School Hard

Episode Reviews (48)

Superb
787 votes
9.1
  • SORT BY:
  • 9.5

    here he is... my favorite vampire appears in Sunnydale!

    By peyngel, Dec 14, 2013

    "Buffy" becomes a bit more interesting after this episode. and the reason is SPIKE! yay for him :) and right after this episode I'm rooting for Spuffy!



    but now few words about "School Hard"... Spike and Dru appear in Sunnydale, kill the Annoyed one, and start ruling over the vampire kingdom. btw, they are Angel's friends from the past. Buffy's nearly expelled and grounded, but after saving so many lives on the Parent/Teacher Night, things are gonna get better for her.



    FAVE SCENE: Spike watches Buffy and the gang dancing at the Bronze.



    FAVE QUOTE: Willow: We can't run, that would be wrong. Could we hide?moreless

    1 0

  • 9.5

    I knew there was a reason I used this episode as a firestarter for 'Buffy' skeptics!

    By tarafan2, Jun 11, 2013

    Spike rolls into town with Drusilla and rolls over all the previous villains this show has had before. Before I talk about everything I loved, though, I'm going to mention the few things that could have been even better. One complaint is that, later on, vampires are established as having insane hearing abilities. This episode ignores or isn't aware of that ability, which creates some scenes that don't work in retrospect. It's not too much of an annoyance, but it's too bad they didn't have that part of the mythology straightened out from the beginning. The only other complaint I have is that David Boreanaz's acting here is often quite poor. He comes off as pretty corny most of the time when he really shouldn't. When put in the same scene with James Marsters' Spike, it becomes painfully obvious who the better actor is. Fortunately, though, Boreanaz greatly improves his acting throughout the season.



    Ok, now on with the fun. The episode begins with Principal Snyder threatening to expel Buffy because she burned down a school building in the previous episode. I not only love the consistency in Snyder's character, but I also love that no one just forgot about the fact that Buffy was involved with that fire. All of this introduction material is great continuity. Then Spike comes into town, mowing over the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign, a trait he later becomes known for. The 'cool' car stops to an abrupt halt then that usually annoying "this guy is super dangerous" music begins playing and you think, "oh idiot villain," but instead Spike steps out of the car with his unusual platinum-colored hair and lights a cigarette. Already this guy is cooler than all the villains that have been on the show up to this point.



    That brings us to Spike's first lines. He tears apart the corny dialog from the other vampire about being at the crucifixion and then goes on to talk about his experience of feeding off a flower person at Woodstock. Wow, good times. So while he's putting all the other lame vampires to shame Drusilla walks in with her creepy white dress. Immediately Spike shows a ton of affection for her, which is radically different from all the other vampires on the show. Then she licks some blood off of him and they do this damn cool face-turning-outward move instead of kissing. These two, already, have single-handedly made this season several times more interesting. They appear to be the bad guys of the season and boy do they hold your attention. Also, in retrospect, Spike comes across as 100% in character from his very first scene. Well done!



    This brings me to the fantastic scene which majorly foreshadows character development over the next seven seasons. That scene is the one where Spike comes into The Bronze to check Buffy out for the very first time. You can see in Spike's face immediately that he is awestruck by Buffy. So awestruck, in fact, that he visibly has to snap himself out of it and remember why he's there. Then he yells out, "there's some guy trying to bite someone out there," which causes Buffy to rush outside. Spike intelligently watches Buffy fight the vampire he set up for her from the shadows to get a glimpse of her fighting style, then says he'll kill her on Saturday.



    Spike has several things that make him such a good and entertaining villain. Some of them include his affection for Drusilla, his sarcastic and bad-ass attitude, his hatred for rituals and chanting, and his "fighting By fighting intelligence I mean that he's very smart when it comes to fighting opponents and winning. He sets Buffy up to watch her fighting style, then he says he's coming to kill her on Saturday which is simply a ruse so he can attack her earlier when she's not expecting it. He ends up attacking her in the middle of parent-teacher night at the high school!



