Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 6

Halloween

15
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 27, 1997 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (40)

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9.2
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  • Here we have humor and action deftly woven together to create an absolutely wonderful episode.

    9.5
    The only complaint I have is that at the end, when Buffy becomes herself again, she knocks Spike on the floor and lets him run away without any effort to keep him trapped. She could have beaten him to a bloody pulp until someone got her a stake. Aside from that, though, there is much fun to be had here!



    The episode begins with a vampire filming Buffy, with a video camera, fighting a different vampire. We soon discover that this video is meant for Spike. He is studying the Slayer in even more detail, preparing for their next encounter. Not only is it great seeing Spike checking her out like this, but James Marsters has this uncanny ability to hold your attention when he's on screen. Spike is just such a fun character to watch, regardless of the plot. Juliet Landau doesn't slouch either as Drusilla. She manages to convey this sense of extreme helplessness and utter creepiness at the exact same time. How that is possible I do not know.



    I'd like to quickly mention that I really appreciate the continuity of the smaller stuff, like Devon checking out Cordelia in "Inca Mummy Girl", so now they're trying to date. A little more significant in plot is Buffy and Angel trying to meet for coffee. The entire last episode dealt with the fact that Angel didn't want to get together with Buffy for a coffee. It's just really refreshing to see this stuff remembered and built upon.



    Anyway, I enjoyed seeing Buffy wondering if Angel would prefer she were a noble woman from his time. This naturally leads to the scene in Ethan's costume shop where she goes all wide-eyed and cute over the pink princess dress. She gets the dress from Ethan Rayne, who casts a spell to turn people into their costumes. It is really cool seeing what everyone thinks of the new, helpless, Buffy. Cordelia says it best by saying, "what's that riff?" Everyone else is pretty confused by her transformation except for Willow who gets to take charge of the situation all by herself.



    Willow gets a ton of character development here. She finally gets a big dose of self confidence, which is an important step in her ongoing journey to becoming a very powerful individual. She hides her skimpy outfit out of shyness but then, post-spell, is forced to walk around in it. Until Giles asked her "the ghost of what?" she hadn't even noticed that she looked all skimpy. This goes to show that when things get out of hand and Buffy's not around to take charge, she has it in her to take command and acheive that self-confidence.



    The whole concept of this plot is just really fun. A lot of roles get to reverse and all the characters are stronger for it. As mentioned before, Willow gets to take charge, but Buffy becomes the opposite: helpless. Seeing Buffy that pretrified is very new, and of course Spike loves it. Xander also gets in the action, literally this time, and just all around kicks ass. He beats up Larry to protect Buffy when earlier in the episdode Buffy protected Xander from Larry. Xander's "beating up that pirate gave me a weird sense of closure" is a hoot. Giles also gets some development which is a result of his dialog with Ethan. We find out that they know each other and that Giles has quite the unsavory past. This adds some intrigue and depth to a character that was hanging around the two-dimensional mark.



    Overall there is a ton of good stuff in here. Lots of subtle and not-so subtle character development mixed with a fun plot and great acting. This is a very fun episode to watch and new people who are just getting into the show always love it. I'm right there with them, this is a great stuff.
  • Halloween

    9.5
    Here we have humor and action deftly woven together to create an absolutely wonderful episode. The only complaint I have is that at the end, when Buffy becomes herself again, she knocks Spike on the floor and lets him run away without any effort to keep him trapped. She could have beaten him to a bloody pulp until someone got her a stake. Aside from that, though, there is much fun to be had here!



    The episode begins with a vampire filming Buffy, with a video camera, fighting a different vampire. We soon discover that this video is meant for Spike. He is studying the Slayer in even more detail, preparing for their next encounter. Not only is it great seeing Spike checking her out like this, but James Marsters has this uncanny ability to hold your attention when he's on screen. Spike is just such a fun character to watch, regardless of the plot. Juliet Landau doesn't slouch either as Drusilla. She manages to convey this sense of extreme helplessness and utter creepiness at the exact same time. How that is possible I do not know.



    I'd like to quickly mention that I really appreciate the continuity of the smaller stuff, like Devon checking out Cordelia in "Inca Mummy Girl" (2x04), so now they're trying to date (Devon doesn't show up). A little more significant in plot is Buffy and Angel trying to meet for coffee. The entire last episode dealt with the fact that Angel didn't want to get together with Buffy for a coffee. It's just really refreshing to see this stuff remembered and built upon.



