Buffy The Vampire Slayer season two offers a new and interesting perspective. Maybe perspective is the wrong word. It’s new and interesting, in any case.
On the outside, the season is darker, and the gang have to deal with the issues of growing up. They must deal with an unbelievable amount of heartache; the trials and tribulations of a normal teenager are difficult enough but when living on a Hellmouth, it’s something else all together.
The show’s format also starts to change in season two. In season one, each episode features a different problem or bad guy, up until the last episode when Buffy faces The Master. Of course, The Master is in other episodes and everything that happens leads to their final battle. However, each episode features a main foe. For the first half of season two, it is similar, but the majority of the episodes center around Spike and Dru and their attempts to kill the slayer and learn more about them. Once Angel looses his soul, although there are still – and always will be – episodes with a foe that is unrelated to the big bad, most of the episodes directly relate to the season finale and the battle between good and evil. Boy, do I hope that makes sense!
This season, as I previously mentioned, explores many of the issues we have to face growing up – love, loss, sex, heartache, betrayal and consequences, to name a few.
Everyone is dating. Buffy and Angel are in love; Willow plucks up the courage to talk to Oz; Xander and Cordelia end up in strange but loveable relationship; Jenny and Giles are adorable; Even Joyce plays the dating game, only to have fallen for a psychotic robot.
Buffy and Angel take their relationship to the next level, examining the consequences of sex. Of course in real life, the consequences would be teenage pregnancy, but instead Angel becomes a soulless monster intent on destroying the world. This isn’t far from what can happen – this spreads the message that if a young girl sleeps with an older man, their is a chance that he’ll then turn into a complete bastard. Of course this isn’t always the case, but it’s all to do with being sure that you’re ready, and if you truly know the person you’re giving yourself to. Thankfully for Buffy she can “change the locks” on her house.
Xander and Cordelia’s relationship shows that the couple, who at points in their lives have hated each other, have matured in a way. They have realized that their is something their. Cordelia swallows her pride and puts her “friends” in their places with her brilliant speech to Harmony, calling her a sheep!
Willow starts to come out of her shell. Her confidence rises, she asks Oz out and they have an unbelievably cute relationship. She also substitutes a Computer Science class, and helps tutor Buffy. This is also the season where she starts to experiment with magic, by re-cursing Angel. This season ultimately sets her path.
Of course, the main focus of this season is Angel becoming Angelus. We’ve been through that heartbreaking moment together. Has there ever been a creature so cruel in Buffy? Yes, all the bad guys are bad guys, but they generally have good reasoning behind it. Angelus is just evil. He gets pure 100% pleasure from it. He doesn’t kill to live, he kills to torment and torture. He could have killed each one of the scoobies and I hate to say it, Buffy as well, without lifting a finger, but he doesn’t. He has fun with them instead. This is his ultimate weakness. He thinks he will drive the slayer insane but instead he gives her fuel. Out of everything he does, there is something that so completely awful, I don’t think there is a word for it.
Heart wrenching. Painful. Breathtaking. Upsetting. Terrifying. None of them even seem to cover it. Angelus is, in a way, like an artist. Drusilla was his masterpiece. After years out of the game, Jenny was his comeback. His speech about PASSION is moving and so true. Watching the episode, I find myself holding my breath, knowing what is to come and yet not believing it will happen. The chase through the high school is terrifying but that moment when he grabs her and you just know any other vampire would drain her or turn her, but not him. One second she is their, and within the blink of an eye he has snapped her neck. And that’s not even the worst part. Giles comes home to what he thinks will be the best night of his life. He follows rose petals and candles up the stairs to find Jenny lying on the bed, and the pain that you feel for him inside is intense. And it still get’s worse. For me it does anyway. Angel watches from outside as Buffy answers the phone. She goes quiet, hands the phone to Willow and sinks down the wall. Willow takes the phone and after a moment starts to cry hysterically. But Buffy… her silent reaction… it is her blaming herself for this. She unleashes a monster made of pure evil. Pure Buffy. What 17 year old should have to live with this.
It’s fuel for the fire.
I feel that the two part season finale – two episodes that have seen more than most of them, because for some time I only owned the special edition video that had them on back to back, and the second half of season three – is increadibly strong. It is an emotional roller coaster and one of the best season finale’s I have ever seen.
Here is the list of what I feel – and believe when I say, there are no bad episodes, and picking the best ones is incredibly hard – are the best episodes, in order that they are shown –
- Some Assembly Required
- School Hard
- Inca Mummy Girl
- The Dark Ages
- What’s My Line Part 1
- Killed By Death
- I Only Have Eyes For You
- Becoming Part 1
- Becoming Part 2
I have chosen these episodes because I feel they have such emotion to them, and that they depict the correct issues of being a 17 year slayer, living on a Hellmouth. They also feature some of the best monsters.
Here is a list of what I think the best moments are of the season –
- Buffy’s return to Sunnydale after the summer… “Hey guys… miss me?”
- Giles and Jenny falling in love.
- Xander and Cordelia getting together.
- Introduction, and sadly the loss of Kendra.
- Angel loosing his soul.
- Jenny’s death.
- Spike and Dru… in general.
- Angel seeing Buffy for the first time.
- Buffy killing Angel.
- Buffy revealing she is the slayer to Joyce.
I’d like to take a moment to discuss the last point, briefly. Joyce’s reaction is understandable but in a way little annoying. Buffy has to go and save the world, just let her go! But of course she loves her and doesn’t want to hear this. Buffy’s speech to Joyce is brilliant, particularly “I would love to be up in my room watching TV or gossiping about boys, or God even studying!”. She finally get’s to let how so much that has been on her shoulders for so long to the person whom she should be able to discuss anything. It’s beautiful in a way.
Generally speaking, other than that odd episode, I think this season is fantatstic. I find it difficult to place it… I would say it’s my fourth favorite season but it’s a close fourth.
Keep reading to find out what it is close too!