Recap: Buffy the Vampire Slayer S1E2 "The Harvest"
A Slayer hunts vampires; Buffy is a Slayer; don't tell anyone. Well, I think that's all the vampire information you need.
Luke is on top of Buffy, preparing to nosh on her neck. Suddenly he sits back up and hold his hand in pain; Buffy's cross necklace has scorchIed him. She takes this opportunity to flee the mausoleum. As she runs across the cemetery grounds, she hears growling and a shriek, and finds Willow and Xander being dragged off by henchvamps. Buffy, apparently having used up all her quips in the pilot episode, settles for shouting, "Hey!" before dealing some violence. Once things calm down, panic sets in as they realize that the female vampire has absconded with Jesse.That morning, we open on a shot of a spinning globe and Giles pontificating about demon history. Apparently, demons ruled the Earth long ago but eventually lost their hold on this world. Now, mortal creatures rule the Earth and only a few demons remain. One fly in the ointment: Giles explains that the last demon to leave our reality fed off a human, mixing their blood and creating the first vampire. Repeat ad infinitum. Xander wants to know how to kill vampires, but Buffy insists that any killing be left up to her.Meanwhile, underground, the vamps realize there's a Slayer in town. The Master and Luke discuss snuffing her out before she ruins the Master's plans to ascend. Luke congratulates Jesse on being promoted — to "bait." Lucky him.Willow demonstrates her computer wizardry by hacking into city plans for sewer blueprints. The gang deduces that the vampires are hiding in a system of tunnels underneath the town and the mausoleum is the entrance, explaining how Luke got the jump on Buffy previously.It's still daylight as Buffy sneakily enters the mausoleum from the night before, only to find the mystery man from earlier. The two trade barbs, and Buffy finally gets a formal introduction to lurking wisdom-bearing guy: Angel. He explains that tonight is the Harvest, after which the Master will walk free. Buffy asks why Angel doesn't stop the Harvest, and he laughingly admits he's scared to. He tries to talk her out of going in, and Buffy asks if he knows what it's like to have a friend; Angel looks shifty and sad. Raw nerve? He gives her some instructions on how to find the Master and after she leaves, whispers, "Good luck."While in the sewers, Buffy spots Xander. She is frustrated that he came when she told him not to. They find Jesse and break his manacles, only to realize they've walked into a trap: they're surrounded by vamps. They seek shelter in a storage room but when asked for ideas, Jesse gives one: "You can die", they turn and see Jesse now has fangs and a vamp face. They were too late to save him. Xander holds Jesse off by waving a cross Buffy loaned to him, while Buffy tears a grate off a vent in the ceiling and helps Xander climb through. The sunlight preventing the vampires from following.In the Master's lair, the Master exposes his inner wrist to Luke, who feeds on some of his blood. The Master daubs a symbol onto Luke's forehead and intones that Luke is now his "vessel" of the, and that every person he drains tonight will bring the Master one step closer to freedom.At a loose end, Buffy and Xander skulk back to the library where Giles is — wait for it — researching. He exposits that the Master is an ancient and enterprising vampire who attempted to open the Hellmouth long ago. The spell went caca and triggered an earthquake, trapping the Master inside a space-time bubble where he remains to this day. After sharing his findings on "The Harvest" (which we already know), Giles draws a three-pointed symbol on the whiteboard and instruct Buffy to, basically, kill whoever is sporting that symbol. Xander deduces the vampire bash is gong to be held at The Bronze.Over at the Bronze, Cordelia is holding court. Vamp!Jesse is eyeing her intently. She demands to know what he wants, and instead of answering he wordlessly leads her back onto the dance floor for a twirl. She starts to protest, but can't resist his undead charm. Once inside, Darla's gang kills the lights and music as Luke gets onstage. Cordelia turns to see Jesse and his game face leering at her.Around back, Giles, Xander, and Willow find the back entrance locked as well. Xander says they have to get in there quickly before Jesse does something stupider than usual. Giles lectures Xander to remember that when he sees Jesse he's not looking at his friend, he's looking at the thing that killed him. Upstairs somewhere, there's a sound of crashing glass, and Buffy comes crawling in. From her perch above the dance floor, Buffy recognizes Luke as the Master's vessel. Darla brings the screaming Cordelia out onto the stage meet Luke. He's about to chow down, but is interrupted by henchvamp falling from the catwalk with a loud thud. Luke, smiling, decides that Slayer blood is a better menu item and allows Cordelia scurry off. As they fight, the remaining Scoobies start hustling the scared people out of the building.Cordelia and and Jesse are squirming on the floor, but Xander gallantly comes to the rescue. Jesse tells Xander that he's "a new man," and before he was changed he was a loser who couldn't get a date. Xander positions the business end of his stake right over Jesse's heart. As Jesse snots that Xander lacks the cojones to stake him, he's impaled onto the stake by a random fleeing girl who bumps into him. Poof.Luke finally gets down to business with Buffy, who threateningly picks up a mic stand. Luke tells her that she "forgot" that metal is useless against him, but Buffy tells him that he forgot about sunrise, and she hurls the mic stand at the blacked-out window above the stage. As a bright backstage light shines onto Luke, he starts writhing in anticipation of being burned, and Buffy stakes him from behind.
