Episode Reviews (45)
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A near perfect episode
A near perfect episode.
No easy feat for weekly TV, which by its nature normally has to hold something in reserve.
Jenny Calendar's death was deeply moving. One saw it coming, yet one could not quite believe it was actually happening.
BTVS is normally an easy-going show. Entertaining, but light in mood. The heroes never die.
"Passion" was a dramatic departure from that norm. It was truly dark and disturbing. Jenny has her neck snapped. Giles expects a romantic evening but instead finds Jenny's corpse on his bed, her lifeless eyes staring into space.
Clearly the writer(s) decided to go for it. They killed off a major supporting character. Not a disposable "mook," but a truly likeable character whom we've grown to know and love.
I don't know what the writers intend for Angel. But for me, it's over. He can never be redeemed. Not after this. He needs to die.
I logged in intending to defiantly give this episode a 10 rating -- even if others panned it. I needn't have worried. One perfect 10 rating after another.moreless
Wow. Simply...wow. The first time I saw this episode it left me completely numb for 15 minutes. Every single time I've seen it since I've felt not quite so much shock, but instead a hollow, cold feeling inside me. Spine-tingled, angered, and goosebump ridden can be added to that as well. There's a reason why this is one of the best episodes in the entire series. This episode is the first major shock of the series and represents the point where I was proud to own the S2 DVD set and proud to call myself a huge 'Buffy' fan.
It begins powerfully and ends powerfully, one of the very few BtVS episodes to do that. Most start out slow and build to a powerful conclusion. In this, we instead get creeped out by Angelus' perverted and sick mental torturing of Buffy and her friends. The opening scene is extremely creepy and, surprisingly, actually quite scary as Angelus is right on Buffy's bed, stalking her as she sleeps. When Buffy wakes up the next morning she finds a picture of her, drawn by Angelus, left on her pillow. All of this is so incredibly disturbing, I'm frankly surprised this doesn't freak Buffy out more. I know I'd be completely petrified had that happened to me.
In a important scene later on, Giles makes it clear to Jenny that he's not the person she has to make things right with. Basically, when Buffy decides to forgive Jenny, so will Giles. I love Giles' loyalty and pure devotion to Buffy, both as a Watcher and as a father figure. It is really good to see Jenny genuinely wanting to make up for her mistake by attempting recreate the curse to restore Angel's soul. Fortunately for her, Buffy gets past her anger to share with her the fact that Giles misses her, and that she doesn't want anyone to be alone. Buffy is essentially giving Giles permission to continue dating Jenny after what she did. This is extremely selfless of her and is incredibly pleasing to see.
Unfortunately, as Giles and Jenny begin piecing their relationship back together, everything else goes to hell. Angelus turns things up another notch by attacking Buffy's friends. He kills all of Willow's fish by sewing them together with a string and leaving them in a note on Willow's bed. Then he reveals that he and Buffy had sex to Joyce. Then he stops Jenny from getting the freshly translated curse to the Scoobies, which leads to a violently raw scene in the computer lab where Angelus smashes the Orb of Thesulah and threatens to kill Jenny. What follows is a scary and riveting chase scene that you always think is going to end with Buffy saving the day.
This show, however, is unique and decides to take a much darker, much riskier route by killing off a main character instead of taking the easy way out. Yes, Jenny wasn't in every episode, but she was certainly a main character. The neck snap is brutal, shocking, unambiguous, and completely earth shattering. Main characters can actually die in this show. This makes everyone's plight against evil after this is scary, tense, and gives the show a level of realism and depth rarely seen on television. All bets are off and anyone can be killed off now.
While Angelus is busy killing off Jenny, Willow is hanging out over at Buffy's place while Joyce has "the talk" about sex with Buffy. I think Joyce handles it pretty well in a very tender scene with Buffy. Buffy also responds exactly like she should and openly admits she made a big mistake in having sex with Angel. I don't think she's sorry just because he lost his soul either. I think she knows she wasn't quite ready for it yet either. This is obviously a lesson to not rush into having sex as there can be dire consequences. This isn't preaching, though, and it delivers an important message that sex is something that is meant for people with a relationship that is solid and supportable, and is not for the reckless.
As incredibly painful as it is to see Jenny Calendar's neck snapped by Buffy's ex-lover, the following scenes are, impressively, several times more painful to watch. Giles comes home expecting a romantic evening to reconnect with Jenny and what we, and he, gets instead is one of the most brutal, disturbing, and perverted things I've ever seen on television. Angelus not only kills Jenny Calendar, but he then uses her body to lead Giles into thinking he's going to have a romantic encounter is his room. Every time I see the rose on the door and Giles' big warm smile I cringe in pain. Angelus sets up everything: the opera, the rose, the wine, and the note that only says 'upstairs.' Giles warmly walks upstairs, ecstatic with the reality of reconnecting with Jenny after all that has happened. Instead he walks up to find Jenny's body carefully laid out on his bed, with her eyes left open, staring blankly at him. I don't have words to describe how evil and sick this is. This scene elicited the strongest emotional response from me ever before when watching film up to that point.
