother, Joyce has to belief that Buffy really is an 18 year old girl with her whole future in front of her. And from that perspective, Angel is possibly holding Buffy back. She does seem to be pinning her future on Angel a bit and yeah. I think that Joyce’s concerns are valid, and Angel seems to recognize the truth of it too (as evidenced by the dream, in which Buffy wears a GORGEOUS wedding dress). And Angel leaving town is the best move. I don’t think Buffy would ever really be able to move on if she hung around.

  43. Nattlinnen says:

    First I couldn't take Angel/Buffy seriously. But now, here and now. IT BREAKS ME! I guess I'm sucker for eternal love shit because the ultra dramatics break my heart. BREAKS MY HEART! So, I'm thrashed. And sad. But it's beautiful. And now after maybe 4-5 re watches Buffy/Angel holds a special place in my heart. And when Angel enters the prom nothing can still my heart.

    So yea, I like this episode.

    (and so does SMG)

  44. forgnomeregan says:

    The first time I watched this series, I bawled my eyes out during this episode. The second time I watched it, I was bitter. I was bitter because I saw Angel pulling away and all I could think was, "You don't really love her, you're not sad to leave, you're just leaving because your'e getting your own show. Gah!!" I think there were still tears, but they were bitter tears.

  45. robin_comments says:

    Buffy stepping up and taking charge through the second part of the episode was truly wonderful to see…

    but FYI, the Buffy/Angel subplot in the episode makes me rage. As much as a I tend to agree they’re not great for each other, it’s not the vampire/human part, but even if it was— regardless, I really dislike how this plays out.

    “I know there are some hard choices ahead. If she can’t make them, you’re going to have to.”

    I can sympathize with Joyce’s feelings, of her fears as a parent and her dreams for her daughter. But in my view, she crossed a huge and very inappropriate line by discussing Buffy’s relationship with Angel in this way and behind Buffy’s back. Because for me the implication in her words is that a) girls don’t know what they want (hello gross undertones!) and b) if Buffy doesn’t make the choices I want, they’re the wrong ones and you should make them for her—on her behalf.

    This is her adult daughter now and no matter how much Joyce may want to control her life and wish Buffy would make the choices Joyce wants her to make, her role is to love Buffy and support Buffy as she makes good and bad choices. If she’s concerned about some of those choices, she needs to be bringing this up with her daughter–not her daughter’s boyfriend.

    (and ugh, ok, it also reminds me too much about the Nice Talk I had with the mother of a girl I was dating when I was younger, because her parents worried about her ~future and it wasn't too late for her to stop being super gay with me, though of course I seemed like a very nice, bright girl. but she was just too young to understand the consequences… ha, watch me over-identify! though no, that gf didn't break up with me for those reasons, because they were dumb.)

    “I don’t care about that. […] who are you to tell me what’s right for me?”
    “have you thought about this, rationally?”
    “oh, of course not, I’m just some swoony little school girl.”

    JFC. It’s just like that end moment in “Choices”, where Buffy goes ‘I can’t let you do this’ and Willow says “of the two of us here, who is the boss of me?’ Except instead of being awesome, it sucks.

    Angel is not obligated to be in a relationship he doesn’t want to be in and it doesn’t make him a bad person to want to break up with Buffy for his own happiness and wellbeing, but I find it incredibly paternalistic and offensively patronizing that he and Joyce are deciding what is best for Buffy –who is an adult by now, with responsibilities on her shoulders. It’s complete bullshit to break up with her because of the life HE wants her to have, because of what he thinks she needs and deserves. That is NOT his choice to make. He gets to break up with her because he doesn’t want to be with her, and those should be the only reasons he gives. (and ewwwww, sorry, but a guy telling a woman that she’s going to want children also pisses me off, because not all women want to be mothers and need children to be happy. Some women do, in the case of my sister that's a huge part of her life, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but STFU dude, you don’t get to assume which kind Buffy is and whether or not she's going to change her mind in the fugure.)

    Even though Buffy accepts and comes to terms with it and his reasons, the whole way the breakup was handled and it’s rationale feels so dismissive and disrespectful to me. And how gross is it to date someone and then turn around and view them like a child?

    • arctic_hare says:

      I LOVE THIS COMMENT and do not have enough upvotes to give it. 🙁

    • TheFormerAstronomer says:

      I agree with all of this! This has always made me so angry whenever it rears it's ugly head in fiction 🙁 🙁

    • @liliaeth says:

      This, so much this. It's this ep and 'V jvyy erzrzore lbh' that made me lose all interest in Buffy/Angel as a couple. Angel has a right to end a relationship for his sake. But he does not have the right to make decisions for 'Buffy's good'

      I remember watching Spider-Man and hating the ending, because it had Peter deciding to break off his relationship with MJ for her protection, making the decision for her. It's just such a recurring theme in male movies of the male hero giving up his happiness to 'protect the girl' without even asking her what she thinks about it. Especially when a lot of these movies and series then have the hero acting all martyr like for what he gave up for 'her' sake.

      Which is why to this day, my favorite scene of the Spider-Man movies, is the ending of the second one. Where MJ heads up to Peter and telling them "isn't it time that someone saves you for a change'. Making it clear he doesn't have to give her up. That she can make her own choices and she's more than willing to be there for him and look after him, just like he looks after the city.

      Angel, like a lot of male main characters has the tendency to think that he has to make the choice for other people, that he has to make all the decisions. And it's one of the reasons, I just don't like him all that much.

      • robin_comments says:

        yes, so much hate for those kinds of scenes. It's like, give another reason! You can say I'm too distracted, I don't have time for a relationship right now, I'm scared, whatever–but don't do that bullshit 'I'm protecting you, this is for your own good' thing.

        They repeated that in Harry Potter as well! I was totally apathetic about his relationship with Ginny, but it still ticked me off.

        • SelphieFairy says:

          Omg yes i was about also about to point out that Harry did it, too. I haaated it. Granted, I don't like Ginny, so it might seem like that's the reason, but what it did was actually make me dislike Harry a lot, nothing about Ginny. I hate those "I'm a danger to everyone around me" plots where the hero leaves his love interest to "protect" her, as well. I always roll eyes and thnk, "Is this supposed to be noble or some shit like that? Cause no." It always seems so contrived, too. Like theyre just making up a sad excuse to put some kind of tension in the relationship.

    • LadyViridis says:

      Yeah, the whole "you're going to want children some day" never fails to anger me whenever it comes up. Maybe Buffy really doesn't want kids! Why is it so hard for others to realize that she knows what she wants? I mean, if I knew half of what these characters know about being a Slayer, my assumption would be that she didn't want kids, because caring for a kid and fighting evil at the same time would be incredibly difficult to pull off.

      (I've actually only seen one action heroine with a kid, and that is Kate Daniels in her books, and even then the child is 1) not an infant 2) adopted 3) kept at a boarding school most of the time because Kate knows that any enemies she has are going to target the kid first/she can't fight monsters and make sure the kid is okay at the same time.)

      I'm okay with them breaking up, but I would have preferred it if it were for other reasons than "I can't give you kids."

      Frr nyfb: zl oheavat, oheavat entr ng gur ragver Qneyn/onol Pbaare cybgyvar va Natry'f fubj. V fxvccrq bire cerggl zhpu nyy bs frnfba guerr nf fbba nf V sbhaq bhg nobhg gung. Htu. Fb zhpu ungr. V'z fgvyy hapbaivaprq nobhg frnfba sbhe, ohg V'z tvivat vg n gel ng yrnfg. OHG FGVYY.