- "It's in about nine hours, moron."
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: As is common for the show. The Master's buried church lair is accessible by very old, very large sewers.
- Buffy and Xander look for Jesse in a series of largely abandoned service tunnels. In the commentary, Whedon notes that tunnels and sewers were, like Giles's books and Willow's computer, a necessary handwave, but after seeing the actual tunnels they filmed this sequence in, it became believable.
- Actor Allusion: The Master's line, "You're all weak," is a reference to Mark Metcalf's character in Animal House.
- Adventure Rebuff: Giles initially rebuffs the help of Xander and Willow.
- Air-Vent Passageway: As Jesse and his henchvamps batter the door from the other side, Buffy tears a grate off a vent in the ceiling and helps Xander climb through.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Cordelia brushed off Jesse when he was human. When he approaches her as a vampire, he rudely leers at her and tells her to shut up, and she consents to dance with him.
- Ankle Drag: After escaping the tunnel with Buffy, Xander pushes aside a manhole cover and climbs out into the daylight. He extends his hand to help Buffy out, but a henchvamp (Colin?) reaches his arm out and grabs her ankle. Xander pulls on Buffy, exposing her ankle (and the vamp's hand) to the sunlight. The vamp sizzles for a good long bit before deciding the pain is too much and releasing Buffy with a snarl.
- Arrow Cam: Buffy's drum cymbal spinning like a frisbee at an unlucky vamp's neck.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: Harmony asks Cordelia if they're going to the Bronze tonight. "No," Cordy snorts, "we're going to the other cool place in Sunnydale." Her witticisms are wasted on Harmony, who seems to be struggling with that conundrum.
- Badass Boast:The Master: Tonight I shall walk the Earth, and the stars themselves will hide!
- Big "NO!" / Skyward Scream: The Master senses Luke's death and lets out a scream. No early parole, after all.
- Big Word Shout: As Luke is finishing up the next course, the Master says that he's almost free and cries, "Give me moooooooooooooooore!"
- Blatant LiesXander: Maybe you should get to class.Willow: You mean 'we'. We should get to class.Xander: [beat] Yeah.
- Blood Magic: The Vessel supplies power to the Master by feeding.
- Bond One-Liner: "[Sunrise] is in about nine hours, moron."
- Captain ObviousXander: I can't believe nobody else knows! It's like we have this big secret.Willow: Well, we do. That's what a secret is, when you know something nobody else knows.
- Can't Believe I Said That / I Am Very BritishGiles: I'm a bit fuzzy, however, on the details. It may be that you can wrest some information from that dread machine.[Everyone stares at him.]Giles: That was a bit... British, wasn't it?Buffy: Welcome to the New World.
- Cat Scare: Buffy makes her way through the deserted tunnels under the city, dodging rats and drippy pipes. A figure looms behind her and Buffy spins to find — Xander. He's followed her out of a desire to help save Jesse, and also get out of chemistry class.
