Episode Reviews (50)
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Becoming, Part 2
Becoming, Part 2 was a Perfect conclusion to the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode left me speechless at the end. There was lots of action packed scenes as well as some emotional ones too. There was a lot of character development from Snyder causing more trouble for Buffy, to the relationships between Buffy and her Mom. There were also developments with Spike and Druscilla. The way all the little stories added up was superb. The acting was at its best, and the ending closes some doors while opening new ones. I really look forward to the next season. This episode seals season 2 as a Classic Buffy Collection!!!moreless
One of the best episode ever!!!
An outstanding episode. I love when Buffy insults Snyder. I was cheering her, definitively! Joyce gives Buffy and ultimatum, if she goes from Sunnydale, she doesn't look for her, because she won't receive her again, that was so devastating. The end. That was the best part, i actually cried, because never in my life i've seen such an episode that could made me cry, never! Buffy goes to recovering and leaves everything to escape.
My clever title
Okay hold up.
I feel like that bit at the end where Buffy plunges the sword into Angel's chest was a bit overdramatic. I mean she needed his /blood/ to seal the gate, right? Wouldn't a cut on the hand do just fine? Why the need for such drama? It just felt unnecessary.
EDIT: okay just to clarify. I'm not saying it was unnecessary for Angel to go to hell. Sure that's all good and fine. But was it /reeeeaaalllly/ necessary for Buffy to plunge that sword into him like she did? Couldn't she cut his hand then shove him in?
Aside from that, aaahhh! Such a great episode!!! I thought the whole Angel scene at the end (minus the sword-plunging) was brilliantly done! The way Angel reacted when he got his soul perfect! so beautiful! And man! That acting! I've got to applaud David Boreanaz. Even the parts where "bad Angel" was trying to "act" like good Angel, there was still /something/ there, something evil almost that couldn't be hidden and David Boreanaz portrayed both sides of Angel perfectly. Sincerity vs. sarcasm. Love vs. bitterness and hatred. He did such a good job of consistently portraying those emotions when playing both sides of Angel, I honestly dont' think I can emphasize it enough.
But let's talk about Buffy for a bit here.
This whole feeling sorry for herself, running away from her friends deal (whether mentally, emotionally or physically) and blocking them all out is getting just a little bit old! But perhaps I should clarify (potential semi-spoilers follow) I've watched up until about halfway through season 6 just when Buffy is coming out of (?) her ANGSTIEST phase yet and it's the same old story! I got so annoyed by that! I think there are still residual feelings of annoyance from that which have yet to disintegrate and that's why I'm feeling extra annoyed at that attitude currently. Because my first time watching through Buffy I don't remember being as annoyed. So that's probably why. I think this time through I'm noticing a lot more how much of a theme it's becoming (and will only worsen as the series goes on, I'm afraid. Ugh)
But all that aside. Yep. I think that just about covers it. Looking forward to (*sigh* guess this is sort of a spoiler. Pretty obvious though imo) Angel's return ;) (because come on, we all know he returns. He gets his own show for god's sake). Such angst! Such sexiness!moreless
Becoming, Part 2 (2)
This is my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Since BtVS is my favorite television show, that means that this episode represents my favorite television episode of all time. While many other episodes in this series come close, none other can evoke the same range of polar opposite emotions from me. In one moment I'm literally rolling on the floor, uncontrollably laughing, while in another I'm literally crying (and I don't cry when watching film). In addition to the awesome range of emotions brought out in me, there is perfect pacing, perfect music, and one memorable scene after another nonstop from the beginning of the episode until the credits roll. This episode is utterly perfect and represents the pinnacle of episodic television. The entire season built up to this point and the payoff is beyond comparison. So without further generalized praise from me, lets get started with the review!
It begins right where part one left off, with Buffy being arrested for suspected murder. Buffy knows she doesn't have time to deal with the cops so she throws one of them on the ground and flees the scene nearly being shot in the head in the process by another cop. She ends up at the hostipal to see how everyone is. The scene in Willow's hospital room shows just how far Cordelia has come this year. She went from resident bitch in S1 to slightly caring bitch in S2. Now at the end of the season she is showing genuine concern and care for both Xander and Willow. This kind of slow and natural character development is truly rare on television, but this series has it in spades as exemplified by Cordelia here.
As much as most of the characters have evolved in this season, the focus here is squarely on Buffy. Whistler says to her, "In the end, you're always by yourself. You're all you've got. That's the point." This is a truly complicated statement. To some extent, Buffy will always be cut off from others because she is the Slayer. She explains this to Xander again during "Selfless" (7x05). But at the same time Buffy does have friends which make a tremendous difference in helping to keep her rooted in this world. This is something that gives her strength and makes her a unique Slayer, made evident by Spike in "Fool for Love" (5x07).
