Bad Eggs
Written by: Marti Noxon
Directed by: David Greenwalt
Air Date: January 12, 1998

I seem to remember hating the hell out of “Bad Eggs” the first few times I watched it. I don’t know if it was the ridiculous plot, the effects of the monster(s), the look of the huge thing under the school, or the Texan Gorch brothers… but I remember watching this episode and wondering why I was even watching it at all in the first place. This rewatch provided me with a new take on the episode, one that I wasn’t expecting at all.

See, the theme of this episode is “responsibility” — moreover, the fact that Buffy seems to lack it. Her mom berates her for it all episode long, first at the mall, then in her room at night, then after she’d saved the day. Its upsetting, for the most part, that Buffy can’t do anything but be herself and that is seen as a negative in her mother’s eyes. But the fact of the matter is, her mom couldn’t possibly understand what she’s going through. Buffy is very responsible. Just, you know, not in the standard fashion. Only now she isn’t even responsible in her Slayer duties. Those Texan brothers are around and she and Angel go out hunting for them… and rather than hunt they simply make out all day, er… night. Even in her Chosen duty, Buffy is letting the ball drop.

This was lost on me completely, and it all leads up into the next couple of episodes perfectly. As we’ll see in the following two-parter, Buffy’s lack of responsibility will get her into a whole hell of a lot more trouble than we’re seeing, here. Its an interesting level of depth for the character to start going through, now. Up to this point we’ve only seen the positive sides of her misbehavior, the funny sides. Here, she misses the Gorch brothers perched on a mausoleum ten feet away from her because she’s smooching with Angel. She has the ability to sense vampires, as showcased in the first episode (by more than simple fashion faux pas) but I guess her senses were all befuddled because of a different vampires tongue down her throat? Or something?

And as far as the egg monsters are concerned, the level of responsibility Buffy shows here is an interesting but still overly mixed bag. She takes care of it (check list and all) at the start of the episode, but once she figures out there is a demon inside of those things, she starts – yet again – dropping the ball. When she’s convinced that her’s is the only egg that has a problem, she completely disregards Giles earlier warnings that, while dangerous, the Gorch brothers are not great thinkers. Yet she completely buys into the idea that they likely planted the egg on her, on purpose. How? When? She does this so she can continue to make kissy-face with Angel in the graveyard at night. And she can’t see that Xander and Cordelia (who is apparently super fucking strong, now… or something?) are making out in closets all the time? She’s not on her game because of love, and we’ll see this thread develop in greater detail in the very near future.

So, what do I think of this episode? It sucks. It has one bit of great, interesting character development, but a stupid contrived plot device to get it across. The egg monsters are stupid, the effects of the giant, momma monster underground are atrocious, the Gorch brothers are as one-note as they come, and the over-the-top, thriller/horror score when Buffy hunts the creature in her bedroom are so nasty, stupid, and bad that I can’t help but wonder why such a good moment of depth for Buffy has to come in such an ugly ass package. This episode is bilious and wrong. If it was a person, I would kick it in the throat and then spit in its ears.

Episode Rating: 55

Additional Notes:
-Best line is the exchange about Buffy being a single mom in the future. Again, a throw-away moment but one that
kinda comes true after Buffy’s mom… well, we have a ways to go before we get there
-I
do laugh every time I watch the Gorch brothers beat on each other in the sewers. Beat each other like red-haired step-children
-The way Giles mater-of-factly places that egg monster on Buffy’s mom’s back is hilarious
-Poor, poor Johnathan…

 

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