- Chekhov's Gun: The cross necklace.
- An exasperated Buffy loans Xander a cross. It ends up saving his bacon after Jesse vamps out.
- Xander shows off his epic survival skills by haphazardly turning on a flashlight, which Buffy shouts at him to turn off. It later comes in handy when Xander spots a sewer exit.
- Chiaroscuro: The first appearance of. It was deliberate and they learned to love it.
- The Coats Are Off: Buffy does away with her jacket while taunting Luke.
- Combat Pragmatist: Buffy's "Look Behind You" ploy allows her time to reclaim her stake and jam it into Luke's back. Earlier, Luke lamented that the only prey to ever elude him had caught him while asleep.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Cordelia lectures her posse on the advantage of dating college boys, comparing it to shopping. "I have to have the most expensive thing. Not because it's expensive," she stresses with great gravity, "but because it costs more."
- Distressed Dude: Jesse. He becomes a Decoy Damsel after being turned.
- Don't Make Me Destroy You / "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Xander apologizes to Jesse for letting the vamps get him, and Jesse gives him the usual vampire sales pitch about feeling better than ever before.Jesse: I'm connected, man, to everything! I can hear the worms in the earth!
Xander: That's a plus.
- At the Bronze, Xander — disregarding Giles' words — tries one more time to reach Jesse.
- Later in the Bronze, Jesse is busy having his way with Cordelia, but Xander comes up behind him brandishing a stake and tells him to lay off.
- Dramatic Sit-Down: All this talk of vampires is making Willow lightheaded. "I need to sit down." A bemused Buffy points out that she's already sitting down.
- Dramatic Spotlight: Luke is beginning "The Harvest" on the stage of the Bronze, illuminated by a spotlight. Buffy, who's entered via a skylight, ends up getting into a fight with the vampire on the catwalk who's pointing it at him.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: After just two victims, Luke is already shouting to the rafters about how swell the end of civilization is going to be."Tonight is His ascension. Tonight will be history at its end! Yours is a glorious sacrifice, degradation most holy!
[Nobody in the crowd stirs. Luke is nonplussed.]
"..What? No volunteers?"
- Dynamic Entry: From the balcony level of the Bronze, Buffy listens to Luke pontificate some more. Buffy ID's him as the Vessel, but then the vamp techie who is running the lights hears her. Luke is about to feed off Cordelia when Buffy kicks the techie over a railing and onto the stage below. Luke watches him land with a thud.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The only episode to feature slow vamps with glowing eyes. They were still working out the mythology, and those contacts were a real pain.
- Cordy seems perfectly friendly with a surfer dude kinda guy, something that seems out of character for her, as the "popular" type. Whedon points out how strange it is in the commentary.
- Angel is seen in partial sunlight. At this point they hadn't yet figured out anything about his character beyond being a guy that randomly shows up to give advice.
- Everyone Meets Everyone: Xander asks what the plan is, and Buffy tells him that he can't come along. Tossing the non-Slayers a bone and thereby establishing the beloved Scooby Gang, Giles offers Xander and Willow the opportunity to assist by researching the approaching Harvest.
- Environmental Symbolism: Angel appears to be standing next to a sign saying 'WATCH YOU' — but when he walks away we see the sign actually reads 'WATCH YOUR STEP'.
- Eureka Moment: Buffy realises Luke attacked from behind while she was facing the entrance, so the access to the tunnel is inside the mausoleum.
- Evil Is Hammy: Luke.
- Eye Scream: One of The Master's mooks is subject to this after reporting that the Slayer escaped his trap.
- Face-Revealing Turn: Jesse leads Buffy and Xander down a hall, telling them that the vampires brought him that way, but it turns out to be a dead end. When Xander demands to know what they're going to do, Jesse monotones, "I got an idea: You can die." The camera turns to him and we see he's pallor and in vamp face.
- Fang Thpeak: Whedon invoked this trope in the DVD commentary by apologizing to Eric Balfour (Jesse) for making him use the phrase "excruciating loser" in Game Face.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Willow is flipping pages in the library as Buffy and Xander dejectedly enter. Willow hopefully asks if they found Jesse, and Xander's glum response causes her to ask if he was dead. "Worse."
