Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 4

Beauty and the Beasts

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 20, 1998 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
586 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

On the night of a full moon a student is found savagely mauled in the woods, and the gang worry that Oz may have escaped from his cage. However, Buffy discovers that Angel has somehow escaped Acathla's hell dimension and returned to Earth. Because time moves differently in hell, he has endured centuries of torture and is now little more than a wild animal. Now Buffy must find a way to tell the gang that Oz may be innocent and to keep them from killing Angel.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Smoking in school?

    The counselor was smoking a cigarette in his office. This was filmed in 1998 supposedly in CA. In 1995 smoking in public places was banned! That makes no sense.
  • 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
  • Misandrist?

    Beauty and the Beasts;

    The Good;

    Faith dancing, Buffy hunting and capturing Angel, Buffy's scenes with the counsellor, Willow's concern for Oz.

    The Bad;

    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

    Best line;

    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"

    Whedon Cliches;

    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.'moreless

    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

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • Nitpick: When Angel returned from the hell dimension he was nude, and feral, but when Buffy finds him in the woods he is wearing trousers. If he is so insane and damaged from being in a hell dimension for possibly thousands of years that he can't recognize Buffy it seems odd that he is able to remember to put on pants.

    • Goof: At the morgue, Xander and Willow are seen in closeup with the corpse. As Xander asks "is Oz cleared or what" look carefully at the victim's neck and you can see it move as though he is swallowing.

    • Goof: When Buffy is in her first meeting with the counselor, her top changes from open to closed multiple times throughout the scene.

    • At 36:03 when Willow and Buffy are in the restroom talking with Debbie, there is a poster that reads "Most women aren't attracted to dead guys".

    • Goof: When Buffy and Willow are first in the bathroom with Debbie, she has not finished covering her black eye. But when they leave, it's completely covered.

    • Nitpick: Considering how dangerous a werewolf is it's odd that the cage window wasn't sealed shut, or better yet barred.

    • Goof: When Willow reminds Oz of the time the library clock reads 5:35. Oz goes into the cage and closes the door. As he looks back through the door at Willow the clock can be seen again, only now it says 5:30.

    • Goof: When Buffy arrives for her 2:00 meeting with the guidance counselor, the clock in his office reads 4:13.

    • After Buffy knocks out Angel, she brings him back to the mansion that he lived in with Spike and Drusilla. To stop him from escaping, she opens an old trunk and pulls out chain restraints. Look carefully and you'll notice that Buffy clears off a bunch of old dolls from the trunk before she opens it. The trunk (and chains) must have belonged to the childlike, doll-collecting Drusilla.

    • Nitpick: From this episode on, the Werewolf Oz has a relatively flat face. During Season Two, however, he had a long, wolf-like snout.

    • When Willow is at the morgue, she has a Scooby Doo lunchbox with her tools in it. This is a nod to a running joke in the series where Willow, Xander and Buffy refer to themselves as the Scooby Gang.

    • Nitpick: When Buffy finds Angel for the first time, he's obviously picked up some trousers from somewhere, but that's all -- he has no shirt or shoes. So when Buffy chains him up, he's clearly only wearing trousers. Yet when she returns to visit him later in the day, he is wearing boots. And if he was chained up, he couldn't have put on boots.

    • Nitpick: When Oz turns into a werewolf his clothes completely disappear. Even if he ripped out of them they'd still be lying somewhere near the stairs.

    • Nitpick: When Buffy goes into Mr. Platt's office she obviously wants no one to know, but she leaves the door to the counselor's office open where anyone, including Giles, who she mentions specifically, could hear her conversation.

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Oz: (after fighting off Pete, Oz looks out the window and sees that it's dark out) Time's up...rules change. (Oz changes into a werewolf and attacks Pete)

    • (Buffy's tranquilizer dart misses the mark and hits Giles in the side)
      Giles: Ah!
      Buffy: Oh! Sorry!
      Giles: Oh, right. Bloody priceless.
      (Giles staggers, then falls down)

    • Buffy: It's tricky covering a fresh shiner like that. You know what works?
      Debbie: What?
      Buffy: Don't get hit.

    • Buffy: 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.

    • Cordelia: Great. Now I'm going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day.

    • Debbie: He does love me. He does love me.
      Willow: I think we broke her.
      Buffy: I think she was broken before this.

    • Debbie: (about Platt) He'll make you start a dream journal.
      Pete: What's that, like a Barbie thing? "Dear Dream Journal, how come Ken hasn't come around since he got that earring?"

    • Scott: I can't back you on that lunch. Nutritional demerits.
      Buffy: Oh, my stomach doesn't want hard food today. But there's fruit in it.
      Scott: Those are marshmallows.

    • Faith: I was going kind of crazy in here, but I can get in a few stakings before sunrise.
      Buffy: Knock yourself out. Not literally, though.

    • Oz: (to Willow) Okay, you know that thing where you bail in the middle of an upsetting conversation? I have to do that. It's kind of dramatic, I know, but... sometimes it's a necessary guy thing.

    • Giles: It's good to see you. Um, no need to panic.
      Oz: Just a thought: Poker, not your game.

