"Are you probably noticing a theme here?" "As in 'Vampires, yay'?"
— Xander and Willow
Hey, look! It's Ford, an old friend (and flame) of Buffy's from Hemery High. He surprises Buffy with news that he's just transferred to her school. Ford regales everyone with embarrassing stories about Buffy, to Willow's delight and Xander's deep irritation.Later at the Bronze, she introduces Angel to Ford, whom Angel obviously doesn't take a shine to. As Ford and Buffy leave as a couple, Buffy hears a suspicious clattering in an alleyway. She asks Ford to go back and fetch her fallen purse, then runs toward the sound. Ford pretends to backtrack for a second before tailing Buffy around the building, where he witnesses her stake a vampire. She makes up a lame story about cats, but Ford reveals that he already knows she's a Slayer. Buffy is relieved that he knows.Ironic segue time. Ford knocks on the heavy metal door of a nightclub. He's let in, and tells a group of teens inside that in two days, they will be immortal.Meanwhile, Angel pays a visit to Willow and asks to do a background check on Ford. Willow does a search and finds no record of him enrolling at Sunnydale High. The rest of the Scooby gang tracks Ford's whereabouts to a place called the Sunset Club. They notice everyone inside is Pro-Vampire.Night. Buffy and Ford have just finished a walking tour of Sunnydale. (Needless to say, they don't look particularly spent.) Seeing a pair of vampires prowling the school, Buffy hands a cross to Ford, who draws a stake of his own. Buffy looks askance at that, but tells Ford to stay frosty. In the resulting melee, Ford grabs the second vamp — a female — and menaces that he'll let her live if she tells him what he wants to know. Buffy stakes her foe, and comes running back to Ford, who's now alone. She asks where the other vamp is, but Ford says he dusted her. In the library, the blonde vampire that Ford set free barges out of Giles' office with one of his volumes and escapes through the stacks. Buffy recognizes the vamp and realizes Ford lied to her.Spike's lair. Ford crashes the place and geeks out, saying that the place is "so cool," to which Spike rhetorically asks if he has anyone on watch. Ford knows who Spike is, and he's offering a token of goodwill. Cue the female vamp handing Spike a book, which he admits will be very useful (as groundwork for a later episode). Ford offers him a deal: "You make me a vampire, and I give you the Slayer."The next day, Ford catches Buffy and tells her he had a blast the previous night. They make plans to meet at this spot at nine. Ford returns to his club to finish the arrangements, but Buffy's already lying in wait. Ford signals his toady, who sidles away and locks the door. Ford quickly spills his entire scheme, gloating that the club entrance is "rigged up special," and can only be opened from the outside. Privately, Buffy works out that the rest of the kids aren't going to be changed; they're just fodder. When she pleads that these kids don't deserve to die, Ford blurts out that neither does he— but he has terminal cancer and vampirism would save him, though without a soul "he'd" be dead in either case. Buffy looks stunned; had no idea. Ford bitterly goes on that he's got at most six months to live. Buffy apologizes, but doesn't buy into his solipsistic diatribe. If Spike's gang comes in and starts feeding, she promises she's going to kill Ford before he gets to reap his reward.At sunset, Spike and his vamps spread out and start chowing down. Buffy spies Dru on the balcony observing the feeding frenzy. Buffy leaps over the rail, grabs Dru and holds a stake to her heart. Spike is alarmed and orders everyone to halt. At Buffy's order, he orders his crew to let the humans go, which they do. Buffy sidles over to the exit, then pushes Dru into Spike's arms and runs out, slamming the door shut again. Spike attempts to pursue her— then stares at the door in bemusement. Oops. "Where's the doorknob?"Outside, the kids limp off as Angel, Willow, and Xander arrive. Buffy knows that the vamps will get out eventually, so she'll come back when they're gone. Xander wonders why, and Buffy clarifies, "For the body."Sure enough, Buffy reenters the club the next day and finds Ford lying dead at her feet.At the cemetery, Buffy and Giles lay roses on Ford's grave, waiting to see if he'll rise or not. Ford pops out from his grave, now a vampire. Apparently, Spike kept his promise. He barely gets to blink before Buffy matter-of-factly kills him. As they walk off together, Buffy asks Giles if life gets any easier, and Giles endearingly lies his ass off.But she sounds grateful, anyhow.