Buffy may very well be always alone dealing with Slayer duties, but when it comes to her raw emotions and sharing them with others she will never be alone because of her existing and created family. This is why when faced with her boyfriend leaving her, her mother dying, and having to sacrifice her sister, Buffy admits she simply cannot comprehend 'life' anymore. She can't believe she's being ask to sacrifice her own sister after everything she's been through. So instead she sacrifices herself to save her sister in "The Gift" (5x22). When Buffy's emotional support buckles she becomes useless and that death wish Spike says all Slayers have creeps to the surface.
The Whistler talk leads directly to the Spike scene by the police car. It actually makes a ton of sense for Spike to help Buffy after what Angelus has put him through. Spike is not only hilarious here, but also offers up more insight into his character. A lot of people complain that in "Innocence" (2x14) he wanted to destroy the world but now he is interestingly defending it. Well, when Spike's immobilized, unhappy, and downing bottles of alcohol, he'll do anything to make himself feel better. In "Doomed" (4x11) he tries to stake himself because he's so unhappy about not being able to kill things anymore. I pretty much figure in "Innocence" (2x14) he was so unhappy he took the risk of bringing The Judge back just to see some killing. I'm sure he wouldn't have let The Judge extinguish everything. Spike tells Buffy, "'I want to destroy the world.' That's just tough guy talk."
While on the subject of the awesome Spike I'll mention how much I love the back and forth glances between Spike and Buffy as they walk up to her house. Boy it's refreshing to see him out and about again. Buffy explains Spike's presence to her mom by saying, "I'm in a rock band with Spike here." This is a hilarious scene where Joyce also finally finds out Buffy is the Slayer, for real. When they get inside Buffy calls Willow to make sure everyone's okay. While she's on the phone there's a literal "rolling on the floor laughing" moment: Spike and Joyce spending extended quiet time in the living room together.
Unfortunately (in some respect) all the fun quickly ends when Joyce demands Buffy stops running out and gives her some answers. This ignites a very powerful scene between Buffy and her mother in the kitchen. Joyce grabs on tight and tells her, "Buffy, you need help!" This reminds me of "Normal Again" (6x17). We discover there that Buffy had been instiutialized in a mental hospital for a couple weeks right after she became the Slayer. Only after she stopped talking about vampires did the doctors release her. Because of this background, Joyce's ultimatum "if you walk out that door don't even think about coming back!" is extremely realistic. The scene really hits the authentic cord for me, though, because my mother has given me that same ultimatum a couple times before in my youth! The desparate ultimatum by Joyce of course backfires and Buffy leaves home.
So she just got kicked out of her own home by her mom and now she's got to save the world as thanks for it. First she needs the sword Kendra brought so she stops by the library to pick it up. This is when Principal Snyder uses his first truly golden opportunity to expel Buffy. It is truly gut-wrenching to see poor Buffy being expelled from school right after being kicked out of her home. I feel so sad and sympathetic for her right here. Amazingly, her pain is about to be amplified several times more.
At this point it would appear Buffy has lost everything: her home, her school, and her friends (in the sense of they can't help her at all). She heads back to Giles' apartment to get the scoop on how to use the sword from Whistler, who points out that she still has one thing left to lose: herself. This brings me to another complaint other people have. It's said that she only needs Angel's 'blood' to close the vortex. However, Whistler says, "one blow will send the both back to hell." It's obvious that the writers intended Angel needing to go to hell with Acathla in order to close the portal. This ambiguity doesn't bother me in the slightest because I clearly know what was intended.
So Buffy's heading in for the final showdown when Xander comes out of the woods to relay a message from Willow. He was supposed to tell her Willow is trying to curse Angel again, but instead he directly lies to her and says Willow said, "kick his ass." This lie comes out into the open in "Selfless" (7x05) in a big way. It's interesting to ponder whether he helped Buffy with that lie or ended up damaging her. There are many opinions on the matter but I tend to lean on the side that the lie hurt her. It can be argued that he lied for her own good so that she wouldn't be emotionally distracted and wind up jeopordizing the world. I don't buy that at all because I know Xander's character. He's hated Angel from the moment he first saw him and hates him even more now. Xander doesn't want Angel to get his soul back, he wants him gone. I see Xander's lie as a selfish move and one that ended up probably causing Buffy an entire summer of grief. If you don't buy my argument, just take a look at how eager Xander is to kill a soulful Angel with Faith in "Revelations" (3x07).
