What’s My Line? Pt. 2
Written by: Marti Noxon
Directed by: David Semel
Air Date: November 24, 1997

PART TWO!!! of this mediocre storyline (well, the delivery, anyhow, not the actual plot) is much, much better than the first half. Unfortunately, it has to spend its first few minutes building off a slow and exposition heavy episode, first. Once this is out of the way, though, the plot gets going and it doesn’t stop until the finale which is, quite frankly, a hell of a cliffhanger ending than even the previous episode’s “I’m Kendra. The vampire Slayer” was. Maybe its the difference in who did the directing, but I feel like comparing the tone and pace of Part 1 to Part 2 is like apples and oranges. And that’s a good thing, because I like oranges a whole lot more than I like apples.

Right away, the number one thing I like about this episode is the reveal that, because Buffy died, another Slayer was called. We’ll see later that its Kendra who continues the Slayer line, not Buffy (something that they don’t really touch on that much, past this concept here, but an interesting one all the same). I like this, because it continues to tighten the strings that hold this series and its universe together. The differences between these two (Buffy being headfirst and Kendra being “by-the-book”) make for interesting and curious interchanges throughout the episode, mostly in reference to how to deal with Angel, the “good vampire” that Kendra can’t seem to believe people wouldn’t kill. It makes for some frustration, sure, but its nice to have another character aside from Xander speak up about some obvious issues with Buffy dating a vampire (even if she does think he’s kinda cute… Angel, I mean… although I think she thought the same about Xander).

The meat of this episode comes from the end of the assassin group hunting Buffy and the ritual that brings Drusilla back to strength. Because of the brawl between Kendra and Angel in the last episode, Spike has Angel captured and tied up in Dru’s bedroom, where she begins to torture him mercilessly. This show hasn’t even gotten started with flashbacks yet (I believe the only one thus far was in “I Robot, You Jane” back in the first season) but when it does, we’ll see some of the horrors Drusilla can only speak about, here. When Angel leads Spike into almost dusting him, I usually feel like Spike was an idiot and rushed into things, and this is no different. Its the weakest part of the episode because as much of a headcase and in love as Spike is, I don’t buy that he’d be so gung-ho to ruin his chances at curing his “pet” at this point.

Oz gets shot by the woman in police garb in the photo above. This is crucial because he gets shot protecting Willow. Their conversation at the end of the episode – mostly dealing with animal crackers wearing clothes, but at its core about Oz being attracted to her – begins their relationship. I’m not against a Willow-‘n-Tara thing, but I’m really pro Willow-‘n-Oz. If I had to pick. Also getting together? Cordelia and Xander. Their make-out scene in Buffy’s basement is hilarious, as is the music swelling for the occasion. When this happens again at the end of the episode, I laughed just as much (not as much as Xander spraying her down for far too long when they try to escape the worm assassin. Everyone is starting to pair up for the first time and its nice to see, but of course none of them end up with any of the people they’re with, currently, so it doesn’t really matter, I guess. Oh. Spoiler alert.

On the note about directing and the differences between these two episodes, the major place this episode has a plus against Part 1 is in the fight sequences. In the first part, it was more to-the-point and about getting to the next set of lines. Here, in the episodes thrilling climax (read: thrilling), we have wonderful action shots and good choreography. The best of the series thus far, I’d wager. I love when Buffy and Kendra “switch” who they are battling and roll off each other to get to the opposite bad guy. Willow even gets to stake a vampire, here! And the dust effects on Giles’ coat after this happens were well done, if not a bit much (not as bad as the stupid shot of dust hitting water in the first part, though. What the hell?). When all is said and done, it barely looked like Spike or Buffy had the upper hand, something I appreciate a ton; if Spike is so bad he could kill two Slayers by himself, its nice to know this one doesn’t make him her plaything.

Overall, this episode’s finale – with Dru picking Spike up out of the rubble of the church, fully restored to strength (but not sanity) – is a fantastic way of setting up the next two-part story, and some of the best stuff from the season, nay, the show as a whole. We have to get through two more episodes before we get to the first big landmark episode, but once there, its a fantastic and frantic ride to the finish line of the season. Can’t even wait.

Episode Rating: 88

Additional Notes:
-Best line?
Kendra: “That was me favorite shirt…. that was me ONLY shirt!”
-The worm guy was an idiot. I’ve read countless other sites saying he was interesting… I hated him. He is stupid.
-Xander’s best relationship is starting. And don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-Anya all the way. But I love how much Cordy and he hate each other. Its rich
-Another reference to “mantis lady” from “Teacher’s Pet” – let it go, writers

How many churches in Sunnydale? 43?!