Season 2, Episode 2 - “Some Assembly Required”
Original airdate: September 22, 1997
Project 310 re-watch date: Jan. 4, 2009
It’s pretty much a rule -- if you’re going to be in the Scooby Gang, you need to be put into mortal danger first (see Xander in “Teacher’s Pet”, Giles in “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” and Willow in “I Robot, You Jane”). And while Cordelia has been in peril before (“Out of Mind, Out of Sight”) this is her first brush with death since associating herself with Buffy and the Scoobies in “Prophecy Girl”.
I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode upon first watch. The premise -- a student trying to build a perfect girl for his resurrected brother -- is kind of stupid, and leans more to sci-fi than fantasy, which wasn’t really this show’s style (in fact, one of the more annoying storylines involved the sci-fi-esque build-a-demon Adam in Season 4).
The episode starts with a Buffy-Angel argument, furthering the whole plotline of them having a relationship. It’s a cute scene, it speaks to continuity from previous episodes, and sets up the great scene in the library where the Scoobies walk in on Cordy hanging on Angel’s arm.
In that scene, Cordy has the line “why are these terrible things always happening to me” which shows that as much as Cordy has grown, she is still the fun self-centered Cordy that we’ve come to love (especially when she tries to get Angel to fall for her instead of Buffy at the end of the scene).
It’s worth nothing that in these early seasons, if a new student shows up and is talking with one of the main characters like they’ve been there all along, then they’ll probably be involved in that episode’s evil plot (either as the bad guy or the victim). Chris, the science guy, and Eric, the photography geek, both fit the mold in this episode, and it’s pretty obvious when they show up (and I’m not just saying that because I knew the whole episode when I was re-watching it).
Is this episode an all-time classic? No. But it’s a good watch, and it holds up better than I thought it would.