Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 22

Becoming, Part 2 (2)

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM May 19, 1998 on The WB
out of 10
User Rating
940 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Buffy arrives too late to save Kendra from Drusilla's surprise attack, and ends up being arrested for Kendra's murder. Escaping from the police, she goes to the hospital to find that Willow is comatose and unable to complete the spell to restore Angel's soul. She also learns that Drusilla took Giles, and heads out to rescue him and stop Angelus once and for all with the help of a most unlikely ally.


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  • 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.moreless
  • 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!

    Becoming pt2

    The Good;

    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.

    The Bad;

    Are you kidding? It's all too wonderful!

    Best line;

    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
Susan J. Leslie

Susan J. Leslie

First cop

Guest Star

Thomas G. Waites

Thomas G. Waites

Cop #2

Guest Star

Max Perlich

Max Perlich


Guest Star

Seth Green (I)

Seth Green (I)


Recurring Role

Kristine Sutherland

Kristine Sutherland

Joyce Summers

Recurring Role

Robia LaMorte

Robia LaMorte

Jenny Calendar

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • Niptick: When Angelus is torturing Gilles, he breathes on his glasses to clean them. But in season 1 final episode, Angel asks Xander to perform mouth-to-mouth on Buffy because vampires don't have any breath.

    • The yellow shirt that Oz is wearing in the hospital scene has the name "Larry" embroidered on it.

    • Goof: Willow says that Oz will have to speak Latin during the Ritual of Restoration. However, they are actually speaking Romanian (and some lines of English).

    • Nitpick: In "Becoming part one" during the attack the library clock says the time is 7:12. At the same time Buffy begins to run from the cemetery to the library. In this episode immediately after arriving at the library Buffy is confronted by two police officers and the same clock now says the time is 8:17. It should not have taken Buffy one hour and five minutes to run full speed from the cemetery to the school. The two are not that far apart.

    • In this episode after Giles tells Jenny/Drusilla that Angelus's blood is the key to opening Acathla, Angel replies, "My blood's the key that opens the portal. My blood, my life…" You can clearly hear Angelus's Irish accent when he says "life."

    • Nitpick: When Buffy returns to the library to retrieve the sword, all the bookshelves are standing upright seemingly untouched. However due to the vampire attack in the last episode some of the bookshelves were thrown down including the one that fell on Willow. It is possible to think that the police picked up the bookshelves but would they really put all the books back on the shelves as they are shown to be in this episode?

    • Nitpick: The officer shot at Buffy when Buffy ran away. A police officer would not have legally been able to use lethal force in this instance because no one's life was in immediate danger.

    • Goof: We know from "Becoming Part 1", that the police searched the library. In this episode, there are those police tape things around the place. Buffy goes towards the table, and pulls out a bag from underneath, which as we all know contains weapons, as Buffy pulls out a sword. The really strange thing is, how the police did not notice the bag was there!

    • The vampire that comes to the school tells Buffy to meet Angelus at "the cemetery," but we find out next season that Sunnydale has 12 cemeteries. It must be she and Angelus have a "special" one that they would both know was the correct choice.

    • Goof: When Spike is strangling Drusilla and she passes out and he picks her up, both of her arms fall in front of him, but as he carries her out and sees that Angelus has Buffy cornered, there is Dru's hand, holding onto to his shoulder - boy, for an unconscious person, she sure can hold on tight.

    • Goof: Kendra's chalk outline is different from where she died- in "Becoming (1)", where her feet where against the check out desk. Now her outline is somewhat forward.

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Joyce: (to Buffy) If you walk out that door, don't even think about coming back!
      (Buffy steps out)

    • Whistler: Bottom line is even if you see 'em comin' you're not ready for the big moments. No one asked for their life to change, not really, but it does. So what, are we helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come, ya can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are. You'll see what I mean.

    • Angelus: Just tell me what I need to know.
      Giles: In order to be worthy...
      Angelus: Yeah?
      Giles: You must perform the ritual... in a tutu. Pillock!

    • Buffy: Okay, fine, you're not down with Angel. Why would you ever come to me?
      Spike: I want Dru back, I want it like it was before he came back. The way she acts around him..
      Buffy: You're pathetic, I lost a friend tonight!
      Spike: I wasn't in on that raiding party.
      Buffy: And I may lose more! The whole earth may be sucked into Hell and you want my help because your girlfriend's a big ho? Well, let me take this opportunity to not care.
      Spike: I can't fight them both alone and neither can you.
      Buffy: I hate you.
      Spike: And I'm all you've got.