- Deliberately Monochrome / Flashback Effects: Buffy's memory of being ambushed by Luke in the mausoleum.
- From Bad to Worse:
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: The vampires in the electrical tunnel.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair / Expository Hairstyle Change: Vamp!Jesse's slicked back 'do.
- Gossip Evolution: Cordelia recounts her run-in Buffy at the Bronze, exaggerating to say that Buffy ran at her with a stick, screaming that she was going to kill her.
- Hidden Supplies: After getting chewed out by Joyce,Buffy digs a trunk out of the closet. Under a false top of girly kitsch, we see some stakes, holy water, a crucifix, and an especially sharp stake, which she tucks in her sleeve.
- Hitler Cam: Luke delivering his grand speeches.
- I Am Very British: See above re: Can't Believe I Said That
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Luke lasciviously strokes Cordelia's cheek before preparing to bite her.
- Implausible Deniability: When Flutie snags Buffy coming out of the school gates, her badassery evaporates as she claims to be admiring the "high-quality fencework."
- Improvised Weapon: After Buffy rescues Willow, and the girls spot Xander being dragged across the grass by two more vamps. Buffy makes short work of them with a broken tree branch.
- Instrument of Murder: At seeing Xander in trouble, Buffy grabs a cymbal and flings it at his attacker. Xander has the good sense to duck, and the cymbal decapitates the vamp.Buffy: Head's up.
- Buffy grabbing a microphone stand and hurling it like a javelin.
- Instructional Dialogue: Giles and Buffy giving Xander and Willow the lowdown on what they experienced the night before.
- Ironic Echo / Terms of Endangerment: A grinning Jesse echoes Xander's "Buddy!" when they face off in the Bronze.
- It's All About Me: At the Bronze, Cordelia is filibustering on her favorite subject — herself. One girl interrupts the flow of language with a cutesy, "You know, I—," only for Cordy to cut in again. "Hello, Miss Motormouth? Can I get a sentence finished?"
- When Cordelia is pinned on the floor with Jesse above her, she struggles and grabs his arms. Jesse whines at her to "hold still" and that she's making things difficult.
- Layman's Terms: Giles gives Xander and Willow the abbreviated story of the Slayer.
- "I want you to go on 'the 'Net.'"
- Buffy guesses all she has to do is dust anyone sporting the Master's symbol, and no Harvest. Giles puts a quick end to his exposition with, "Simply put, yes."
- Mark of the Beast: The tri-cornered scar on Luke's forehead.
- Mundane Solution: Buffy carps that she has no way of knowing how the vamps took Jesse; as soon as they got clear of the graveyard, "they could have just — voom."Xander: [astonished] They can FLY?
Buffy: They can drive.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: With Jesse's whereabouts confirmed, Buffy strides out out of the school wearing sunglasses, an all-black outfit, and heels — only to be intercepted by Flutie, who chides that kids aren't allowed off school grounds.
- Nothing Up My Sleeve: Buffy slips a stake up the sleeve of her leather jacket, but takes off the jacket before her fight, so it's not used for a lethal surprise.
- Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: In the Sunnydale High computer lab, Cordelia and Harmony are plinking away at some sort of programming project. She complains that they haven't done a section of the program correctly and Cordy and Harmony try to cheat off Willow. "Why do we have to devise these programs? Isn't that what nerds are for?"
- Now You Tell MeJesse: They knew you were gonna come. They said that I... I was the bait.Xander: Oh, great, now you tell us.
- Offscreen Teleportation
- Oh Crap!: Two mook vampires are dragging Xander across the floor when they see Buffy dust Luke, the Master's chosen vessel. As she slowly looks up at them, they take one look at each other and high-tail it out of the Bronze.
- Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: Buffy and Xander creep through the tunnels as Buffy regales him with a story of the time she sawed off a vampire's head with an Exacto knife.Buffy: ...You're not loving this story.