The final confrontation and swordfight between Buffy and Angelus is extremely entertaining, incredibly well done, completely believable, and incredibly personal. Angelus gets the upper hand and has Buffy defenseless in a corner where he tells her, "Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends... No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?" Buffy's inner strength finally shows up and she sternly answers Angelus with, "ME." She fantastically stops the sword between her palms, gets back up, and begins to lay the hurt on Angelus until he's without any weapons, beat up, and ready to be sent to hell. Willow's spell succeeds in a knick of time, though, and Angel's soul is restored...
...and they live happily ever after...no wait, we're watching a Joss Whedon show where happy endings don't happen. Instead of getting your typical happy ending that every other show has, BtVS decides to go in a completely new direction. This leads to the most beautiful acting I've ever seen, done by the wonderful Sarah Michelle Gellar. You can feel the massive sense of relief in her when she initially realizes Angel is back. This makes it really painful when you see her relief and joy quickly transform into shock and grief as she realizes she must stab Angel, her true love, into the demon (banishing him to eternal hell) in order to close the vortex and save the world. She tells him to close his eyes, kisses him one last time (with utter devastation on her face), then stabs him onto the demon. The moment right after the vortex is closed is the most tear-inducing thing I've ever witnessed on film. Her slow dissolve into absolute grief, pain, and sorrow puts me in tears every single time I see it alone.
Now that's what I call entertainment! There could not have been a more satisfying conclusion to this season. Kudos to everyone involved and especially to Joss Whedon for crafting his tightest script to date. This is television at its finest and is something to be treasured. I see this episode as going down in history as a new age classic of the love story gone sour. Buffy has officially taken her first big step towards adulthood and won't be looking back!moreless
A hell of a show!
All of it, every scene between Spike and Buffy, Giles and Angelus and Spike and Joyce. Great scenes with all the Scoobies and the ending just too heartwrenching for words, especially with Sarah MacClachlan's beautiful music, all classic.
Are you kidding? It's all too wonderful!
Joyce; "Have you tried NOT being a Slayer?"
Character death; Angel or so we think?
Tied up; Giles and tortured
Knocked out; Dru which is rather strange, Spike seems able to knock her out with a chokehold despite the fact that she doesn't breathe and has no circulation.
Questions and observations;
Joyce thinks Buffy is the Slayer because she didn't have a strong male role-model. Of course she'll later find out that Buffy is the Slayer because she did, she had Giles. The first (and only unless you can correct me) appearance of Willow's 'resolve face'. Xander's remarks at her bedside set the basis for their relationship in season 3. Willow successfully casts her first spell. Why is Buffy still wanted when Xander and Cordy can back up her story? Spike's reluctance to end the world seems odd considering he was happy to do it earlier
A couple of points that escaped me about Becoming pt2, firstly Dru seems to be deeply enamoured of Giles but then she always did have a thing for 'daddy'. Secondly as Jenny Dru says to Giles that they'll get to do all the things they never had a chance to implying that Giles and Jenny never did have sex
10/10 and I need a hug
Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.
Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.Awesome. Epic. Monumental. Devastating.moreless
This is one of the best episodes in television history (in my opinion).
When people ask me what my favorite season of Buffy is, I immediately think seasons 2 and 3. These seasons are hilarious, romantic, suspenseful, and unlike anything else that I've ever watched involving vampires or not. The show moves at such a fast pace, and I really wish current shows would learn from its example. Becoming Part II, at least in my mind, embodies everything that is great about this show's early seasons.
Joss Whedon never fails to make season finales epic. I hate finales that are anti-climatic, but this episode was chopped full of so much television gold that it's hard to pinpoint one quality that made it so monumental. But I'll try to point out a few.
First of all, what an epic sword fight. I don't really care for the genre of action that much, but there is no denying that the choreography and presentaion of this particular fight was amazing.
And then there's the character development. Hint hint, Willow's witchy powers are growing and she's good at it. Hint hint, Spike isn't your average evil vampire, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. These seeds are planted early so that it makes sense that they grow so much in later years.
And then there is the complete devastation and beauty that comes with sending Angel to hell. Viewers watching the show for the romantical elements could not have been disappointed by Buffy's heartbreak when shoving the sword into her lover, but those who hate the romance could still appreciate what Buffy must have felt because it wasn't a mushy scene or shoved down the viewers' throats.
Overall, this episode is just brilliant. This is what television is all about.moreless
Ok, the most beautiful episode in Buffy ever ! She kills the love of her life in order to save the world and then she runs away... Fantastic !!!!!
The most beautiful episode in Buffy ever ! She kills the love of her life in order to save the world and then she runs away... Fantastic !!!!! The scenes are beautiful and it introduces Willow with magic and the music is very well chosen, especially Fall of Grace in the end of the episode ! It makes me cry everytime I watch it !