    • Spike: You have your way with him you'll never get to destroy the world and I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet.

    • Cop: Do you know this girl?
      Snyder: Buffy Summers. If there's trouble, she's behind it.
      Buffy: You stupid little troll you have no idea.

    • Angel: Buffy? What's going on? Where are we? I don't remember.
      Buffy: Angel?
      Angel: You're hurt. (they hug) God, I feel Like I haven't seen you in months. Everything is so muddled.
      Buffy: (sees portal to hell opening behind Angel)
      Angel: What's happening?
      Buffy: Shh... don't worry about it. (they kiss) I love you.
      Angel: I love you.
      Buffy: Close your eyes. (kisses Angel, and plunges sword through him)
      Angel: (in portal) Buffy...

    • Angelus: Keep out of it, sit-n-spin!

    • Giles: You're not real.
      Xander: Sure I'm real.
      Giles: It's a trick... to get inside my head, make me see things I want.
      Xander: Then why would they make you see me?
      Giles: Right. Let's go.

    • Whistler: You know, raiding an Englishman's fridge is like dating a nun. You're never going to get the good stuff.

    • Snyder: These are moments you want to savor. You wish time would stop so that you could live them over and over again. You're expelled.
      Buffy: You never ever got a single date in high-school, did you?
      Snyder: Your point being?

    • Oz: Okay, I pretty much missed out on some stuff, didn't I? Because this is all making a kind of sense that's... not.

    • Willow: I'm okay.
      Xander: You don't look okay. Does she?
      Cordelia: You should listen to him. The hair, it's so flat, and the lips...
      Xander: Could we stay on topic here, honey?

    • Spike: What, your Mom doesn't know?
      Joyce: Know what?
      Buffy: That I'm, uh... in a band. A rock band... with Spike here.
      Spike: Right. She plays the-the triangle.
      Buffy: Drums.
      Spike: Drums, yeah. She's hell on the old skins, you know.

    • Spike: I want to save the world.
      Buffy: Okay, you do remember that you're a vampire, right?
      Spike: We like to talk big, vampires do. "I'm going to destroy the world." Its just tough-guy talk. Struttin' round with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people... billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then, someone comes along with a vision. With a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester-bloody-Square. You know what I'm saying?

    • Buffy: Let me clear this up. We're mortal enemies--no time-outs.

    • Spike: I don't want to hurt you baby. (punches Drusilla) Not that I won't.

    • Joyce: Have we met?
      Spike: Uh... you hit me with an axe one time. Remember, "Get the Hell away from my daughter"?
      Joyce: Oh...

    • Buffy: I have had a really bad day, okay? If you have any information worth hearing then I am grateful. But if you're going to crack jokes then I'll rip out your rib cage and wear it as a hat.

    • Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends...No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?
      Buffy: Me.

    • Angelus: Now... tell me when it hurts.

    • Buffy: Don't worry about me.
      Whistler: It's all on the line here, kid.
      Buffy: I can deal. (sadly) I got nothing left to lose. (leaves)
      Whistler: Wrong, kid. You got one more thing.

    • Angelus: My boy Acathla here is about to wake up. You're going to Hell.
      Buffy: Save me a seat.

    • Buffy: Open your eyes, Mom. What do you think has been going on for the past two years? The fights, the weird occurrences. How many times have you washed blood out of my clothing, and you still haven't figured it out?
      Joyce: Well, it stops now!
      Buffy: No, it doesn't stop. It never stops. Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or, god, even studying! But I have to save the world. Again.

    • Angelus: I want to torture you. I used to love it, and it's been a long time. I mean, the last time I tortured someone, they didn't even have chain saws.

  • NOTES (11)


    • Joyce: Are you sure you're a Vampire Slayer? (a few lines later) "Have you tried not being a Slayer?
      This is an obvious play on being gay/lesbian. A similar play on words will be made some years after this episode in the movie X-Men 2.

    • Angelus: Keep out of it sit-n-spin.
      The sit-n-spin was like a home version of the carnival teacup ride. You could sit on it and spin by turning the center dial.

    • Giles: Pillock.
      British slang meaning roughly "idiot" but somewhat stronger.

    • Spike: Good-bye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester bloody Square.
      From the song "It's A Long Way to Tipperary". The line is also the title of a novel by Arthur La Burn.

    • Spike: You've got dog racing... Manchester United...
      Manchester United is perhaps the most famous football (soccer) club in the world. They are based as a team in England's Premier League, but often play exhibition matches against teams from other countries as well as European teams in the UEFA Champions League.