      There are lots of other reasons that their relationship will not work, among them being the incredibly poorly designed curse that Angel is under. Also, age difference! Honestly, I'm surprised that didn't come up more. I understand why Buffy is infatuated with Angel, but I never understood Angel's interest in the relationship. I'm only 25, and if you asked me if I would date a high-school kid, I would go "ew, no." I would be reluctant to date even someone still in college, because I've met with my friends who are still in college and it's a totally different world. What is a 250-ish year old vampire doing dating this girl? The age thing always made me more uncomfortable than the Slayer/vampire issue (although that is awkward too.)

      TL;DR – I don't have an issue with the relationship not working out, since I think that was inevitable and both of them will be better for it in the long run. But I'm not always sold on how the show handles these kinds of issues.

      • robin_comments says:

        I mean, if I knew half of what these characters know about being a Slayer, my assumption would be that she didn't want kids, because caring for a kid and fighting evil at the same time would be incredibly difficult to pull off.
        *nods* Many characters really seem to have an unrealistic view of the life that Buffy is living now and is going to live in the future. And I think it can make it even harder for her, because she has all of these social norms and gender stereotypes to deal with that conflict with her life style, so she REALLY doesn't need the people in her life to apply additional pressure for her to conform to the American Dream and traditional heteronormative relationship goals, no matter how well-intentioned or thoughtless the pressure can sometimes be.

    • caia says:

      Thank you!

      Seriously, now is when you decide she's a child? What about when you "fell in love" with a fourteen/fifteen-year-old sucking a lollipop? What about when you decided to date a sixteen-year-old? What about when you decided to have sex with a just-barely-seventeen-year-old? No? NOW you don't respect her ability to make choices, when she eighteen?

      There's so much gross in dating someone and then deciding they're a child. And I mean deciding they're a child purely based on age like here, not realizing, "This person in an appropriate dating demographic is not as emotionally mature as they should be."

      I also don't get the normal life/mortality-immortality thing. Vampires might not age, but they can sure as hell be killed — Buffy does it every night. And what's more likely to result in Buffy living a long life, having a supernaturally strong partner, or not? (If he's not committed to useless lurking, that is.)

      (Xabjvat gung guvf jnf jevggra ol Znegv Abkba — fur jub anzrq Evyrl nsgre ure qbt — rkcynvaf n YBG.)

      I'd have totally respected Angel doing some soul-searching and deciding he needs to leave to do more to work on his redemption. Or just that they're on a sucky-go-round of push-pull, happy-sad, and it's not working out. He's got every right to call things off. But to do it with such paternalistic language and logic is just — ew, show. Ew.

    • zephyras13 says:

      I totally agree with you about Angel. (Which is why I really don't think he should have ever dated Buffy in the first place). However, I think you're being overly harsh on Joyce. I get why, I mean, I can't imagine how mortifying it must be for a parent to come to you and tell you you're a bad influence on their child, and Joyce really should have talked to Buffy first.

      But Buffy is a child. Sure, she's 18, but what does that really mean? Yeah, she's the Slayer and she's fought all sorts of evil, but when I watch the earlier seasons of Buffy I'm always struck by how immature she still is. Which would be fine, usually, but not if you're dating a guy over 200 years older than you. There's no way I'd be comfortable with my kid dating someone more than even a few years older than him or her while still in high school. And yes, Joyce should have talked to Buffy first, but if she's really sure that wouldn't work, then what else can she do but go to the boyfriend? If you're really afraid the person your child is convinced they'll spend the rest of their life with as a something that's going to hurt them later I don't see what else you can do. Buffy was starting to talk about her and Angel like they were going to be together forever, and that's scary when he's a vampire who, you know, went crazy that one time and tried to destroy the world and kill her. And it's not like it isn't any of Joyce's business. She's her mother, and to be honest, I thought she handled it a lot better than most parents would. She didn't condemn anyone or try to impose her will on Buffy and Angel. She just made it clear what she thought.

      It's easy to see this from Buffy's point of view, but if you think of it from Joyce's perspective, I think that most people would have done the same thing. It's nice to be able to say that you would trust your child's judgement about their love life, something which I would usually agree should be private. But when you're afraid you're 18 year old kid is not going to be move on from a guy who's badly suited to her, I don't think Joyce was overstepping her bounds in trying to reason with Angel, who actually is an adult.

      And no, it's not Joyce's choice what Buffy decides to do, but that's no reason she shouldn't express her very valid worries about their relationship. She was a lot more respectful than most parents would be, I would think.

      • notemily says:

        "This person is still capable of making immature decisions" is NOT an excuse for not LETTING them make their own decisions. I mean, studies have come out that say that the human brain keeps "maturing" well into one's twenties, so you could make an argument that the age of adulthood should be 25 instead of 18, but I'd rather just trust people to make their own decisions, even if those turn out to be bad ones. It's their choice. You can give them advice, but you can't make the choice for them.

        • SelphieFairy says:

          I agree with everythng you're saying, but at the same time, I still have to sympathize with Joyce. I'm not old enough to be a parent, but I feel like, even if you know you can't make decisions for your kids, you can't help but want to. The last thing you want to happen is to see them hurt. Buffy definitely should be allowed to make her own decisons, including the bad ones, but I think if Buffy really was going to do something bad for her, it would be difficult for her mother to just stand by and do nothing about it. So even though I agree with you logically, it's harder to agree emotionally.

          Also, I think we need to address what a "bad decision" is. How bad can a decision be before it's "too bad" and someone really does have to stop them… Maybe this is kind of tangential, but seriously, If you KNEW your best friend or SO or family member or whoever it was was REALLY going to do something bad for themselves (even unhealthy) you're not going to intervene at all?

          • notemily says:

            I just think there's a limit to how MUCH you can intervene. There's a difference between advising someone, pleading with them even, to make a different decision, and literally taking away their power to make that decision.

            I mean, I think about this stuff a lot. I know there are differing views on how much you should intervene when it comes to stuff like suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, drug addiction, etc. and I can't say anyone in my immediate family has ever done any of these things so I don't really KNOW how I would feel in that situation. But I do have friends who struggle with depression, and that's something I struggle with myself, and I know that though you can give people all the advice about therapy and medication and things they can do for themselves, you can't MAKE them do that stuff. And even if I were afraid someone would harm themselves, I don't think I would do anything that would lead to their being, say, institutionalized against their will. I would just feel so totally gross taking away someone's agency like that. I have felt differently in the past, and like I said, maybe I would feel differently in the moment if I had to face something like that, but that's how I feel now.

            And the "unhealthy" thing… how can we ever know for certain what's best for another person's health? I am firmly of the belief that everyone's health is their business, and that nobody knows your own body better than you do. I feel like the attitude of "we should keep people from making unhealthy decisions" is kind of a slippery slope and can lead to a lot of paternalism and condescension.

            • robin_comments says:

              I feel like the attitude of "we should keep people from making unhealthy decisions" is kind of a slippery slope and can lead to a lot of paternalism and condescension.
              *nods* I think people need to be VERY careful about where they draw the line on objectionable decisions that others get a voice on/intervention for and not downplay the importance of drawing that line and sticking with its boundaries.

              And I feel like this attitude can be applied to the female gender more often than the male, especially young girls vs young boys. Women are far too "overprotected" from our irrational emotions and desires–this kind of attitude fuels and justifies patriarchal society. So admittedly that's going to affect my read of Joyce's discussion with Angel.

      • arctic_hare says:

        Please don't use the word "crazy" on this site.

      • robin_comments says:

        I think it would have read to me a little different if Joyce was framing it as "I truly believe that it is inevitable that you're going to murder my daughter, and I've expressed these concerns to her and now I'm telling you."

