Episode Reviews (23)
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Beauty and the Beasts
This is an episode that, on the surface, seems pretty boring and pointless. I didn't care for it much when I wasn't analyzing it. Now that I'm looking a bit deeper, though, I realize that there's a bit more here. In some ways this is a sequel to "Phases" (2x15) but on a bigger scale. While that episode was focused on Willow and Oz, this one looks at a bigger sample. We see three different men (Oz, Angel, and Pete) and the unique ways their girlfriends react to their inner beast.
The discussion truly begins when Faith expresses her view that all men are beasts. Buffy obviously doesn't agree, undoubtedly because of her romantic experience with a sensitive and ensouled Angel. Buffy knows that it isn't that one-dimensional. The counselor, Pratt, explains to Buffy that "Lots of people get lost in love...if you let it control you, you'll end up its dog." This turns out to be really good advice for Buffy because she finds herself torn between her feelings for a newly returned Angel and Scott Hope. Everything's up in the air again right when she thought she could move forward. There's no question that Angel is Buffy's soulmate, but that's not the point here. I must point out, again, that I really wish that Angel hadn't come back. I really wanted to see Buffy giving a normal relationship a try.
I really enjoyed all the misleads on who killed the first guy. We're led to believe it could be Oz, then the focus switches heavily to Angel who is acting very savage-like. It's good to see that neither of them were responsible. Pete chooses to let the beast within him run loose. His girlfriend accepts that loss of control and even makes excuses for him after he hurts her. This stupidity eventually causes her death.
Oz became a werewolf by accident and must live with the beast inside him. He also has no memory of what he's doing when he changes and willingly locks himself up so he won't hurt anyone. Willow understands this and does her best to help his situation. Unlike Pete, Oz doesn't have a choice in the matter and does everything in his power to control the beast within.
The savage Angel is running wild in this episode, not too different from an animal. But even the shred of humanity he remembers is enough to protect the one he loves when she's in danger. Angel kills Pete for Buffy's protection and then, in a moving scene, hugs her tightly while on his knees. Buffy's left in emotional confusion and cries. Buffy knows she has to help him get back up to full strength and will do her best to bring out Angel's sensitive qualities again.
All of this leads to Giles' interesting speech about monsters. He says that there are two types of monsters: one which seeks redemption, and the other which seeks chaos. I don't believe it's quite this black and white, as there can be a lot of gray on the road to either redempion or chaos. In particular, Spike's journey comes to mind. In S5, fresh with his crush on Buffy, he isn't seeking redemption or chaos, only a girl. It turns out that the love of that girl eventually changed him and put him on the path of redemption (before he even knew it, too).
The only problem I have with the episode is Pete's part of the story. I didn't like the makeup and special effects for him, and I didn't care for what he was doing either. It's just another typical "boy beats his girlfriend" plot. The only thing useful to come out of Pete is the contrast to the other men and what they're going through. He ends up being a catalyst for thought about our more interesting characters.moreless
Beauty and the Beasts;
Faith dancing, Buffy hunting and capturing Angel, Buffy's scenes with the counsellor, Willow's concern for Oz.
Pete's makeup is pretty stupid looking, I think the writers probably had more in mind a Bruce Banner halfway through his Hulk transformation rather than the rather daft way he is portrayed
Oz; (mid fight with Pete, seeing the moon rise) " Times up. Rules change!" Great line, very similar to Roddy McDowell's exchange with his vampire foe in Fright Night as he sees the sun rise "Daylight Mr Dandridge, you're out of time"
Character death; Platt becomes the 7th member of the SDH faculty to die in 3 years. Lord knows how many SDH students have died, I think Hellmouthcentral.com did a survey once, I'll look it up
Shot; yep, Oz again and Giles
Tied up; Angel. In case you're wondering the chains Buffy uses aren't her own, she knocks Dru's dolls off the chest they're contained in.
Knocked out; Oz, Giles and Angel whilst Willow faints. Buffy tells Faith to knock herself out but not literally.
Women good/men bad; the entire episode, about as close as Buffy ever becomes to being truly misandrist (the rumoured original title was 'All men are beasts'). Whilst Pete is obviously the villain here you have to blame Debbie to some degree, she knows what's going on and doesn't do anything to stop it, even though people are dying. Whilst it's worthy to tackle spousal abuse you do feel slightly bashed over the head by the not so subtle point. Faith says "All men are beasts" which seems a little unfair. She also refers to Manimal which again seems weird for a 17 year old in 1998 to refer to a tv show that lasted exactly 8 eps in 1983 (thank you IMDB). Again, something a bunch of 30 year old scriptwriters might be big fans off.