Putting the Kibosh on Vampire Man
Death, revelations, relationships, sacrifice, accusations, torture. When a situation turns really bad on Buffy, you just know that all hell will break loose. Becoming Part Two is an episode that made the entire audience really realize how truly stunning this show is. Whereas before we realized that Buffy was one of the best shows around, this episode made us all realize that this is one of the most epic series in the history of television.
Part two completely changed the series for the better. We had Joyce discovering Buffy's abilities, Buffy fully accepting that she has to lose those close to her in order to fulfill her destiny, Willow embracing magic, Spike fighting alongside the good guys and the Scooby Gang all playing a huge part in saving the world. The scenes involving Kristine Sutherland were some of the best in the show's history, ranging from awkwardly hilarious (her reunion with Spike) to emotionally traumatic (her anger at Buffy's decision to leave the house). These were the scenes that really spoke to me, as they just seemed so realistically written and Joyce's angry reaction was completely justified.
There were also so many little character pieces that were excellently used. Xander not telling Buffy about Willow's spell spoke volumes about his attitude when it comes to Angel, and Nicholas Brendon nailed it there. Willow's "resolve face" showed how confident she is in times of crisis, and how she can easily take control of the Scoobies when Buffy and Giles are absent. Plus, her saying Oz's name as she woke from her coma also proved how in love she is with him.
I need to also commend Joss Whedon on the complete feeling of doom and destruction this episode brought on. Unlike The Master's slightly lame apocalypse plan, Angelus' is completely believable, and he's more evil than ever. The huge battle scene was completely stunning and, despite an obvious Xander-looking stunt double for David, it literally took my breath away, especially the moment in which Buffy stops Angelus' sword just as it's about to stab her in the face.
The closing moments are heartbreaking. Though the use of a Sarah McLachlan song is admittedly clichéd nowadays, Buffy's use of the song completely fit the scene. Buffy is both emotionally and physically wounded following the battle. She's homeless and, in her eyes at least, a killer. Sarah Michelle Gellar is remarkable here, bringing so much to her character. I really don't praise her enough, and she really blew me away in this episode.
Becoming Part Two is a true standout in the series' lifespan, combining every great aspect of the show. Whilst it may not be the best ever episode, it's certainly one of the most memorable, and raised the bar of how excellent this show really is.
Director: Joss Whedon
Writer: Joss Whedon
buffy killed angel, not angelus...i cried...
Later she goes to the hospital to see Willow who is there, still unconscious. Xander is ok and Cordelia shows up to tell them Giles is missing. Buffy realized that the vamps got him because of his knowledge of the demon. Giles wakes up in the mansion with Angel threatening to kill him. Spike shows up to talk to Buffy, turns out that he doesn’t want Angel to destroy the world, he just wants Dru back. Willow awakes and is asking for Oz, not Xander who has been telling her that she can’t leave him. Buffy’s mom has been called by the cops and when she shows up with Spike Joyce is concerned. They are lying and all is ok until Buffy dusts a vamp. Then she tells her the truth. This doesn’t go over well. Buffy calls the gang and tells them what’s happening. Willow decides to try the gypsy spell again hoping she can change Angel before he does anything. Spike’s proposition is to help Buffy kill Angel if he and Dru can leave afterwards. Buffy agrees. When she goes to leave her mom tells her that if she walk out never come back. Buffy keeps going. First to the library for the sword where she runs into Snyder who expels her. Then to Whistler who tells her Angel’s blood is the key to the demon. At the mansion Angel’s torture is going no where so Dru casts a spell so Giles thinks he is seeing Jenny. He tells her that Angel’s blood is the key. Willow begins to try to give Angel his soul back at the same time that Angel begins to awaken Acathla. Buffy and Xander show up at the mansion. Xander rescues Giles, and Buffy faces Angel. Spike rises from his wheelchair and hits Angel. Dru freaks out and tries to stop Spike from hurting Angel. In the chaos Angel manages to get up and complete the ritual, pulling the sword from Acathla's body. At the hospital, the ritual is having some effect, as Willow suddenly appears to be possessed and starts speaking in tongues. Spike knocks Dru out and they leave. Angel and Buffy are still fighting then Angel staggers back as the Thessulan Orb with Willow disappears. The curse has worked, Angel is Angel again. He asks Buffy what's going on as she realizes what's happened and kisses him passionately. But when she pulls away, she sees that Acathla has reawakened, and the whirlpool has started. Tearfully she tells Angel to close his eyes. Kissing him one last time, she plunges the sword through him, and both the whirlpool and a wide-eyed Angel disappear as Buffy bursts into tears. Later that day, Joyce finds a note on Buffy's bed. Willow returns to school in a wheelchair, Buffy gets on a bus and leaves.moreless