Xander: No, actually, I find it oddly comforting!
- Once More with Clarity: Buffy concludes that the only way Luke could've gotten the drop on her is if he emerged from a hidden door.
- "Open!" Says Me: The Mausoleum seems deserted, and Buffy finds a gate locked with a large chain. Behind her, Angel steps out from the shadows. Buffy senses his presence and asks if he has a key. Angel chuckles and makes guarded allusions about not being on the Master's Christmas card list. No sweat; Buffy spins around quickly, kicking open the doors to the tunnel.
- Oral Fixation: Buffy ends the episode sucking on a lollipop.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Averted except for one amusing line.Buffy: I looked around, but soon as they got clear of the graveyard, they could have just — voom!Xander: They can fly?Buffy: They can drive.
- Police Are Useless: Immediately brought up and justified in the library. Willow suggests calling the cops, Giles explains that they wouldn't believe them, then Buffy explains they wouldn't be able to handle vamps anyway. So, justified.
- Power Walk: Outside The Bronze, the bouncer is looking down counting bills when Darla and her gang, all in game faces, stroll into view. Darla is practically skipping along with merriment.
- Percussive Therapy: Buffy tells Willow that they were too late to save Jesse. Willow starts to take comfort in Buffy and Xander being okay, at least, but Xander kicks a trashcan, startling the girls."I don't like vampires. I'm gonna take a stand and say they're not good."
- Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: "Alright, Vessel Boy. You want blood?"
- Punched Across the Room: Buffy belts Luke across the stage and into a stack of folding chairs.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Once Luke releases her, Cordelia stealthy tries squirming along the floor, but doesn't get very far; Jesse eagerly rushes over and begins straddling her.
- Reality Ensues: Buffy leaves the library and, sporting badass sunglasses, starts to leave the school grounds. As she does, Principal Flutie blocks her path and warns her that leaving school grounds could get her into trouble. Buffy tries to explain that Mr. Giles told her to fetch a book, but Flutie repeats she shouldn't leave and padlocks the gate. After he tromps away, Buffy leaps over the fence and runs off.
- Red Shirt: One of the vamps brings Luke his first victim, the none-too-bright bouncer who tried to card him earlier. Luke pontificates some more, then drains the bouncer amidst screams from the crowd.
- Rhetorical Question BlunderBuffy: I've got a friend down there. Or at least a potential friend. Do you know what it's like to have a friend? (sees Angel's expression) That wasn't supposed to be a stumper.
- Saying Too Much: The Master is excited to see his servants' offering (Jesse), but gets rather irritated when Darla admits she's already had a nip, or, as she puts it in her own words, "He's a good one!"
- Secret Underground Passage
- Schiff One-Liner: "The Earth is doomed."
- Schmuck Bait: Cordelia huddled amongst her friends in class, and calls Buffy a "psycho loony." This prompts Willow to stick up for her new friend. Cordy quickly stomps Willow down, telling her she's boring and doesn't have permission to speak. Willow gets up to leave, but right before she does, she tells Cordy to save her file by pushing "deliver." Cordy pushes the DEL key, thus deleting all of her work.
- "It's in about nine hours, moron."
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Buffy gives the two vampires who have Xander a look, and they take about two seconds to decide to un-live to fight another day.
- Scully Syndrome: Xander protests against having a serious conversation containing the word "vampire." He's stymied by Buffy, who recalls saying exactly the same thing after her first meeting with the undead.Buffy: No, no, those weren't vampires. Those were just guys in thundering need of a facial. Or maybe they had rabies, it could have been rabies. And that guy turning to dust? Just a trick of light.
- Shaped Like Itself: In the halls, Xander and Willow are sweating over their new secret identities while the rest of the school parades around, blissfully ignorant of the looming danger. "It's like we got this big secret!"Willow: [beat] We do. That's what a secret is, when you know something other guys don't.
- Slow-Motion Fall: Luke takes his time falling off the stage after Buffy stakes him.
- Sound-Only Death: Colin's death, which is just as well.
- Staking the Loved One: Xander to Jesse — he hesitates and ends up killing his friend by accident.