Above Good and Evil: Buffy calls out Ford on his double-crossing lies, but he merely shrugs, "Everybody lies."
Acting Unnatural: When Willow investigates the past of Buffy's newly-arrived old friend and early crush, she feels guilty about it and tries to act naturally around Buffy - failing spectacularly, but Buffy shrugs off her squeaking high-pitched panic as the result of too much coffee.
Arc Words: Giles' denouement is darkly ironic considering the events to come. This episode begins the metamorphosis of Buffy from fairly harmless teenage fun to something far more serious, continuing through "Surprise/Innocence," "Passion," and finally both parts of "Becoming."
Arson, Murder and Wearing a Cheap Costume: Buffy lecturing "Diego" and the other cultists. "You're going to die! And the only hope you have of surviving this is to get out of this pit right now and my God could you have a dorkier outfit?"
Ford: Gotta back her up on this one, D. You look like a big ninny.
Ascended Extra: Julia Lee's character Chantarelle will later appear in episode 3.1 titled Anne, where she will go by the name Lily. Her character, in this episode and in episode 3.1, consistently has identity issues (shown through her third name change when she crosses over onto the Buffy spin-off Angel).
Bad Date: Jenny dragging Giles into attending a monster ruck truck rally.
Baddie Flattery: As Buffy scurries around the shelter looking for an exit, Ford marvels at her determination. Once she demolishes his deluded rationale for the things he's done, Ford sadly replies that he really did miss her, which is tantamount to admitting that her analysis is spot-on.
The Bait: Trapping Buffy is the only way the kids could get any vampires to hang with them.
Batman Gambit: Ford knows Buffy will work out he's lying to her, and has prepared his trap accordingly.
Brutal Honesty: Buffy poses some questions about Drusilla to Angel, and it's a sore spot for him. He admits that he terrorized Drusilla by killing her family and friends, which drove her to a convent, and on the day she was slated to take her holy orders to become a nun, he intentionally drove her insane and made her a vampire. This naturally creeps Buffy out a bit, though she admits she needed to hear it.
The Cavalry Arrives Late: Angel, Willow, and Xander arriving just as the threat's ended. Buffy remarks they're "just in time." (Though her weary tone suggests she's glad to see them, nonetheless.)
Card-Carrying Villain: Buffy lays it all out for Ford, explaining that he's what they in the trade call "the bad guy." Ford giggles and reckons she's 100% correct. Played for Drama, as Buffy later realizes that she was just playing into his B-movie fantasies.
Buffy: It'd be simpler if I could just hate him. I think he wanted me to. I think it made it easier for him to be the villain of the piece. Really, he was just scared.
Cargo Cult: Buffy lampshades this by shouting "This is not the mothership" at the club-goers.
Chekhov's Gag: Ford saying that he knows all of Buffy's dark secrets, to which Xander smugly adds, "Care to make a small wager on that?" The fact that Ford does in fact know Buffy's darkest secret is a subtle irony.
Buffy mocking Ford's total ignorance of vampire, calling him - ironically in light of his imminent revelation — "brain trust."
Chekhov's Gun: On his way into the club, Ford walks by a guy doing some welding.
Cordelia: I just don't see why everyone's always picking on Marie Antoinette. I can so relate to her. She worked really hard to look that good, and people just don't appreciate that kind of effort! And I know the peasants were all depressed... Xander: I think you mean oppressed.
Creator Cameo: The fake vampire who greets Willow when she comes in ("Hi" Vampire in the credits) is played by Todd McIntosh, the show's makeup supervisor, in a brief cameo.
