Season 2, Episode 18 - “Killed by Death”
Original airdate: March 3, 1998
Project 310 re-watch date: Jan. 19, 2009
It’s amazing how up-and-down Season 2 was. An episode like “Passion” is so good, and so intertwined with the whole storyline of Season 2, then we get an episode like “Killed by Death”, that barely involves Angel (and doesn’t have Dru or Spike at all) and features a very lame demon-of-the-week.
The entire story centers around a demon, Der Kindestod, who is killing sick children. The catch is that Buffy is sick too (somehow, despite her slayer healing abilities) and she ends up in the hospital, sees the demon (who can only been seen by sick people, apparently) and decides she needs to slay it.
They tack on some lame tie in about Buffy’s cousin, who we’d never heard about before, and Buffy’s discovery that this demon was responsible for her cousin’s death. And it’s all from Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali, in probably the only truly bad episode the duo wrote.
I think the episode might be somewhat more tolerable if Der Kindestod himself didn’t look so fake. This was something of a problem in the early years of Buffy -- even the most intimidating villains had a tendency to look bad. But Der Kindestod might be one of the worst. He looked like a bad Freddy Kruger rip-off, crossed with a crappy white wig.
For the most part, the episode is just a real letdown after some of the stuff we’ve had in the weeks leading up to it. But, in my mind, there is one incredible scene -- the exchange between Xander and Angel outside of Buffy’s hospital room. Angel is such a cold, calculated ass to Xander, almost trying to bait Xander into hitting him (which, I’m pretty sure, would have led to Angel biting Xander’s neck and draining him before anyone could even react). But, somehow, Xander semi-keeps his cool, and drops my favorite quote of the episode.
Xander: You’re going to die. And I’m gonna be there.
(best part of this... it ends up being true!)