- Strange Secret Entrance: The mausoleum leads directly to the sewers, and the Master's lair.
- Tap on the Head: Xander is just regaining consciousness by the time Buffy saves him in the cemetery. "Man, something hit me."
- Tempting Fate: Mr Flutie catches Buffy trying to sneak out of school. He locks the gate to make sure she doesn't.Mr Flutie: Here at Sunnydale nobody leaves campus while school's in session. Are we clear?Buffy: We're clear.Mr Flutie: That's the Buffy Summers I want in my school. Sensible girl with her feet on the ground!(Flutie leaves. Buffy leaps the gate In a Single Bound)
- That Man Is Dead; Giles warns Xander to consider his friend already departed. Jesse is of the same opinion, comparing his miserable failure of a human life to his newfound vampire mojo.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Giles' parting shot at the Scoobies.
- To Make a Long Story ShortGiles: For as long as there have been vampires, there's been the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One—
Buffy: He loves doing this part.
Giles: Alright. Buffy is the Slayer, the Slayer hunts vampires, don't tell anyone.
- Transhuman Treachery: Jesse after turning.
- A Truce While We Gawk: As Vamp!Jesse gives his speech, some henchvamps in the middle distance are shambling their way over.
- Two Scenes, One Dialogue: Giles exposits that since their overthrow by early cavemen, the demons have gone underground and waited for mankind to die out. Cut to — speak of the demon! — Luke and Darla manhandling Jesse into the Master's underground lair. The Master is displeased, and Darla and Luke make excuses, mentioning they encountered a powerful girl, possibly a Slayer. Back in the library, Xander wonders aloud what the hell is a Slayer supposed to be.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Buffy does a few flips at the Bronze. Whedon comments that he wanted to avoid that as much as possible, because it's awfully stupid.
- Use Your Head: Luke has an apparently unconscious Buffy in his grasp and is about to bite her neck when she slams her head back into his face.
- Vampires Are Sex Gods: Cordelia won't give Jesse the time of day until he becomes a vampire, whereupon he suddenly becomes more assertive, darker and sexier.Cordelia: Well, just one dance.
- Viewer-Friendly Interface: Willow's computer, with its helpful sound effects and animations while she's hacking the city computer system.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Darla has Giles pinned on the floor, but here comes Willow with a refreshing jar of holy water. She pelts Darla's face with it, sending her shrieking as she bolts for the exit.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Xander is all ready to charge into the Bronze and stop Jesse from "doing something more stupid than usual."
- Wait Here: Xander is told to stay put. Naturally, he disregards Buffy — ostensibly to save Jesse, but there's a degree of machismo at stake.
- Weirdness Censor: For the first time, and certainly not the last, the citizenry of Sunnydale completely fail to notice the horrors in their midst.
- You Are Grounded: Before the raid on the Bronze, Buffy says that she has to make a pit-stop for supplies. In her room, Buffy is gathering some things together when her Joyce barges in; the principal called her because of the classes that Buffy skipped, and she is officially grounded. Buffy tries to impress the importance of this evening on her mother. "I know," says Joyce, "If you don't go out it will be the end of the world."
- You Can Turn Back: Buffy is a bit too bold for Angel's taste. He advises her against going into the sewers, perhaps suspecting that it's a trap.
- You! Exclamation: Luke on seeing Buffy at the Bronze.
- You Have Failed Me: The Master is busy berating the henchvamp who lost Buffy, a chap by the name of Colin. The Master needles Colin a bit, but then shrugs that it just means there will be someone good for him to kill when he's free. It would be nice if Colin would at least apologize, though.
- You May Panic Now: To kick off the Harvest, Luke gets onstage and tells the crowd that there is no cause for alarm. Since he's backlit, nobody can tell that he's a vampire. As someone flicks a spotlight on him, he amends that to, "Actually, there is cause for alarm. It just won't do any good."
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Jesse, seeing Xander's stake primed and ready, gets right in his face and taunts that he'd never do it. How thoughtful of him to walk within shoving distance of the point.
The Earth is doomed.