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Recap: Buffy The Vampire Slayer S 4 E 1 The Freshman
Buffy feels overwhelmed by college life. Her confidence further erodes when she is beaten by the female leader of a vampire gang.

  • Academy of Adventure: Justified in that this university is in Sunnydale.
  • Adorkable: Eddie
  • All According to Plan: Sunday lampshades this when Buffy falls through the skylight into the midst of the vampires. picks herself up and quips "just thought I'd drop in".
    Sunday: I must say, you've really got me now. I mean, it's a diabolical plan, throw yourself at my feet with a broken arm and no weapons of any kind. How'm I going to get out of this one?
    Buffy: You got a nice set-up here, but you made one mistake.
    Sunday: Yeah? What was that?
    Buffy: Well, I'm not actually positive, but statistically speaking people usually make at least— (Sunday makes Buffy Talk to the Fist)
  • Alone in a Crowd: Buffy is overwhelmed by the size and confusion of college.
  • Art Evolution: From here to the end, the show was filmed in 16:9 widescreen. Joss didn't want the show put on DVD in this fashion, so the only places to see widescreen Buffy are Netflix and DVD's released in Europe, where Joss' request for 4:3 format was ignored. (Similarly, Angel, which debuted the same night as this episode, was filmed in widescreen but not broadcast that way until the third season. All episodes shown on Netflix are displayed in 16:9 format, as are episodes on DVD from the second season onward.)
  • Berserk Button: Sunday goes too far when she steps on Buffy's Class Protector award.
  • Big Eater: The chubby vampire within Sunday's gang. Sunday calls her out on it.
  • Book Dumb!Buffy
    Eddie: Of Human Bondage — have you ever read it?
    Buffy: Oh, I'm not really into porn... I mean I'm just... I'm trying to cut way back.
    Xander: You up for a little reconnaissance?
    Buffy: You mean where we all sculpt and paint and stuff?
    Xander: No, that was the Renaissance.
    Buffy: Oh. I've had a really long week.
  • California University: UC Sunnydale
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: After blowing Buffy off earlier, a repentant Giles turns up with an armful of weapons to help...after the Scoobies have already defeated Sunday's gang.
  • College Is High School Part 2: Averted
  • Cross Over: Buffy receives a phone call at her home, but hangs up when she doesn't hear anything. This episode aired the same night as the Angel series premiere, where it's revealed the call came from a despondent Angel.
  • Decoy Antagonist: Sunday — credited as a special guest, and kicking Buffy's ass in their first fight, only to get dusted at the second one.
  • Dark Action Girl: Sunday is one of the few vampires that give Buffy a run for her money.
  • Description Cut
    Willow: Is Buffy in danger?
    Xander: She's in a holding pattern, we've got some time.
    (Cut to Buffy getting beaten up by Sunday)
  • Does This Make Me Look Fat?
    Dav: Does this sweater make me look fat?
    Sunday: No, the fact that you're fat makes you look fat. That sweater just makes you look purple.
  • Face-Revealing Turn
    Buffy: God, I was worried that something had happened to you... (Eddie turns to reveal his Game Face) ...and of course it has, 'cause you're a vampire.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Buffy is glaring through the skylight at the vampires looting her stuff.
    Laugh all you want, this time we play it my way. And the rules are just going to be a little bit... (skylight breaks under her)
  • Famous Last Words: The Stoner vampire naturally says, "Woah!" after Willow stakes him.
  • Foreshadowing: Buffy is reassured after defeating the vampire gang that college will be just like high school after all. "At least we know what to expect." Cue an escaping vampire mook being tasered by camouflaged men in balaclavas toting heavy firepower.
    • Professor Walsh's specialty is "operant conditioning", e.g. behaviour modification. Like Spike's chip, for example.
    • For the next episode — Giles asks Buffy, "The evil is this way?" She replies, "My room is."
  • Felony Misdemeanor: The vampire gang raids the rooms of their victims. Spying on them through the skylight, Buffy remarks:
    Buffy: Oh! That's my skirt! You're never going to fit in it with those hips! We have to kill them!
  • Friendship Moment: Xander and Buffy show the kind of affection that's been missing between them since the events of "Becoming"
  • Game Face: Sunday doesn't even bother using hers...until Buffy starts to kick her ass.
    • She does do it at one point when a chubby female vampire asks her when they'll eat again.
  • Genre Savvy: The unidentified vampire fated to get dusted before the opening credits sneaks up behind Buffy and Willow, then sees the crossbow and various staking implements, considers this carefully and concludes "Screw This, I'm Outta Here!."
  • Heroic BSOD: College life is taking it's toll on Buffy and with her friends busy, she a bit unfocused which allows Sunday, whom Buffy could easily defeat, to get an advantage over her the first time. Second time, after Buffy done some soul searching (and especially when her class protector award is broken), not so much.
  • Heroic Second Wind
  • Hypocritical Humor: Loads of this from Buffy — e.g. saying "I've gotta stay sharp" while missing a vampire sneaking up behind her, and reprimanding Giles for having an affair with a younger woman — Giles politely avoids bringing up Angel.