        But instead what I personally saw was Joyce having a mental image of the kind of life she wants her daughter to lead and a relationship with Angel doesn't fit into that, and since Buffy isn't choosing as she wishes she's going to go try and guilt trip the boyfriend.

        To me personally, once the child is adult a line needs to be drawn with the parents where they're respected as an adult. The way we pick an age for it is in a way kind of arbitrary… but that's what society does, because if you don't draw the line for them then for some people it will never happen. So, now the child is an adult… they take on a new level of accountability and responsibility, and they also receive a new level of independence. The line needs to be drawn somewhere, in my opinion, so let's start at the official state-recognized age.

        At this point, again in my personal opinion, Joyce no longer has the latitude to go around her daughter's back to interfere with her personal relationships at this point in Buffy's life. If it didn't work to talk to Buffy, that means Buffy has made her decision and it needs to be respected. If someone is really afraid that the person their adult child is convinced they'll spend the rest of their life with is someone who will hurt them… then this person needs to express those concerns to their child but then allow their adult child the respect and agency to weight the concerns but ultimately make their own choice. And unless we're looking at serious, immediate physical harm that's about to ensue, they need to stop once their point has been made and respect the adult child's boundaries.

        Of the person is an actual ax murder who's currently killing the neighbors, that's different. LOL. But say the person has cheated on their last spouse and the parent is afraid they'll cheat on their son/daughter — imo that's up to the son/daughter to decide if they're okay with the risks. The parent's job there is to be supportive and comfort them later if it all goes awry. Many well-intentioned parents feel like their child entering a gay relationship is something that will end up damaging them (perhaps even sincere fears that it will get their child killed). But it's not the parent's choice, they shouldn't be visiting the partner's home to tell them these objections & fears, and they need to step back and not interfere. And in my opinion, it didn't seem like a real belief that Angel would be going on a killing spree was Joyce's key objection to the relationship. To me, the parent can sad and worried because they think their 18 year old kid is not going to move on from the guy who's badly suited to her… but, well, that's sucks but there's nothing they can do about it other than tell the kid how they feel (though not in repeated intervals, just get the point across and maybe check in every couple months). The parent is going to have to just have to feel like that until their 18 year old kid actually does move on (and supposing they're so immature and unable to tell what's good for them, theoretically they will grow up and now agree with the wiser, more mature parent and leave the no-good love interest)… or until later later kid hasn't moved on and has instead demonstrated that actually the parent was wrong and they're pretty content with the love interest they've chosen for themselves.

        I can see it from Joyce's perspective. And like I said, I sympathize with Joyce's feelings. I just don't think it's appropriate for her to express these feelings in the way she did, with the person she did. YMMV.

    • notemily says:

      I've never liked Joyce's talk with Angel in this ep either, but I couldn't articulate why, so… thanks for doing that for me 🙂 Love this comment.

  46. lawrence_s says:

    I love the callbacks in this episode, especially to I Only Have Eyes For You. I think I commented when Mark reviewed that episode that despite its brilliance, I always seemed to forget that episode existed on its own.

    But once they called back to it in Lovers Walk and The Prom, it became that much more amazing to me. It's like they were setting up this whole thing the entire time.

    And having only ever watched the series on DVD, I've always been able to watch the episodes in the intended order, so I'm wondering something – was Jonathan's speech confusing to people who hadn't seen Earshot? Or just a little less poignant?

    I mean, it's clear the whole class was involved in this, but the fact that Jonathan presented it would have made no sense without that context, right?

    • DonSample says:

      His opening comment of "We're not good friends" came across completely differently, the first time I saw this. For a few seconds, I though Buffy was about to be handed one more high school humiliation.

      Jonathan being the one handing out the award did make sense though, the first time around. Outside of the Scoobies, he's the one that we've seen Buffy save the most often, so it seemed right that he was the one making the presentation.

  47. Auracounts says:

    This is one of my favorite Buffy episodes ever, pretty much for all the wonderful reasons already stated. The Class Protector speech makes me cry like a little girl every. single. time. I can't even hear The Sundays' version of Wild Horses without getting teary (not even joking, either – if I listen in my CAR, my eyes get teary). Granted, I'm a total crier, so there's that, but this episode has always really struck me on so many levels. This is one of those episodes that, if I am in the mood to just watch a random episode of Buffy for no reason, I am likely to pick over all other episodes.

  48. Plactus says:

    "The Prom"

    • I've read this scene several times, and it was funny in print, but it's better live. Emma Caulfield and Nicholas Brendon really sell it. V arire ernyyl tbg vagb Knaqre/Naln, ohg V trarenyyl gubhtug gurl jrer shaal gbtrgure.
    • "And I of course will be wearing pink taffeta as chenille will not go my complexion can we please talk about the Ascension?" I try to picture Giles in a pink frilly dress (I don't know if that's what taffeta is or not, but… not the point) and keep coming up with Frank-N-Furter. (Yes, I know ASH has played Frank, which is probably why.)
    • Holy hell, it's a vorcha from Mass Effect. How'd he get one of those?
    • "Zoom in on that." Ha.
    • Vs gurl'q xabja jung gurl jrer tbvat gb qb fvkgu frnfba, jub guvaxf gung rznvy sebz Ghpxre jbhyq unir orra gb uvf oebgure?
    • "Once again, the Hellmouth puts the 'special' in 'special occasion.'" Oz sums up one of the show's favorite plots.
    • "I'm over the 'Buffy gets one perfect high school moment' thing, but I'm not going to let some sub-human ruin it for the rest of the senior class." It's way down on the list of things I love about this episode because of everything that happens at the prom itself, but make no mistake, Buffy's grim determination to save the day in face of a broken heart is on there.
    • "You think formal wear makes them crazy? Wait till they see the mirror ball." Okay, that's a good line.
    • Wbanguna lowering the mic. Heh.
    • "We're proud to say that the class of '99 has the lowest mortality rate of any graduating class in Sunnydale history." Wooo, class of '99!
    • "Buffy Summers, Class Protector." Buffy gets her perfect high school moment, and it's not in spite of her being the Slayer, it's because she's the Slayer… which makes it even better.
    • "For God's sake, man, she's eighteen, and you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. Just have at it, would you? And stop fluttering about." Thank you, Giles.

    Body Count:
    • (Dream) Buffy, killed by immolation.
    • Vampire, killed by Buffy.
    • Tuxedo shopper, killed by hell hound.
    • Hell hound, killed by Buffy.
    • Hell hound, killed by Buffy.
    • Hell hound, killed by Buffy.

  49. Nomie says:

    So last night I called my mother, because I talk with her once a week, and I was explaining the UBER FUN that was had at the Boston meetup (BOSTON FOLKS! LET'S BE FRIENDS! WHO WANTS TO GET BRUNCH?) and had to explain what the sites are. And I told her you were watching Buffy and were hitting the end of this season. And my mom loooooooooved Buffy, she loves vampires and loved the Anne Rice books and was a HUGE Spike fangirl and kept watching the show long after I stopped. And I went "Remember the prom? And the award they give her?"

    And then we both started crying and then laughing about crying over a TV show from twelve years ago. (GOD, WE'RE ALL SO OLD.)

    Buffy: bringing families together?

    • Fuchsia says:

      I went out with my mom on Sunday and told her about the Boston event, although she's never… seen or read anything that Mark's covered [I get my love of sci fi and fantasy entirely from my dad]. But she said it sounded interesting and was mostly excited that I actually got out of my house and made friends. [I was in the group that drove up from Rhode Island so we spent several hours in the car together getting to know each other.]

  50. Mez says:

    I think the thing that gets me the most about the Class Protector award is that it was done because of write-in ballots.

