Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Life Serial

Episode Report Card
Sep: C | 5 USERS: B-
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Life Serial

Previously on Buffy, important stuff happened. Joyce died. Buffy had money problems. The Legion of Dim was formed. Okay. Not all of that was important.

Buffy walks through her front door carrying a bucket of "deep-fried chicken parts." She enters the dining room to find the witchlets, Dawn, and Giles already finishing up dinner. However, they don't want to admit this for fear of upsetting Buffy in her fragile state. Because with everything she's faced, the possibility of dropping twenty bucks on chicken that people will eat tomorrow instead of immediately might really push her over the edge. Tara asks for a piece, and everyone else follows her lead. Willow says that she is "a breast girl," with a sly look at Tara. Uch. So unnecessary. It might not have been so bad if Willow had said it inadvertently and then looked like she hoped that people wouldn't take it the wrong way, but I'm really getting tired of inappropriate sex talk. Especially at the dinner table in front of all your friends. It's like cursing in church or something. You just don't do it.

Anyway, Dawn tries to feel Buffy out about her visit with Angel, but Buffy is reluctant to discuss it. Dawn must have come late to the set today, because her hair is slicked back flat against her head and tied in a ponytail. It's possibly the most unflattering hairstyle I've seen on any character to date. It also highlights her nose, which is -- and there's no nice way to say this -- tuber-shaped. I've kind of been avoiding mentioning it, partly because of the unpleasant Riley associations and also because I've been hoping that she'd grow into it or something. Anyway, Giles changes the subject, asking what Buffy plans to do. Buffy starts talking about creatively juggling her finances to pay off her bills, but Giles was more interested in what direction Buffy was planning for her life. Buffy seems stumped. Tara suggests that Buffy could audit classes until it's time to register for the next semester. Which makes no sense. She'd have to pay the full fees but wouldn't get any credit for taking the courses. I think that Buffy is busy enough. God knows it's not a crime to take some time off. Especially if you've been dead for a few months. Not to mention that it's probably financially impossible for Buffy to go to school, pay her mortgage, raise Dawn -- all while fighting the forces of darkness, which, as we established last episode, isn't the most highly compensated of professions. Sure, there's the intrinsic reward, but intrinsic reward doesn't fill your belly. Anyway. Think of doing all of that while studying for finals. In any case, Buffy doesn't seem too enthused about entering the hallowed halls of higher learning again, but agrees to give it a try.

In the driveway of what I assume to be Warren's mother's house, Jonathan grouses that they're never going to be able to rule Sunnydale with tiny, iron fists until Buffy is out of the way. In response, Warren sets up the "plot" for this week's episode -- that the Legion of Dim will be pitting Buffy against various tests in order to find the best way to defeat her. On the one hand, I'm not really comfortable with the progression of Jonathan from everyman character who gave Buffy the Class Protector Award in "The Prom" to evil sub-genius bent on overthrowing Buffy, but then I remember that she was pretty cold to him at the end of "Superstar," so I guess I'll call it a stalemate. Overhead shot of Warren sliding out on one of those, uh, slide-y things that people lie on to work underneath cars. "She's ready," he announces, and the view changes to show a black van. Warren gives Jonathan the grand tour. The van is fully decked out for surveillance with many of Apple's finest and most expensive flat-panel studio displays. They walk to the other side of the van, talking about how Buffy won't have a clue who is messing with her because of the non-descript nature of the van. Huh. And here I thought that Buffy wouldn't know that it's them because they're such piss-ants that they come in completely under her radar. Just as the dorkish duo are patting themselves on the back for coming up with such a clever disguise, they find Andrew on the other side, doing an airbrushed rendition of the Death Star all along the side of the van. Jonathan criticizes the placement of the thermal exhaust port, but Andrew hotly contends that he's using the Return of the Jedi design. Jonathan vehemently protests that that particular design is "flawed," and almost has to be physically restrained. Warren interrupts them to point out the bigger picture, which is that they don't want to attract unnecessary attention. Am I the only one that tends to think that black or white nondescript vans are creepy in and of themselves? Seriously. I cross the street every time I see one. If you really wanted to be inconspicuous, I'd recommend getting a sparkly blue/gray van with cheesy '70s racing stripes. People might feel sorry for the poor sap that has to drive that monstrosity, but they certainly won't look twice.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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