    Anyway, I enjoyed seeing Buffy wondering if Angel would prefer she were a noble woman from his time. This naturally leads to the scene in Ethan's costume shop where she goes all wide-eyed and cute over the pink princess dress. She gets the dress from Ethan Rayne, who casts a spell to turn people into their costumes. It is really cool seeing what everyone thinks of the new, helpless, Buffy. Cordelia says it best by saying, "what's that riff?" Everyone else is pretty confused by her transformation except for Willow who gets to take charge of the situation all by herself.



    Willow gets a ton of character development here. She finally gets a big dose of self confidence, which is an important step in her ongoing journey to becoming a very powerful individual. She hides her skimpy outfit out of shyness but then, post-spell, is forced to walk around in it. Until Giles asked her "the ghost of what?" she hadn't even noticed that she looked all skimpy. This goes to show that when things get out of hand and Buffy's not around to take charge, she has it in her to take command and acheive that self-confidence.



    The whole concept of this plot is just really fun. A lot of roles get to reverse and all the characters are stronger for it. As mentioned before, Willow gets to take charge, but Buffy becomes the opposite: helpless. Seeing Buffy that pretrified is very new, and of course Spike loves it. Xander also gets in the action, literally this time, and just all around kicks ass. He beats up Larry to protect Buffy when earlier in the episdode Buffy protected Xander from Larry. Xander's "beating up that pirate gave me a weird sense of closure" is a hoot. Giles also gets some development which is a result of his dialog with Ethan. We find out that they know each other and that Giles has quite the unsavory past. This adds some intrigue and depth to a character that was hanging around the two-dimensional mark.



    Overall there is a ton of good stuff in here. Lots of subtle and not-so subtle character development mixed with a fun plot and great acting. This is a very fun episode to watch and new people who are just getting into the show always love it. I'm right there with them, this is a great stuff.
  • Classic Buffy

    10
    Halloween



    The Good;

    Pretty much everything, great ep, love the alternate Scoobies, the Xena ref, the first appearance of Ethan and Ripper, the fight in the pumpkin stall at the beginning, Dru and Spike back, Oz, Larry, Cordy in her pussycat costume, Willow getting 'Sexy and Wild' (love her strutting at the end, do you think she got any offers?) the list goes on. Buffy unknowingly impersonating Darla and fainting (but at least she doesn't get tied up) and clinging onto Cordy's arm



    The Bad;

    Open to suggestions?



    Best line;

    Hard to pick but I'd say;

    Willow "She couldn't have gone as Xena?

    Just pipping Giles' "The ghost of what exactly?" upon seeing Will's streetwalker outft and "You went mental when?" from Cordy



    Questions and observations:

    Willow appears to be a Xena fan. Hmmmmm? Of course Xena started a couple of years before Buff and without it I don't think we'd have had Buffy. In one ep they refer to the play Buffus the Bachae Slayer. You could say that Spike's fascination with Buffy is evident in his watching the video of her fighting. Love Willow walking through the wall and people's reaction to it. The long tracking shot of Xander transforming into Rambo. Where are Joyce and Dawn during all of this? Either he reloads offscreen or Xander's rifle has a limitless magazine. Another hint of attraction between Cordy and soldier Xander. Angel wears a blue shirt which is ok but not really him. The Summers house get's trashed for the first time. How does the vamp Angel fights in the kitchen get in without being invited? First appearance of SDH's famous soda machine. Buffy get's sexually assaulted AGAIN, mauled by Pirate Larry (who really musn't be himself considering what we learn later). We discover that Cordy doesn't know Angel is a vamp. Xander tells Cordy she'll never get between Buffy and Angel, well almost. Giles tortures Ethan for info, the Scoobies really seem to have a knack for it. Reputedly Joss fired the writer of this ep afterwards, don't know why he did a good job?



    10/10 afters a couple of false starts season 2 firing on all cylinders
  • Halloween

    9.0
    Halloween was a superb episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer's Second Season. This episode introduced us to a new villian from Giles's past, and I have a feeling we will be seeing him in the future as well. Chaos was the order of the night, on All Hallows Eve in Sunnydale as people started turning into their costumes. It was fun to watch this episode seeing what people were and how they changed. It was also interesting to note that Oz keeps seeing Willow in different aspects, which is a neat way to build their story line. I think that this was another Classic Episode of Buffy.
  • Season 2, Episode 6.

