ORBzine - 1999.01 Television Review

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

[ Movie! Season 1! Season 2! Season 3! Season 4! Season 5 ! Season 6! Season 7! Angel Season 5 ]

Buffy [Season 5], Angel [Season 2]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 1] Buffy Versus Dracula
Shown 23rd August 2001 [Thursday]

Buffy meets the Count, who can survive being staked. Riley gets jealous of Drac's power over the Slayer. Xander gets turned into a Renfield-like ghoul.

Buffy finds out that she has a younger sister! Yes, the hints from Season 3 and 4 have finally paid off.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 1] Judgement

The episode starts with Cordy and Wes finally getting their lives together. Then ... duty calls.

Angel charges to the rescue, and accidentally kills an innocent person. Well, the terms innocent and person are both relative, but the real shock is that he's only killed one innocent so far!

The episode preaches on about innocent souls, and Angel must Champion a pregnant woman in trial by combat. Also, the post-climax scene has a great cameo scene!

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 2] Real Me
Shown 30th August 2001 [Thursday]

This episode is told from the POV of Buffy's sister, Dawn [ Michelle Trachtenberg ]. We get an interesting new perspective on the characters we've known for years.

There's a new gang of vampires in town, out to slay the slayer. Their leader is familiar, played by the babelicious Mercedes McNab . Yes, in keeping with the humourous content of the episode the villain is Harmony!

Also, Giles decides on self-employment ...

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 2] Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?

Angel has his crew research the background of a disused hotel that was popular in 1950s Hollywood. In a reference to Psycho, it has 68 rooms, 68 vacancies. A further reference is when Angel shelters a woman who stole money from the bank she worked in.

While Cordy and Wes uncover facts from the files, we get an extended Angel flashback to the hotel in the 1950s. Yes, Angel did more than eat rats in an alleyway in New York. Somehow he got to LA with enough money to afford a long-term stay in a 5-star hotel. Unfortunately he picks a hotel that is possessed by a Paranoia Demon.

Cordy finds a photo of Angel there - strange, since cameras have mirrors inside them.

The episode is set during the paranoia of the McCarthy hearings, as the title suggests. There are lots of metaphors for the USA's racist past. African-Americans are banned from staying as guests, but all the maids are Black. The girl who Angel shelters was victim of prejudice, and lost her job when her employers discovered one of her parents was African-American. The mob turn on Angel and lynch him. When the Demon appears he has a Deep South accent ...

This is a very downbeat episode, like the previous one. We find the reason for Angel's discomfort - and the burden of guilt that has lasted 50 years.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 3] The Replacement
Shown 6th September 2001 [Thursday]

Xander, who proclaimed he would no longer be everybody's butt-monkey, gets the shit end of the stick as ever. First he has trouble finding an affordable new appartment. Then, a run-in with a powerful magic-demon creates a doppleganger ...

The new Xander, played by the actor's RL twin brother, is more successful than Xander himself. Yes, we see Xander with ... self-confidence!

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 3] First Impressions

Angel has a dream about his old flame, Darla [ Julie Benz ]. Other familiar faces this episode are Gunn and the millionaire guy, Abbot.

Cordy asigns herself to be Gunn's bodyguard. Angel and Wes come to the rescue on Wesley's motorbike.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 4] Out Of My Mind

Spike is still killing demons to pass the time, but he has to watch Dogson's Crock during daylight hours. Harmony [ Mercedes McNab ] drops by, on the run since her plan to kill Buffy failed.

Buffy's mother faints, and Riley is discovered to have an ultra-fast pulse. He needs an emergency operation to reverse what the Initiative did to him. So does Spike ...

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 4] Untouched

Angel tries to save a telekinetic small-town girl. Her roomie is Lila, the Wolfram & Hart bitch.

This episode was directed by Joss Whedon himself, and is an oddly lacklustre choice.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 5] No Place Like Home

We finally meet the Season villain, Glory [ Clare Kramer ]. In a later episode Buffy describes her as kinda like Cordelia, which was this reviewer's impression too.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 5] Dear Boy

Darla [ Julie Benz reappears, in the flesh, and Angel has to deal with his feelings for her.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 6] Family
Shown 4th October 2001 [Thursday]

Tara's family come to town. They're a bunch of hill-billy scum, and they want her back.

Glory sets a bunch of bone marrow-sucking demons to kill the Slayer.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 6] Guise Will Be Guise

Angel goes off to see a Swami for the weekend. Wesley has to pass himself off as Angel. This allows for Wesley to get some character development, and also lets the show get a bit more light-hearted than usual.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 7] Fool For Love
Shown 11th October 2001 [Thursday]

Buffy gets wounded by a vamp. In an attempt to discover her own weaknesses, she talks to someone who killed two Vampire Slayers ... Spike! Meanwhile Riley goes on a revenge spree, in typical sexist fashion.

We get an excellent flashback to when Spike was sired by Druscilla [ Juliet Landau ], and then see Spike kill a couple of Slayers. The 1977 scene with the Blaxploitation Slayer is incredible, though she does appear to be a few years older than most Slayers.

