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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a drama about a young girl who inherits the powers to fight the demons that threaten the Earth. She lives in Sunnydale, California which happens to be the Hellmouth and must learn to master her powers while also trying to have some semblance of a normal life. The WB 1997 - 2001. UPN 2002-03.

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Episode 9 - What's My Line? (1)

7 February 2013

Synopsis: It's Career Week at Sunnydale High and Buffy is sad to think that she will never have one. She also catches Spike's minions stealing something from a mausoleum. Giles is worried and works out that Spike is trying to find a cure for Drusilla. In order to keep Buffy out of the way Spike puts a bounty on her head and calls in the deadly assassin Order of Taraka. Giles and Angel are freaked out by this. A strange woman attacks Angel and then Buffy revealing herself to be Kendra the Vampire Slayer.The Order of Taraka are coming

The Good: The main job of any "Part 1" is of course to set up "Part 2." This does an excellent job leaving several important hanging threads: Oz finally meets Willow, Angel is in danger, Spike is about to restore Drusilla's health and the Order of Taraka are closing in on Buffy. The most intriguing thread of all though is the appearance of Kendra the Vampire Slayer. "Part 2" already feels like must-see TV, so mission accomplished.

Without seeing "Part 2" there isn't too much to conclude yet. But...as ever Spike and Drusilla were eminently watchable and the childlike music that plays whenever Drusilla is rambling suits her perfectly. It was nice to see Angel and Buffy on a romantic date and have her accept him as he is, vamp face and all. I give the writers real credit for the slow introduction of Oz into the series. When he finally sat next to Willow and offered her a canapé it felt like we already knew what he was thinking. I had forgotten that one of Spike's vampires got away with a book from the library recently and it was a nice piece of continuity to connect that incident to Spike's ongoing efforts to help Dru. I liked the introduction of Willy the bartender as another human who is in on the world of vampires and can provide answers. Finally I also liked the theme of Career Week as an ideal way to have Buffy focus on her calling and mortality. The show has become increasingly clever at bringing those themes out of their stories.

The Bad: Kendra's Jamaican accent is awful. It slows down her speech pattern as she works on pronouncing each word correctly. It's a choice I think everyone probably regretted afterwards.

The Unknown: What was the guy who attacked Buffy and Angel at the ice rink? If he was human then how on earth did he fight Angel hand to hand like that? What is the maggot guy and how does that work? Ick. What bounty did Spike offer the Order of Taraka? Is Kendra really a Vampire Slayer and how can there be two?

Best Moment: I really liked Angel's suggestion of going to the ice rink. It's the first time that we have seen him behave like an actual boyfriend and it seemed a particularly sweet idea.

The Bottom Line: An excellent "Part 1" that makes me annoyed I have to wait to see the next part.

 

 

Cordia's Second Look
What's My Line? - Part 1
Season 2, Episode 9
Original airing: November 17, 1997

My Rating: 72

The Good: Willow and Oz finally meet face to face! With no costumes! This is a small moment in the episode, but the show has been teasing it since Inca Mummy Girl (204), so I was very excited to finally see it happen.

The show feels like it's moving forward with an overarching plot line other than Willow and Oz, too. The book which was stolen in Lie to Me (207) resurfaces, promising a cure for Drusilla's weakness. The implications for a healthy Spike and Drusilla running rampant in Sunnydale are huge! It's exciting to see this happening and I found myself rooting for them to figure it out. But I was also a bit disappointed that Spike has decided to outsource Buffy's death. It felt a bit out of character when he's so proud of the fact that he's killed two other Slayers. But even though he was sending them to kill Buffy, maybe he secretly knows what the audience knows. They won't win against the Buffster.

But distracting Buffy with the assassin bounty hunters worked well for the episode. It was a super clever misdirection for the introduction of Kendra's character. Her announcement at the end of the episode that she's the Vampire Slayer is completely out of left field and very well done. The way she enters the show sets her up as one of the assassins. And her treatment of Angel and Buffy argues the same. It's an excellent cliffhanger for the episode.

The episode also ends with Angel in real peril, which is extremely interesting. Angel tends to swoop in and out of the stories, but he's never really in danger. Now, he's trapped in a cage with an eastern facing window and sunrise quickly approaching. The only person who knows he's there, Willy the bar owner, has no reason to be nice to him. Just before being locked into the cage, Angel was smashing Willy's head into the bar. The end of the episode shows Angel struggling to get out of the cage as the first rays of daylight creep into the room. David Boreanaz plays the desperation of the moment extremely well.

Another couple in potential peril are Xander and Cordelia. They are looking for Buffy at her home and Cordelia makes the classic horror movie mistake of letting a stranger into the house. Norman the cosmetics samples man, secret assassin, seems to have a strong affinity for bugs and has already killed Buffy's neighbor. I like that all the assassins are working alone because it allows the writers to have multiple threatening situations happening at the same time. All the threats looming at the end of the episode really make me want to watch Part 2 immediately. And that's what a good setup episode should do.

The Bad: The rest of the surrounding story of the episode is a bit of a rehash, but nothing terrible. Buffy is realizing again that she got a bit of a bum rap in life because she'll most likely die young and never get to have a real life or job. Giles is pressuring her, again, to take her Slaying seriously. And Buffy mentions again that there can be only one Slayer, so she's stuck with her lot in life until she dies. This is all setup, obviously, for Kendra's startling declaration at the end of the episode. So it fits in fine, but it feels like arguments I've heard before and it's getting a little boring.

The only part of the episode I really disliked was the presentation of Kendra's character. Her accent is ridiculous, forced, and distracting. But her outfit is almost worse. Who climbs into the cargo bay of an airplane for a presumably over seas flight then jumps off to battle what she probably thinks are two vampires in silk pants and a midriff shirt? I mean, really! Terrible.

Favorite Moment: As I mentioned above, Willow and Oz finally meet for real. The look on Oz's face when he glances over and realizes the girl he's been obsessed with for weeks (months?) is sitting next to him in a private room is priceless and incredibly sweet.

The Bottom Line: Very enjoyable, especially considering this is part one of two and a lot of it is setup. We don't know exactly what Spike and Drusilla are up to, but we know they are close to succeeding. Buffy is being stalked by strong, scary assassins and a girl claiming to be the Vampire Slayer. Angel is trapped in a soon-to-be bathed in sunlight cage. And Xander and Cordelia are in Buffy's house with a man who really likes bugs. The question is, where will it all go now?

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  • Wow is Kendra's accent terrible. I really hope she's not a longterm character.

    Posted by Brando, 29/06/2011 8:37pm (8 years ago)

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