The pain and cruelty somehow still doesn't end here. The following, equally painful scene, involves Giles calling Buffy and telling her what happened. All we see is the reaction from Buffy as she collapses into a corner in disbelieving tears and Willow as she bursts into sobbing pain and sorrow in Joyce's arms. While all of this is happening, Angelus is just outside the window soaking in all of the suffering he's caused and taking pure, undiluted pleasure from the experience. It is during this scene that I actually want Buffy to kill Angelus for good. I don't care if Angel comes back or not anymore, this guy needs to be dusted, right away.
Giles, now in complete determination mode, gathers up his best weapons and takes off to kill Angelus. The Scooby Gang arrives at his house too late to stop him. Xander uses this as an opportunity to point out that he hopes Giles is able to kill Angelus and that he hated Angel long before anyone else. It's powerful and telling to see Buffy completely and unwaveringly agree. Buffy then runs to the factory to prevent Giles from getting himself killed. This involves a perfectly-executed and passionate fight scene that really delivers. What's more passionate, though, is the aftermath of the fight when Giles pushes Buffy off him and yells out, "Why did you come here!? This wasn't your fight!" Buffy punches him to the ground where she drops to her knees and simply hugs Giles tight as he weeps his heart out for Jenny.
While burying Jenny in the graveyard, Buffy apologizes with all her heart for not killing Angelus when she had the chance back in "Innocence" (2x14). What a massive price the group had to pay for hope that someday Angel might regain his soul. And hope there is, with that floppy disk lying in between the cracks. This episode is another defining moment for the series and one of the most powerful pieces of drama I've ever witnessed in my life. Absolutely stunning directing, perfect acting, creepy music, great action, powerful emotion, and awesome execution.moreless
Running out of superlatives at this point
Angelus's lyrical narration. Buffy and Joyce having 'The Talk' (you imagine one day Buffy will do the same with Dawn?). Jenny and Angelus' confrontation at the school. Buffy saving Giles at the factory. The twist in the tail.
It seems rather stupid that Buffy simply warns Joyce to keep away from Angelus, because that's going to keep her safe? In the past we're told that Angelus drove Dru mad by killing everyone she loved and nailing puppies to stuff. Here he just tells Joyce that he and Buffy had sex, doesn't even do it nastily. Although Will's fish aren't nice.
Any and all of Angelus' narration. Plus Spike stopping Dru from helping Angelus "Not fair if he doesn't tag you"
Character death-1 (Jenny the 3rd recurring character to die)
Knocked out-yep, Giles again
Women good/men bad-0
Questions and observations;
Wonderful scene where Jonathon and friend actually come into the library to borrow some books (reminiscent of the opening scene in Friends where they turn up at Central Perk only to find the couch taken for once). Surely Angelus doesn't need an invitation to enter a public area like a school? Or has Jenny done a spell to keep him out and the school motto meant it didn't work. Equally does the invitation rule apply to cars? Presumably Angel has also been to Giles' house in order to put Jenny's body in Giles' bed. We must assume Giles and Jenny have had sex before if she has a key to his place and he's not suprised to find her in his bedroom. Once again, roses don't seem to repel vamps in the Buffyverse. Does Joyce not question why the 40+ school librarian keeps popping around the house to see her teenage daughter? Willow collapsing into Joyce's arms is a sign of how close Joyce has become to the rest of the Scoobs.
Jenny is the 3rd recurring character to die, making it one every 10 eps or so, the shock and brutality of him killing her is awful. Giles knocked out again. Willow's dad is called Ira and he seems quite strictly Jewish. Willow says she's his only daughter, what about sons? I was always suprised fanficcers didn't make more of Buffy and Willow's sleepover after Willow finds her fish? If you can restore Angel's soul why not do that to all vamps? Although Buffy the Vampire Resouler is probably not such a good series.
10/10, running out of superlatives here
Probably my absolute favorite of the entire series. Truly shows what this show is capable of.
I watched Buffy in its entirety for the first time very recently. Though I did find the whole show enjoyable, I firmly believe that the second and third season were its high point, and no season after that really reached the same heights. That said, looking back at the entire series, this is the episode that impressed me the most. I think that it's the first episode that truly showed what the series was capable of. Angelus was an extremely interesting villain not only because he was so completely malicious, but also because you already had an emotional investment in the character before he turned. To an extent I feel like this is also why Faith worked in season 3. This show was great at getting you invested and then pulling the rug out from under you.