Spike reveals his true feelings for Buffy, and she reveals herself to be a complete and utter bitch. Of course, we always knew that from the way she treated Xander. However, the ending is something to watch out for.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 7] Darla

We see a flashback of Darla [ Julie Benz ] being sired by the Master. There are also scenes that show events also show in the sister-show, Buffy. While not exactly a crossover, this episode gives other flashbacks that give a different POV to Spike's siring and the events after the death of his first slayer.

Lindsay, the one-handed lawyer, is developing an emotional dependancy on Darla.

This episode was written and directed by producer Tim Minear.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 8] Shadow

Riley chats with Spike and Dawn, and his perspective on Buffy and her relationship with him changes.

Buffy's mother goes to hospital. Riley goes patrolling without Buffy. He takes Xander - who, despite being beaten senseless by bad guys in every episode since the Pilot, decides to eat a packet of crisps as noisily as possible. Smart move, huh?

Buffy's mother gets diagnosed. Buffy thinks with her fists, and needs to hurt someone else to make herself feel better. No change there then. Luckily for her the Season's Arch-Enemy, Glory, invokes a demonic entity and sends it out to look for the key.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 8] The Shroud of Rahmon

In order to take his mind off Darla, Angel goes undercover. Someone has set up a robbery, to break into a museum ...

Detective Kate Lochley [ Elizabeth Rohm ] sticks her interfering nose into his business.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 9] Listening to Fear

Buffy's mother is in hospital.

A passing mental patient sees through Dawn and states she is not real. The friendly medic-guy, Ben, states that the lunatic ward is overflowing ...

Willow and Tara see a shower of meteors crash to Earth. They investigate, and discover that an entity emerged. It kills off the mentally disturbed. Unfortunately, Buffy's mother gets targeted too ...

Riley calls in the Initiative - lets face it, they're the guys to turn to at a time like this.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 9] The Trial

Angel must pass a series of tests in order to save Darla.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 10] Into The Woods

Spike's feelings for Buffy lead him to inform her about Riley's deeds. It falls to Xander [who briefly becomes unnaturally confident and mature] to tell Buffy to sort herself out.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 10] Reunion

Wolfram & Hart's plan to drive Angel to Evil pays off, but it is a phyrric victory. He forgets all the lessons he learned in the first 2 episodes of the Season.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 11] Triangle

Willow and Anya are at each others' throats. Giles flies off to England to meet the Watchers' Council, and leaves the two girls in charge. They set loose a giant troll ...

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 11] Redefinition

Angel's sidekicks worry about their fate. They have to solve Cordy's visions without his help.

The vamps set up try-outs to recruit a legion of deadly warriors. Angel's self-proclaimed mission is to stop them.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 12] Checkpoint

Desperate to get help in the conflict with Glory, Giles calls in the Watchers' Council. They hold a review of her Slayer skills,

Buffy also discovers that she has some new enemies - the Knights of Byzantium, a bunch of Crusader-type guys who want to destroy the Key before Glory can use it.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 12] Blood Money

This episode starts with Angel meeting Anne [ Julia Lee ], a young woman who runs a refuge for homeless people. This is subtle use of a recurring character; although you may not recognise her immediately, this character has appeared in two episodes of Buffy.

Anne has links with Lindsay, and it appears that her refuge is somehow associated with Wolfram & Hart. The demon informant, Merl, is still alive. Angel bullies him into giving away free info. Also being stalked by Angel is Lila [ Stephanie Romanov ].

The new player in town is a demon warrior called Boone, who has battled Angel before. He is an honorable opponent, but his grudge allows him to sell his services to Wolfram & Hart.

The episode is notable for a couple of reasons. One is a brief reappearance of Hollings Manners. Also important is the fact that Angel has crossed the line himself, but now criticises Anne!

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 13] Blood Ties

Dawn uncovers some truths about herself. Also, we finally get to understand the relationship between Glory and Ben.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 13] Happy Anniversary

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy the Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 14] Crush

Buffy finally realises that Spike has a crush on her. Hmm. That's odd. Surely she worked that out six episodes ago.

Spurned by Buffy, Spike is lured back by a former girlfriend.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 14] The Thin Dead Line

Gunn gets a visit from Anne [Blood Money]. Angel follows them, and gets involved.

Gunn and Wesley go out looking for vigilante cops. Angel and Kate Lochley go after their boss. The climax is a reverse of Assault on Precinct 13.

Ths script deliberately shows the ambiguity of the conflict: it not clear-cut good and evil, but with well-drawn shades of gray. By stopping the cops, our heroes make the streets safe for criminals again.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 15] I Was Made To Love You

A strange babe comes to town, looking for some guy named Warren. It turns out she's a robot he built to be his girlfriend. We get a lot of Feminazi imperialism here: Buffy and her girl-pals trot out the views that if a male hasn't got a woman's permission to have sex with her on a regular basis, then he doesn't deserve to live. And of course, poor old Spike still isn't good enough for Buffy!

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 16] Reprise

Angel decides to kill a Wolfram & Hart senior partner, then go on a one-man suicide mission to the Home Office. On the way he runs into Hollings Manners, who explains it all to him. The other notable guest-star is the occult store clerk from Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been? ...