    While attacking Buffy at the school he remains very intelligent. He has her locked down in the school with a bunch of helpless classmates and teachers she has to come out to protect. He takes charge and initiative while all the other vampires around him pretty much look brainless and confused. Him and Buffy duke it out and Spike basically wins the fight, but intervention via axe from Buffy's mom saves her life. Spike's angered comment, "women!" always gives me a quick memory flash of his "what's wrong with you bloody women!" comment in "Crush". Then after all this excitement Spike kills off the last remnant from S1, "The Annoying While I didn't mind the idea of a creepy vampire kid running the local vampire population, he really hadn't done anything worth mentioning at this point, so I really enjoyed seeing him killed like that.



    Spike says, "A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the This line tells us that Spike knows that a Slayer with strong ties to family and friends will help keep her bound to this world. These ties will make this Slayer more difficult to off than his previous victims. We also learn from Spike in "Fool for Love" that every Slayer has a death wish, even Buffy. Spike knows after this encounter, though, that she's not close to that breaking point yet, which is why he is so depressed when telling Drusilla what happened at the end of the episode.



    I have one minor complaint about Spike, but only one. He says to Angel, "you were my sire, man, my Yoda!" Well, we find out in "Fool for Love" that Drusilla was Spike's sire, not Angel. This lapse in contuinity could be explained by assuming that when he said 'sire' he meant The end of that line about Angel also being his 'Yoda' would make this theory plausible.



    This is mostly an action episode, with little character development involved. If you had just given me that outline before I'd actually seen this, I would have predicted this episode would suck. Spike and Drusilla completely save the day, though, and bring interesting plotting to a show that already has fantastic character development. This series is finally putting the pieces in play for what could be a powerful season.moreless

    0 0

  • 9.5

    School Hard

    By arkanitoo, Jul 09, 2012

    I knew there was a reason I used this episode as a firestarter for 'Buffy' skeptics! Spike rolls into town with Drusilla and rolls over all the previous villains this show has had before. Before I talk about everything I loved, though, I'm going to mention the few things that could have been even better. One complaint is that, later on (in AtS I think), vampires are established as having insane hearing abilities. This episode ignores or isn't aware of that ability, which creates some scenes that don't work in retrospect. It's not too much of an annoyance, but it's too bad they didn't have that part of the mythology straightened out from the beginning. The only other complaint I have is that David Boreanaz's acting here is often quite poor. He comes off as pretty corny most of the time when he really shouldn't. When put in the same scene with James Marsters' Spike, it becomes painfully obvious who the better actor is. Fortunately, though, Boreanaz greatly improves his acting throughout the season.



    Ok, now on with the fun. The episode begins with Principal Snyder threatening to expel Buffy because she burned down a school building in the previous episode. I not only love the consistency in Snyder's character, but I also love that no one just forgot about the fact that Buffy was involved with that fire. All of this introduction material is great continuity. Then Spike comes into town, mowing over the "Welcome to Sunnydale" sign, a trait he later becomes known for. The 'cool' car stops to an abrupt halt then that usually annoying "this guy is super dangerous" music begins playing and you think, "oh no...another idiot villain," but instead Spike steps out of the car with his unusual platinum-colored hair and lights a cigarette. Already this guy is cooler than all the villains that have been on the show up to this point.



    That brings us to Spike's first lines. He tears apart the corny dialog from the other vampire about being at the crucifixion and then goes on to talk about his experience of feeding off a flower person at Woodstock. Wow, good times. So while he's putting all the other lame vampires to shame Drusilla walks in with her creepy white dress. Immediately Spike shows a ton of affection for her, which is radically different from all the other vampires on the show. Then she licks some blood off of him and they do this damn cool face-turning-outward move instead of kissing (see screencap below). These two, already, have single-handedly made this season several times more interesting. They appear to be the bad guys of the season and boy do they hold your attention. Also, in retrospect, Spike comes across as 100% in character from his very first scene. Well done!



