Oh, god was I upset when I first saw this episode! Probably for the same reason that Buffy was: this was not the Giles I’d gotten comfortable with. This was not tweed underwear Giles, who wishes math had more math in it. This was drinking-alone-not-being-stern-and-British Giles. And it scared the ever-living fuck outta me.
This episode is a continuation of the Lie to Me, in a way, because as I said in that review, everybody lies, and Giles is no exception.
I bet you thought I was talking about the lie he tells Buffy at the end of the episode at her request, but ha! I am more crafty than that, and you shall bow to my supremeness. Actually, I guess the craftiness belongs to Joss Whedon, Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel for coming up with this story in the first place, but you should still bow to my supremeness because
In a general, fits-with-the-growing-up-theme way, we can see this episode as that moment when you find out your parents are just as fallible and human as the rest of us, but I really prefer to consider this episode from a Giles-centric perspective. For one thing, it is Giles-centric, and for another, it shows that we never stop growing up. Not even when we think we’re done.
As kids, it’s pretty easy to assume that adults have all their shit together, and sometimes as we get older we really start believing that assumption. And that’s just when life gives a hearty pirate laugh and says “NAY!” while kicking your ass:
And Giles learns something: We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us.
For Giles to continue to grow, he has to reconcile the mistakes he’s made in the past before they destroy those he cares about in the present. And this episode handles this brilliantly. Not only can it be seen in an abstract way, but hell, Eyghon could be a metaphor for addiction and its effects. And there is that whole “sins of the father” factor, too, with Buffy very nearly becoming a victim.
This episode actually ends kind of bittersweetly (I’m making it a word, dammit!) because Giles is a little worse off than he started; Jenny isn’t sure she trusts him, and it looks like that relationship is a no-go for now, but he still has to soldier on. He doesn’t have much choice—much like Buffy herself. And now they have something else in common, and a stronger bond.
My heart… you guys don’t even know.
- “You’re welcome.” Right there with you, Janitor Guy…
- Yeah, sorry, that workout music is noise.
- “And the rest is silence.” With that line, Giles simultaneously quotes Shakespeare and alludes to the BtVS movie!
- “Amy Yip at the waterslide park.”
- “Do you want me to answer that, or shall I just glare?” Oh, sassy Giles…
- Okay, this episode is awesome for quoting: “Isn’t the point of computers to replace books?”
- Is it me, or does the car the vamps roll in look like Angel’s car?
- Also, “delivery day”? So much ew.
- Although… aren’t vamps that steal bagged blood just an eensy bit better than the nasty, kill-bitey ones?
- “Okay, the first thing we’re gonna do is—Buffy.” “…Did I fall asleep already?” Seriously, Xander?
- Uh… How does Cordy know it was a homicide?
- Ethan Rayne. I love you, Ethan Rayne: “It’s one of my virtues… not really.”
- Giles studied History! Is everyone Buffy meets a History major?!
- How much is Buffy’s allowance that it covers tattoo removal?!
- “I’m so used to you being a grown-up, and then I find out you’re a person.” <3 <3 <3