Friday, June 25, 2010

Buffy 2x05 - "Reptile Boy"

If you thought "Inca Mummy Girl" had a case of season one retrogression... well, you were right. And so does "Reptile Boy." Review after the jump.

"Don't you think it's a little late to be reading me a warning label?"

- Buffy

Other than that, though, I don't have too much to say about "Reptile Boy," which was decent but largely uninteresting. Giles's attitude toward Buffy, which had seemed to be in the process of softening, arbitrarily reverts back to his full-on-stodgy mode, and the sudden breakdown in the relationship between Angel and Buffy doesn't make much sense except as a convenient excuse to make Buffy mad enough at both of them to get her to that frat party. Of course, Giles's and Angel's utter insensibility leads to some interesting moments with Buffy as she tries to juggle all of the different aspects of her chaotic life, and also one of Willow's finest hours to date as she scolds Giles and Angel in a fantastic outburst. So in the end I guess it's a wash.

  • This episode heavily features Cordelia, who is again kidnapped and tied up. Charisma Carpenter really isn't the strongest character actor, but she's pretty funny when she's called upon to be, and she does well with the comedy material here.
  • Giles getting beat up by Buffy is getting old at this point, but there's a new spin on when the Scoobies walk in on him practicing combat moves alone. It's a funny moment, but we also see that despite his inadequacy when training with Buffy he's actually quite graceful. It does quite a bit to shift our perception of the character away form the stodgy librarian he was in season one, which is odd considering that he's at his stodgiest elsewhere in this episode.
  • Angel enters the fraternity house uninvited. Wikipedia tells me this is possible because the frat boys are only temporary residents, But on several occasions in the future vampires, are seen to require invitation into dorm and hotel rooms.
  • Jonathan makes his second appearance here, just one episode after his first. But in the shooting script, he's referred to as "YOUNG MAN." Which is interesting, because in the previous episode's shooting script he was referred to as "JONATHAN." This is probably because the writers never intended to bring Jonathan back, but liked him so much in the previous episode they thought it would be fun to cast Danny Strong again. In both cases, he's credited as Jonathan. The fact that this interests me so much shows what a dweeb I am.
  • I don't know why, out of all the episodes they could have chosen for DVD commentary, this was one of their choices, but as before, beware of spoilers for future seasons in the commentary. 

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