Spike and Drusilla are here you guys! Spike and Drusilla.
Best characters, best couple, best introduction. Spike walks on in, brash and bold and confident, blatantly contradicting our season’s main villain. Everything about his demeanor is rough and arrogant, and then he hears Drusilla. His face literally transforms because of her. It’s still one of my favorite moments of the show.
The fact that he morphs back into his human face just hits me on a visceral level. It brings up a completely unexplored facet of the show’s mythology. Here are two soulless creatures that shouldn’t care about anything other than death and destruction, but care about each other. Vampires in love, demons with humanity. Giving me all of the feelings. Then, it’s like they forget that they’re in front of other people. The haaaands and the faaaaces. Gratuitous displays of intimacy and physicality-based perfection. James Marsters and Juliet Landau fucking bring it.
That shot of Spike seeing Buffy for the first time is fantastic. Like visually it just appeals to me?
“Slayer!” “Slayee!” Forever the best Buffy quip.
Sheila, sweetheart, if you meet a man in a dark alley, and he tells you that the guys you were just with “disappeared,” RUN AWAY in the opposite direction as quickly as possible.
Juliet Landau has the best face. Even when she’s all vamp-face. It looks significantly more natural on her, which sounds ridiculous, but I mean it. The transition between the two faces is so fluid and smooth unlike the vampires we’ve met so far. LUV U AND UR FACE, JULIET.
And we get Angel backstory. I WANT MOAR. Evolving from a smoldering, broody piece of scenery into an actual character before our very eyes.
While sending the Anointed One up in smoke is meant to signify “a little less ritual and a little more fun” for the vampires in Sunnydale, that line is perfect because it also opens up the vampire mythos on the show, which until this point has been shrouded in ancient prophecies and stifled by formal ceremony and hierarchy and the stuff of open-collar velvet shirts. What used to lurk around in graveyards will now be loud and brash and in your face.
Most of this episode was given over to introducing Spike and everything, but there was a nice continuation of Buffy’s problems at school. I can’t say I can really relate to that sort of thing, but it is quite sad to see her work so hard and still have her bad reputation follow her around. There was also that other girl Sheila basically just there to be a foil to Buffy – she’s someone who truly doesn’t care what happens and never bothers with school at all. I feel like she would have quite enjoyed being the slayer, which is an interesting thought. Buffy struggles so hard to keep up a normal life with friends and family, and that (according to Spike at least) is what makes her such a unique and ultimately powerful Slayer. Principal Snyder is just as obnoxious as ever, but his conversation with the Police Chief guy at the end suggests he might not be as oblivious as we thought. Holy shit, people are actually noticing this stuff!
I love this episode so much!!! It is such a great introduction to two new characters, and it flips everything you thought you knew about this season upside down. Plus it has so many great moments of dialogue from the incredibly genre savvy this:
Xander Harris: As long as nothing really bad happens between now and then, you’ll be fine.
Buffy Summers: Are you crazy? What did you say that for? Now something bad is gonna happen.
Xander Harris: What do you mean? Nothing’s gonna happen.
Willow Rosenberg: Not until some dummy says, “As long as nothing bad happens.”
Buffy Summers: It’s the ultimate jinx.
Willow Rosenberg: What were you thinking? Or were you even thinking at all?
To practically everything Spike says:
“Yeah, I did a couple o’ Slayers in my time. I don’t like to brag….Who am I kidding? I love to brag!”
“So, who do you kill for fun around here?”
“I was actually at Woodstock. That was a weird gig. I fed off a flower person and I spent the next six hours watchin’ my hand move.”
Spike: I was rash, and if I had to do it all over again…
Spike: Who am I kidding? I would do it exactly the same, only I’d do this…
[grabs the Anointed One]
The Anointed One: No!
[Spike sticks The Anointed One in the nearby cage and starts pulling a chain, lifting the cage up from the floor]
Spike: From now on, we’re gonna have a little less ritual… and a little more fun around here.
[the cage is lifted into the sunlight. The Anointed One screams as he dies]
Spike: Let’s see what’s on TV.
Plus, James Marsters is just way too pretty.
Also, Principal Snyder is hilarious:
“On the one hand, Buffy hasn’t stabbed a horticulture teacher with a trowel.”