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Iíve Been Repeatedly Assured This Is Good (Buffy Season 2 Liveblog):

Oh, and sense "keep watching, It Gets Better" doesn't work, I'm gonna give you spoilers for this season and see if it peaks your interest at all. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

We learn of Gile's Dark and Troubled Past.

Angel is Drusilla's Sire and he drove her insane to begin with.

Angel loses his soul and becomes Complete Monster Angelus, the seasons' Big Bad.

Oz is a werewolf.

Xander and Cordelia get into a relationship.

Major Characters DIE!

Buffy has to finally reveal her secret life to her mom in the season finale.

And things just get a helluva lot more dramatic, though there are still silly filler episodes.

edited 3rd Nov '10 7:31:57 AM by ManwiththePlan

Math guy
Piques. Piques. >_<

If I had a nickel for every time I saw that...well, I'd have more nickels than I'd like to have.
Pronounced "shy guy."

I have spent 4 months of my life outside my home country. Paste this into your sig with your data!
Chilling with my niece
@Manwiththe Plan: On the spoiler stuff, maybe 1 in 10 people on this wiki even bother with spolier tags when dealing with Buffy, and Buffy is in damn near every trope. I kinda already know that stuff and its part of the reason why I'm still trying to finish this.

As for the other points, I'll give you acting and direction, I haven't noticed anything bad about either, at the very least. I find the setting to be rather intresting, although I would like for the show to actually explain thing about the Slayer. Can't really comment on the story arcs and character development, as the character development isn't happening very quickly if at all and I've only got one story arc done so far. However, I think you're using a different definition of scripting than I am, as I think that something with good scripting does have plot holes. Granted, if you mean scripting as in dialogue then yeah, I do agree with you there.

To everyone else, guess what I'm going to be doing? If you said "watching episode 5" give yourself a cookie.

5's another complete standalone, but then there's five episodes in a row (or four, as one's a two-parter) with great character stuff and expanding on the mythology a bit. Plus more Spike, which at this point is always a good thing.
 
Chilling with my niece
Season 2 Episode 5 ďReptile BoyĒ

Come after the unimaginatively titled ďInca Mummy GirlĒ is ďReptile BoyĒ although while the titular ďInca Mummy GirlĒ 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 donít 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 donít have much of a social life, but Iím 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, thereís more of UST by proxy between Buffy and Angel, while Cor has yet another boyfriend. Thatís what, her twentieth? This is different because heís in college. Buffy has to go to the library and there we learn that supernatural stuff hasnít 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, Corís 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 doesnít 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 heís 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 canít decide what to Plot Hole that last phrase to. Ho Yay? Not That There's Anything Wrong with That? Iím sure thereís 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, Youíd think a missing person case would get police attention, and the attention of the FBI, which really doesnít 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 isnít 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 heís pressuring Buffy, and tells Angel that Buffy went because heís not dating Buffy.

At the frat party, it turns out that Buffyís drink was drugged, and so was Corís. 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 Iím assuming are not in the basement because they are too drunk to participate. Incidentally, Angel is able to enter the frat house, either because heís with Xander or because a frat house doesnít count for ďvampires can only enter when invitedĒ Come to think of it, outside the episode it was brought up in, that plot point hasnít 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? Thereís 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. Buffyís 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. Iíve brought this up several time before, but really, I just donít 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 havenít 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 wasnít a bad episode. Not particularly great, but a decent hour filler and thereís nothing particularly egregious that Iím mad at.

edited 4th Nov '10 1:57:55 PM by colin

My big issue with this one is wondering how the frat house first came to that arrangement with the demon. Did a pledge in the '50s just randomly kill his girlfriend on the off-chance that there was a demon around who'd make him rich for the sacrifice?

The invitation rule is spelled out a couple seasons later: places like frat houses and apartment buildings are open to vampires in their common areas and hallways, but vamps need an invitation to enter private rooms.
 
Math guy
Iíve brought this up several time before, but really, I just donít like things to go unexplained.

Well, there's always something that isn't explained. It doesn't explain vampires' weakness to sunlight/crosses/wooden stakes, either. The real question here is "Why does the Slayer exist?" That's still a mystery, and not a particularly urgent one. What matters for the moment is that the Slayer does exist and that right now, Buffy's it. I don't think the question is really addressed until season 7.

Gurren Lagann didn't explain why the Beastmen were forcing humans underground (the reason everything happens) until about two-thirds of the way through. One Piece still hasn't answered questions like "What is the One Piece?" or "What's up with the Ds?" It took LOST two full seasons to say why the plane crashed. A Series of Unfortunate Events? I could be here all day with that one.

The next episode was easily the one I knew the most about before watching it. I think it probably spawned more fanfic than any other individual Buffy episode.
Pronounced "shy guy."