Cruel to Be Kind: Chantarelle asking Buffy if she can't see that it's a beautiful day for them. Time to duck, because Buffy's not pulling any more punches: "What I see is that, right after the sun goes down, Spike and all of his friends are going to be pigging out at the all-you-can-eat moron bar."
Driven to Villainy: The injustice of his life ending so early was the impetus to Ford's evil. Contrary to what he says, however, Buffy insists that he does have a choice (albeit not a good one), and that nothing he says will make mass murder okay.
Dude, Where's My Reward?: Ford sticks his chin out and declares he fulfilled his end of the bargain, and Spike sneers that that's true. This is one of the series' most ambiguous moments.
Emergency Transformation: Ford isn't evil so much as he is misguided, believing that it would be better to live as a vampire than to die riddled with tumors.
Evil Is Not a Toy: Most of the wannabe vampires help Ford in his plan to become a vampire. When Spike arrives, he allows his minions to eat them. Averted with Ford, whom Spike turns.
Exact Eavesdropping: Recognizing that if Drusilla and Spike remain in Sunnydale, a fight with them is inevitable, Angel tries to persuade her to leave town, to no avail. While Dru and Angel are talking, Buffy spies on them from a rooftop, sparking her curiosity and jealousy.
Marvin overhearing the Scoobies in the club.
Exact Words: The lost boy telling Dru that he's not supposed to talk to people. Dru starts to snarl that she's not a person, but Angel spoils her hunt.
Facepalm: Xander sitting next to Cordy in class, wearing with an expression that's somewhere between "If I look into your ear real hard, I can see the 'for rent' space in your brain" and "Decapitation would look real good on you right about now."
Failed Attempt at Drama: Spike's reaction to Ford knowing his name ("Yeah I know who I am too, so what?") underlines how unimpressed he is with the twerp's opening gambit.
Angel's lookalike walking down the stars just as Angel is making a very serious and important point about poseurs.
False Reassurance: Chantarelle getting jittery on the eve of the big night. She asks if Ford really thinks the vamps will "bless" them. Ford smiles that he knows they will.
Flat "What.": Buffy trying to sell a story about two cats fighting, and Ford shrugging that he thought she was "just" slaying a vampire.
Buffy: What? Whatting a what?
Later, this is Giles' reaction upon learning that Ford knows the secret.
Also, Spike's reaction to Ford's fanboy behavior. Ford gets this a lot from people.
Angel says to Drusilla, "If you don't leave it'll go badly. For all of us." Boy is Angel on the ball here. In fact, his retelling of Drusilla's originforetells what he will later do to Buffy.
Drusilla: Your heart stinks of her. Poor little thing. She has no idea what's in store.
Ford popping "ritalin" in front of his entourage. He later grips his forehead in pain when Diego mentions he saw the Scoobies sniffing around.
A truckload of foreshadowing in the kitchen scene between Buffy and Angel.
Buffy: I love you. I don't know if I trust you. Angel: Maybe you shouldn't do either.
The final exchange in the graveyard sets the tone for the remainder of Season Two. As you grow up things become more complicated; It's not as clear who's your ally and who's your enemy anymore.
Angel's encounter with the poseur Vampire Vannabe — Angel too is a weak man posing as a tragic hero vampire, as revealed in later episodes and his spin-off series.
Forgotten Friend, New Foe: Practically spelled out in neon over Ford's head, particularly his knowledge that Buffy is the slayer. It all seems too convenient, so the story is quick to unmask the character's evil intentions.
Get Out / Mercy Lead: Angel offering Drusilla a one-time only opportunity to take Spike and clear out of town.
Gut Feeling: Angel admitting that he does get jealous sometimes, but that his "gut" tells him Ford is a bad dude.
Half Truth: Ford observing that Angel looks older than Buffy, to which Xander answers, "You're not wrong." Buffy introduces them, and Ford exclaims that Angels hand is cold. Xander: "You're not wrong."
Buffy apologizing for beeping Giles during his date, and Giles telling her she did the right thing, a little too enthusiastically. Miss Calendar picks up on that, and says she thought monster trucks would be a change of pace, to which Giles mutters, "It was a change."