Kinky dinky; Naked Angel in chains. Ok, miraculously Angel seems to have acquired himself a pair of trousers despite his feral nature, keeping his dignity, like the Hulk. Willow says she's seen Oz 'half-monty', as Xander says, which half? Xander has seen Oz 'full-monty', presumably in the school showers but who knows? He seems very panicky explaining the use of his term 'handling'. Faith refers to the 'good lowdown tickle'. When Oz refers to two students 'fooling around' Faith automatically assumes 'They were screwing', shows how her mind works! Jerk Pete calls Debbie a whore as an insult.
Calling Captain Subtext; Buffy is horrified at the idea of a girls school with uniforms and 'no boys' but I think that would make a good series in itself. Scott asks if Barbie ever wonders why Ken doesn't come around any more now he's got an earring. No wonder she always dumped him for Action Man. He also says that you never really know what's going on inside someone. Hmmmm?
Questions and observations;
Mr Platt smokes, probably the last time we'll ever see that in a teen show. Willow's reading from 'Call of the Wild' is interesting when you compare it to what Verucca says later. It could also apply to the Slayer's nature when we later see what Faith and Buffy get up to and what the first Slayer is like and why she's like that. What happens to Oz's clothes when he transforms whilst fighting Pete? Sunnydale High's marching jazz band is mentioned which Amanda is part of in season 7. Platt's remarks about being love's dog are interesting in comparison with Spike referring to being 'Love's Bitca' in Lover's Walk. Faith refers to going crazy and 'Get out of jail free' which she one day will do both. Will offers Buffy a jelly doughnut which we will see again in The Zeppo. Will actually saves Faith here. Cordy is missing for most of the ep.
It's a good enough ep but it's not terrific
Beauty and the Beasts
Beauty and the Beasts was an interesting episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and it was cool how their were three different Beasts to deal with. Buffy does it beautifully as usual. This episode also saw some more in depth character development for most of the major characters. I really look forward to whats coming, with all these interwoven story lines, they are bound to explode soon into a great 2 part episode perhaps? This episode also touches on the serious subject of abuse, and its crippling effect on victims. The writers do a great job of blending serious with classic camp, fantastical fictional world with moder day relatability to viewers.moreless
'Night came on, and a full moon rose high over the trees lighting the land till it lay bathed in ghostly day. And the strain of the primitive remained alive and active. Faithfulness and devotion, things born of fire and roof were his.'
The fourth episode of season 3 is the first series classic of the season.
The reading of ‘Call of the wild’ is perfectly done and fits beautifully in the episode.
But also the storyline, ‘All men are beasts’ it’s not quite positive towards males but somewhere it’s true. The beasts in this episode are played by Oz who’s a werewolf, Angel who’s back from hell and Pete who is a jealous prick that hits his girlfriend.
The episode begins with Willow reading out of the beautiful book, then Xander comes for Oz-watch because she has to study for tomorrow. But instead Xander just lays down on the book and closes his eyes. While at night in the depth of the forest a guy gets eaten by a monster.
When the body is found of the young man, Giles presumes it was Oz who did it and discovers that Xander was sleeping through the whole night so it could have been Oz. When Buffy goes out haunting at night she finds Angel in the woods with blood on his mouth, he could have done it too. He’s completely acting like a beast but Buffy knocks him out and puts him on chains.
Meanwhile Buffy also has to go to a counsellor and she seems to like him. The second time she goes to him she finds him dead, it was over the day so Oz and Angel are both out. So the lea suspect is Debbie because she had contact with both of the victims.
When Debbie and her boyfriend Pete go to a closet he sees an empty bottle and asks if she drank it but she says she tried to get rid of it for his sake. But he says he doesn’t need it anymore and turns into some weird monster that beats her up, but when he sees her cry he becomes a human again and they cry on each other.
After that Pete gets upset again after he sees Debbie together with Oz so he is going to kill him at night fall. When Oz is alone in his cage Pete comes to kill him, but the rules change when Oz becomes a werewolf and they begin to fight. Buffy comes to stop them but they both escape.
Oz is shot by Faith and Pete goes to a small garage where Debbie is waiting for him. But he thinks she betrayed him and when Buffy fines them she sees Debbie’s lifeless body on the ground. Then Pete attacks her but he’s too strong, then Angel comes to save her and he break Pete’s neck. Then Angel comes back to normal and cries on Buffy’s shoulder.
This entire episode was so well done, acted and written. All three relationships were dramatic and sad.