I have spent 4 months of my life outside my home country. Paste this into your sig with your data!
Chilling with my niece
[up] But in all, or at least most, of your examples, the show acknowledges that the questions are unanswered. In Gurren Lagann the characters trace back the Beastmen mostly to stop them but to find out why. While we don't know what exactly One Piece is, we do know that it is a treasure of great worth, or is believed to be, which is effectively the same thing. While I'm not very familiar with LOST, part of Lost's appeal (as I understand it) is in the mystery, which requires unanswered questions. Similarly, unanswered questions that remain unanswered is part of the point of A Series of Unfortunate Events, and besides, the characters try to answer them anyway.

But the nature of the Slayer, beyond her existents and the fact that there's only one, is not only an unanswered question, nobody on the show even thinks to ask the unanswered questions. The show just sort of ignores the question entirely.

LOST really isn't that good an example, as lots of the mysteries had no answers, and the finale was a giant Chewbacca Defense that tried to blind us with emotion so we wouldn't realize how little sense it made. A trap Joss Whedon also falls into a lot, actually; he's completely shameless about his use of what he calls "emotional truth, " meaning that as long as the emotion's there, it doesn't matter that things don't make sense. It actually makes me glad that Firefly got so screwed over by Fox; now we have those few episodes to cherish without them being tainted by whatever BS he would have thrown in later.

Do the episodes you've been watching feature the "In every generation there is a chosen one" opening narration? I was always happy to infer from there that some ancient witches and wizards set the process in place to protect the world.

edited 4th Nov '10 8:07:28 PM by Eegah

 
However, I think you're using a different definition of scripting than I am, as I think that something with good scripting does have plot holes. Granted, if you mean scripting as in dialogue then yeah, I do agree with you there.

Sorry, that was what I meant. I should've said dialogue scripting. Plot scripting is defenitley still shaky at this point in the show. I personally think that "gets better" by the time Angel becomes Angelus. At that point there's ony one episode (the 20th) that's really a filler.

And don't you mean "does NOT have plot holes?"

And on the Slayer; perhaps that's something that's All There in the Manual. Though I wouldn't be surprised if it were just "random girls get chosen to be Slayers" seeing how corrupt the forces that do the choosing and watching seem to be.

Hopefully the next five episodes will be good for you, even if there's something in the 7th episode that is, to me, as stupid as nobody remembering Jesse. The one you'll be watching next in particular is a fun one.

edited 5th Nov '10 1:03:07 PM by ManwiththePlan

 36 SKJAM, Fri, 5th Nov '10 9:06:59 PM from Minneapolis Relationship Status: Cast away
Great and Powerful
I am perfectly willing to believe that a frat has women's clothing tucked somewhere accessible if it's their standard humiliation tactic.

I think the reason the police actually followed up on this is specifically *because* the supernatural critter involved has been disposed of. The cops probably have known for years, but due to the "don't ever interfere with paranormal activity" rule they seem to have, couldn't lift a finger.
 37 Tobias Drake, Fri, 5th Nov '10 9:37:21 PM from Colorado, USA Relationship Status: Married to my murderer
Black Dragon
^ This. One important thing to keep in mind is that this is Sunnydale. Why is there a graveyard outside the frat house? Because Sunnydale is littered with graveyards everywhere. Because people die a lot in Sunnydale.

Also, on the question of why Buffy has to keep a secret identity, the answer is "Because Giles told her to." Why did Giles tell her to? Because that's just how Slayers operate. If this seems stupid to you, well, it should.

More on this later this season and next.

edited 5th Nov '10 9:39:38 PM by TobiasDrake

Math guy
I personally think that "gets better" by the time Angel becomes Angelus.

Interesting note: they don't ever call him "Angelus" in season 2. That name doesn't get used again until "Enemies" in season 3.
Pronounced "shy guy."

I have spent 4 months of my life outside my home country. Paste this into your sig with your data!
 39 Tobias Drake, Mon, 8th Nov '10 6:35:22 AM from Colorado, USA Relationship Status: Married to my murderer
Black Dragon
^ After which, they never refer to soulless Angel as Angel again either. I bet the writers didn't realize at the time that the character would become prominent enough to require a naming distinction between Soul!Angel and NoSoul!Angel.

edited 8th Nov '10 6:35:32 AM by TobiasDrake

 40 Lady Pessimist, Thu, 2nd Dec '10 2:46:42 PM from The place between dreams
Lady Pessimist
It does take a really long time for things to be explained in the show, but the explanations do come. The highly inadequate police force are explained in season 3 and the slayer thingimihoojum is kinda explained in the last season. Well, they invoke the spirit of slayer #1 in the fourth season. Then there's an episode in season seven explaining how the slayers came to be, and how the slayers are chosen. Ish. The only thing that really bugs me is why the slayer has to be female. It's at no point explained in any depth, although I've managed to formulate an entirely non-canon explanation for it for my own fragile state of mind, more than anything else. The show picks up during this season and kind of rises and falls from there. There are several crowning moments of awesome in later seasons, along with character development which make me want to gouge out my eyes. (Oh Spike...how the mighty have fallen)
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