    That means that, all over the school, kids were – by themselves – writing in saying "well, Buffy should get something, because she helped me". SO MANY OF THEM.


  51. Harlock says:

    Tough Episode, but it was somehow inevitable that Angel and Buffy break up. All this season did from start to finish was basically telling us "it can't work". Wether it was Spike, the Mayor, Buffy's friends or even Buffy and Angel themselves.
    But since you mentioned Angel's own show, I wanted to talk a bit about continuity between the shows:

    Angel's first season will start simultaneously with Buffy season 4 and for continuities sake I advice you to watch it this way: The Buffy Episode always comes first and after that the Angel Episode (which at least in the first season can sometimes be a direct follow-up to the Buffy Episode that aired before it).

    Believe me it will get pretty weird if you don't watch it that way. When the shows aired here in Germany, there was a serious fuckup with Angel being dropped after the 3rd season (although seasons 4 & 5 appeared on DVD and were aired years later on TV). That resulted in some weird Buffy episodes were references were made to what was happening on "Angel" or even crossover appearances, and I had no clue what was going on whatsoever. As a matter of fact I STILL have to view Angel season 4 to fill that gap but I plan on doing that along with your reviews.

    • Mez says:

      The Buffy Episode always comes first and after that the Angel Episode (which at least in the first season can sometimes be a direct follow-up to the Buffy Episode that aired before it).

      Not always. For the first two seasons, yes – but season 3 (season 6 of Buffy) should be watched the other way round (with Angel before Buffy), and season 4/7 is slightly messed up either way.

      • Harlock says:

        Really? Well it's been a long time since I watched. Thanks for correcting me. Maybe I was just used to it that way because here it was always aired in that order (maybe because Angel was considered a "darker" show than Buffy and they wanted to have that on a later schedule) and I never had the feeling during season 6/3 that they were off when watched in that order. But then again I think Angel season 3 might have been the one with the fewest crossovers with Buffy. The season where it stepped out of it's predecessor's shadow so to speak.

  52. TheFormerAstronomer says:

    OK, I have a confession to make that might not endear me much to the folks here, but here goes:

    This episode made me hate Joyce Summers.

    (OK, hate is probably too strong a word, but consider it that loathing-of-fictional-character thing that you get sometimes with books/films. Well, I get it, anyway)

    It took me a long time to forgive her for that wholly-invasive little side trip to Angel's. (Cnegyl orpnhfr jr qba'g frr ure zhpu sbe n yvggyr juvyr, fb gurer jnfa'g rabhtu bs njrfbzr-Wblpr gb znxr hc sbe zrqqyvat-jurer-lbh-qba'g-shpxvat-orybat-Wblpr). I was going to call it a trope, but it's not just confined to fiction but plays itself out in real life too, so I'm not convinced it's the right word: it's that girls (specifically, teenage girls) are much too emotional to make their own relationship choices, therefore they need their over-fucking-protective-parents or oh-so-rational-boyfriend to do it for their own good. Man, it chafes my hide, it really does.

    Buffy is capable of making her own decisions. She's 18, for heaven's sake. Some of them might be bad decisions. Some of them might end in pain, or when she comes back to look at them from the distance of a few years, look like poor or badly thought through decisions – but she should be able to make them herself. If my mother had interfered in that way in my personal life, I would have sharp words with her – very sharp words. In fact, I think I called her after I watched the episode to say just that :-/.

    I also have an issue with Angel's 'I don't think our relationship has a future, we should end it now for both our sakes', but at least he's half of the relationship and entitled to consider his own future (although I would insert a caveat here re: rational man vs emotional woman – another bloody irritating stereotype).

    OK that got ranty. As you were, as you were…

    • arctic_hare says:

      Nah, I think what she did was pretty shitty too, to put it mildly.

    • notemily says:

      She's 18, for heaven's sake. Some of them might be bad decisions. Some of them might end in pain, or when she comes back to look at them from the distance of a few years, look like poor or badly thought through decisions – but she should be able to make them herself.

      YES THIS. Adults are capable of making bad decisions but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to MAKE those decisions.

  53. Raenef_the_5th says:

    Isn't it great when joy can exist?

  54. farwell3d says:

    This is one of two episodes I cannot get through without crying. When Buffy gets the award, I cry. Hell, I'm tearing up talking about it. It's such a perfect moment in the show. Perfect.

    One of my two favorite episodes of season 3, along with Lover's Walk.

    "The emotional maturity of a blueberry scone."

  55. theoopsgirl says:

    "For god's sake, man, she's 18 and you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone." BEST LINE EVER. Go, Sassy Giles, go.

    . ONUNUNUNUNUN. Fbeel, V'z erjngpuvat Natry naq guvf whfg znqr zr grne hc jvgu zvegu. Guvf vf abg gur Jrfyrl Jlaqunz-Cevpr V xabj naq ybir. Zl Jrfyrl vf n qrrcyl rzbgvbany ebthr qrzba uhagre jub xvpxf nff naq gnxrf anzrf.

  56. dazyndara says:

    My roommate was confused and concerned when she walked past my room, until she saw I was watching the umbrella bit :p It deserves ALL THE GOOD TEARS because sometimes, children en masse *can* be gracious 🙂

  57. Kari18212 says:

    So, reasons i should not have watched this episode in a classroom with other people in it while waiting for class to start:

    SMG crying in that scene with Willow=me crying
    Giles offering Buffy ice cream=definite tearing up
    Any scene with Wesley and Cordelia=badly covered up laughing
    Any scene with Anya=actual laughing out loud no matter how hard I try not to
    "It looks good on you."=tearing up. Yay, Xander you're growing up 🙂
    Jonathon's speech=ALL THE TEARS
    Buffy and Angel dancing to Wild Horses=generally I'm still busy crying over the speech, but I'm willing to admit at least a few of those tears are strictly from the bittersweet-ness of that dance.

  58. feminerdist says:

    While I love the emotional impact of the "Class Protector" scene, I absolutely DIED when the four hellhound things stopped their attack on Buffy and went charging into the prom because "Celebration" started playing. I fell off the couch laughing. Comic. Gold.

    • fantasylover120 says:

      Even better is Buffys "Oh c'mon that song sucks." line 😉

      • feminerdist says:

        Yes. I mean, who takes the time to train HELLHOUNDS to turn into berserkers at the sound of KC and the Sunshine Band?! Oh god, I still can't stop laughing at that…

  59. echinodermata says:

    Buffy and Angel break up (again). I think Angel has every right to break up with Buffy, but I really side-eye him for his reasoning of how 'it's better for you, Buffy.' It's one thing if he were to say the relationship isn't working for him; I'd also accept that if they continued their relationship he'd feel guilty because he'd feel it unfair to keep Buffy in a relationship when he believes it's ultimately bad for her. But trying to convince her it's objectively bad for her and not because it doesn't/wouldn't work for him just makes me want to scream 'STOP TELLING HER WHAT TO DO AND ASSUMING YOU KNOW WHAT'S BEST FOR HER.' It just comes off really paternalistic and patronizing, which is forever one of my biggest gripes with their relationship. Angel constantly positions himself as her protector to the extent his actions serve to diminish her agency under the guise of his supposed selflessness. By not framing the break-up as something he's doing for himself, but rather something he's doing for Buffy, he's saying he knows better than her and robs her of the chance to weigh for herself those concerns. Fuck that noise.

    So even though I prefer Angel and Buffy not together, I'm pretty frowny-face at all of that part of the episode. The actual monster-plot is whatever, and really this episode is minorly about everyone being pretty adorable at the prom, but most importantly that Buffy is Queen.

