So, yeah, this episode isn’t on a lot of “favorites” list, and I can totally see why.
I mean, there is the overall ookiness of the body snatching scorpion things, and then there are cowboy vampires and it’s just really hard to enjoy the subtext because the text is kinda boring? Or maybe I mean lazy? I don’t know. It’s one of those.
Still, the episode is a pretty good setup for the ones that come immediately after it because it deals primarily with responsibility in general, and sexual responsibility in particular.
Side note: I don’t know how an egg is supposed to in any way help you understand the responsibilities being a parent would bring, but it’s the metaphor I’m given. Seriously, if taking care of a baby is as easy as taking care of an egg (put it in the fridge; don’t put anything on top of it; take it out when needed), then my mother seriously overstated her role in my development.
Since I know that is not true, I’m just gonna chalk this up to “we were too lazy/broke to spring for the creepy robot babies.”
Unfortunately for Buffy, she doesn’t do very well on the responsibility front in this episode. She doesn’t do what her mother asks because her Slayer duties get in the way, she ends up shirking her Slayer duties in order to make out with Angel, and she ends up killing her egg because it was full of creepy scorpion-y evil.
… Bad mum?
Still, while Buffy necessarily fails at satisfying her mother (Joyce can parent! Who knew?), she does manage to save the day again.
She’s also prodded into thinking about the future. Not just by the incomprehensible egg experiment, but by Angel himself.
Angel and Buffy’s relationship is so very much a young relationship. It’s almost like it’s driven purely by Buffy’s fantasies (and, if Angel keeps taking his shirt off, my own… Hubba).
As such, real world concerns aren’t really a part of it. It’s mostly just “make out and damn the consequences.”
However, there are problems with this line of thinking—not least of which is… How the heck is this relationship supposed to last?!
This isn’t even my aversion to happy endings (unless they’re Disney) talking, this is just practical thinking; Buffy hasn’t even told her mother she’s with Angel, problem one. Angel can’t afford her a “normal” future, problem two. Angel has a disturbing habit of infantilizing Buffy, problem three. Oh, and they’re natural enemies, problem four.
Buffy’s most pressing problem is doing things without thinking of the consequences, which in this world? Pretty much means you’re asking for trouble. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
Plus, it’s something that kids do, and well… This is a series about growing up. I’ll give you a second to do the math. Remember to carry the two.
- Was there a reason for cowboy vampires ever at all? Anyone? Bueller?
- “Let me guess. You were distracted by a boy.” “Technically.”
- “Honestly, don’t you ever think about anything besides boys and clothes?” “Saving the world from vampires?”
- You know, Joyce, I’d be more squarely in your corner about the whole “Buffy needs discipline” thing, except you never notice the strange things in her drawers, the random drops of blood that must be in her clothing now and then, her bruises, or strange robot men sneaking into your daughter’s room.
- Ha, Buffy’s afraid to be a single mother. I wonder if those issues will show up later in the series…
- “What’s the matter, your egg keep you up all night?”
- Is it an accident that Buffy and Willow are more protective of their eggs than Xander? It’s probably not, huh?
- Buffy and Angel make out against a headstone that says “In Loving Memory.” It’s probably just a coincidence, right?
- Hey, can we have more skittery creepy villains? I can never get enough of those, and it’s not like I need to sleep again ever. Thanks in advance.
- “It’s an egg, Buffy. It doesn’t emote.”
- This is a bezoar. You’re welcome.
- “This is all your fault!” “How?!”
- How does a gas leak explain anything?! Jesus, Sunnydale, a little logical thinking, please.