Episode Reviews (33)
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Frankenstein meets Slayer
Some Assembly Required episode, brings all new type of supernatural creature to life. Buffy is still fighting with Angel since her dance with Xander. That's not the worst part, someone is digging up bodies of dead girls. But Buffy saves Cordelia from the Frankenstein (Daryl Epps) and takes a walk in the graveyard with Angel. The Special effects and make-up are done perfectly well.
Cordy nearly becomes the Bride of Sunnydale's Frankenstein.
"he's alive!" -- that's what I wanna yell every time I watch this episode. yeah, that reminds me about "Frankenstein" movies so much. but surely it differs from them 'coz it has our favorite characters...
241-year-old Angel is jealous 'coz of Xander and Buffy's "sexy dance". almost 19-year-old Frankenstein (I'm sorry, Daryl) wanna a perfect "Franky" girl with Cordy's face. Giles and Jenny have their first (and it would be the second!) date. guess, I've watched this episode too many times (don't know the reason why), so I don't have enough passion to write about it in better and funnier words.
FAVE SCENE: Angel finds Cordelia in the trash.
FAVE QUOTE: Xander: People don't fall in love with what's right in front of them. People want the dream. What they can't have. The more unattainable, the more attractive.moreless
After the scorcher of an opener that was "When She Was Bad", it is disappointing to see the show settle back into what feels like a normal routine.
"Some Assembly Required" represents an interesting place in the show's evolution. In many ways this feels like a Season 1 episode: it's got the silly plot, the guest villains that barely register and never appear again, the labored pacing, and the failed scares. Despite the fact that this is a mediocre episode, something's still different about it that I couldn't quite put my finger on at first. Upon reflection, two things emerged: more relevant themes and much better character follow-through.
Thematically, "Some Assembly Required" feels right at home in the romantic, operatic Season 2; it is all about the push/pull in romance between your mind and your body. The plot is also a clear commentary on how often men objectify women, although this is unfortunately communicated through the cartoonish, one-dimensional Eric. Certain notable questions arise from these themes. Which should you listen to more: the mind or the body? Is it possible to responsibly integrate both aspects together? What happens when the desires of the flesh take control? These questions are all played out in metaphor through the brothers Daryl and Chris, metaphorically the body and the brain of one very frustrated and confused adolescent with a lack of parental guidance.
The fates of these villains provide us with good answers to some of these questions. The body, or Daryl, ends up dying in a fire with his disgusting constructed "perfect woman," grasping for love and connection in all the wrong places. The brain, Chris, ends up coming to his senses and at least helping Buffy stop the madness, but nonetheless still tries to rationalize his immorality. Eric, the tool, ends up cowering in fear when confronted, then gets knocked out and saved, despite being a despicable person. Who fares the best out of these three? Clearly Chris, who -- mistakes and all -- doesn't actually directly hurt anyone and comes around at the end. I think of this as communicating to the characters that the mind must be in control of our decisions concerning love. To an extent, we can't control how we feel in love, but we can still control what we do in love.
So, how does all of this relate to our characters then? Do they learn from it all? The truth is: not so much. At the end of the episode Angel points out several reasons why he's not a good partner for Buffy this is the mind doing its thing. Instead of recognizing Angel's legitimate concerns, Buffy sidesteps them simply because she has feelings for him. Even though Angel deserves props for at least consistently raising concerns about their relationship, he, too, shows his inexperience and naivete by letting those concerns slide. Daryl may have been defeated, but what he represents lives on through Buffy and Angel. This doesn't bode well for the two of them. The fear of being alone also seems to be a recurring element in the episode. Daryl expresses this concern quite loudly, which definitely resonates with Buffy's internal conflicts and motivates her to push forward with Angel.
"Some Assembly Required" gives us something that no Season 1 episodes really did: follow-through. Right from the start of the episode we see Angel attempting to reconnect with Buffy after her emotional breakdown in the last episode. The characters not only reference the events of the previous week, but those events inform what they are dealing with this week. This is a very welcome change, and one that will happen on a regular basis going forward. But trust must be reinforced on an ongoing basis or risk being quickly lost. It's these early Season 2 episodes that begin to show consistency in this area.
As for said reconnection attempts, it's funny how Angel shows a little bit of jealousy towards Xander, a fun reversal of the usual situation. Normally you'd think that a guy like Angel would be more mature than to still be hung up on that "dance" with Xander, but this just highlights how, emotionally, Angel fits right in with the teenagers. It's an understandable feeling, albeit a juvenile one. Even though Angel claims that Xander's "just a kid," he says it with an insecurity that suggests maybe he's the one being the kid here.