    Buffy fights for her friends to go to prom, and then she's the goddamn Class Protector. Ahhhhhhhh jfc I can't get through that scene without crying. I considered gif-ing that moment, but I honestly don't think I need to because I feel like it's such a beautiful and iconic moment that we all know it so well, so I really don't need any visual aids other than to say THAT SCENE! because everyone gets it with no help necessary.

    • Coghead says:

      Agreed full-stop. There were so many other ways for him to break it off; how about that pesky curse that only she can lift? How about some cheesy thing about how he can't stop how happy she makes him just when she's near, and one of these days he's gonna reach perfect happiness just laying eyes on her and THIS CAME OUT ALL WRONG OH GOD WHY.

      So maybe that's why they didn't go with that.

      Still. Better than "lol, I know what's best k thnx bye *swooshes away*

      • t09yavosaur says:

        I understand the points and Angel really could have had a better reason but…I can't really fault him for being honest about his thought process. This doesn't make his thought process right, but I prefer it to him randomly choosing one of the other possible reasons if those didn't actually have any effect on this decision.

        Not really related but I have realized why I had been disliking people's use of the word "paternalistic" and it is because my dad was never really overprotective so my definition is a bit different.

    • John says:

      I politely disagree because Angel breaking up with Buffy IS what's good for Buffy. I think the episode does a good job pointing out that Buffy is not thinking clearly about everything that their relationship would entail in the future, and she's not thinking things through. The fact that she forgets he's a vampire and opens the blinds carelessly does it for me.

      I don't think Buffy is capable of seeing those concerns you mention.

      • Carrie Ann says:

        Huh, I guess I think more of Buffy than you do, because I think she's perfectly capable of seeing these issues. She just might disagree that a) they can't find solutions to some of them or b) they should break up because of them.

        Frankly, I think the writers had to stretch a little bit here to come up with reasoning for Angel to leave Sunnydale, and they ended up with something not-quite-perfect. V ubarfgyl jbhyq unir cersreerq n fgbelyvar jurer Natry gevrf gb svther bhg jul ur pnzr onpx sebz Uryy, naq yrneaf gung GCGO unir n cyna sbe uvz, naq gung ur pna rnea uvf uhznavgl onpx ivn tbbq jbexf, fnivat crbcyr, punzcvba, oynu oynu oynu. V unq ab vagrerfg va jngpuvat "Natry" orpnhfr V qvqa'g xabj gung jbhyq or gur fgbelyvar. V whfg gubhtug, bu, gurl oebxr hc zl fuvc, gbbx fbzr bs zl snibevgr punenpgref naq chg gurz va Y.N. Ab gunaxf.

        To me, that's a much more convincing story, and rings more true for the characters, than "Oh, we'd have too many problems down the line (like 5+ years down the line), so we should just break up now."

  60. John says:

    I'm really, really, REALLY excited, because not only are Buffy and Angel finished as of this episode (as a couple, that is), but by this point, we're getting soooo close to season 4 – 7 and the Angel spin-off. I adore "Angel" as a show, and I can't wait to hear Mark's thoughts about it. I also love Buffy seasons 4 – 7 way more than I do 1 – 3.

    But yes. "Class Protector." Made me cry when I first saw it, too.

    And when I re-watched it a couple of nights ago. >_>;

    • robin_comments says:

      I've been reeeeally excited about the Angel spin-off too. In a way it's kind of like Mark starting a new show, and so I'm interested in his thoughts (and some of the other newbies on this site). But then there's also the fact that I'm just excited to rewatch.

      I've been feeling in the mood all this BtVS season 3 viewing, but I've made myself hold off. AND IT HAS BEEN HARD. Because Angel Season One! Even though I own all the Ats DVDs, it's been so long for me! Years! (I've been watching some vids to tame the urges lol)

  61. Andie says:




  62. katherinemh says:

    As soon as the wedding dream scene started playing, I thought, "Oh man, I am willing to bet money that they used this footage in promos."

    So I did a quick YouTube search and sure enough.

    [youtube l5DLX8ah8e0 youtube]

    (……..what is a "Week of Weeks?")

    • misterbernie says:

      Well, X of Xs is a kind of… superlative? construction, so I imagine what the WB wanted to imply is that of all the scheduling weeks, the WB week is the best.

      • katherinemh says:

        I feel like saying something like, "The Week of All Weeks" or something like that would just make it… sound better, I guess? There's just something weird about "the Week of Weeks."

        Also week no longer looks like a word.

    • John says:

      Why are the Buffy promos always so terrible?

  63. threerings13 says:

    Yeah, I know what that kind of breakup is like. Hello freshman year of college. It remains the only time I've ever vomited just from emotional disturbance. And my response to any emotional stress is usually to eat a lot, but I didn't eat more that a couple of bites of anything for DAYS. Luckily, I had friends who gave me wine and cigarettes and sat around coming up with cruel methods of revenge. Then when he decided he wanted me back and started stalking me, they acted as bodyguards and walked me around campus.

    But the whole Prom scene makes me really happy. I really love Giles throughout, how worried he is about Buffy, and his interactions with Wesley, and how happy and proud he is during the award. Yay, Giles!

    • Coghead says:

      I'm so sorry that happened to you! But it makes me so, like, PROUD of the human race, that it can produce such awesome specimens as your bodyguard-friends. Hold onto them. 🙂

      Seconding the Giles yay!

  64. BornIn1142 says:

    Okay, I know this sounds a little weird, but… I think Charisma Carpenter has very attractive shoulders. Her arms did more for me with the prom dress than the cleavage.

  65. so what I loved best about this episode is how it consistently defied expectations:

    (also how in the hell has SMeyer not seen this show. how.)


    I loved that we didn't have a Buffy/Joyce fight over Joyce confronting Angel
    I loved that Giles, instead of saying good riddance to Angel (which he rightfully could have done) instead chooses to comfort Buffy
    I loved that instead of a Carrie-like prom, it was dare I say normal
    I loved that Xander used his nice guy persona for good, and that buying the dress was his way of finally apologizing for being a complete jerkwad, and Cordelia thanking him at prom was her way of saying I guess we're cool and I love that instead of getting back together or embracing or hate kissing, they were actualfaz friends
    I loved that Willow looked hot
    I love that the monster was so trivial to what was really going on
    I love that Angel showed up and there was no dragging out of any expectation, but a simple statement of truth


  66. NyssaOfTraken says:

    I'd like to propose a toast: to Buffy Summers, Class Protector!

    Oh, this episode! So heartbreakingly sad and so heartachingly happy. It seems to somehow encompass in 45mins everything that makes this show so special. It feels like we're coming to the end of not just a chapter, but an entire book. With just 2 episodes left in Season 3, having watched The Prom tonight, I couldn't help but feel like the whole series could have ended right here and I would cherish it as a truly wonderful 3 years of TV. But we know there's another 4 seasons yet to come! It's like that feeling you get when you get to the end of a really, really, great novel…and then you find out that it's only volume one of a trilogy and you can't wait to get started on the next one!

    Cheers! *clinks glass*

  67. Coghead says:

    It really bugs me how much stuff I keep finding to be annoyed about on this rewatch. Chiefly, all of Bangel EVER.

    Look, I love Angel. Seriously, he's been my favorite for years, and I think I'm one of the only people on here who would say that. But boy is weird as fuck, and I don't know why they made Buffy's love interest undermins her strength and agency all the time. The stalking ("protecting"), the CREEPERVAN, the way he makes huge decisions ABOUT her FOR her… I'm almost more confused about it than pissed off. This show is about teaching the dumb masses that, hey; turns out women can be badass heroes also! So WHY is such a huge part of it this patriarchal romance?!