For that reason, I think the moment of this episode that absolutely left me breathless was the death of Jenny Calendar. I really liked her character and the relationship she had with Giles. Her death scene was perfect. They made no indications that the character wouldn't be around long. She'd only been on the show for half a season, she and Giles were just making up after a fight, it seemed like she was just beginning to make it as one of the show's main characters. When Angelus was chasing her through the school, I barely felt any sense of danger. I was so sure she'd get away. That's why when Angelus finally caught up and snapped her neck as though it were nothing, I was absolutely shocked. It was the instant I realized that absolutely no one on the show was safe.
The subsequent scene involved Giles is absolutely heart wrenching to watch. So much so I think it's the only time I closed my eyes during a scene on this show. Everything about this episode works, from the narrations, to Angelus's delight in the pain he's causing, to that final scene when the floppy disk hits the ground. The fact that it's hard to watch is, for me, what makes it so great, because it really, truly does make you feel something for the characters. Buffy in its finest hour.moreless
Passion was burning hot in this great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I really enjoyed this episode as it closed and continued some great story lines. There was a lot of character development going on in this episode with most of the main characters. Ms. Calendar was working on a way to restore Angel's Soul, but he killed her, unfortunately he missed a disk with the spell on it. It was also interesting to see how Angel, Spike, and Druscilla all get along in their own little world. This episode definitely helps viewers become more attatched to the characters. Giles is heartbroken and nearly destroyed over whats happened. Over all this is another Classic episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.moreless
Passion: one of the best in the series
Like i said, this is one of the best-well written episode in the series. I loved the Angel dialoge in the beginning and end. It was very hard to watch the part when Gilles sees Jenny dead, and watch Angel kill her. The last part with the floppy disk on falling through the cracks was very important because it gives hope Angel can turn good again. The part when Angel talks to Joyce was also very good because i felt through the whole thing that he was going to attack her. I am glad that they reversed Angel's invite into the house. I love this episode. It's one of those episodes you can watch over and over again. It is one that cannot be missed!!moreless
Season 2, Episode 17.
Buffy needs protection for herself and for Joyce after she discovers that Angel sneaked into her bedroom while she was sleeping. I loved Angel's narration about passion. I don't think there's ever been a narration in the show before. Sarah Michelle Gellar looked really good in this episode. I liked when Buffy told Joyce about Angel. I can't believe Angel sneaked into Willow's room and killed her fish! Drusilla is too weird, though. Angel is still hot. I loved when Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Cordelia walked out of The Bronze and Angel killed a victim right next to them and they didn't notice. I loved the whole Jenny and Angel scene. Excellent episode, and definitely a series classic. Way to go, writers!moreless
Angelus: Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments
This episode showcases some of Angel's finest evil moments as he torments Buffy and her friends in order to prepare them all for when he kills them. The drawing on Buffy's bed and the dead fish in Willow's room are quite well placed. I also love how angel comes to the house and tells Joyce that him and Buffy had slept together which was by far the worse one of his little tricks because it betrayed Buffy's secret and had her feeling worse than she already did about her mistake. Then the most heartbreaking scene comes when Giles discovers the body of Jenny set up in her bed for the night that they never get to have together. Giles's reaction is severe but understandable as he tries to do what Buffy has proved that she cannot when he goes to even the score with Angel. His voice overs are well placed and very chilling and work so well for the tone and mood of this episode that really explain why he has to kill and why people have to live.moreless
' without passion, we'd be truly dead' my favorite quote of all time. a must watch. the best epsode.
i love this episode so much. it got everything in it, drama, relationship problems, action, adventure, adn don't forget horror. angel way of killing buffy was a very interesting one. he thinks its better to hurt her until she could take it no longer befor killing her is amazing. 'to kill her, you have to love her.' love the way angel said this. it was so true. by killing everone she hold dear before killing her is the best way to kill buffy. the part where angel killed jenny was a bit hard to watch. i quite like her. but it showed that one of the scoobies can die and that the writers are willing to do that. it also showed that the scoobies are in real danger of angel, not just evil in a straight way, but in a twisted way. angel treated killing like an art. this episode is amazing.moreless
another great episode you don't want to miss.
buffy is being haunted by angel. he is stalking & taunting her that creeps buffy out. meanwhile, ms calendar is planning to make it up to buffy by trying to restore angel's soul. angel found out about it & killed her. the scene when buffy got the call from giles in the house while angel is just outside watching them is the meanest angel could have portrayed his character. the look on his face is pure evil in a way that he's taking so much pleasure in the torment he is inflicting in every misery buffy is suffering. he really captured that pure evil character. i think this really defines what angel's passion is all about.moreless