Hey, Wait!: Willow very-obviously acting jumpy around Ford. Buffy tells her to "'fess up", then accuses her of drinking too much caffeine. Willow gives a strained fake laugh.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Spike and his gang get trapped in the bomb shelter, so he can't chase after Buffy and the others.
Hypocritical Humor: Angel railing on about how these kids don't know anything about vampires. "What they are, how they live, how they dress!" At that moment, a dude dressed in exactly the same outfit as Angel walks by. Angel ahems, and Xander and Willow share a smirk.
I Have to Iron My Dog: Buffy covering for a vamp attack by asking Ford to fetch her purse, which she "left back at the Bronze."
"I-I-I'm gonna do work in the computer lab on school work that I have, so I cannot hang just now. Hi, Ford."
Giles saying he's going out that evening, and giving Buffy Miss Calendar's beeper number, in case she needs "study help." Buffy breaks the news that Ford knows she's the Slayer.
Giles: You are not, by any chance, betraying your secret identity just to impress, um, cute boys, are you?
I'll Kill You!: "Isn't this exactly how you imagined it? You tell me how you've suffered and I feel sorry for you. Well, I do feel sorry for you, and if those vampires come in here and start feeding, I'll kill you myself!"
Immortality Immorality: Ford wants to become a vampire so badly that he's willing to face off with the Slayer and Spike's entire gang. Now that's what I'd call serious dedication to one's career goals.
Joe Sent Me: Angel knocking on the entrance door to the club. The viewport slides open, and Angel gain entry by claiming they're friends of Ford's.
Kirk Summation: Buffy trying to convince her friend that vampires are nothing but demons inhabiting corpses, but Ford does not care. When she turns to warn the others, Ford shuts her up by hitting her in the back with a crowbar.
Lame Excuse: "Um... uh, there was a, a cat. A cat here, and, um, then there was a-another cat... and they fought. The cats. And... then they left."
Mid-Season Twist: Angel sired Drusilla. And not only he sired her, he also drove her insane.
The Movie Buff: Ford mapped out his entire story as if it were a movie, from the cheesy lines he makes Spike recite, or in his expectation that Buffy will completely understand and perhaps even accept his plan once she learns of his condition.
Neck Lift / Perp Sweating: Buffy starts to tell Ford that vamps are kind of picky about who they sire — then realizes that Ford meant to offer her up in exchange. None to happy with that she hoists him by the throat and shoves him against the wall.
Ford: I don't think I wanna talk anymore. (Buffy grabs him by the throat and shoves him up against a pillar) Buffy: Yeah, well, I still feel awfully chatty!
Nerves of Steel: Ford doesn't seem so tough until he finds himself trapped in the club and facing some steep odds.
No-One Could Have Survived That: Giles identifying Drusilla as a "sometime paramour of Spike's" who was killed by an angry mob in Prague. Buffy notes that they don't make angry mobs like they used to.
Noodle Incident: The Oreos. Also, Willow slyly saying that Ford was telling them about the "ninth-grade swimsuit competition."
Buffy The more people you tell, the more people I have to kill.
Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Chantarelle welcoming the Scoobies to her posse, saying it's cool they're interested in "the Lonely Ones." Willow isn't familiar with the term, but a bored Angel reappears and says that she's referring to vampires.
Xander: Oh! We usually call them the 'nasty pointy bitey-ones'." Chantarelle: So many people have that misconception. But They Who Walk With the Night are not interested in harming anyone!
Passing Notes in Class: Buffy and Willow are amusingly passing notes in class discussing what Buffy saw on the roof.
Political Correctness Gone Mad: Angel flatly calling Chantarelle stupid. Hurt, she chides him for being "confrontational" and says that "other viewpoints than yours may be valid, you know."
Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Dru reciting her "Run and Catch" nursery rhyme for the first time. "What will your mummy sing when they find your body?"
