Season 2, Episode 10 - “What’s My Line, Part II”
Original airdate: Nov. 24, 1997
Project 310 re-watch date: Jan. 11, 2009
OK, after one my one-episode commentary experiment, I went back to just straight up watching the episode for this one, since I wanted to experience it’s greatness (or at least the greatness I remembered) without having to listen to Marti Noxon babble on over the dialogue she wrote.
Putting Kendra’s indecipherable accent aside (and it’s a hard thing to put aside), this episode is really, really good.
My favorite part of this episode is the escalation of the Buffy-Angel relationship. Buffy calls Angel her boyfriend and puts everything else aside to save him. They really move from being in just a regular relationship to the star-crossed lover phase that marks the dramatic meat of the first 3 seasons of “Buffy”.
What’s interesting is Kendra’s little speech to Buffy about Angel in Willie’s bar foreshadows the Season 3 finale and Buffy putting Angel’s well-being ahead of the actual primary mission (in this case, stopping Drusilla, in Season 3, stopping the Mayor). Buffy’s whole emotion speech to Kendra was valid in a way (Kendra definitely needed to use more emotion), but Buffy often takes it too far the other way. Her emotions cloud her thoughts -- yes, it’s a whole light side/dark side of the force thing. Deal with it.
Xander and Cordy finally get together in one of the most laugh-out-loud moments of the first two seasons. The big dramatic kiss with the rising music, followed by the break 2 seconds later where Xander says "We so need to get out of here" is just phenomenal. And the best part is, when it happens again later in the episode, even though you totally see it coming, you still laugh.
Some quick hits:
- Willie provides a nice touch of comedy in an episode (including both parts) that's otherwise pretty intense
- For someone who's read up on Angelus and the Order of Taraka, Kendra doesn't seem to know anything about Spike or Drusilla, which is kind of weird
- A random minor thing that bothers me about this episode -- some of the characters refer to the ritual needing to happen on the full moon, others the new moon. Yet somehow, both moons are "tonight". What kind of weird, 2-moon planet does Sunnydale exist on?
- Another minor mistake that points to something bigger in the first few seasons -- there’s a shot during the Buffy/Spike fight where you can see Sarah Michelle Gellar’s stuntwoman clearly. Not only is it obvious in that one shot, but it confirms that during the early seasons it was pretty easy to tell in the fights when it was SMG and when it was the stuntwoman.
This episode, to this point, is the best episode of Season 2, and the 2nd-best episode of the first 22 (behind “Prophecy Girl”).