  • Improvised Weapon: Buffy swats one vampire with a tennis racket — the blow breaks off the handle, forming a perfect stake.
  • Ironic Echo: "Lose your way?"
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Xander paying for his new car by working as a male stripper. He refuses to provide details.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Sunday's response to being staked is to indignantly put her hands on her hips before dusting.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Sunday's gang attack freshman loners, steal everything from their dorm room and leave a note claiming they've taken off because they can't handle the stress.
  • Man Hug: After glomping Willow and even Buffy's roommate whom he's never met before, Xander confirms with Oz that as manly men they don't need to hug.
  • Meet Cute: Buffy meets Riley Finn when she accidentally knocks a pile of heavy psychology textbooks onto his head. He takes it well.
  • Metaphorgotten: Xander talks to Buffy about overcoming her fear, then stops when he realises he's quoting from The Phantom Menace and Scarface.
  • Mooks: Dav, Rookie, Tom and Jerry.
  • Not so Dire: Buffy prowling in the cemetery, asks, "Anything?" as if asking Willow if she's seen any vampires. Turns out she's asking about what college courses are available.
  • New Old Flame: Olivia for Giles.
  • Poster-Gallery Bedroom: The vampires run a sweep to determine whether the poster left behind in their victim's dorm should be Claude Monet's "Waterlilies" or Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss"; the two are the most common prints in real-world college dorm rooms.
  • Red Shirt: Eddie
  • Rousing Speech: Buffy is feeling down after losing her first fight to Sunday, but fortunately runs into her Xander-shaped friend.
    Xander: Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them the kitchen at 'The Fabulous Ladies Night Club.' Let me tell you something, when it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero. Ok, sometimes when it's dark and I'm all alone I think, 'What is Buffy wearing?'
    Buffy: Can that be one of those things you never, ever, tell me about?
  • Security Blanket: Buffy doesn't really have one, unless you count Mr. Pointy. Eddie has his copy of Of Human Bondage — the fact that Sunday's gang leave it behind when stripping his room tips Buffy that Eddie hasn't just taken off.
  • Schmuck Bait: Sunday criticises Buffy's fashion sense, then punches her in the face when Buffy looks down at her clothes.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Tom and Dav. Tom doesn't get far.
    • As well as the vampire in the cold opening when he see rises from his grave with Buffy and Willow too engrossed in their conversation to notice him. However he spots the stakes next to Buffy and wisely decides his first meal as a vampire is better sought elsewhere.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Inverted; Buffy shows up unexpectedly at Giles' apartment and Olivia answers the door wearing only his shirt. Olivia subsequently leaves the scene saying, "Let me slip into something a little... less comfortable."
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Sunday's skills are a match for Buffy's.
    Sunday: I'm Sunday, I'll be killing you here in a minute or so.
    Buffy: You know that threat gets more frightening every time I hear it.
    Stoner Vamp: Uhh... are we gonna fight? Or is there just gonna be a monster sarcasm rally?
  • Stern Teacher / Red Baron
    I'm Professor Walsh. Those of you who fall under my good graces will come to know me as Maggie. Those of you who don't will come to know me by the name my TA's use and think I don't know about, 'The Evil Bitch Monster of Death.'
  • The Stoic: Guess who...
    Willow: How can you be so calm?
    Oz: Long, arduous hours of practice.
  • The Stoner: Rookie
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Sunday's attitude towards her minions.
  • Talk About That Thing
    Xander: Prank? Oh, the room. Well some friends of Buffy's played a funny joke, and they took her stuff. And now she wants us to help get it back from her friends who sleep all day and have no tans.
    Willow: Oh! Those friends!
  • That Came Out Wrong / Just Like Making Love
    Willow: It's just, in high school, knowledge was pretty much frowned upon. You really had to work to learn anything. But here, the energy, the collective intelligence... It's like this force, this penetrating force, and I can just feel my mind opening up, you know, and letting this place just thrust into and- and spurt knowledge into... That sentence ended up in a different place than it started out in.
  • That One Boss: In-universe, Sunday initially this for Buffy.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Thanks to Buffy's Healing Factor, her arm isn't broken in the final showdown with Sunday, it's just sore.
  • Too Happy to Live: Just when Buffy finally finds a new friend that's as confused as she, Eddie gets vamped.
  • Use Your Head
    Sunday: What about breaking your arm? (grabs Buffy's other arm) How'd that feel?
    Buffy: Let me answer that with a head butt. (She does and sends Sunday staggering.)
  • Weapon Twirling: Buffy does this with Mr. Pointy, followed by an Offhand Backhand staking of Sunday. She's back!
  • What Could Have Been: Sunday was originally supposed to be a Slayer turned vampire.
    • Joss also mentioned his regret of killing her off so quickly as he admited she made for an interesting character. By the time he realized it, it was too late.
  • Your Door Was Open: The door to Giles' home — the beginning of a Running Gag for this season.
  • You Remind Me of X: Buffy momentarily thinks she sees Angel in the Bronze.
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