Your favorite "early" Buffy episode, after seeing it again?

Happened to be watching “The Zeppo” on tv the other night- just flipped to it, and was amazed at how good it was. I did not really remember the episode well, but enjoyed the plot, pacing and direction quite a bit.

So, lets say excluding the last two seasons, what episode has tickled your fancy upon re-viewing it on the various DVDs, or on cable?

“Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.”

It is hands down the best written stand alone episode of the series.

I was first exposed to Buffy while living with a buffy freak who had the first three seasons on DVD. Being bored one day I decided to watch a few. I got hooked. The day I got to “B,B,and B” I immediately watched it again. It really inspired me to practice my writing more.

I caught it in syndication a few months ago and fell in love all over again.

Buffy news:

TOUGH CEL: More bad news for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: That much-talked about animated spinoff series is off the drawing board. “We just couldn’t find a home for it — which will baffle me to the grave,” Buffy sire, Joss Whedon, sighs to TV Guide Online. For more Buffy scoop, click here.

and for news on Ambers Benson’s possible return click here (sort of spoiler-ish, maybe):

[spoiler] Another setback for poor, lovelorn Willow (Alyson Hannigan) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The recovering witchoholic’s deceased love Tara (Amber Benson) will not be resurrected this season after all. According to series creator Joss Whedon, Benson — who was slated to be brought back to life as a different character — failed to reach a deal with producer 20th Century Fox.

“It was a question of negotiations, as it sometimes is,” he tells TV Guide Online. “It’s sad, because I love Amber. But that’s between her and Fox.” Adds Benson’s rep: “She’s very proud of her work on the show, but ultimately, we couldn’t work out the right deal.”

Well, Benson’s comeback, like her alter ego, was shot down, but that doesn’t mean Willow won’t fall under the spell of another enchantress. Whedon reveals that the sapphic Scooby “is going to meet someone” new. “I can’t say whether or not it’s going to work out, but she’s definitely not joining a nunnery.” Another definite: The onetime hetero won’t be going back to boys. “This I will tell you without any equivocation,” he says, “Willow’s gay.”

Well, there was that whole Oz (Seth Green) phase… “It takes a while for some people to realize it,” reasons Whedon. "Truthfully, when we first started the [Willow-Tara love story], we were like, ‘Is [Willow] bi? Is she gay? What do we want to say? What do we want to do?’

“We decided it would be unfair of us, particularly considering the circumstances of Tara’s controversial death, to say, ‘Oh, now Willow’s over it.’ Or, ‘Willow’s bi so we can have more storylines,’” he continues. “So, we do have somebody in mind that Willow will meet in the future who might shake up her world just a little bit — and it’ll be a girl.” — Michael Ausiello


Passion remains my favorite. That episode just moves me something fierce.

Watching season 2 again on my DVD player, it is quite interesting listening to Buffy and Co talk about how the slayer isn’t the highest authority (when it comes to her meting out force). After her speech in the most recent Anya episode, it was quite a turn.

I still think Buffy will be the Big Bad. Pure gut instinct here.

I caught the second half of the episode in season 4(?) where we meet the initiative. Anyway, the scene where Willow and Spike are on Willow’s bed is the best scene I’ve scene in Buffy!

And did anyone notice in the first episode of season 1(? sorry, I get confused which season is which) where we meet Angel and he says ‘I would really love to live in LA’? IIRC, Buffy also says she would like to do something, but I can’t quite remember what it is atm.


I think your gut instinct is right. But -

It depends on where the show is going. If SMG is quitting, that would make a good way of ending. However, if she decides to stay on, me thinks JW and ME can go in another direction. Have TFE be the Big Bad and have the Buffster be the Little Bad, who can be cured for S.8.

Two related things:

  1. The show is amazing because all the good characters have some very dark in them. And all the Bad guys have some good. Just as in real life.
  2. Last weeks episode is up to three pages here at SDMB now. For a single ep. What other TV series can claim that in its 7th year? Clearly BtVS is one of the most interesting things to come out of TV for a long time.

And older episode? The Body is very, very good. As is Restless and Anne.

