Sunday, 14 November 2010
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1, Episode 5 'Never Kill a Boy on the First Date'
Writers: Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali
Director: David Semel
What’s the sitch?
Buffy has a major crush on quiet and bookish student Owen. Unfortunately Cordelia has her eyes on him too. Luckily for Buff, Owen already had his eye on her - much to Cordelia’s horror - and he asks our slayer out on a date. But poor Buffy gets no breaks in the love department and her date is interrupted by Xander and Willow who need her to go rescue Giles from a pack of marauding vamps that have the watcher trapped inside the Sunnydale funeral home. Buffy leaves Owen to go with her friends to help Giles…but Owen follows her and things get complicated as Buffy must save Giles, kill the vamps and keep Owen safe and unaware of what’s really going on.
What’s the sitch beneath the sitch?
It’s all about life and balancing the competing elements of responsibility and fun. This is the first time that Buffy’s perfectly reasonable desire to have a normal teenage girl’s life comes in to direct conflict with her duties as the Slayer. She is so taken with Owen that she loses sight of the pressing danger of The Master and the prophecy that’s unfolding. And in doing so almost gets Giles killed.
Who’s giving us the wiggins this week?
Crazy bible spouting vamp in the funeral home, The Master and other assorted bloodsuckers.
Why it rocks
1. She’s just a girl. This episode emphasises one of the main ongoing themes of the show: Buffy’s eternal struggle to just be a normal girl with a normal life.
2. Funny speak. There are a lot of great lines throughout. I may have to include several in the ‘dialogue to die for’ bit below.
3. Cute Buffy. Buffy is so darn cute when she’s all excited and little girly. No wonder Giles can’t say no to her. She’s also immensely cute all snuggled up in her hooded tiger stripe coat whilst out in the chilly graveyard waiting for a vamp to rise.
4. Queen C. Cordelia losing out to Buffy over Owen and then again to her over Angel is most amusing.
5. Ooh, twisty! There’s a cool twist at the end.
Why it sucks
1. Owen (Christopher Wiehl) is kind of a sap. I really don’t get what Buffy or Cordelia would see in him.
2. What plot? There really isn’t much of one. This is a kind of half-way story that makes up part of the bigger season arc to do with getting The Master free and is only really about the final (admittedly great) twist reveal.
3. Stupid vampires. Giles evades the rampaging vamps in the funeral home in a pretty unconvincing manner. They must have been some really thick undead types.
Buffy fights crazy vamp at the funeral home and bests him with a one way trip to the furnace.
Dialogue to die for
Giles: “Alright, I'll just jump in my time machine, go back to the twelfth century and ask the vampires to postpone their ancient prophecy for a few days while you take in dinner and a show.”
Buffy: “Okay, at this point you're abusing sarcasm.”
Buffy: “If the apocalypse comes, beep me.”
Xander: "So, Buffy, how'd the slaying go last night?"
Xander: "I mean how'd the LAYING go last night? No, I don't mean that either."
Buffy: "But...cute guy...teenager...post-pubescent fantasies?"
Xander: "Sure, he has a certain Owenosity."
Cordelia (seeing Angel for the first time): “Ooh! Hello, salty goodness!”
And another thing
Giles says that he doesn't have an instruction manual for slaying, but in the second season episode 'What's My Line, Part Two', new slayer Kendra mentions the Slayer Handbook, which Giles thought would be useless in Buffy's case.
Giles is at least a third generation Watcher. Giles' father told him he was destined to be a Watcher when he was ten, ruining his plans to become either a fighter pilot or a grocer.
How many stakes?
It has a certain Owenosity. 2 (out of 5)