Buffy 02/11/03 - First Date. (spoilers)

This is an episode for resolving many un-resolved things. What happened to Spike’s chip? What about Giles and the decapitation? Can Ashanti act? What’s up with Andrew and The First and his sexual orientation*? What about Anya’s feelings for Xander? What’s Principal Wood really up to?

Fear not - the answers are in this little black box:

The chip was removed? Giles went all Ripper on the Bringer and decapitated him (it?) instead. Since I don’t follow the hip-hop scene, to me, Ashanti was just another goodlooking chick doing an OK job at acting. The First tries to make Andrew his agent of evil. And I caught a hint of Andrew being gay. Anya’s still not clear about the whole Xander thing. Principal Wood is more than just a principal, but I won’t give away just what, right here. And the Buffster still has a thing for Spike.

Oh. And it was really fun to see Jonathan again. The show really lost something when they killed him off.

Ep. written by Jane Espenson, which might be one reason so many loose ends are resolved. A standard ep in the Buffyverse. I wasn’t too excited, and even stopped watching to catch the latest C.S.I. But since I was just a pause button away from continuing, it was no biggie.

Byffyscore: 6/10
TV-score: 9/10

*Andrew’s, that is. I doubt TFE has a sexual orientation.

I think that

They are setting up alove triange between Buffy, Wood, and Spike. shudder

I agree, Pepper.

And we’ve all seen how good that’ve worked on Angel :rolleyes:

I knew it! I’m not saying what I know. But I knew it. Dammit, at least i was right once. If only I posted my speculation, I could get some credit :frowning: I won’t say what it is since no one else has brought it up. :wink:

The new slayerette’s cantonese seemed pretty bad to me. Heavily accented. I speak mandarin, so maybe I’m not qualified, but her cantonese was almost as bad as (white) girlfriends mandarin accent wise.


That Wood is Nikki’s son? Around ep 9, we got spoilers that Wood would be “related to someone else on the show.” Of course, around ep 10, we found out who.

[spoiler] yeah, a friend and i were watching Buffy and the conversation went something along the lines of:

buddy:“Principal Wood is so gay.” (gay stupid/boring, not homosexual)

me: “yeah, they’ll probably do something really stupid like (fill in the blank)”

this was during the ep when they all met in the basement carrying shovels. My reasoning was that there have been how many black characters? And it would be half cool half stupid to have a whole “Blade” thing going with Wood.[/spoiler]

I remeber our fears/specualtions when first meeting principal Wood, that there would be a romantic interest. The debate about black man/white woman might get new fuel now.

I’m not putting the following in a spoiler box. If you haven’t seen the episode, you shouldn’t be reading the thread.

Ok, if anybody has reason to fear Wood as a love interest, I do. but the more I think about it, and when I’m honest and not in bitter mode, I honestly do not believe that Wood will be a love interest for long. I think his story has more to do with the First Evil and the final battle via Spike (Because the FE is still trying to get Spike out of the way) than it does with a ship with Buffy.

Wood’s story is a lot more boring than I hoped. Oh no, Spike’s in danger. Again. Who cares. I do like how they tied in the old plotline… they don’t do that much anymore.

The chinese slayerette is pointless.

I thought it was an interesting method of handling a typical twist, so good on them there.

Was it just me or was the acting more or less pretty bad in this one?

“Gay me up.”

SmackFu: she is totally pointless. And it isn’t funny if it supposed to be. Terrible.

I’m not understanding the negative comments; I thought this was one of the best Buffy episodes of the season. Humorous quirky dialog, the plot moved along a bit, and it managed to capture some of the early seasons’ lightheartedness mixed with intense stuff.

High points: Giles and the Bringer. (Giles is the man.) Giles and the flash cards. “These are not a joke!”. Willow and Buffy’s conversation about the principal. Andrew being a mensch (more or less).

Weak points: Principal’s back story is a bit weak.

Stupid points:   Ashanti was looking at a 1/2 inch nylon rope -- probably can hold half a ton.   A kayak weighs 60 lbs, more or less.   Why would Xander suggest a stronger rope?

Nice episode; the past two were really firing on all thrusters.

Loved the fact they didn’t drag out what I suspected about Wood once he revealed his past.

Black man/white woman? You mean people actually debated about that? I thought the issue had been put to rest in current television (especially with Xander going with a black woman in this episode). It raises few issues nowadays, especially on a show that has been portraying lesbian relationships quite openly.

The Chinese slayerette was good comic relief. We’ll have to see how she develops.

Quite a few good scenes:
Buffy and Willow discussing the date.
Ashanti playing perky evil
The message from Xander on Willow’s phone
Andrew’s inept attempt at getting info from the first

That’s the core problem with the Chinese slayerette: she can’t develop! She can’t learn English fast enough, they can’t learn her language, so we’re left with a subtitled joke.

Bah Willow can manage a translation spell, or at least a teach language spell. Or they can find someone who speaks the language. Either that or she’ll die soon and there won’t be a problem.

