Do I need to introduce this list? You read part 1, right?
Same idea, only part 2.
4) Gingerbread (3×11)
What: While joining her daughter on patrol, Joyce Summers comes across what appears to be the bodies of two dead children, resulting in a literal witch-hunt from the residents of Sunnydale.
Why: Communication in parent/offspring relationships is important. This communication stops when the townspeople are under the demon’s spell, as they automatically assume their children are up to no good. On a more realistic note, Buffy has tried to keep Joyce out of her slaying life for so long that Joyce has no idea what is and is not appropriate in that world. Buffy sees this as her mother being annoying, but actually talking about it could have prevented it in the first place.
3) Potential (7×12)
What: Dawn feels inadequate as she finds herself surrounded by girls her age who now have the undivided attention of everyone she considers family because they could be the next Slayer.
Why: Once Dawn was no longer the Key, her and Xander began to occupy similar roles, but from different stages of experience. Xander has already grown up around Slayers, Watchers, and witches as the ‘normal’ one of the group. He’s dealt with the insecurity that comes with it, and moved on to an adult life of overall success (not including the epic fuck up with Anya). This episode is a great big hug to anyone who is surrounded by those who have a more obvious purpose in life. While not all skills and talents are as noticeable, everyone has something that makes them special.
2) The Dark Age (2×08)
What: Giles’ rebellious past comes back to haunt him as a demon he and his friends summoned years ago has returned to hunt them down one by one. Also, this is my favourite Buffy episode.
Why: I think Giles is one of the best grown-ups on a show that was, at the time, meant for a teenage audience. Most shows aimed at young people tend to have the adult characters act as mentors, guiding the younger characters as they develop but not really advancing beyond that. This episode is Giles’ backstory, and it is one of the more obvious moments where (*gasp*) the mature adult character is actually a person. Grown-ups are people too. Who would have guessed?
1) Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (1×05)
What: Buffy tries to balance her duties as a Slayer with normal, teenager stuff like dating. It doesn’t end well.
Why: Joss Whedon has said that one of the points of Buffy is that “everyone goes through this”. Life is full of obstacles, and finding a way to overcome them while still having some semblance of a normal life is a universal experience to varying degrees… and this episode is the embodiment of that concept, as Buffy tries to balance out dating, a social life, and the life of a Slayer who has to save the world all the time.
Also, bonus points for the moment with Giles at the end, where Buffy finds out he was forced into being a Watcher against his will. Sure, being a huge Giles fan in general may have something to do with that, but I also think that having someone there who has already struggled through a similar problem was a nice way to end the episode.
Well, that’s my list! I read over your favourites in the comment section last time and loved them, so keep ‘em coming. Trust me, I will always, always be up to talking about Buffy.
It’s kind of a problem.