Buffy wont be the big or little bad for many reasons. First is that Willow just went through this last season- the one with the horrible reviews. JW learns from his mistakes.

Second, they have done the naughtly Slayer thing already, in Faith (who is coming back to fill that role again) and in individual episodes regarding Buffy (When she was bad).

Most of the Buffy trama is likely to be Spike based this episode.

JW talked of going back to the beginning- to me that spells an original type Big Bad and more fun with the Hellmouth-- remember- “From Beneath You It Devours”. That’s your big bad.

What’s with the lack of running girl death intro’s BTW?

Also-- saw Dopplegangland last night – woot!

“I think I am kinda gay” :smiley:

Awwww, gee, do I have to pick just one?


“Something Blue”

If for no other reason than the bit at the end, when a guilt-ridden Willow, distributing the batch of atonement cookies she has just baked, refuses to give one to Spike, until she learns that Buffy wanted “Wind Beneath My Wings” as the first dance at their wedding… the whole Scoobie Gang gives Buffy the best “group look” ever, and Willow sticks a oookie in Spike’s mouth. Actually, I think “Something Blue” is the funniest whole episode in the series. I mean, the dorm room scene from “The Initiative” is probably the funniest exchange of dialog ever shown on television, but as a whole, it wasn’t really a great episode.

I’ve often wondered why many fans and critics consider S4 to be the weakest season the series. I mean, OK, the Initiative story arc wasn’t the greatest, and Adam pales as a Big Bad compared to just about any BB the show has had, except maybe for Warren, who may not even qualify (a few people have said Life Itself was the S6 Big Bad). But as far as favorite episode density, more eps from S4 make my list than any other season,and generally rank higher, and it’s not just because it’s the season when Spike returned as a regular character. I mean, there’s “The Freshman” and “Living Conditions”, in which Spike doesn’t appear at all, and “Hush”, in which Spike barely figures, except as a foil so Xander can prove he really does love Anya.

BTW, this is my third attempt at posting a reply in this thread. Somebody really should feed those damned hamsters.

…Buffy has a distinct formula.
We are presented with something early on in the season that we THINK is going to be the big bad but it actually is a little bad or removed from contention all together.
Season 1 is the only exception because it is a half season but it still would have followed the formula.

If it had been a full season
S.1 Little Bad - The Master
Big Bad - The Anointed One

S.2 Little Bad- Spike and Dru
Big Bad - Angelus

(this is a little tricky)
S.3 Little Bad - (some say) Faith (others say) Mr. Trick
Big Bad The Mayor

S.4 Little Bad - Maggie Walsh and the Initiative
Big Bad - Adam

S.5 Little Bad - Dawn
Big Bad - Glory

S.6 Little Bad - Troika
Big Bad - Willow

My bet for this season is:
Little Bad - First Evil or whatever is in the basement
Big Bad - ???

My favorite would be “Superstar,” the episode where Jonthan’s a super hero. The credits sequence alone is excellent, but what really impressed me was how they kept the main idea going but still managed to fit it into the continuity of the rest of the season.

Second choice is “Doppelgangland,” the one where the evil Willow vampire comes back to Sunnydale and goes around acting “kinda gay.”

My objection to that season, which many other people I know agree with, is that S4 is basically " Everything you never wanted to know about Buffy’s sex life, and were afraid to ask." How is this different than season six? Considerably fewer people hate Spike compared to Riley. I don’t know if you were watching when S4 orginally aired, but on other message boards (perhaps this one as well, but I wasn’t posting here then) people expressed a lot of hatred for the character- many were disappointed that he didn’t exit the show by being killed and were horrified by rumors that he’d be back mid-season 5. I suppose Riley might have had some redeeming characteristics, but none I can think of.

Yet that season did have two of my favorite episodes ever: “Pangs” and “Something in Blue”. Two diamonds gittering within the confines of a paper bag set on fire and left on viewers’ door steps…

Anyway, back to the OP of the early episodes, and I mean early, my other favorites are “Halloween” and “Nightmares.”

Season 4 has lots of good episodes (“Hush” for instance, it is among the top 10 hours of television ever) but the unifying plot elements were poor. Riley was an animate action figure. He was pretty good as the friendly TA and in the earlier appearances but as Buffy’s boyfriend he was just boring.