Pretender Diss: After Angel insults one of the vampire worshipers he complains that they know nothing about what vampires are; how they act, how they dress...cue a vampire fanboy walking past dressed exactly like Angel.
The Reveal: "Couple more days, and we'll get to do the two things every American teen should have the chance to do: die young, and stay pretty."
Rule of Symbolism: As Buffy talks with Angel over coffee, the camera switches to a view from outside the open window, with both characters separated by a table. We're to understand here that when Angel warns that Buffy shouldn't trust Ford, he's also referring to himself.
Giles:(suspiciously) What kind of a secret? Jenny: The kind that's secret. You know, where I don't actually tell you what it is.
Shout-Out: Ford's line "die young and stay pretty" is a reference to the line "live fast, die young and leave a beautiful corpse" from Humphrey Bogart's 1949 film Knock on Any Door. James Dean also quoted the line in an interview shortly before his death.
Xander calls Angel "Bossy the Cow", one of the characters featured in a Sesame Street sketch.
The movie playing at the Sunset Club was Dan Curtis' 1973 television adaption of Bram Stoker's Dracula, starring Jack Palance.
Sidetracked by the Analogy: Xander and Willow contrasting their own colorful dubs with the gloomy club atmosphere, and determining that they stick out like sore thumbs.
Willow: Do they stick out? I mean, have you ever seen a thumb and gone, 'Wow! That baby is sore!' Xander: You have too many thoughts.
Sixth Ranger Traitor: Ford being thrown into the group dynamic does make for some interesting tension.
Xander:(as Buffy) This is Ford, my bestest friend of all my friends! (as himself) Geez, doesn't she know any fat guys?
Smash Cut: Buffy sadly making plans to retrieve Ford's body. We cut back to the club interior, where Ford lies dead and the vamps have flown the coop.
The Social Darwinist: Ford, gesturing below the catwalk, says that the "others" are just sheep, and want to be vampires because they're lonely and bored. He, on the other hand, is on the precipace of becoming immortal.
Stop Helping Me! (In-Universe): Giles picking up on Buffy's somber mood and offering her the night off, which causes her face to brighten. He immediately undoes his good work, however, by suggesting that she spend some time with Angel.
Stealth Insult: Ford asking if he'd be imposing on the gang at the Bronze. Xander, mock-sweetly: "Oh, only in the literal sense."
Stealth Pun: After Gilesí monologue about good guys and bad guys, the screen goes to dark and Jossís executive producer credit pops up, and we hear Buffy reply "liar".
Swiss Cheese Security: Spike bemoans his poor security when he discovers Ford gawking at his "cool" lair.
When Buffy crashes his party, Ford mutters to Diego that it's "drafty". Subverted, as this is code for "seal the doors."
Sympathy for the Devil: Subverted with Ford. To his surprise, Buffy astutely grits out that his confession is just another phase to his "fantasy drama", and refuses to play along.
Tap on the Head: Buffy grabbing Ford's crowbar arm in mid-swing, sending him into a wall.
Tempting Fate: Willow thinks it's "neat" that Ford kept her secret, and Buffy agrees, because now she can relax around him. In a lovely ironic transition, we fade to Ford knocking on the door of the Sunset Club.
Ford searches for a word to describe the town, and Buffy suggests "dull." He agrees, but upon seeing two vampires hurrying near the school, he changes his mind.
Giles: What do you want me to say? Buffy: Lie to me.
The Triple: Xander saying Buffy needs cheering up, and suggests a "crazed dance party at the Bronze." Buffy doesn't reply, and he downgrades that to "very calm dance party at the Bronze," finishing with "moping at the Bronze."
Trouble Entendre: Ford inviting Buffy into his trap. He says he has a surprise for her, and she neutrally says she likes surprises. They agree to meet at the school at nine. He leans in and tells her it will be fun, and walks away. After a beat, she does the same. (We later discover that Ford already knows she's onto him.)
Unwanted Rescue: Buffy starts to say what will happen to the kids, but they pipe up that they'll be changed, and it's what they want.