    They should have actually done something with Angel as a person. It was like they were desperate to wind the clock back pre-Angelus or something, and it didn't gel. He lost his soul, terrorized the woman he loves, and got tortured in hell for centuries, until he was reduced to an beastial state of mind! Guy's gonna be different. It's just a shame to me that they spent so much time on him without actually trying to make him much of a PERSON… and I don't get how the writers who made FAITH'S arc this season can roll like that.

    Vg znxrf zr guvax nobhg ubj Ohssl'f eryngvbafuvcf ner xvaqn fgenatryl pbhagre gb ure zrffntr… Evyrl'f vafrphevgl naq znfphyvavgl vffhrf raq hc qrfgeblvat gurz, naq ure gvzr jvgu Fcvxr (cer-fbhy) vf whfg nf vainfvir naq fgnyxre-l nf jvgu Natry, abg gb zragvba gur htyl (zhghny) encr vffhrf. Vg qbirgnvyf jvgu gur fubj'f jrveq zrffntrf nobhg frk, va n jnl gung V qba'g guvax V yvxr.

    Nyfb, V qba'g xabj jura V orpnzr Wbanguna'f ovttrfg sna, ohg gur njneq fprar… tbq, V pna'g gnxr vg. "Jr'er abg sevraqf." Bu, Wbanguna… gung bar fragrapr punatrf vs lbh'ir frra Rnegfubg, ohg gura orpbzrf fbzrguvat htyvre vs lbh'ir frra jurer ur tbrf sebz urer. V qba'g rira erzrzore ubj guvf tragyr, ybaryl thl orpbzrf gur nfcvevat fhcreivyynva, thaavat sbe gur jbzna jub fnirq uvf yvsr. V'z abg ybbxvat sbejneq gb svaqvat bhg.

    In other news; Buffy is a boss, I like liking Xander, my brain vomit capacity keeps rising and rising, (MY FEELS, LET ME SHOW YOU DEM), and ~wiiiiiiiiillld hooorrrrsssess~.

    (Seriously, I love this site. ^_^)

    • LadyViridis says:

      Yeah, I kinda side-eyed this season when we got about halfway through and none of Angel's probable issues were addressed. I was like "So…. we're just… we're just not going to talk about the massive psychological trauma Angel probably went through during 100 years in Hell? He was just growly for a bit and now he's okay again? …. oooookay Joss Whedon, whatever you want."

      Honestly if they were going to talk about Buffy/Angel this season I would have liked to see something dealing with that conflict. Seriously. She sent him to Hell. For years. Yes, she did it to save the world, but it's never brought up again as a point of conflict in their relationship. You'd think that would cause more problems, especially on top of all the other issues they have to deal with.

      Bar ernfba V yvxrq gur ortvaavat bs Natry gur fubj jnf gung Natry VF zhpu zber bs n crefba, naq abg whfg n cybg qrivpr. Ur nyfb unf crbcyr pnyy uvz bhg ba uvf perrcl orunivbe zber bsgra. Ubjrire, V'z trggvat shegure vagb gur frevrf abj naq vg'f znxvat zr xvaq bs natel. Htu.

  68. klmnumbers says:

    Ugh Mark, I'm basically going through my first real break-up right now, and everything about this post is killing my heart right now. And he broke up with me via a 2 hour text message convo… while I was at work.. trying not to cry.

    And I have to sit next to him in class once a week.

    It's basically the worst, and my heart re-breaks every Wednesday. =(

    • Kari18212 says:

      🙁 i'm sorry you're going through that. breakups are always terrible, especially if you can't get away from the person. also, sweeping generalization alert, but anyone who breaks up with you via text sucks in the worst way.

      • klmnumbers says:

        lol thanks. Yes, it's been rough. Especially because he keeps like semi-attempting to be my friend but doing a poor job. I finally gave up this weekend and decided to block him on gchat. Then he texted me at like 1:00 in the morning when I was asleep about Breaking Bad.. >.>

        But that day was the worst. Not just via text message, but text message while I was at *work*.

  69. quenstalof says:

    So many tears at the class protector thing! and then just as I thought I was done, Angel shows up. My heart.
    Also, Wesley has the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone! Lol. I don't have good feelings about his survival past the end of this season (Cyhf uvf snpr vfa'g ba nal bs gur qiqf!)
    I thikn that line should have been reversed. "I understand…I mean I know"
    Oh crap it's the season 3 finale. I'm anticipating (notice I didn't say preparing?) that there will be more tears. Also screams of frustration, because I hate two parters so much!

    I also got to thinking about what the other teachers must think Wesley is doing there. Giles keeps bringing this younger fellow from home about. I mean they're chaperoning the prom together!
    And the only thing I could think of is perhaps the rest of the faculty is thinking Wesley is Giles's romantic partner or something. (or maybe younger brother, but the first one is much more hilarious to me. Especially since he spends most of his time creeping on Cordelia)

    • Hanna_the_Glam says:

      I like the way you think. I have a fondness for imagining the various rumors about Buffy and her friends that must be going around the school.

    • L_Storm says:

      "Cyhf uvf snpr vfa'g ba nal bs gur qiqf!)" ururururururur. lbh ner abg cercnerq.

    • Hyaroo says:

      I also got to thinking about what the other teachers must think Wesley is doing there. Giles keeps bringing this younger fellow from home about. I mean they're chaperoning the prom together!

      I always kind of assumed that the Watcher's Council would have conveniently provided him with a plausible reason for being there — the population of Sunnydale are often willfully ignorant of what's going on around them, but as this episode shows, they're not completelyoblivious. But… it never really comes up, does it? Wesley doesn't seem to be on the school staff, but at the same time nobody seems to question that this guy is spending so much time in a school library, of all places.

      I suppose they could have simply arranged for him to work in the school library as a short-term intern (after all, Buffy's on her last year in high school, so there would be no need for him to take a long-term job there) — I doubt they'd have problems convincing Snyder if they angled it like "bright young chap studying to be a librarian, needs some practical experience, of course you won't pay him any kind of salary." Upon which Snyder would probably think "two librarians for the price of one! This new guy can't be any worse than that insolent Giles, so if I play my cards right, I might be able to get a new librarian at the end of term, and let the old one go!"

      That's how I would have explained it, at least. No idea if that was how the scriptwriters thought.

  70. Jim says:

    I was dumped the day before Angel season 4 came out on DVD. I bought it the next day and watched it all the way through. So watching X-Files the day after a break up makes total sense to me

  71. jne says:

    Hey Mark:

    My first college partner asked help move all his stuff to his new apt and THEN broke up with me! Amidst all the boxes!

    • potatoskin says:

      *mouth open* *splutter* The cheek of it!!

    • LadyViridis says:

      Wow. That's pretty awful. :/

    • kte says:

      Oh that sucks. But it makes me want to play this game, too…

      My boyfriend called me one Sunday evening to tell me that we couldn't see each other anymore because he got engaged over the weekend…. Good times

      • misterbernie says:


        Hmm. Shitty ex contest? Lessee…
        My ex never broke up with me. I found out on facebook that he was seeing another guy, by running someone else's comment on a photo of a guy through google translate.
        And as he wasn't in town, he just ignored any email or phone call attempt and never came back to my city.

    • klmnumbers says:

      What a jerk!

    • Anninyn says:

      Not my first boyfriend, but the first man I loved (and my first, you know) dumped me a year after we met, at the same festival we met at, after we had sex. He made sure to get his end away before having the conversation.

      Broke my heart, and then tried to stay friends while undermining my faith in any new partner I set eyes on.

      Went badly for him though, when I met my now husband, whose response was 'I will never make you choose and never tell you who to hang out with.' and I immediately went… 'Yeah, you.'