    This brings me to the fantastic scene which majorly foreshadows character development over the next seven seasons. That scene is the one where Spike comes into The Bronze to check Buffy out for the very first time. You can see in Spike's face immediately that he is awestruck by Buffy. So awestruck, in fact, that he visibly has to snap himself out of it and remember why he's there. Then he yells out, "there's some guy trying to bite someone out there," which causes Buffy to rush outside. Spike intelligently watches Buffy fight the vampire he set up for her from the shadows to get a glimpse of her fighting style, then says he'll kill her on Saturday.



    Spike has several things that make him such a good and entertaining villain. Some of them include his affection for Drusilla, his sarcastic and bad-ass attitude, his hatred for rituals and chanting, and his "fighting intelligence." By fighting intelligence I mean that he's very smart when it comes to fighting opponents and winning. He sets Buffy up to watch her fighting style, then he says he's coming to kill her on Saturday which is simply a ruse so he can attack her earlier when she's not expecting it. He ends up attacking her in the middle of parent-teacher night at the high school!



    While attacking Buffy at the school he remains very intelligent. He has her locked down in the school with a bunch of helpless classmates and teachers she has to come out to protect. He takes charge and initiative while all the other vampires around him pretty much look brainless and confused. Him and Buffy duke it out and Spike basically wins the fight, but intervention via axe from Buffy's mom saves her life. Spike's angered comment, "women!" always gives me a quick memory flash of his "what's wrong with you bloody women!" comment in "Crush" (5x14). Then after all this excitement Spike kills off the last remnant from S1, "The Annoying One." While I didn't mind the idea of a creepy vampire kid running the local vampire population, he really hadn't done anything worth mentioning at this point, so I really enjoyed seeing him killed like that.



    Spike says, "A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure." This line tells us that Spike knows that a Slayer with strong ties to family and friends will help keep her bound to this world. These ties will make this Slayer more difficult to off than his previous victims. We also learn from Spike in "Fool for Love" (5x07) that every Slayer has a death wish, even Buffy. Spike knows after this encounter, though, that she's not close to that breaking point yet, which is why he is so depressed when telling Drusilla what happened at the end of the episode.



    I have one minor complaint about Spike, but only one. He says to Angel, "you were my sire, man, my Yoda!" Well, we find out in "Fool for Love" (5x07) that Drusilla was Spike's sire, not Angel. This lapse in contuinity could be explained by assuming that when he said 'sire' he meant 'mentor.' The end of that line about Angel also being his 'Yoda' would make this theory plausible.



    This is mostly an action episode, with little character development (aside from Spike and Drusilla) involved. If you had just given me that outline before I'd actually seen this, I would have predicted this episode would suck. Spike and Drusilla completely save the day, though, and bring interesting plotting to a show that already has fantastic character development. This series is finally putting the pieces in play for what could be a powerful season (and it turns out, is a powerful season).

    moreless

    1 0

  • 9.0

    Bye Bye Annoying One.

    By MovieMark, Dec 11, 2010

    The introduction of Spike and Drusilla essentially changes Buffy as a series for the better. They command the screen almost instantly: James and Juliet have sizzling chemistry and you instantly get that vibe they’ve been together for a very long time. What’s more is that they actually come across as a serious threat. Spike locates his prey, stalks it, tests it, tricks it and then tries to kill it. All within one episode. You can see why they keep him around, he’s bad news, and Buffy knows this.



    The hour has quite a few neat surprises as well. The fact Spike crashes earlier than expected was a welcomed change of pace. Sheila being vampirised (it’s a word!) while signposted a mile away made for a great a few tense moments. The best, by far, has to be Joyce coming to Buffy’s aid ‘no-one touches my daughter!’ you tell ‘em Joyce. Although now Spike knows what Buffy’s mother looks like, which can’t be good (edit: actually, it makes for some laugh-out-loud funnies later on in the season/series).