    9.5
    Giles saves the day! On Halloween, Buffy, Xander, and Willow are volunteered by Principal Snyder to take little children trick-or-treating. However, the costume store that they bought their costumes at is cursed or something and it causes them to become whatever they were for Halloween. Spike returns in this episode, too. At least Drusilla wasn't in this episode, I don't think. Cool episode. I liked Buffy as the 1800s princess girl or whatever. Cordelia's costume was hot, and so was Xander's! Rawr. Angel is still the sexiest one. I have a feeling Ethan comes back, but I haven't seen the show in a while so I can't remember. Good episode.
  • My all time favourite Buffy episode.

    10
    It's halloween the one night of the year when the supernateral world is supposed to be quiet, but of course it's not. Thanks to Ethan Rayne everyone turns into their costume.
    Buffy is suddenly a helpless noble woman, while Xander is macho and Willow's a ghost. It was really funny. We also get the first look into Giles' past.
    I like all the Buffy/Angel -ness that happens this ep. First their date kinda fails, then Buffy tries to be like the women he used to know only to find out he didn't like them.
    Then there's Oz who nearly runs Willow over while still puzzled about her identity.
    'Halloween' is a great episode.
  • A slow night for the vampires.

    10
    Halloween episodes of this series are so great and I love this one in particular. I like Buffy's jealously that leads her to dress up like a lady just as Ethan works his magic on the town. Willow's turn as the ghost/random sexy costume are really hilarious and it is nice to see her staying shy in face of peer pressure. Then when Oz sees her at the end and has to continually wounder who's that girl is really great. Xander as the military man is great and makes him seem much more attractive (I have to agree with Cordy on that one). Then the fight scene with Spike, proving that he really can never win is great. This episode is really good and funny and shows off a different side to a lot of the characters.
  • All the characters get to dress up for Halloween.

    9.7
    A series clasic is an obvious choice of words to describe this episode. The fun in seeing Buffy act as a damsel in distress, Xander as a soldior, and Willow as a slutty ghost is undeniable. The way the characters act is priceless. Also, it's nice to see Spike and Drusilla again. Also, the introduction of Giles's dark past and the introduction the Ethan are major points to the episode. We again get to see Oz, unfortunatly, he doesn't do anything... again. Seeing Xander brave and seeing Buffy a coward made the episode interesting to watch; they both really shine in this episode. Willow, as always, her old unsure self, but in this episode, helps to save the day. Seeing all of the costume changes was great, I mean, come on, how awesome is little demon kids running around. This episode really sets the bar high for all Buffy episodes to reach.
  • It's Halloween and Principal Snyder makes Buffy, Willow, and Xander take a group of children trick or treating. Ethan Rayne has a costume shop and when kids put on their costume they turn into whatever they were dressed as.

    10
    "Halloween" was one the best episodes in season 2. It was very creative and really funny. I think Buffy was funny. She was dressed up as an 18th century woman from Angels teenage years and she acted so girly. She was afraid of everything. She was hilarious. Willow was also very funny. Buffy tries to make Willow look sexy, but Willow feels uncomfortable, so she weasr a ghost costume. It's funny when she becomes a sexy ghost. I liked that Xander become a soldier. He didn't seem so useless. Cordelia and Angel were funny when they saw what Buffy, Willow, and Xander acted like. I laughed so hard.
  • The Costumes Are Taking Over!

    9.7
    Halloween-On Halloween Buffy, Willow and Xander are "volunteered" by Principal Snyder to take groups of kids trick-or-treating. Buffy seizes the opportunity to impress Angel by dressing as a woman from the time when he was human. When most of the kids in Sunnydale magically become whatever they were dressed as, it is up to soldier-Xander and ghost-Willow to find a way to break the spell and defend Buffy, who is now a weak and frail 18th century noblewoman.

    One of the first episode to show that Buffy was a very creative and original, "Halloween" is full of thrills, laughs and a amazing concept. The idea that the characters become the costumes they're wearing is genuis and used to it's full potential.

