Buffy the Vampire Slayer
School Hard

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: A | 9 USERS: A-
YOU GRADE IT
...With A Vengeance

The Ironic Segue Fairy brings us to Buffy, who whinges as she brushes some tangles out of her hair. Joyce pops in and says she just got the mail, in which there was a reminder notice about Parent-Teacher Night. She asks if Buffy was going to tell her about it. Buffy hems and haws. Joyce asks what she can expect to hear from Buffy's teachers. Buffy hems and haws. Joyce asks how her test scores have been. Buffy: "Do I have to use semaphore flags to spell it out for you, Mom?" Or, the version that actually aired: "What can you really tell about a person from a test score?" Joyce: "Whether or not she's ever going out with her friends again." Buffy: "Oh, that." Heh. Joyce gives a heartfelt speech about how she knows tests and grades aren't everything, but she really doesn't want to be disappointed in Buffy again. That "disappointed" card is a parent's ace in the hole. Watch out for it, kids. And I liked Joyce a lot, but if how Buffy's doing in school is that important to her, she might be checking on Buffy's homework and test scores a little more often, no? Buffy says that she's trying, but she's under a lot of pressure. Joyce: "Wait 'til you get a job." She leaves. Buffy opens a drawer with Slayer-y stuff inside. Looking in the mirror, she anvils, "I have a job." Me too, and clunky lines like that one don't make it any easier.

School. In the lounge, Buffy and Willow are working on a banner. Willow jabbers something about bars and raids and Sheila. Buffy asks Willow to help her cram some French that night. She doesn't specify where she wants to cram it, but I'm pretty sure Wing could help her out with a few ideas. Willow reminds Buffy that they're supposed to go to the Bronze, because Buffy thought Angel might show up. I did find it cute how much Willow cheerleaded Buffy's relationship with Angel, and I never, ever cynically thought that maybe her ulterior motive was to keep Buffy away from Xander. Until now. I still don't really think that, but it's in my head now. Stupid job. Uh-oh -- I smell yet another firing coming on. Xander predictably tells Buffy to study and ditch Angel. Shut up, Xander. Buffy says she's going to the Bronze: "I can study, and party, and do Parent-Teacher Night, and make my mother proud, as long as I don't have to" -- "Buffy," Giles's voice cuts in -- "fight vampires." Heh.

Giles and Miss Calendar are arguing about something. Giles tells them that Miss Calendar has calculated that the coming Saturday night is the Night Of St. Vigeous. Was that what they did on their second date? Not that I haven't had a lot worse, mind you; I'm just wondering. Giles explains that St. Vigeous led a crusade of vamps that wreaked destruction in Europe. He does not satisfactorily explain at any time during this episode why that night affords the vamps any special power, or how often it occurs (if it were an annual event, they would already have known on what day it fell). Giles, don't give weak exposition, please. It's unseemly and makes me sad -- sort of like standing in line at Macy's during the holiday season. Buffy says that after Parent-Teacher Night, she'll see what she can do. The rest of the scene is stuff we've seen before -- Giles lectures Buffy on her responsibilities and how she must fight alone, and then has to do some hasty covering when someone (Snyder, in this case) overhears a Slayer-related reference. Sigh. Don't apply this to the current season, but can we have more Spike, please? Giles and Miss Calendar beat a retreat. Snyder asks Willow and Xander if they're helping Buffy in Sheila's place. They deny it, but he puffs out his chest in anticipation of an expulsion. Buffy says that Sheila just went to get more paint, and Sheila chooses the right moment to appear on the scene. Buffy yammers more cover story, and Sheila looks at her like she only wishes she had another pair of pruning shears. I think she'd even settle for a trowel. Snyder tells them to make sure everything's perfect on Thursday, and leaves. Sheila thanks Buffy for covering for her, then asks, "Did you really burn down a school building one time?" Buffy: "Not actually one time." Sheila: "You got street cred, yo!" Or, she might have said, "Cool." I was reading between the line.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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