An underlying question throughout the Buffy/Angel relationship is how Buffy can get to know Angel when Angel doesn't even know himself yet. The fact that Angel can't see that Buffy's behavior in "When She Was Bad" was an emotional anomaly unrelated to him shows just how unperceptive and immature he is. Even on his own show some of these deficiencies will persist, which I think stems back to his wild human childhood and daddy issues. Angel will eventually grow up enough in Season 3 to see his relationship with Buffy for what it really is, but in many ways he needs just as much growth as the kids do maybe even more. But that's a conversation for another day. :)
As I pointed out in my review of "When She Was Bad", Season 2 is very focused on coupling and sexuality, with a particular eye toward the adolescent treatment of said topics. So it's of no surprise that the episode opens with Buffy and Angel having what almost looks like a relationship quarrel. This is immediately followed by Giles flimsily rehearing pickup lines for Jenny Calendar. Within the confines of just this episode, we get hints both subtle and not that the show is toying around with the idea of couplings for Buffy/Angel, Giles/Jenny, Xander/Buffy, and Willow/Xander.
Where Buffy and Angel are caught up in puppy love, the budding romance between Giles and Jenny offers a different path. For as bumbling as Giles is, it's his relationship with Jenny that will turn out to be -- by far -- the most mature and fertile of all the relationships that form throughout the season. Even though he, too, is not immune to a crush, he doesn't let that crush consume him. Giles never shirks off his duty to Buffy, and he shares enough tangible interests with Jenny to sustain a longer relationship. In short: these are two adults with the potential for a real future together. The contrast with the kids couldn't be clearer, and it's an utter delight to watch the two of them interact together. This makes it all the more ironic when Buffy and Xander lecture Giles about how to engage in the dating ritual.
After all of this analysis, it may seem like there's nothing wrong with the episode! Unfortunately, for all "Some Assembly Required" has to say, it's really uninvolving. Its biggest mistake is how it tries way too hard to generate emotion for Daryl and his plight. Outside of what it represents and has to say about the characters we actually care about, I just don't care about the plot. Far too much time and melodrama is spent on these temporary villains, and it ends up making the episode a bore. Instead of feeling emotion about what's happening, my eyes are doing some creative rolling. "Some Assembly Required" simply doesn't earn its emotional beats, which makes a lot of the value of the episode too dryly academic.
At the end of the day we see just how much "assembly" our characters still need before they become adults. It's going to require a lot of work, and will be quite the journey. "Some Assembly Required" is more substantive than meets the eye and thematically tight, but it still struggles with its plotting and ability to connect emotionally.moreless
Some Assembly Required
This episode is frankly a pretty big letdown after all the drama of the last one. We get a dumb "monster of the week" plot with one-dimensional villains who comes out of nowhere. The only positive aspect to the plot here is that the pace is not slow! Things keep moving at a brisk pace so you rarely have the chance to contemplate just how poor the plot actually is.
Where the episode shines is no surprise: character development and interaction. Perhaps I should come up with an acronym for that phrase; I certainly use it often enough. We begin the episode with Buffy and Angel having a graveyard chat about her actions during the previous episode. The "sexy dance" in particular comes up. Buffy thankfully admits she just did it to make Angel jealous. Angel's wearing an ugly-looking light gray jacket most of this episode. Boy am I glad we don't see him in that thing again.
Giles and Jenny finally go out on a date, though I'm not sure 'date' is the appropiate term here. Giles accompanies Jenny to the football game, and it's wildly obvious Giles is not having a good time from the get-go. Jenny still shows interest, after the group stops Cordelia's head from being chopped off, in a second date. The continuing theme of their dates ending badly begins here. I'd also like to mention how much I adore the fact that Xander continues to stay in character with the jealousy of Angel, and that Cordelia's flirt-o-meter with Angel continues to rise from her S1 advances.
Its overall boring plot and poor execution combine to make this the worst episode in S2. I just really find this episode mostly pointless and kind of annoying. This definitely isn't a winner and feels like leftovers from S1 that aren't sitting well with me.moreless
Buffy vs Frankenstein
Some assembly required;
We have our first sympathetic monster/villains and the show is all the better for it. Love the grave-digging sequence, the fiery rescue, the kids telling Giles how to date Jenny and the date itself, especially Giles' opinion of American football. The twist that the villains are doing it for Daryl rather than themselves. And if you're a guy or girl-who-likes-girls Cordy in her cheerleader outfit. Giles dealing with Cordy's pain.
Angel wears a hideous tan jacket which makes him look like a used car salesman. Was all his black leather being dry cleaned or something? We thankfully never see it again. Jenny uses the word 'disses' which I normally negatively associate with people who wear their trousers around their knees and regularly stab each other.