It was a fair episode. There were amusing bits but some parts definitely had acting that wasn’t quite as on as usual. Anya was good though, well written lines and good delivery. I think the problems with the episode came from the fact they forced it to wrap a lot of things up and provide some direction for the rest of the season. That’s hard to do especially with all that had to be brought together.

Is it just me or is the vending machine of evil in the high school basement the best device ever for the First? All the First has to do is get someone to spill blood on the seal and the First gets an ubervamp. I mean seriously that’s pretty fucking sweet, if you’re into the evil thing.

The preview for next week filled me with dread. It looked neat until the music started and it was called an event. I really hope UPN is just stupid and decided to do the preview that way on its own as opposed to there actually being a Buffy event involving a crappy song.

And how exactly did Xander send a text message to Willow while he was bound to a torture wheel? When exactly did Willow and Xander cook up these codes for cell phones that they’ve had for about three months but still allowing Willow enough time to forget the codes? If we must have some communication between the two, is it so hard to establish something more plausible, like say magic?

That major groaner out of the way, I otherwise enjoyed the episode. Liked the Chinese SIT’s “lactose intolerant…I’m very uncomfortable” line a lot. Liked Andrew’s interaction with TFE and his clumsy attempt at being sneaky. Liked Wood’s origin (although I wonder if ME expects that the “revelation” of who his mother is is going to be a shock to the faithful…did anyone not know instantly who his mother was?) and the fact that it wasn’t belabored. Liked Xander’s “gay me up” line and Andrew’s fantasy moment. Xander had a line in there that I think started with “I need…” or “I want…” which I couldn’t understand. Did anyone else catch it?

Was anyone else brought up a little short at Buffy’s saying people keep thinking she’s “still” in love with Spike? Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the first time she’s said she was in love with him, yes?

I’m predicting that TFE’s “time” for Spike will be either to set him on Wood at a crucial moment or to immobilize him at a crucial moment when Wood is attempting to avenge his mother. What the consequence will be I don’t know.

Did you catch that the Principals’s name on his door was “Robin Wood”? Have they shown that before?

I thought the episode was OK. After all that build up, I was a bit disappointed with Giles just grabbing the ax and killing the Bringer, I wanted more action and suspense there. It should have been a better story. And Spike shouldn’t be acting so dumb, trying to tackle TFE in non-corpereal form.

I had no problems with the Chinese slayerette, it could be interesting. Give it time.

The Wood/Spike/Buffy triangle is a little trite, but I’ll give it a chance. The writers could make it interesting or not. I suspect Buffy will be forced to choose and she’ll end up defending/protecting/supporting Spike for obvious reasons.

Anyone else notice the principal looking in the rearview mirror to see Spike in the backseat?! Shouldn’t an empty seat with a seatbelt have been suspicious?

An average episode of Buffy - - which means that it was pretty damn good, and better than the average so far for this season. I thought that the jokes were witty and funny, the plot got advanced, the pacing was good, and some long-standing questions finally get answered all and all I enjoyed this episode a lot.

Well, clearly some time elapsed from when Xander was (A) at the restaurant till when he was (B) bound to the wheel ‘o torture. I think it is reasonable to assume that some where on his journey from A to B Xander got suspicious and fired off the text message while off-screen. Either that, or Willow’s alternate translation was the correct one and the attempted sacrificing afterwards was just a coincidence.

Well, I guessed it when he said his mother was a slayer… so the revelation came at the restaurant instead of at the end of the episode – either way I thought it was cool.

Really? I liked it better than the two prevailing theories (ie, Principal Wood is a Watcher or an Agent of the First). Maybe I am biased because I think that Spike’s fight with the second slayer in “Fool for Love” was one of the coolest, most interestingly choreographed fight scenes in the whole series. In any event I am sure that his character will get fleshed out a little more in episodes to come. I am really looking forward to what is going to happen to him…

Telemark: Good point! Joss often forgets the mirror thing.

SmackFu: We knew the principal’s name was Robin Wood before this ep. It’s a very pagan name (there’s a tarot deck named The Robin Wood Deck). I wonder if it’s a nom de guerre-- if he took the last name “wood” b/c of his revenge plan against the vamps of the world.

How do folks think the confrontation b/w Wood and Spike will go? Will Wood confront Spike? Will he tell Wood what he told Buffy-- that Wood’s mom WANTED to die, was ready to go, and gave him an opening? Will he grovel for Wood’s forgiveness and show his remorse? Will anyone point out to Wood that getting killed by a vamp is an occupational hazard that she could hardly avoid?

Or will there even be a verbal confrontation at all? I mean, The First could grab Spike’s strings and throw him at Wood, wherein Wood would surely try to kill him, even if he and Buffy discussed it and he agreed not to. Then Buffy would have to jump in to save Spike, and then BAM-- they’se in each other’s arms again…

Anyway, wishful thinking aside, I don’t see Spike being killed off. Not gonna happen. I just hope the conflict is resolved in an interesting way.

FYI, Robin Wood is the name of the artist who drew that deck. I don’t recall if she’s pagan, but I do know that’s her birth name; any relationship to paganism is coincidental.