  72. Ryan Lohner says:

    While seeing Mark in New York, after he confirmed that he'd finished season 3 ("one of the best seasons of television I've ever seen in my life") someone asked how much he cried during the last dance in The Prom. His answer: "Uggggh. Does that answer your question?"

  73. DonSample says:


    Actually, it was the second time. Scott Hope dumped her too.

  74. kelseyofcake says:

    -I just love, love seeing Buffy when she's being cute and happy. I wish she could do that more often. Dear Joss, MORE HAPPY BUFFY.
    -Anya! Nice to see you once again. But, seriously, why are you still at Sunnydale? Did you really set up a persona so elaborate that you couldn't back out?
    -Not as obnoxious as the other guys? Well, I would argue that but alright. Whatever floats your boat, Anya.
    -Ooooooh dear, Buffy no. That notebook doodle? Kind of makes the breakup scene later even worse since you're so infatuated with him.
    -Surprise Joyce visit, yay! And she comes bearing some very good criticism of the Buffy/Angel relationship.
    -I never cared for prom, but I agree with Buffy. They could use a break to just have fun.
    -You have some pretty corny dreams, Angel. But again, valid points.
    -This conversation was going really well until that “freak show” line. Honestly, that was a pretty tactless thing to say.
    -“I'm leaving” Iwillnotcomparethistoyou-know-what. I will not. Nope.
    -Wait, no, actually I will. Because I just want to say that in spite of the bad turn this conversation took, it is a much better way of showing someone breaking up with their significant other out of concern for them. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. A perfect situation would have both people discussing it together and deciding that breaking up was the best option. However, Angel is at least being completely honest with her and trying to do this in a way that isn't some fucked up mind game. He's making it clear that he does love her and isn't being an asshole about it.
    -And look, here we have Buffy saying that he's right, and Willow is agreeing. The scene ends with her crying and feeling like everything is awful, but in this case it feels like normal response to being broken up with. When friends of mine broke up with their boyfriends, they did similar things. Anyway, shutting up about this for now.
    -Xander, shut up and go away. Why do you have to taunt Cordelia all the time?
    -Oh, Cordelia. Wen I watch this scene, my mind goes to the same place Mark's did. “Where are you living???? Is it safe? Why can't I come throug the screen and hug you??”
    -”Hey zoom in on that” “It's a video tape.” “So? They do it on TV all the time!”
    -“Oh wait, it can do pause”
    -Wow, that was really nice of you, Xander. Especially considering you're not exactly rolling in dough either. You get some points today.
    -Aaaww, Giles offering Buffy ice cream. I demand more of this sort of thing.
    -Ooooh, she does look nice in that dress! Thanks, Xander.
    -Aaww, Johnathan has a date! I'm so happy for him.
    -Oh wow this guy is really pathetic. THAT is your motivation?
    -Just this guy walking out and reacting to Buffy killing the hellhounds like it's a mild inconvenience. I love it.
    -Yay, Johnathan again! And this speech is really sweet. Come on, Sunnydale High (or at least the senior class) is finally acknowledging all that Buffy has done for them. And they reward her with an adorable sparkly umbrella trophy thing! I love this scene.
    -”You have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone.” This is my new insult.
    -Oh, so THIS is where “Wild Horses” appeared on the show, and why everyone associates it with the Bangel ship.

  75. Ridia says:

    I love this episode just for basically everything from the Class Protector scene on. It made me think of how many times Buffy's tried to have her high school 'moment' and how often it's ended badly — getting killed in Prophecy Girl, everything in Homecoming, etc. — and here she *finally* gets her perfect moment, and it's so deserved. I can't watch her getting that award without getting all teary-eyed because it just makes me so happy for her. Yay Buffy! Be happy, Buffy! And then even Angel shows up to give her a dance. I love how even if it's just for one night, Buffy gets to have a happy ending. (This is also why I have happy fuzzy feelings every time I hear that version of "Wild Horses.")

  76. DktrAgonizer says:

    Gosh, add me to the list of people who teared up during the Class Protector scene! There's something so beautiful about having Jonathan, whom Buffy recently saved from taking his own life, giving that speech about her saving people and aaah just MY HEART.

    Despite the upcoming graduation, I hope we get more Jonathan in the show. Can he just be there forever? I just want to hug him. 🙁

  77. 00guera00 says:

    I've only gone through one serious breakup (I've been in two serious relationships, the first 2 years and the one I'm in now 7 years) and it was rather brutal. For one thing, the 'breaking up' lasted about 2 months from the first time I said I couldn't do this anymore to the last time I walked away from him. It was an unhealthy relationship (though I didn't know that then, I was 92lbs soaking wet by the time we finally broke up) and I still go back and forth on how much blame I lay at his feet for how emotionally screwed up I was and my odd views regarding sex and how much I blame just being young and ignorant rather than malicious.

    Even though it was a bad relationship, it still HURT breaking it off. Even if it was better for me in the long run (and oh, god, was it) it still felt like someone gutted me and I was so grateful that I had friends who helped me bury myself in other things to dull the knife sharp ache. Buffy loves Angel, even if he might not necessarily be the right thing for her and I get that.

    On another note, it's been so long since I've seen this episode I totally forgot about the wedding scene/dream until I was looking for gifs and saw one with Buffy in a wedding dress…lol, I really need to get season 3 on DVDs

  78. notemily says:

    Like Mark, Anya is not sure what to do with all of these FEELINGS.

    I like Anya, and I like this plot with her finding Xander actually kind of attractive and wanting to go out with him even though she doesn't quite know WHY she wants a date to the prom. And then she just tells him all her vengeance-demon stories! Hee hee.

    I like that we get to see inside Angel's dream for once. He worries that he's going to destroy Buffy, literally, by being with her–she is the one who bursts into flames after their wedding. I also like that it's a dude having a Wedding Dream! Shows that women aren't the only ones with fantasies about their wedding day.

    I agree that Angel and Buffy can't work in the long term, but… I don't know why he has to break up with her RIGHT NOW. Like, they're building towards this big thing–the Ascension–that they might not SURVIVE, so why not wait and see whether you even have a future or not before breaking up, and in the meantime enjoy what might be your last moments together? I understand that it needs to be done now for plot reasons–Angel is leaving, and getting his own show, so he needs to break up with Buffy at some point–but it doesn't make much sense to me in-universe.

    (And it just makes it more heartbreaking when Angel DOES show up at the Prom, because it shows he was actually listening when she complained about never having a perfect high-school moment and he cares about her enough to put aside his concerns just for one night and awww.)

    The scene with Xander buying Cordelia her prom dress–I'm just glad he lets her flirt with Wesley after that and doesn't act like she OWES him anything for buying the dress. I had a Nice Guy friend once who would buy me stuff, and it always made me kind of uncomfortable. It shifts the balance of power, whether that's deliberate or not. Like, I like getting presents as much as anyone, but not if it makes me feel guilty and weird. And Xander said "it looks good on you" in the EXACT same way that this friend would have said it, so it made me shudder. Man, I am just projecting all my past relationships onto this show lately.

    I quite like Buffy as the Romantic Crusader. Her friends WILL have a Prom! They WILL have a good time! "Have. A nice. Time." Hee!

    Ah, 1999: the year of Fatboy Slim. I also like that Buffy makes a joke (that gets cut off) about how her friends are going to party like it's 1999, because it actually was 1999 when this episode aired. It's a throwaway line, but it amuses me.

    I can't help but tear up at the Class Protector scene, especially when it's followed immediately by Angel and "Wild Horses." *sniff* And I like that it's Jonathan, a couple of episodes after Buffy talked him down from suicide, who presents the award. WBANGUNA.