Buffy; Sorry, I'm an old fashioned girl, men dig up graves and women have the babies
Questions and observations;
Of course this resembles Frankenstein but also the Reanimator series and Wes Craven's horror film Deadly Friend starring the original Buffy Kristy Swanson
Chris and Eric's plan is just creepy in the extreme although a lot more understandable when you meet Daryl, they're doing it for him rather than just creating their own yucky sex toy. Once again Cordy is knocked out and tied up. Jenny again and more and more part of the group.
We have the first example here of the Hellmouth genius, that the supernatural energy of the Hellmouth can make certain people smarter, Chris Epps, Willow, Ted's creator, Warren so despite being in high school they can do things that have eluded scientists for centuries. Despite Willow's complaint in Doomed it actually seems to be Cordy who always seems to be finding the bodies. We see Cordy beginning to come around to Xander's better qualities.
I rather like to think that Chris goes home, pulls back the curtains, switches the TV off and takes his mother to Daryl's grave to say goodbye. As for Eric he has a picture in the Sunnydale High Class of 1999 yearbook where therapy seems to have done him a lot of good. A shame we don't see either of them again but there is only so much room in the show
Good ep; 8/10
Some Assembly Required
Some Assembly Required was another good episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayers second season. While patroling Buffy discovers an empty grave, robbed of its owner, and Cordelia and Angel make their own discovery. It is interesting to see Cordelia try to get Angel, making Buffy jealous. The main culprits in this episode are 2 friends who brought back one's dead brother, and now they are trying to make him a girl friend who is just like him so he will never be alone. This is the series version of Frankenstine. I thought it was entertaining, funny, and also had some serious moments.moreless
Talkin' bout myyy giiiiirlll - my girl.
Giles is hilarious in this episode. We know he was a badass, and now he's as stiff as a plank, but to see him in full on schoolboy crush mode is just hysterical. I very rarely mention Anthony Stewart Head, as he's usually consistently brilliant, but he's even better when he pulls off the mumbling idiot.
The main storyline this week is less interesting â€" it's a playful episode, but there's not a lot to it. Angel and Buffy grow closer, while Xander and Willow do, too, but the bulk of the hour concentrates on a semi-interesting Frankenstein plot that leaves off exactly where you'd expect it to.
I'm not entirely sure how Angel missed that open grave. Buffy followed him directly, meaning he either saw the grave and chose to ignore it, or else Buffy was pissing him off so much, he took a gamble and waited to see if she'd fall in. And speaking of Buffy in said grave, this episode has 2, maybe 3 group shots used in the opening credits. I never noticed that before till now.
Jenny gets quite a bit of development in this episode. She's such an instantly likeable character, and Buffy's throwaway line about asking her to bless Giles' computer was a classic. The 'you caught that, huh?' on-running gag with Giles was just on the right side of cheese to get away with it, that and Giles and Jenny make such a great couple.
It's a decent entry during season 2s early offerings, one that has some great moments tucked away within an average monster storyline. Cordelia is such a shallow character and I love her all the more because of it. I couldn't help but laugh when Eric mentions that Cordy will now have the body of a 17 year oldâ€¦yeah, cos she doesn't have the smokin' bod of a 20-something already? I keep forgetting these people are still supposed to be 16â€¦moreless
Season 2, Episode 2.
This episode was not so good but not so bad. I liked the concept of the episode, the acting, and the actors' hotness... However, although the concept was interesting and good, the way it played out had something missing. I liked Cordelia flirting with Angel, though. Haha. Angel, played by David Boreanaz, is extremely hot. I wasn't able to pay attention to much of the episode. Cordelia also looked good in the episode. The guy hanging the pictures of Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia was creepy yet cool. I liked Buffy's term "techno-pagan" for Ms. Calendar. Hehe, overall, a decent episode. :)moreless
Not the best story, but great character moments
I just rewatched this episode for the first time in years, and I had forgotten about the great character moments that it contained. This is especially true for the developing Buffy and Angel storyline/romance. The first act and the last act of the episode were great in this regard. There were also other great character moments (Giles and Jenny, etc.), but the Angel and Buffy ones really stand out in my mind. I guess I hadn't rewatched the episode in so long because the story was cliched and weak. Oh well, it is worth a watch for the witty banter and the character development.moreless
Xander: Maybe not, but I'll tell you this. People don't fall in love with what's right in front of them. People want the dream. What they can't have. The more unattainable, the more attractive.
This episode is good, but not one of my favorites from this season. Body parts show up and the team starts investigating which leads to a brother who has gone over the normal bounds of brotherly love. His reaction to his brothers death is understandable and reminds me of how Dawn reacts later in the series because his pain is understandable but at the same time he has let his grief cause him to do things that he normally would not. I like how Cordelia is incorporated into this episode and her interactions with Angel are really funny. A good episode, that doesn't have much going on, except for Giles who sees some hope of getting some.moreless