Original airdate: September 29, 1998
Project 310 re-watch date: Jan. 25, 2009
Previously on “Buffy”...
... Just kidding. But it’s weird how this episode drops us into the lives of all the characters, who’ve been dealing with the fall out from “Becoming” for 3 months. And even though it catches you a little off guard at first, you feel pretty much caught up after the first scenes for everyone.
There’s a huge disconnect between the Sunnydale scenes and the L.A. scenes, with the Scoobies trying to maintain some sense of normalcy, and Buffy trying to hide and live a non-slayer life.
The first time we see Buffy in this episode is in a dream sequence on the beach with Angel. I’d forgotten how these were used early in Season 3, since, at that point, Angel was still in Hell. For people like me, who really loved the Buffy/Angel relationship, these were such sweet moments.
The L.A. story -- with Buffy running into an old acquaintance she saved in Sunnydale and falling upon a plot to kidnap distressed teens and turn them into slaves in Hell -- actually has an “Angel” type of feel to it (and I’m not just saying that because it takes place in L.A.). Also, I’ve got to give credit to the writers of the show (creator Joss Whedon on this one), for bringing back Chantarelle (now going by Lily). Who would’ve known that she’d turn into such a cool character on “Angel”.
The set for the Hell dimension was incredibly cool, and the demons actually looked pretty good. It’s a sign of a general upgrade for Season 3, that included a better version of the theme song and the logo with the famous Buffy font.
Back in Sunnydale, my favorite part of this episode was how this episode laid the groundwork for the friendship (and more, at times) between Giles and Joyce. The scene where Joyce vented to Giles was very emotional, and a rare scene between two adults having an adult conversation that didn’t revolve around demons.
On the complete flip side of that, there’s Xander and Cordelia’s reconciliation, which is played for total comedy. It also goes to show that they don’t really have a strong relationship, outside of physical danger followed by physical affection, and that will come to a head later this season.
Two last points:
-this is the Whedon-verse debut of actor Carlos Jascott, who went on to appear on “Angel” and “Firefly”, making him one of a handful of actors to appear on all 3 shows
-I never get tired of seeing Buffy’s reunion with her mother. I love that Joss didn’t ruin that moment with words. They weren’t needed.
“I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. And you are?” - Buffy
(This is the only time during the entire series that Buffy utters the phrase “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”, and it’s incredibly cool when it happens. “Can I be Anne?” would probably be a close second in my favorite quotes on this episode).