Welcome back to the Buffy reviews! And what an episode to kick it off with, the first of the Halloween episodes. This episode sets up the Buffyverse mythos that Halloween is a dead night in the supernatural world and that sometimes people ignore that rule. This episode is written by Carl Ellsworth.
It starts off with our hero, Buffy getting knocked on her ass by a lone vampire while someone films the battle from nearby. He isn't too good with cameras but he gets the job done.
After the fight Buffy heads to the Bronze only to find Cordelia and Angel getting along great, which is a sign of things to come. I know this is probably an unpopular opinion but I love Angel and Cordy together.
At school the next day Buffy, Willow and Xander get blind sided by Snyder who makes them take kids out trick or treating. That man doesn't have near as much power as he thinks he does but for some reason people just let him get away with whatever he wants to. Maybe it is the antiauthority in me but I wouldn't put up with that shit.
A little later Xander gets pushed around by the school bully Larry and is saved at the last minute by Buffy. Something that bothers him a great deal, and earns her a nifty free coke from the machine after she slams him into it. People seem to get pissed off at Xander for this but I don't think that is fair. When you get picked on and someone else helps you it tends to make it worse. You can't protect someone all the time and when they are alone they get punished for having help. I've been there and can relate to him on that front. Besides, Buffy hurt his pride, she didn't mean to but he is a guy and guys are sensitive, no matter how hard we try to act like we aren't.
Buffy can't stop thinking about what kind of girls Angel use to date and Willow suggest that they look at the old watcher diaries. Giles is in the library but Buffy distracts him by telling him that Jenny Calendar was talking about how hot he was. Giles's face turned bright red as Willow stole the book they needed.
In a nearby restroom Buffy and Willow started looking at the girls in Angel's life. They all looks like fancy ladies, something that Buffy wasn't. It made her feel even worse, something that wasn't helped with Cordy walked in talking about how Angel and her hit it off the night before. Buffy and Willow let it slip that Angel is a vampire but Cordy doesn't believe them.
At the new costume shop Buffy and Xander patch things up and Buffy forces Willow to buy a slutty costume instead of a lame ghost one. Spoiler alert, she gets both. We finally meet Ethan Rayne, a character I've always liked a great deal, who gives Buffy a deal on a fancy dress like the ones the women in Angel's life.
At the Summer's home Buffy looks every bit the Lady in her fancy dress and Willow looks sexy in her outfit. Xander shows up looking like a solider. When Willow comes downstairs she is wearing the lame ghost outfit. If she really wanted Xander's attention, she should have stayed in the first outfit.
As the Scoobies pick up their kids Xander gets punked around again by Larry. Poor guy. Cordy is wearing a cat costume that she didn't buy at the same place as the others and demands to know if Oz and his band are playing because she wants to see her boyfriend. Oz runs into Willow, not knowing it is her in that sheet. They keep circling each other.
Ethan starts chanting a spell as the night goes on. Turning everyone into whatever their costumes were. Thus breaking the no supernatural stuff on Halloween rule. Willow dies and becomes a ghost, Buffy becomes a lady and Xander a solider. Willow is stuck in the slutty outfit now that she is a ghost and tracks down a Xander that can't remember her. He and everyone else is stuck in their new personalities while Willow is the only one who seems to recall who she is. Buffy faints at the sight of demons, this Lady is no slayer. Welcome to Willow's episode of self-empowerment.
Willow leads them to Buffy's house, lucky Joyce isn't home. Buffy sees pictures of herself and freaks out. Willow makes a Xena refrence which is really cool and fun. Meanwhile Xander goes out and saves Cordy, who is still Cordy. You have to love the writing in Buffy, everything is so witty and insightful. The writing on this show is artful and I wish I was half as good as these people.
Angel shows up at the house just after Willow went to track down Giles. This new Buffy sees Angel's vampire face and freaks out, running out of the house. Willow and Giles put together that only people who got their costumes at a place called Ethan's changed. Giles's face tells you that he knows something is up. They go to the place to check it out.
Spike finds out that Buffy isn't herself and goes out to try and kill her. Two Halloween episodes later he gets mad at Vampires who go out on Halloween as breaking tradition, something he is doing right now. Damn Spike, you are better than that.
Giles and Ethan come face to face and Giles makes Willow leave as we hear the name Ripper for the first time. Goodbye stuffy bookworm and hello badass. This is the Giles we all know and love.
Buffy tells Cordy that Angel is a vampire and she still doesn't believe it. You would think that it not really being Buffy and her still saying it would mean something to her but I guess not. Xander beats up Larry, though neither one is really themselves at the moment. The victory is short lived as Spike and his men come for them and force them to run.
As Ethan and Giles face off we learn about Giles back story and how he use to be a bad man. We even see him beat the shit out of Ethan, very cool to see. Xander and the others are stuck as Spike leads an army of demons after them. It is not looking good for them as Giles beats a counter spell out of Ethan. Spike starts slapping Buffy around, getting ready to go for a kill when Ethan finally cracks and tells Giles to break the statue. He does it and the spell breaks, turning the demons into little kids and Buffy back to the slayer. The fight quickly turns bad for Spike who is forced to cut and run. Ethan is gone and Giles finds no trace of him.
Angel and Buffy walk off and Cordy is annoyed, Xander tells her to give it up. She has no chance. How wrong he is. Willow wakes up back in her body and throws away the ghost costume. She has her confidence back. Oz drives by just then and can't help but notice her. How could he not?
Angel tells Buffy that he loves her for her. She doesn't need to try and be something else. He never liked those types of girls anyway. Giles goes to the shop and finds nothing but a note for him telling him that Ethan will be back. The bastard.
This is a great fun episode, setting up a lot of what is to come and a great example of what makes this show so great. The wit, the characters, the growth. I mean, just look at how Willow and Buffy felt so insecure at the start and feel more at ease in their own skin at the end. It's that type of stuff that make this one of the greatest shows ever made.
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