    • robin_comments says:

      The scene with Xander buying Cordelia her prom dress–I'm just glad he lets her flirt with Wesley after that and doesn't act like she OWES him anything for buying the dress.
      yeah, the reason why the scene is so effective and sweet to me is I felt like he was doing it because deep down he still cares about her, he does actually feel remorse and guilt for how he cheated on her and now how he'd (accidentally) thrown college acceptance in her face when she couldn't go for money reasons, and he feels real sympathy for her plight. It worked for me because I felt like he wasn't trying to get sexy or romantic points or distract her from Wesley–which was very refreshing coming from Xander.

  79. Psychopompos says:

    For your viewing pleasure, and because I finally can without spoiling it, I present this comic:

    • Bill says:

      That's a tiny bit foreshadowy/spoilery but by god I am not going to do anything about it. That is AMAZING.

    • GamgeeFest says:

      Some of the comments are spoilery though. Be careful to only read the comic if you haven't seen past this season.

  80. RachelFatale says:

    I just finished reading Deathly Hallows about a week ago and I was reading MRHP along with it, so I happen to remember that Mark actually already copied and pasted his MySpace breakup message in one of those reviews:

  81. canyonoflight says:

    I'm tearing up just THINKING about the Class Protector scene.

    <img src="; title="Hosted by" alt="" />

  82. SecretGirl127 says:

    I don't know if I could like Wesley any less. He's chaparoning a high school dance and looking for permission to hit on a student. How could my Giles condone that behavior! I am going to explain it away (because we always make excuses for the bad behavior of those we love) by saying Giles just wanted Wesley to leave him alone and if that meant sending him to hit on Cordy, then so be it.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I disagree. Cordelia is an adult. Wesley is not a teacher, school official, or in any other position of authority over her. We aren't given his specific age, but it's doubtful whether he is older than his early 20s. There's no gross power imbalance in such a relationship, let alone the simple and relatively innocent act of having a dance together. This does not look inappropriate from where I'm sitting.

      • SecretGirl127 says:

        If authority/power is your criteria for creepy, how's this: if he is chaperoning a high school dance, then he is in an authority/power role. If he is not a chaperon, it is creepy for him to be at a high school dance. If they were all hanging out at the club, that would be different, but no self respecting guy college age or higher would go trolling at a high school dance. The only time you go to a high school dance at that age is if you have a girl friend who is in high school…and then you go reluctantly to make her happy (like Angel)because it is so not cool to go to a high school dance after you have graduated. Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

        • robin_comments says:

          Just my personal POV, but in my mind it's different because he's intending to supervise as Buffy's Watcher, there in case of trouble (ok LOL so he might not be much help BUT HE MEANS TO) and he's not there intending to monitor and control student behavior, with any official authority over any Sunnydale High students. It's not creepy for him to be there in this context, for me. (Just kind of sad and pathetic? Because he's really trying so hard to have a purpose here in Sunnydale, to find a way to fulfill his role as Watcher, but it's none of this is going how he planned. Though some of that is his fault–not saying that it isn't.)

          I think personally think Giles is over it at this point because he doesn't see why Wesley and Cordelia didn't just go to the prom together anyway in the first place instead of dancing around each other and Wesley getting all Oh I Will Supervise to feel important and like he has something to do while the gang shuts him out. Since A.) as you said, some older guys do go to the prom because their love interest is a senior who wants to go and B.) Wesley has zero authority over the Slayer's friends and not even close to as much authority over the Slayer herself as he thinks he has. Also the age of consent in England is younger than it is here, so there's that cultural difference too. Plus, Angel was like 26 when he was turned (and now 200+) so if Giles accepted Buffy dating him at 16 then he doesn't have much ground to stand on, especially when Wesley doesn't seem any more experienced in adult relationships than Cordelia.

          All that said, I don't want to come off like you can't have a knee-jerk dislike to the scene anyway. You're allowed to find it creepy. 🙂

  83. eternaleve says:

    My first ever break up was a real shot in the dark. We'd been talking on the phone for two hours, making plans for the coming week, the coming month, and our holidays in the summer, when he just came out with 'I don't love you anymore'. I think I'd have been more sort of okay with it if he hadn't been lying to me for over a month.

    • pica_scribit says:

      I had a guy do that to me once. Well, sort of. I was in high school. We'd been dating for several months, and we talked for extended periods on the phone every night. During one such long conversation, he mentioned the fact that a girl he met once had called him the night before, demanding phone sex, and he had complied, and now he was breaking up with me. The day before Valentines Day.

      This was where I learned that the best revenge is to have a chat with the Other Woman (who did not know he was seeing anyone), go out for coffee with her, and then have her call him and invite him to join us (without telling him I would be there). You should have seen his face when he saw the two of us sitting together. We then proceeded to explain like two rational people why his behaviour was not acceptable and would not be tolerated. He cried. A lot. Maybe it makes me evil, but damn, it felt like justice at the time.

  84. FuTeffla says:

    My first (only!) break-up involved me getting dumped over the phone whilst at my friend's birthday party. I didn't even get the chance to explain that I was currently in a room with all of my dearest friends, eating cake, before he launched into the I Don't Think This Is Working Out (Because You Won't Have Sex With Me Yet Although I'm Not Going To Come Out And Say It, I'll Just Imply It) speech. It was pretty heartbreaking but also excruciatingly embarrassing for both me and my friends. Some of them did affectionate head and arm patting during the course of the phonecall, the rest kept a discreet distance and tried to pretend that NOTHING WAS HAPPENING NO THEY WEREN'T AWARE OF ANY LOUD AND PRIVATE BREAKUP CONVERSATIONS NO SIREE.
    I hadn't seen him for several weeks prior to the break-up in what I now suspect was one of those 'being a douche to you so you'll dump me and I won't have to dump *you*' moves. Sadly, he never got to see that I'd cut my hair awesomely short during those weeks, in defiance of him saying that he didn't want me cutting my hair. Hahahaha, ex-boyfriend, your domination over my follicles has ENDED.

  85. rampantreads says:

    This is one of those episodes I go back and watch over and over and I cry EVERY TIME at the class protector scene. SO GOOD!!!

  86. Ida says:

    Tucker Wells! Seriously, dude? You have some self esteem issues, don't take it out on everyone!

    (Lrnu, fbzr crbcyr va guvf fubj ernyyl pna'g gnxr erwrpgvba irel jryy. Jneera Zrnef, V'z ybbxvat va lbhe qverpgvba!)

    Oh, the class protector award always makes me a little teary-eyed. There is only one scene in the whole of Buffy that actually made me cry (vg'f va frnfba svir; V guvax lbh pna thrff vg!), but this definitely made me sniffle a bit. And the fact that Jonathan is the one giving it – perfection.

    Also, Jonathan has a date – yay! I'm happy for that! (V jbaqre jung unccrarq jvgu gung. Qnzzvg, jevgref, jnf vg fb uneq gb yrg uvz fgnl unccl sbe n juvyr?)

    And I hate it when Buffy is sad. It makes me sad too. I'm so glad that Angel came back just so she could have that dance. Not a big fan of Angel, but that was still a very adorable scene.

    Aww, Wesley. You suck. But I love you anyway.

  87. Ida says:

    Look, I borrowed this season some months ago from a friend to rewatch. And I got about halfway, and then I sort of stopped, and returned it. The fact is something else (Supernatural!) came along and I can't share my deep fan love with two things at once. Well, I can, but not just then. I will rewatch it again some time… It would be better if there was no Faith! I just can't stand her.

  88. trepkos says:

    It made me cry just reading your review.

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