Project 310 - Fear Itself

Season 4, Episode 4 - Fear Itself
Original airdate: Oct. 26, 1999
Project 310 re-watch date: Feb. 18, 2009


The second of “Buffy”’s three Halloween episodes isn’t quite on the level of Season 2’s “Halloween”, but it’s better than Season 6’s “All the Way”.

There’s not a whole lot to write about this episode, because it doesn’t have any real lasting impact. That’s not a bad thing, given that the previous episode was all about long-term seed-laying.

I liked the idea of the haunted house coming to life, and the demon that preys on people’s fears manifest. It was a cool idea and kind of followed the results of “Halloween” nicely -- instead of people being turned into their costumes (aka their dreams), they had to deal with nightmares.

The “life-size” fear demon was one of the funnier things they’ve done on the first three seasons of the show. I can’t remember too many times when a demon was played strictly for comedy, which is what happened at the end of this episode.

Since I don’t have too much to write here (that is starting to be a common thread in Season 4, which I remembered as my least favorite of the first five seasons), I’m gonna to grade the costumes:
Buffy as Little Red Riding Hood: a disappointment. She was cute. I expect a college girl dressed as LRRH to be a sexy version. Sure, Buffy wasn’t going to do that, but it would’ve been nice. Grade: C-
Xander as James Bond: he had the tux, but didn’t have any kind of prop gun. What’s James Bond without his gun? Grade: D
Willow as Joan of Arc: Very true to the costume, including chain mail and armor. Plus, it’s actually a character-appropriate costume. Grade: B+
Oz as God: A good idea if the whole “turning into their costumes” thing had happened again, but otherwise not really a costume. Just a nametag. Grade: F
Giles as a guy in a poncho and sombrero: Hilarious. But he ditches the costume when he gets to the haunted house so he gets downgraded for that. Grade: B
Anya as a bunny: Grade A+

This is the first time we hear anything about Anya’s fear of bunnies. It becomes a recurring theme throughout the rest of the series, but it’s still funny the first time she shows up in that bunny costume. I love it.

The other cool thing about this episode is we get our second glimpse of The Initiative (the first was at the end of “The Freshman”) and it happens right in front of Buffy and the gang. Only, they don’t even think twice about it, because it’s Halloween, and they just assume it’s guys in costumes.

Favorite Quote:
Anya: Bunnies frighten me.

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