    As well as all of the supernatural bits and pieces, what appeals to me about season 2 is the regular stuff Buffy has to deal with as a teen. Her attempts at hiding her mother away from Principal Snyder are brilliant, especially as her options run out and so she’s forced to suggest the boiler room as a class. And the way Kristine Sutherland scolds Buffy, I feel as though I’m being chastised too. Overall, it’s the first really good ‘normal’ episode of Buffy. From the sharp dialogue (‘Je Stink’) to Spike’s badass entrance, this is one action packed episode with SO many good one-liners.moreless

    6 2

  • 9.0

    School Hard

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 11, 2010

    School Hard was a great episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was the introductory episode for Spike aka William the Bloody and his Vampire Lover Druscilla. They are diabolical, demented, and devious. They take up with The Annointed one and his crew. Eventually Spike takes over. It was interesting to watch Snyder playing with Buffy's School Life, and how her mom automatically was on his side, until she saw Buffy in action when Spike and his crew attacked, to kill Buffy. It was interesting to note that Spike claims Angel was his Sire, when in the future we find out otherwise. I think think its great watching the characters and their relationships grow.moreless

    0 0

  • 10

    We meet Spike and Dru who eventually turn into so much more in this world we know as the Buffyverse. The night of the Parent/Teacher conference becomes hell night as the school is overrun with vampires and things with just one person to protect them.

    By jyarter, Dec 17, 2009

    What a truly wonderful episode in retrospect. We meet James Masters as Spike who becomes almost every bit the heart throb that David Boreanaz as Angel was in the early days of Buffy. We also meet Drusilla played by Juliet Landau his paramour as well.



    We learn that Angelus sired William(Spike) and that there is a special bond there. Also we seemed to finally get rid of a little bit of that constant annoying Mother not understanding her daughter bit which seemed to crop up every episode. You would have thought that Joyce would have realized there was something special about her daughter by now. Principal Snyder never did seem to learn what was what though as we find out later.



    Personally I found a great deal of satisfaction in Spike's actions during at the end of this episode. I especially enjoyed him locking the chosen one in the cage and raising him up into the sunlight. Sort of a little snot nosed kid for being the chosen one. You had to wonder how long it would be before that would happen!



    The scenes in the school were exciting and action packed and I think this is one of the best episodes up to this point in the short life of the series. Excellent story with some interesting consequences on the series as a whole and even for the series Angel later on. Who would have thought at the time? Hindsight is always 20/20. Thanks for reading...moreless

    1 0

  • 10

    This is such a great episode! It introduces two of the best villians ever....Spike and Dru!

    By sophdoph13, May 25, 2009

    Spike and Dru are possibly the best villians ever in Buffy! Spike comes to try and get Dru back to full health and partly to check out the Slayer. Spike has killed two slayers already. I think this episode is really good, because it introduces the villians really well. Buffy also has some trouble at school, because Parent Teacher Night is coming up. That is also the night that Spike attacks the school and Buffy has to try and get everyone out safely without them finding out that she is the Slayer. I love Spike and Dru. Dru is so great in the way that she is so mad and Spike because well, he is just awesome!moreless

    0 1

  • 9.5

    Season 2, Episode 3.

    By Wanted23, Apr 15, 2009

    Home sweet home, Spike! Buffy learns that she might get expelled. But is there any legitimate reason for her to get expelled? She didn't even do anything in this school, I believe. She burned down the gym in her old school. Who cares? The other chick stabbed a teacher. Buffy burned down the school more than once?! LMAO. Hehe. Drusilla is so annoying and boring though. She should have been vanquished in this episode. Buffy and Willow study at The Bronze? That's smart... I liked when Spike said that a guy was trying to bite a girl outside and Buffy ran. The guys Sheila was with were HOT! Good episode! Loved the scenes at the school.moreless

    0 1

  • 8.0

    The introduction of possibly the best Buffy villains

    By TheHappyHermit, Feb 06, 2009

    This was a good episode, but not great in my opinion. What made the episode so noteworthy was the introduction of the vampires Spike and Drusilla. I believe I read where they were only supposed to be around for a couple of episodes. However, the fans loved them so much that they stuck around for much longer than intended. I believe that fans are drawn to Spike because of his "cool" factor, and the way he treated the Annointed One probably further endeared him to the fans. Drusilla is just kind of creepy in an appealing way. She makes you wonder what's going on in that head of hers.moreless

    1 1

Load More Reviews