Season 1, Episode 2 - “The Harvest”
Original airdate: March 10, 1997
Project 310 re-watch date: Dec. 23, 2008
This episode picked up right where the series premiere left off, literally (back in 1997, they aired back-to-back on The WB).
This is also the episode where the series’ episodic format -- threat presents itself, the Scooby gang does research on the threat, Buffy (with help from her friends) stops the threat. After awhile it could get formulaic (that’s why it’s called a formula), but here it was something interesting.
One thing that really stood out to me here was Xander’s “I don’t like vampires” line. It seems so simple when you first see it, but it really sets the tone for his character for the rest of the series. He’s the only one of the group that never really comes around on Angel or Spike. To him, they’re no different from the vampires who turned Jesse.
Oh yeah, Jesse. It’s easy to forget about him after 144 episodes, but he was a pretty key person in the lives of Xander and Willow prior to Buffy showing up. It’s kind of surprising that he’s never mentioned again after this episode, but really, most deaths on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” didn’t have any long-lasting impact until Buffy’s mom died in Season 5’s “The Body”.
I mentioned this in my write-up of “Welcome to the Hellmouth”, but the split personality of Darla is very distracting when re-watching these early episodes.
Also, it has to be mentioned, this episode features the biggest goof in the entire run of the series -- when Angel shows up at the mausoleum standing in direct sunlight. Again, at the time of first watching it, you think nothing of it, but upon re-watching, it’s hard to ignore (and Joss Whedon even acknowledges such in the commentary on the DVD).
Next episode: Witch (originally aired 3/17/1997)