I can’t say what episode is my favorite. I think “Buffy vs Dracula” is my favorite funny episode. It mixes a lot of humor, with Xander as the perfect spoof Reinfield, and setting up the season. “Hush” is my favorite horror one. The gentleman are damn creepy and it the writing/execution was flawless. My favorite drama one is “Passion”. It is well constructed, well acted and what Angelus does to Giles is just mind boggling twisted. Finally my favorite general one that tosses all they’ve got together is the one with Gaknar. Its the 4th Season Halloween episode, its name has vanished from my mind. It had a good mix of all the styles Buffy draws on and the punch line is great.

Wow, so many great ones to choose from.

I’d have to say that as a stand-alone ep, “The Wish” from Season 3 has to be my favorite, the one where Anyanka (in her first ever appearance, IINM) grants Cordelia’s wish that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. It’s such an intriguing spin on the whole alternate reality thing, seeing what the series’ setting would be like had the main character never come into the picture.

And that slow-mo montage near the end, where the Buffster bumps off her friends’ evil counterparts, is just masterfully done. That’s one great episode. Hoo boy howdy.

Oh, and hi, btw. New here. :slight_smile:

I can’t pick at all. “Buffy vs. Dracula” is very good, but I don’t think it’s a comedy episode as does The Tim.

Also, something I am very pleased about season 4 is Giles. Had anyone noticed that his dialogue just gets so much funnier and smarter once he’s out of the job market?

Overall, there are just too many good episodes for me to pick a fave. Sorry. :slight_smile:

Hi Fnoonf welcome aboard!

I look forward to seeing you in the Buffy threads.


Season 1:

“Welcome to the Hellmouth/ The Harvest” - great kick-off to the series, hits the ground running


“Never Kill A Boy On The First Date”

“The Puppet Show” - this is an episode I would definitely trot out for the skeptics about the show. Plus, this episode witnesses the debut of Principal Snyder. “That’s the kind of liberal thinking that leads to being eaten.”

“Nightmares” - another good one, and sets up some recurring themes for future episodes.
Season 2:

Wow, a LOT to choose from here. IMHO, the best season. But, in the spirit of polling, I’d say

“School Hard” - the debut of rocking new villains
“Lie To Me”
“Surprise/ Innocence” - especially the latter
“Passion” - pain, but well-made
“Becoming I and II”

But most of the others had their moments too, except perhaps for “Inca Mummy Girl.”

Season 3

A lot to choose from here, too, but I’d definitely go with:

“Faith, Hope and Trick”
“Band Candy”
“Lover’s Walk” - pain and all
“Graduation Day II”

Season 4 - which I also think got a bad rap

“The Freshman”
“Beer Bad”

With honorable mention to “Harsh Light of Day”, “The Initiative”, “Superstar” and “Where the Wild Things Are” (the latter solely because of that great scene with Giles in the coffeehouse)

Season 5

“Fool For Love”
“Triangle” - mostly for Olaf the troll.
“The Body” - pain again
“The Gift”

Season 6

“Bargaining 1 & 2”
“Once More With Feeling”
“Tabula Rasa”
and then a looooong gap until
“Villains/ Two to Go/ Grave”

The reason I think “Buffy vs Dracula” is a comedy episode is that it parodies the entire Dracula myth and hype. It isn’t pure comedy as no Buffy episode is wholy in one camp but I think it leans most towards comedy and I found the whole thing funny. I think that was the intent but I have a skewed sense of humor.

“Buffy v. Dracula” was definetly a comedy episode. C’mon:

“You know what I never noticed in Sunnydale?”
“A castle?”
“A big honking castle.”

“He’s the dark master! Bator.”

“No sir, no more chick pit for you.”

“I’m standing right here!”

This wasn’t just comedy, this was Young Frankenstein territory. Although a lot of the season’s more serious themes were set up in this episode (Buffy getting in touch with her primal Slayerness, Riley’s future infidelity, Dawn’s introduction), every scene in the episode was ultimatly played for laughs.