Specially Debbie and Pete, She thought he loved her and that’s why she never left him. But someone like him who beats up his girlfriend will never really love somebody, and that’s what happens a lot of the time in the real life.
It’s a sad story, also Scott lost both of his best friends and is starting to doubt his love for Buffy.
The last scene was beautiful where Buffy looks at Angel who’s suffering as a beast.
'Night came on, and a full moon rose high over the trees lighting the land till it lay bathed in ghostly day. And the strain of the primitive remained alive and active. Faithfulness and devotion, things born of fire and roof were his, yet he retained his wildness and wiliness. And from the depths of the forest, a call still sounded'moreless
This is a new one...mysterious deaths are occurring in Sunnydale. It might be Angel, recently of hell and not himself these days. Or it could be Oz escaping from his cage during the full moon. No, it's actually a lame metaphor for abusive relationships.
The worst episode of Season Three is also the last really bad one for more than a year. "Beauty and the Beasts" is a remarkably poor script from the usually reliable Marti Noxon. There's the pretentious narration at the beginning and end. There's a ridiculous, even for this show, amount of lucky coincidences, from Pete attacking Oz just before the sun sets to Feral Angel's repeated timely arrivals. Xander's lines are off ("barfworthy?"), Faith is wasted, and Cordelia's just absent (although there is a funny, self-referential throwaway line acknowledging it). Scott Hope continues to be about as interesting as room-temperature water and the actors who portray Pete and Debbie are unusually badly cast.
Besides the extremely high number of plot nitpicks (while we're at it, how does Pete possibly kill Mr. Platt without dislodging his cigarette?), "Beauty and the Beasts" is a thematic disaster. An initial idea about Oz's guilt over his actions in wolf form is dropped without ceremony. Buffy's self-centeredness has yet to reach the operatic levels of Seasons Five and Six, but here she is concerned about Angel's actions to the degree that she completely ignores Oz's feelings. Giles gives Buffy way too much useful information about the possibility of Angel's return given that he is only responding to Buffy's mention of a dream. As in "Dead Man's Party," an important ongoing development (Angel's return) is bungled by pairing it with a plot unworthy of "Charmed" (the DOA Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Pete storyline).
It's not that abusive relationships are a topic unworthy of "Buffy." They're a part of high school, and the series' long-running equation of sex with danger offers a multitude of possibilties for clever handlings of the subject. "Beauty" misses all of them, and repeats many of the early episodes' dubious mistakes. Why is it every time the show introduces a sympathetic authority figure (like Mr. Platt), he or she dies before the next commercial? The character of Debbie doesn't seem to belong in the Buffyverse at all. On a show as full of strong female characters as this, it's downright uncomfortable to see such a weak girl go unredeemed. Indeed, Buffy seems to have as much if not more contempt for Debbie than she does for Pete. What's that saying?
The good qualities of this episode are few and far between. For sure, there's the adorable sight of Willow carrying autopsy equipment in a Scooby-Doo lunchbox. The one good line of Scott Hope's brief resentful run is in here somewhere, along with characters in Debbie and Pete who make Scott look fascinating by comparison. The writers struggle to give Oz dimension befitting a regular, an effort they quickly abandoned. It's a shame Oz's interesting bits here get quickly drowned out by the ongoing Angel-Buffy soap opera and Noxon's self-satisfaction in whatever it is exactly she's trying to say with Debbie and Pete.
It's easy to pile on "Beauty and the Beasts" because it really is practically the last thing Season Three does wrong at all. The episode where Buffy finds out Angel has returned should have been much, much better, and it would have been nice for Oz to get one real standout episode in Season Three (as it is, his most memorable appearances come when he's either being introduced or leaving). Mostly, though, this one is laughable for its sledgehammer-obvious guys-don't-hit-your-girlfriends message. Also, how did Feral Angel manage to find and don pants, anyway?moreless
A fine retelling of "The mysterious Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde"
"Beauty and the Beasts" is a strong cautionary tale about abusive relationships. It also features the return of Angel. (Did anyone really think he wasn't coming back?)He is a ferral, violent, monstrous creature who may be responsible for several deaths. But it could also be Oz, who is in his Werewolf phase for 3 nights, somehow escaping from his cage. Buffy starts seeing a guy named Scott, who's freind is actually a massive control freak who's been taking a formula to make him more in control, but he has become addicted to it, and of course he takes it out on his girlfreind, and blaming her for all his problems. In the end, Angel comes to his senses and rescues Buffy from the deranged monster, while Faith tries to capture Werewolf Oz, who had fought the monster and then escaped. Over all a great episode. I like it more than any other retellings of Jeckyl and Hyde.moreless
"All men are beasts, Buffy" - Faith
So, everyone’s loved up and all gooey eyed. Until someone from the marching jazz band gets eaten. Ah, Sunnydale, it’s all love love love until there’s a gruesome death. 3 girls, 3 beastly boyfriends, which one did the deed? At first, this episode seems to be little more than a rerun of Phases - the evil that men do - but it’s slightly more subtle than that. Each girl is prepared to stand by her boyfriend, but only one is prepared to die for him. Their attitudes are wholly different.