    • Faith: All men are beasts, Buffy.
      Buffy: Okay, I was hoping to not get that cynical 'til I was at least forty.
      Faith: It's not cynical. I mean, it's realistic. Every guy, from Manimal to Mr. I-Love-The-English-Patient has beast in him. And I don't care how sensitive they act. They're all still just in for the chase.

    • Xander: No worries, I can handle the Oz full monty. I mean, not handle handle, like hands to flesh handle.
      Willow: Okay, well, it's not for you. It's for me, 'cause I'm still getting used to the half monty.
      Xander: Oh, good. Half? You and Oz? Which half?
      Willow: Wouldn't you like to know?

    • Buffy: One night after supper, the lead dog turned up a snowshoe rabbit. The dog lay down low to the race, his body flashing forward, leap by leap.
      Willow: (reading) He was sounding the deeps of his nature, and the parts of his nature that were deeper than he, going back into the wombs of time. The rabbit could not...
      Oz: *growls*
      Willow: Okay, uh, maybe we should try a less stimulating passage.

    • Oz: I may be a cold-blooded jelly donut, but my timing is impeccable.

    • Scott: I hope you realize I don't actually know these people. I just... I thought you would like me better if I had friends, so I hired them.

    • Giles: How long... exactly did you... rest your eyes for?
      Xander: A little now, uh, a little then. But I never heard Oz leave, and he was here in the morning when I, um... when I...
      Giles: WOKE UP?!
      Xander: You could put it that way if you want to, Mr. Technical.

    • Cordelia: Oz ate someone last night.
      Willow: He did not!
      Xander: Oz does not eat people. It's more werewolf play. You know, I bat you around a little bit, like a cat toy. I have harmless, wolf fun. Is it Oz's fault that, you know, side effect, people get cut to ribbons, and maybe then he'll take a little nibble and... I'm not helping, am I?

    • Mr. Platt: Look, Buffy, any person... grown-up, shrink, Pope... any person who claims to be totally sane is either lying or isn't very bright.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (12)

    • Buffy: Great. So while you two live out your grim fairy tale, two people are dead.
      A pun referring to Grimms' Fairy Tales. The Grimm brothers collected German folktales and published them in a book called "Children's and Household Tales," which is more commonly known as Grimms' Fairy Tales.

    • Willow: Mr. Science was doing a Jekyll/Hyde deal.

      A reference to the most famous tale of split personality Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    • Pete: What's that, like a Barbie thing? 'Dear dream journal, how come Ken hasn't come around since he got that earring?'
      A reference to the Barbie and Ken dolls from Mattel. The earring bit may also be a reference to the identification of men with earrings as being gay. In the 80s and early 90s having your left ear pierced was considered acceptable but an earring in the right ear signified homosexuality. Now, however, men often wear earrings in either or both ears without fear of retribution.

    • Willow: I've been at Mr. Donut since the tv did that snowy thing.
      Mr. Donut is a national chain of stores along the lines of Dunkin' Donuts. The "snowy thing" refers to the way a television displays static due to a lack of a signal. In other words, Willow was awake past the time when the television station stopped broadcasting.

    • Buffy: This was vivid. Really vivid. Three dimensional, Sensurround, the hills are alive...
      Sensurround refers to a sound technique used mostly in the 70s, where extra low bass (outside the human hearing range) would be added to the mix. Buffy probably intended to say surround sound like she did in her Reptile Boy comments. The phrase "the hills are alive" refers to the famous song from the movie musical The Sound of Music. Both comments are more likely intended to evoke a general sense of how vivid her "dream" was rather than being specific references to anything.

    • Faith: Get out of jail free, huh?
      From the board game Monopoly. The get out of jail free card does just that for the player who gets it.

    • Buffy: Look... I know that I have to do this, and I'll cooperate and look at your ink blots and everything...
      A reference to the Rorschach test once common in clinical psychology. In the test the subject's interpretation of a series of ink blots is supposed to give the examiner insight into their psyche.

    • Oz: Just a thought - Poker, not your game.
      Poker is a gambling card game that requires participant to be able to bluff about the quality of their hand. Giles shows a decided inability with his delivery of the "no need to panic" line.

    • Faith: Every guy from Manimal to Mr. I-Love-The-English-Patient has beast in him.
      Faith contrasts the outward beastliness of Manimal with the outward sensitivity of The English Patient lover. Manimal is most likely a reference to the short lived 1983 television show of the same name. In the show the lead character had the ability to transform himself into various animals. The English Patient is a book and later Oscar winning movie that is most often considered a chick-flick.

    • Xander: I can handle the Oz full monty.
      The British phrase "the full monty" basically means "to do everything". A rough American equivalent would be "the whole nine yards". After the success of the 1997 movie The Full Monty, wherein the term was applied to a group of male strippers getting completely naked, the term is now most associated with total (male) nudity.

    • Xander: Oh, Call of the Wild. Aren't we reading the Cliffs Notes to this for English?
      Call of the Wild is the Jack London novel about a dog taken from a domestic existence to run in the wild with the wolves. Cliffs Notes are literary guides that many students read in place of the actual novel. Xander is apparently taking this shortcut.

    • Title: Beauty and the Beasts.
      The title refers to the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.