Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It’s a little more complicated than that, John Wayne.


I’ll admit it—I like this episode more than its first part. A lot of it’s due to the dynamic between Kendra and Buffy, and how the show’s own mythology is subverted AGAIN in just the second season!

I mean… Do shows usually do this? Like, establish something and then just completely throw it out of the window when you’re least expecting it?

I mean, first there was the whole secret identity thing, which got scrapped in the first episode (!), and then there was the whole “the Slayer dies early” thing which was done and done in Prophecy Girl, and now the Highlander clause of Slayerdom is kaput!

Fuck. I just—I just love this, okay?

I also like that Kendra’s and Buffy’s approach to Slaying is so different. Kendra’s very much Old Guard, and Buffy is… well, Buffy is Buffy Guard.

Kendra is quite clearly what the Council expects—she’s a tool for fighting evil. That is what she exists for and that is what she does. To the exclusion of everything else. Including family. That is the most horrifying thing ever. Why not just build a fucking robot?!

It’s tough to see Buffy jealous of this girl because she has so much in comparison to her. We’ve seen her complain about not having a life so much that when Kendra shows up, it’s like… huh.

Which is why I love so much that not only is Kendra influenced by Buffy at the end of the episode, but that Buffy is made to realize that being a Slayer is just as much a part of her as being a high school student, or being a daughter and friend. It’s what makes her so good at the gig.

I realize that this review is mythology-heavy, and it’s sorta necessary that it is, sorry. However, a comparison to the “real world” problem that is finding out you’re not as unique you thought can be made. Buffy is no longer unique, that’s true, in one respect. She shares a job title with someone. That’s it. It’s not a comment on how well either Slayer does their job, or who’s best suited, or how they affect each other’s futures.

And I like that Buffy deals with it realistically—she briefly wonders how it would be to just quit and be normal 24-7. But then she realizes that no one can really do what she does how she does it. She is still unique. That, and the whole part I mentioned above where Slaying is who she is. Insert any personality trait/identity issue into “Slaying,” and voilà, instant metaphor!


Stray observations:

  • I don’t understand this sun sickness Angel suddenly has…
  • “I swear on my mother’s grave—should something fatal happen to her, god forbid.”
  • “I—I have to ask. Has either of you girls considered modeling? I have a friend with a camera. Strictly high-class nude work. You know, art photographs… But naked.”
  • Hmm, Spike is jealous of Angel. How… intriguing.
  • I love that there’s a handbook, and that it would be “of no use” in Buffy’s case.
  • “I sort of test well, which is cool—except then it leads to jobs.” Right  there with you, Oz.
  • “Who sponsored career day today? The British Soccer Fan Association?”
  • Oh, by the way, it is all kinds of awesome that something we find out in Lie to Me (Angel is Dru’s sire) is a major plot point in this episode.
  • (Same source as before)
  • Yay, Spike lives!


  1. I love your observations, V. Except that I'm behind you and I don't want your awesome blog to influence my awesome blog. But it will. ;)

    1. Catch up! Sometimes you guys think of things I don't and it makes me sad I can't steal--er, be influenced by you!

    2. I routinely steal liberally from everyone. Why make her the exception, Daniel?

  2. I'm just excited you included a gif from Coming to America, the most awesomely dreadful movie ever.

  3. Awww, I remember being blown away by the introduction of another slayer and I love how in the first part, you assume Kendra is one of the hired assassins and then she's all like "Bitch, no! I'm the vampire slayer" It left my little mind blown, that's for sure.

    I also love how awesomely bad Kendra's accent was. "Dat's me fav'rit she-irt! Dat's me only she-irt!" Lol! Loved it.

    1. Oh, Kendra. As a kid I hated her, and then I just grew to love her so much.

      I think maybe younger me thought the accent was supposed to be some kind of crack...