Saturday, April 2, 2011

Some Assembly Required

Episode #2: Some Assembly Required

"I was brought up to believe that men dig up the corpses and women make the babies."

A few things worth noting about season 2:
1. Angel is now featured in the opening credits. Cue fan girls and boys.
2. A clip of Buffy and Xander sexy dancing is also featured in the opening credits.
3. Ewwwww.
4. The first half of the season is quite goofy and full of standalone episodes, which I find tiresome to get through because the second half of the season is sooooo dramatic and pulpy and delicious. So you'll have to bear with me.

Take this episode, for example. I have zero recollection of it from my first viewing except that it is vaguely gross. I'm like a virgin, watching for the very first time.

Angel's miffed about Buffy and Xander's sexy dance (UGH can we please just FORGET that this EVER HAPPENED already?) and they have a lover's spat. "You were mating!" he cries into the night. But Buffy gets distracted by a lost platform shoe near an open grave, which to her implies that somebody dug up the body and dragged it away. Gross.

She goes to alert Giles, who is busy practicing asking out Jenny Calendar in the library. How will the stodgy British librarian with all his musky books romance the modelesque techno pagan? Tune in next time! Buffy suggests he simply ask, "How do you feel about Mexican?" "Mexicans?" Giles replies. Oh Giles, you card!

Willow's competing in the science fair, and she flirts with perennial winner, Chris. Chris is a good guy--we can tell because he shouts at his pervy friend Eric and tells him to stop taking pictures of random girls. But as soon as Willow walks away, things change!

Eric: Look at Cordelia. Mmm, she'd be perfect for us!
Chris: Don't be an idiot! She's alive!

Uh oh. Looks like we've found our bodysnatchers.

The Scoobies trace the missing corpse back to a high school girl who died with two other girls in a car crash, and go to find out if the other bodies are still in their graves. But Buffy and Willow first have a heart-to-heart in the graveyard about the sexy dance with Xander. ENOUGH ALREADY. Willow inexplicably brings up Chris's brother, football captain who recently died in a hiking accident. I wonder if this will somehow become relevant.

Meanwhile, Cordelia fears she's being stalked in a parking lot and hides in a dumpster. This whole episode plays off of women's fear of stalking, assault, and rape in a way I found super icky. Turns out it's only Angel, but it also turns out that there are body parts in that dumpster. What could it all mean???

There's a hilarious shot of Chris's home life--his mom has frizzy hair, smokes cigarettes, and ostensibly sits in silence watching football videos of her dead son over and over and over.

Buffy searches Chris's locker because Willow says he is interested in physiology/chopping people up. She finds a newspaper article about the three dead girls along with autopsy manuals, Grey's Anatomy, Slicing Up Tendons for Dummies, and this collage:

If only she'd dug a little deeper, she would've found the singing telegram in his locker that said, "I, Chris SmithJones, have been digging up corpses, cutting them up, and assembling a dream girl! Signed, Chris SmithJones."

Then we get creepy shots of said dream girl being assembled by Eric as he jovially sings "My Girl." Ew, do I really want to keep watching this?

Not really. Here are the highlights:
1. Giles and Jenny Calendar make a date, bow chicka wow wow!!!
2. Chris reanimated his dead brother's corpse and the dream girl is meant to be a gift for his brother. But dream girl's missing a head, so they set out to kill Cordelia and use hers.
3. Vague attempt made to instill sympathy for the fallen football player, who just wants to relive his glory days. You know, who can blame him!
4. Buffy wins.
5. Chris has a change of heart but goes the way of those kids who ate their principal. Years of therapy. Never seen again.

Lame review, I know. But lame episode, too. Never fear, the next episode is far from lame, and features the first appearance of...Spike! Get excited!

Favorite moment: Giles and Jenny go to the ball game.


  1. I didn't like this episode either. It was gross and weirdly disturbing. But I thought the mom watching the videos was kind of sad. :(

  2. It's sad, to be sure, but one shade too much--it's the cigarette, maybe--that just makes it goofy to me.