Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Fear, Itself

Episode Report Card
Fear, Itself

Back at the Alpha Dork house, the frat brothers are working in a large attic-type room, known as the Goat Room. Hey, mea culpa, I was wrong before, because another black guy (with cute little dreads) is in this scene, painting the aforementioned rune on the floor. Xander and Oz enter, carrying a "sound system." "Mi Casio es su Casio," quips Oz, upon being thanked for bringing the equipment. Xander notes the design painted on the floor, and then is distracted by a bowl of grapes. Peeled grapes, explains FratJerk, tell the girls it's eyeballs, blah blah blah. Xander delivers some expository dialogue about how the guests go through the whole house of horrors and in the end emerge at the party. FratJerk encourages Xander to pledge (wouldn't he have to rush first?), but Oz says Xander's a civilian, and FratJerk then calls him a "townie." Like, ha ha. Not. Oz turns on the sound system and some haunted house sounds come out. He tilts his head and gets a knife out of his pocket to tighten down a crackling wire. Ouch! He cuts himself, and shakes some blood on the rune painted on the floor. I am not familiar with the finer points of lycanthropy but I would think that Oz should be a little more concerned about spraying his bodily fluids all around the room. The floor begins to ripple, unnoticed by the guys, who are still cracking wise. A plastic spider sitting on the rune becomes a real tarantula and creeps away. I know that all sounds a little silly, but props to the special-effects department, because it was really well done and spooked me the first time I watched the episode.

In the Summers’ living room, Buffy's mom is running some red fabric through a sewing machine. Buffy thanks her for helping out at the last minute and takes the fabric, which turns out to be a Little Red Riding Hood cape. As she tries it on, Joyce gives her an affectionate smile and Buffy accuses her of getting "nostalgic face." Joyce explains that she's thinking of the twelve-year-old Buffy who last wore that cape, and how much her father loved to take her trick-or-treating. They exchange a little banter about who really wanted the candy Buffy collected, and I'd like to point out that Buffy referring to herself as the "beard" of the candy scheme once again proves this show is not exclusively for teenagers. Joyce reassures her that her father loved spending time with her. "Not enough, I guess," says Buffy in a small voice. When Joyce tries to interrupt and tell her that the divorce was not Buffy's fault, Buffy takes a deep breath and throws herself a little pity party, musing that "maybe it's easier to not let anyone in." Joyce get up and talks about how she was hurt after her divorce from Buffy's father, and resisted making any friends for the first year they lived in Sunnydale, but now she has a close circle of friends. Who would your friends be, Joyce? The creepy lady from your book club that turned into a zombie? Or maybe Willow's mother, with whom you had the bonding experience of attempting to burn your daughters at the stake? I imagine that's quite a strong foundation for a lasting friendship. Joyce is wearing a long-sleeved, striped t-shirt that is disturbingly see-through. Why would anyone manufacture such a garment? Between her strange shirt and Buffy's tablecloth blouse, this scene is rating -1 on the Fashion Scale. Joyce jokes about how her last boyfriend turned out to be "a homicidal robot" and then reassures Buffy that she will always be there for her, as will Mr. Giles and her friends.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer




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