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 16] The Body
Shown 10th January 2002 [Thursday]

This episode, possibly the finest ever of the series, was written and directed by Joss. Its seriousness is increased by the fact that there is no music, a nice use of Dogma 95 principles.

One of the regular cast is found DOA. The episode's title comes from the fact that everyone refers to the body, not a person. The paramedics arrive quickly and rush off in a hurry, evidently a fast response unit rather than a proper ambulance.

All the characters go to pieces emotionally. The exception is Spike, who doesn't appear in this episode at all. Also notable is the fact that at one point Buffy tells her mother and Giles to Stay away from the Band Candy. However, this is never explored later on.

The end is the compulsory fight scene. Although it appears tacked on [it is an action, fight-based show after all], it is a way of saying that life goes on ...

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 16] Epiphany

Angel's had a change of heart. He met with Darla, and things took a completely unexpected turn.

Lyndsey has issues with Angel as well. Finally the Angel-Darla-Lyndsey triangle gets resolved.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 17] Forever
Shown 17th January 2002 [Thursday]

This episode is the funeral of last episode's victim. One of the survivors tries to cast a resurrection spell, with the aid of an old necromancer type named Doc [Joel Grey - Remo: Unarmed & Dangerous].

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 17] Disharmony

Cordy's best buddy from school, Harmony [ Mercedes McNab ], turns up. The team are on the trail of a vampire Pyramid scheme.

This is an excellent episode, especially the Cordy/Harmony scenes. Willow [ Alyson Hannigan ] pops up briefly.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 18] Intervention
Shown 24th January 2002 [Thursday]

Buffy feels that being the slayer is destroying her humanity. Giles takes Buffy into the desert, so she can meditate in a sacred place. She meets the spirit of the first slayer, but doesn't get answers. Only more questions.

Meanwhile, Spike takes delivery of his special item. Glory sends her minions to spy on Buffy, because she knows that the Key is one of the slayer's friends. However, they think that it's Spike ...

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 18] Dead End

Lyndsey the semi-evil lawyer [!] has issues with being a one-handed cripple. For example, we now learn that he used to play guitar. However, his helpful employers decide to give him a new one. Hand, that is. Lucky for him, since it's time for a personnel review. Who will replace Hollings permanently - Lyndsey or Lila?

Lindsay and Angel have to team up in order to solve the case of the evil hand.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 19] Tough Love

Buffy decides to drop out of college for the semester. She also discovers that Dawn has been cutting classes as school. Thus Buffy has to dedicate herself to family and friends. But why not let her duplicate attend the college lectures in her place?

Anya decides to become a patriotic American, and dedicates herself to American philosophy ... Capitalism!

Glory goes after another of Buffy's friends. We get to see Willow go apeshit, which led onto rumours that she would be the major villain in Season Six. Also, Giles shows that he's still the Ripper of his youth.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 19] Belonging

The group are all feeling out-of-place. Wesley's father is still angry at him for being fired by the Watchers' Council. Cordy gets a role in a commercial, but it's not as enjoyable as she expected. She's the T&A in a string bikini, which is supposed to be a bad thing. Since Charisma Carpenter got her first break in Baywatch, this is quite hypocritical. And when the director says she looks too old ... duh! She's thirty, trying to pass for twenty!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 20] Spiral

Glory finally goes after the Slayer. Yes, after half a season of twiddling her thumbs and failing to make good on her threats, the local Hell-God means business!

Buffy and the Scoobies decide to get the hell out of Dodge. Their chosen escape vehicle - a battered old Winnebago driven by Spike. Hmmm.

However, on their tail is the Army of the Knights of Byzantium, with horses and everything! We get a gigantic battle, although it's quite obvious that the low-angle shots are all of SMG's stunt-double. Also, the old canard that Slayers don't kill humans is shown to be false.

Finally, the true nature of Glory and her relationship with the key are revealed.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 20] Over The Rainbow

The survivors from the end of the last episode now have to rescue their missing cohort.

A lot of people feel that this is a real anti-climax to the Season, since it has relatively little to offer. The Season spent about twenty episodes building up, and there's no pay-off. The actors who play Lindsay and Darla were unavailable, so the whole Wolfram & Hart arc faded out.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 21] The Weight Of The World

Buffy is catatonic, driven temporarily insane by everything that has happened. Willow has to go into her mind and snap her out of it.

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 21] Through The Looking Glass

Cordelia is expected to mate with a creature from the scum-pits of Err. Well, kind of. She's the T&A in a jewelled skimpy outfit, which she feels is much better than being an actress in a string bikini!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer [Season 5, Episode 22] The Gift

The final battle is at hand. Everyone knows that they can't hope to defeat what they're up against, but only Anya thinks logically. They work in a magic shop, and she suggests they use the artefacts they obtained throughout the Season. Things like the glow-ball and the enchanted hammer of Olaf the Troll-God [and since when was he a god?].

Angel Angel [Season 2, Episode 22] There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb

Our heroes must lead the rebels to storm the villains' castle and save the Princess from distress. Original, huh?

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