Season 2 Episode 5 “Reptile Boy”
Come after the unimaginatively titled “Inca Mummy Girl” is “Reptile Boy” although while the titular “Inca Mummy Girl” is, in fact, a female teenage (looking) mummy from a part of South America that was under the control of the Inca empire, the titular creature here is much too old to be considered a boy, and I don’t know enough demonic taxonomy to know if he is actually in the class Reptilia.
Anyway, the episode opens with Buffy, Willow and Xander watching an incomprehensible Bollywood movie at home. This is to establish that they don’t have much of a social life, but I’m wondering what kind of cable provider would, in 1998, have an Hindu language television station in Southern California.
On to the meat of this episode, where a girl breaks out of the second story of a large house, and is chased down by several guys in cultish robes. She flees to a nearby graveyard, because Sunnydale building ordnances require that all graveyards be built within 500 ft of each other. She is then captured.
The next day at school, there’s more of UST
by proxy between Buffy and Angel, while Cor has yet another
boyfriend. That’s what, her twentieth? This is different because he’s in college. Buffy has to go to the library and there we learn that supernatural stuff hasn’t been happening lately. I guess all the supernatural beings in the area are Padres fans. Anyway, Giles urges more training on Buffy whereas Buffy just wants to be a normal 16 year old teen.
After school, Cor’s college boyfriend shows up with another guy, who wants to be introduced to Buffy. After some bantering between him and Buffy (mostly from him) he invite her to a frat party. Buffy declines and Giles drags her off to training, which consist of Buffy beating up Giles.
That night at the graveyard, Buffy finds a broken bracelet, and Angel shows up, saying it has some blood. Then we have a Twilight-like
scene between Buffy and Angel where Buffy asks Angel out for coffee, and Angel points out that he would kill her and is much too old.
The next day Cor, at the behest of the Frat guys, convinces Buffy to go to the frat party. Cut to a basement where the cult has the girl who escaped chained up. We also see the cult performing an initiation ritual and it turns out the cult is also the frat, with the nice frat guy as the leader. What a tweest.
After the ritual is over, they break out the brewskis, cause they are a frat, after all.
At the library, Buffy shows the gang the bracelet, leading to speculation about what it means. Giles tries to make her do more patrolling that night, but Buffy claims that she has homework and has to look after her sick mother. Giles buys this excuse.
At the frat party, Buffy begins to have second thoughts about how good of an idea this is, but she doesn’t leave. Cor soon ditches her for her boyfriend, and the nice frat guy saves Buffy from a drunken frat boy. She has a nice conversation with the nice frat guy about responsibility and have fun, and the nice frat guy encourages Buffy to have more fun.
Meanwhile, Xander sneaks in though a window and looks for Buffy. Several drunken frat boys spot Xander and conclude that he’s a new pledge. They haze him by making him dress up in a skirt, bra, and wig, which they just happen to have on hand. I honestly can’t decide what to Plot Hole
that last phrase to. Ho Yay
? Not That There's Anything Wrong with That
? I’m sure there’s something that fits. In any event, the frats then kick Xander out.
At the library, Willow determines that the bracelet belong to a girl who went missing a week ago and connects it to a girl who went missing a year ago. Two things. One, You’d think a missing person case would get police attention, and the attention of the FBI, which really doesn’t like kidnapping, and is usually called in to deal with it. This can easily be hand wave by a line saying that police have no leads, but the issue isn’t addressed. Second, given that at least one person goes missing in Sunnydale an episode *
how can Willow find only relevant missing people, and not get a bunch of extraneous hits? Anyway, Willow Giles and Angel conclude, based on where the bracelet was found, that the missing girl is at the frat house. Willow also has a nice scene where she calls Giles out on how much he’s pressuring Buffy, and tells Angel that Buffy went because he’s not dating Buffy.
At the frat party, it turns out that Buffy’s drink was drugged, and so was Cor’s. They both awaken in the basement next to the missing girl. They then notice the cult frat guys, lead by the nice frat guy, are preparing a ritual to offer them to a snake demon, in return for power.
Outside the frat house, Willow, Giles and Angel arrive, finding Xander in a cult robe, which he found in the trash. So the frats will throw out robes, but bras, skirts, and wigs? OK. Xander says that he Saw the frats enter the basement in the robe, and speculates that Buffy and Cor are down there. Xander tricks one of the frats into opening the door by wearing the robe, which works because the frat guy was one of the drunken ones from earlier. A fight then ensues with several of the frat guys, who I’m assuming are not in the basement because they are too drunk to participate. Incidentally, Angel is able to enter the frat house, either because he’s with Xander or because a frat house doesn’t count for “vampires can only enter when invited” Come to think of it, outside the episode it was brought up in, that plot point hasn’t been mentioned at all.
Anyway, down in the basement, the snake demon is about to eat Cor, when Buffy breaks free. After a brief fight with the snake demon and the nice frat guy, the Gang enter just in time to see Buffy kill the snake demon. Buffy and Giles both note the lessons that they learned, Buffy about responsibility, and Giles about not pressuring Buffy so much. Meanwhile, the frat guys quietly file out the back, because they have to clean up the mess of the party, man, and maybe study for that Econ test tomorrow, the prof totally said we can pass the class if we fail it, man.
What I assume to be the next night at the Bronze, Cor has yet another
boyfriend, while Xander reads in the paper that the frat guys are going to jail for multiple murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Wait, is that an actually competent police force? Where were they at any other time? There’s also the remains of dead girls going back 50 years, implicating several frat alums. Said alums are members of many top corporations boardrooms, resulting in scandal, resignations and suicides. The episode closes with Angel asking Buffy out for a cup of coffee.
Final thoughts. This was a fairly decent episode. Buffy’s Comes Great Responsibility
and I Just Want to Be Normal
conflict was handled fairly well, the only real sticking point is that the show never has established why Buffy in particular is the Chosen One
, nor what does the Choosing. I’ve brought this up several time before, but really, I just don’t like things to go unexplained. The biggest drawback to this episode is the fact that the ritual the frats use requires three girls a year, and has been going on for 50 years. It really strains my Willing Suspension of Disbelief
that the police haven’t been able to do anything about it, and mentioning that the frat guys are going to jail at the end makes it much worse.
On the whole, however, this wasn’t a bad episode. Not particularly great, but a decent hour filler and there’s nothing particularly egregious that I’m mad at.
edited 4th Nov '10 1:57:55 PM by colin