Anyway, I also think season four had more really, really good individual episodes than any other season, they just didn’t cohere into a whole as well. Still, with Hush, Something Blue, the Thanksgiving episode (perhaps my favorite Buffy episode ever), the Willow/Oz split, and the epic monster/soldier/scooby battle in the Iniative at the end, I think it’s still one of the shows strongest years.

Looking back at the first three season, I’m struck by what a horrible parent Joyce is. There’s a scene in either the season two finale or early in season three where Joyce talks about washing blood stains out of Buffy’s clothes. HELLO! If I’m regularly washing mysterious blood stains out of my kids clothes, I’m going to start asking some serious questions. And put a lock on that bedroom window! F’Christsake, the girl is sneaking out every other night, and Joyce never once catches her? She burned down her last school! Doesn’t that call out for at least a little more parental supervision, or am I just talking crazy talk here?

IIRC it was Buffy trying to explain to her mother that she was a slayer: “How many times have you washed blood out of my clothes…”

Nitpick, I know. But still.

Also. So many go on and on about S.2. I get the impression that it’s the Buffy/Angels shippers raving and yes, the last 3 or 4 ep’s are very good. But before that, and comparing to S3-6 I think it’s just above S1, but not by much. It really started moving with “Anne”.
And the mayor is still the best villlain ever. Any movie/TV series.
“I have two words for you: ‘Miniature’… ‘Golf’…”

If I had to pick one episode per season to show people, they’d probably be as follows:

Season 1- Invisible Girl or The Puppet Show. The only reason I have a special place for Invisible Girl in my heart is that it was the first episode of Buffy I’d ever seen, and it was love at first sight.

Season 2-Lie to Me, without question. It’s my favorite episode of the season and it pretty well stands alone, unlike, say, Innocence, which is probably one of the best episodes of the series, let alone the season. Plus, hey, rocket launcher! Damn, another footnote would go to I Only Have Eyes for You, just 'cause of the fun twisted sexuality.

Season 3-Hmmm. Earshot, maybe, 'cause I so fell for the “It must be the newspaper guy! Wait, no, it’s not him, it must be Jonathan!” thing. For sheer comedic value, though, I’d go with Band Candy. Though you’d probably want to watch that one before Earshot, just so’s you can get the joke about Joyce and Giles.

Season 4 is probably the hardest to decide. I’m going to echo the sentiment that while the season was rather week in season-long storylines, there were some fantastic stand-alones. Hush most notably, but also Pangs (the Thanksgiving episode) and Something Blue (together, these two are the funniest. Buffies. Ever.), but other people have mentioned them. The two that need to be mentioned here that haven’t yet been are Restless (“I wear the cheese. The cheese does not wear me.”) and A New Man.

Season 5- I know I’m in the minority opinion here, but I really didn’t like Buffy vs. Dracula. The open-ended plotting (does Dracula just come back again?) and general clunkiness of the episode, especially Riley’s “you like him more than me” whining, really just ruined the episode for me. The moment that really sticks out, though, is Xander’s “crazy conclusions about the Unholy Prince! …Bator.” Hee hee hee… Whoops, I wasn’t supposed to be writing about the episode I didn’t like, so I guess I’d have to say that my favorite episode from Season 5 was Family, but honorable mention goes to Fool for Love and Triangle. What’s that you say? No mention of The Body? You’re right, but that’s just because I hold that episode in a category all to itself. Like Hush and Once More, with Feeling, these episodes of Buffy seem to be more important that just the latest development in the Scoobies’ lives. They pretty much just transcend the television medium…

Season 6-Life Serial’s mummy hand sequence never fails to throw me into giggles. The same goes for Spike’s “Why didn’t you just call me ‘Randy Giles?’ Or ‘Desperate for a Shag Giles?’” in Tabula Rasa. Other than those two, and the aforementioned Once More, with Feeling, Season 6 (while I still liked it better than Season 4) didn’t have a whole lot of standout episodes.

Season 7-Yes, I realize that it’s early, but I already really liked Selfless, so nyah. I’m just hoping Joss writes a really unique episode for this season, as he did the previous three (that’d be Hush, The Body, and Once More, with Feeling, for those of you keeping score).

Anyway, that’s my 2p…