In my all too brief post about Season One I forgot to mention a key element of the show, the “Scooby Gang”. The “Scooby Gang” consists of Buffy, Willow, and Xander. With the help of Buffy’s Watcher Giles, the “Gang” keeps Sunnydale safe from demons, vampires, and Monsters of The Week. Over the course of two seasons the circle of friends would grow to include Angel, and Oz.
Early on, the show emphasizes extremely well the importance of friends. Buffy Summers is the main character of the show but her two best friends are probably my favorites, Willow and Xander. When I started watching the show I quickly identified with these characters. Willow being the brains of the group and Xander being the class clown. It was easy to relate to Xander, too many times in my own life going after looks rather than seeing true love in front of me. And Willow, soft-spoken and shy, afraid to grab what she really wants.
During the course of the series I wanted these two characters to finally get together. But it makes sense why it never happened.
For me personally the best teenage romance stuff happened in Season Two and Three. Let me list some highlights and the main story arc for the season.
While BUFFY has it's fair share of monsters and vampires, the teenage soap opera elements we're good too! Let's face it, love stinks! While I was always rooting for Willow and Xander to hook up, I loved the triangles that followed. Willow, tired of waiting for Xander trades up and starts taking interest in Oz, the quiet cool guitar player in a band.
Oz ended up becoming a favorite of mine. Him and Willow made a good match. Plus later he gets turned into a Werewolf! More on Oz and the actor Seth Green in Season Three's post.
I don't remember the exact timeline of events, but also around this time Xander and Cordelia begin to sneak around and make out in broom closets. The Xander and Cordelia tryst was kinda strange to me. I wonder if the writers and producers were testing the waters wondering if she was Scooby Gang material? The whole lovers dance gets pretty dramatic and almost ends tragically for Cordelia!
There was however another romantic relationship in Season Two, one that was more apocalyptic, Buffy and Angel (the vampire with a soul). This doomed romance started in Season One and kept boiling right up to Episode 13 of Season Two. The episode, titled SURPRISE is a fitting one because Angel's ability to feel human emotion is jeopardized when an intimate moment with Buffy threatens to destroy his soul.
Knowing everything was going to be just fine (because I had seen Season Three), I still found myself in shock. Angelus (evil Angel) scared the crap out of me! I now understood the hatred Angel got in Season Three. This just showed me how awesome the level of writing was on BUFFY. I still get chills and think that Angel/Angelus won't be coming back!
Now here are some of my favorite episodes in Season Two!
Episode 3:School Hard
If I were to ever make a "Favorite Episode List", SCHOOL HARD would probably be in the top three! I love SCHOOL HARD, it is my most watched episode second to GRADUATION DAY and THE WISH (both from Season Three)!
Not only does SCHOOL HARD set the bar for the rest of the Series, it introduces my favorite villain, Spike! Angel's old friends Spike and Drusilla visit Sunnydale for The Night of Saint Vigeous. Buffy tries to protect her fellow students, the principal, and her mother from the uninvited guests who have crashed parent-teacher night. The hardest part is protecting her secret.
The entire episode is a blast and set's the tone nicely for things to come. The punk rock attitude is what I like most about Spike. Not even in town for a week and he starts running things, vowing to kill the Slayer. We also find out that Spike has a history with Angel, a mythology for the show is set. Another thing SCHOOL HARD did that took me a few viewings to catch was the tiny chess pieces the episode was placing for Season 3!
The first Halloween episode of the series, and it's a good one! Buffy's costume causes her to lose her powers and the kids she, Willow and Xander are trick-or-treating with turn into their costume characters! Could Giles have something to do with all of this?
I remember this being one of the very first BUFFY episodes I ever saw. It and THE PACK made me want to start watching regularly.
Buffy's mom has a new boyfriend Ted, whom everyone adores - expect for Buffy. It turns out that there's more to him than meets the eye. The late John Ritter plays Ted and it's one of the best episodes!
Episode 9 -10:What's My Line?
This two-parter is a pretty important Spike and Drusilla episode. If Buffy was any other Slayer, Spike would have killed her by now. Not wanting any distractions while trying to cure the crazy from Drusilla, Spike sends a nasty batch of bounty hunters to kill Buffy. These two episodes are action packed with crazy bounty hunters and a new Slayer. Yes, a new Slayer! I'll get into that more with Season Three!
All the kids are falling in love, why not the adults? Hey, Watchers need lovin' too! That's right, in Season One and Two, Giles had a girlfriend. Computer Lab teacher Jenny Calendar was a sweet sweet character. So sweet that show creator Joss Whedon killed her off! This was something fans never got used to and often feared. I remember this episode hitting me pretty hard. I couldn't watch the next episode(s) for at least a week! Poor Giles.
That's it! I only had six favorite episodes in Season Two. Just kidding! There is actually just too many to mention. Like I said earlier, I love all the love triangles that went on this season and the Buffy + Angel romance as well. In my post for Season Three I'll discuss the events of Season's Two season finale and the repercussions of said events.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER turned 20 yesterday, but I'm going to continue talking about the seasons all year long. Next up is Season Three, my favorite season!