Oz is terribly ashamed of the beast within and Willow, whilst conceding that it’s his wolf and not the human part of him that is murderous, is quite prepared to shoot him in the bum. Buffy, in the meantime, is trying to work through her Angel issues with a counsellor. Poor Buffster, she should know that every adult at school that she trusts dies a horrible death. Mr Platt sums up the theme of the episode by telling her she can’t get lost in love. “Sooner or later, you have to get back to yourself”. You can’t let love rule you else you’ll end up its bitch.
Mr Platt’s sensible attitude leaves Buffy finally able to ask for help, too late as it happens. It seems that the shock of Platt’s nasty death makes her clam up once more and fail to tell anyone else about Angel’s return. Perhaps Platt also has a longer-term influence on Buffy in her choice of profession in S7?
Anyway, with the counsellor’s words ringing in her ears, Faith telling her that men are dogs, Scott being such a lovely cutie and Angel reappearing as an aggressive beast and not the puppy she knew, Buffy has no reason to look out, or care for, her former squeeze. Apart from love. He saves her from the Pete-demon whilst animalistic and vicious, but then turns from vamp to lover, desperate for her affections. Like Oz, he has two Jekyll and Hyde sides to him. He wants to be redeemed, by love, by Buffy. Pity he managed to find some trews and shoes in which to kill Pete - a murder which, like the zookeeper in The Pack, is conveniently forgotten because Pete was a Bad Human. Slightly ironic that Buffy’s ex-lover kills her new boyfriend’s best friend.
The final couple are very different from the BTVS regulars. Pete, the domestic abuser, is not ashamed of his dark side, he revels in it. He takes no responsibility for it and he blames his girlfriend for pushing him into a half-demon life. She in her turn accepts this blame and believes that he hurts her because he loves her. He is the trad. misogynist, accusing Debbie of being a slut, telling her that “you’re all the same”, “you shouldn’t make me mad” etc etc. Debbie’s death is quite shocking in that the viewer expects her to open her eyes and see Pete for the monster he’s literally become, but her low self-esteem makes her believe she has no other option but to be the dog and Pete, her love, the master.
The final word comes from Jack London’s Call of the Wild, about a dog who is mistreated and becomes feral, primitive. Buffy only went to hell for a human day, but Angel for a whole summer, the implication being that Hades for 3 months would make anyone into an animal. As poor old Scott says: “You never really know what’s going on inside someone”.
Its the time for the full moon and mauled bodies are being found, is it Oz?
Its the time for the full moon and mauled bodies are being found, is it Oz?
Well, I liked part of this episode and disliked the rest.
I liked the interplay between Angel and Buffy. He just back from hell and acting like an animal. She trying to move on but the love of her life is back. Its a tough situation.
The abusive boyfriend part was a flop to me. I wasnt interested. I didnt care. He seemed more like a monster simply created so that they could have people die in a manner that could be like Angel or Oz... but it not be them. So they could make the characters wonder but not let the blame fall on main characters. It was underdeveloped and didnt even become a main part of the episode until over half way through the episode. Amazing how a monster that killed the shrink in a moment, struggled fighting Oz when Oz before Oz turned into a werewolf.
A fairly weak episode, although I rated it as high as I did because of the interplay between Angel and Buffy. And the voice-over was nice.moreless
When there is a mauling, suspicion falls on Oz. However, with Angel back in an animal-like state, Buffy fears he's the culprit.
It would have been interesting if it was Angel or Oz killing people. Unfortunately, we know better.
Basically a Buffy-take on the hoary Jeckyl and Hyde tale substituting a high school chemistry wiz for the good doctor. It's also a very clear read on the abusive relationship syndrome and how you can't help those who refuse to be saved.
There are only three scenes I found at all worth watching: (1) the humorous visit to the morgue, (2) the minor pathos of watching Debbie repeat over and over 'He does love me' in the girl's room and (3) Angel clinging to Buffy at the end with her standing transfixed, a mixture of emotions playing across her face.
Not even Ozwolf vs. Pete action could generate suspense and that's what this story really needed.moreless