Thursday 4 March 2010

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 1, Episode 5

Never Kill A Boy On The First Date

In this episode we discover the Master working towards a new prophecy concerning The Anointed One, in another bid to regain his freedom. Buffy ends up frustrated by Giles, since his desire to prevent said prophecy from coming true causes her dating issues with Owen, a brooding and mysterious guy from school she has a monumental crush on. This episode fits neatly into the Arc of Season 1, by focusing on themes of responsibility and duty.

Some of my thoughts:

- The introduction of the Anointed One (or, as he is dubbed later, the Annoying One): the most boring and underused villain in the history of TV shows. I REALLY didn't like him.

- I loved Giles' faintly accusatory tone when Owen blunders into the library to, y'know, take out a book (not something usually seen!): "What do you want?"

- Owen is such a weird contradiction of a character and I so don't get why Buffy gushes over him so badly. He sounds like a wet blanket when he talks about Emily Dickinson (although kudos for mentioning this poet in a prime time TV show for teens); he then confesses to liking death and being morbid; and then confesses to getting off on the danger of being punched out by a vamp! Get better taste in guys, Buffy!

- The misdirection about the Anointed One was done in an okay fashion, but that scene with the bus and the muttering evil murderer dragged on for far too long, as did the scene in the funeral home with Buffy and Giles looking through the mortuary trays.

- There were some seriously bad outfits going on in this episode! First we have Buffy's crazy fur coat she wears while waiting in the cemetery with Giles, then she compounds the error by wearing a grotty tie-dye top to school. Xander gets in on the act with his heinous spotty shirt - and then Cordelia (who can usually be relied on to get outfits right) rocks a crimped hair look! Icks all round from me!

- Seriously, this guy Owen? How dumb and gullible can you be? How could ANYONE fall for Buffy and Giles' little routine about the librarian coming round to a student's house after hours to chase late library books?

- This episode does have the cutest scene in the Bronze, though: Angel getting all jealous about Buffy being on a date with Owen, followed by Willow and Xander pretending to be a couple. The awkwardness and one liners are great!

Any frustrations?

Apart from all those to do with Owen, and the fact that the Anointed One just doesn't achieve anything, I have to mention the fact that in the first scene the vamp's clothes dust along with him, yet his ring falls on the floor to give a handy clue about the prophecy! Yeah, yeah, I know - don't analyse too closely.

Quote of the Week:

Giles: All right, I-I'll just jump in my time machine, go back to the twelfth century and ask the vampires to postpone their ancient prophecy for a few days while you take in dinner and a show.
Buffy: Okay, at this point you're abusing sarcasm.


  1. The Annointed one didn't seem to have much of a point, really. He shows up early on, provides an excuse for the Master to ramble on for a few scenes, and then has his true moment of glory when he... leads Buffy down into the sewers. Yeah, the totally needed a separate character for that through half a season. Prophecies are neat little things, but when you get things like that, they start to seem pointless. Wouldn't it have been much easier to have a group of vampires drag one of Buffy's friends (likely Giles, so he can be knocked out once more) down to the sewers as bait? The bait trap worked well with Jesse, after all.

    I am glad that Spike finally killed him. He didn't have much of a point past the end of Season 1, after all.

    (Can't tell I've watched Buffy about half a million times and analyzed the heck out of it, can you?)

  2. Ah, thanks for the comment! These episode thoughts are a great indulgence of mine on a writerly blog, so it's nice to know that some people read them *grin*

    Seriously agree with you on The Annoying One! He was just filler, probably because Whedon was still developing the ideas at that point and still wasn't sure the series would be picked up for a second season.

    I can probably match your Buffy viewings :-p

  3. I recall reading somewhere that the show was originally intended just as a mid-season replacement for something else, and nobody really expected it to catch on the way it did. But 7 seasons and a spin-off show later, people are still talking about it!

    Yeah, I can't count the number of times my roommate and I have watched the entirety of Buffy in a few weeks, then stuck on our DVDs of the X-Files for the umpteenth time to follow! We're all such nerds; it's great!