    I liked how each of the characters are affected by the costumes or the situation. Buffy wanting to be like women from Angel's teenage years, she dresses up as proper lady of the 18th century. She becomes in fact, a young woman from the 18th century and is the most lost of the bunch. She thinks cars are demons and speaks with bad british accent, no wait, that just Sarah, lol. Buffy makes Willow look sexy for Halloween, but she'd rather dress as a ghost. When she in fact becomes a ghost, Willow's sexy get up is releaved and in the end works well for her as she catches the attention of Oz again. Then, Xander who earlier in the episode is made out to look like a punk when Buffy saves him from Larry's bullying. But when dresses a soldier and becomes one, he becomes Rambo 2.0 and ironically, beats up Larry in return and feels a sense of closer, lol. I also loved Spike involvement in the plot and how Angel and Cordelia's reacted to everyone's change.

    The best aspect would also be the introduction of Ethan Rayne and a glimpse into Glies' dark side. Both actors perform like true veterans as you completely believe they knew each years ago. It's also shocking to watch Giles show no mercy and beat the crap out of someone for the first time. Anthony S. Head truly excels in that scene and will continue to do so a few episodes from will go deeper into Giles's dark past. All and All, one of the best episodes of the season with great metaphors, shocking scenes, creative writing and convincing character interaction.
  • Great episode. Everyone watch it.

    8.5
    This episode is wonderful.
    I enjoyed it.
    The characters of Buffy were experimented in different well characters.
    Buffy as lady from the 18th century or somethng like that.
    Willow as a ghost etc.
    This show is a good example of why this show should be watched.
    It has adventure.
    Surprise events like when the historic turned Buffy sees Angel as his vampire form and escapes.
    A true episode meant for halloween and it was a very good episode for Willow and Giles to stand out and show the people how much they contribute to the scoobies.
    Very eciting and thrilling hour to be infront of your t.v screens.
    If you ever had a chance to watch this don't miss it or buy it on DVD because it is worth watching this mind boggling extraveganza.
  • Halloween in Sunnydale.

    9.0
    On the surface, "Halloween" may appear to be just a regular episode of "Buffy", like many episodes are, in which the Scoobies just have to deal with another supernatural occurence in Sunnydale. But "Halloween" is an excellent episode that provides many great character moments and sets up stuff for future episodes, on top of just being really fun and well written.

    A man from Giles' past, Ethan Rayne, comes to Sunnydale and opens a costume shop in time for Halloween. On the night of the holiday he prays to a pagan god, Janus, and ends up turning everyone into their costume. That is, everyone who bought their costume from his shop. Willow becomes a ghost, Xander becomes a soldier, and Buffy becomes an 18th century noblewoman. Chaos erupts all over town as little kids who have been turned into all sorts of monsters wreak havoc. Willow gets the help of Giles and they eventually realize the source of it all and Giles goes to confront Ethan, who refers to Giles as "Ripper". Giles shows his dark side as he pummels Ethan before finally smashing the statue of Janus, which breaks the spell. I really enjoy this episode. We see Oz for the first time, Willow dresses up sexy, Buffy looks amazing in her outfit, we learn more about Giles' past, and for once the Buffy/Angel relationship feels natural on screen rather than overly melodramatic and cheesy.

    Very fun episode.
  • Bad things happen on Halloween. Especially when you're in Sunnydale.

    9.3
    This episode is really great. It's one of the my favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes so far. The episode begins with Buffy fighting a vampire in a pumpkin patch while Spike films it while hiding in a bush. Angel waits for Buffy at the Bronze where Cordelia continues to hit on him since she does not know of his history with Buffy. At school the next day Principle Snyder forces Buffy and her friends to take a small group of trick-or-treating. Buffy says that Halloween is the only slow night for vampires and doesn't want to go out. Reluctantly Buffy, Willow, and Xander head to Ethan's Costume Shoppe. Willow gets the "classic" ghost, Xander gets a toy gun for some military fatigues he has at home, and Buffy gets a 1775 dress. Spike reviews the tape of Buffy fighting and Drusilla says that someone will make her weaker on Halloween. We then seen Ethan Rayne, the owner of the costume shop, chanting in front of a statue. On Halloween night Buffy convinces Willow to wear a black mini-skirt and a long sleeved crop shirt. She is still shy and when Xander comes she hides her outfit with the ghost costume. Later on in the night the spell comes into effect and everyone turns into the costume they're wearing. Willow is a ghost in a skmipy outfit, Xander is a solider, and Buffy is a helpless 1775 English noblewoman. Willow convinces Xander to stop shooting people. They find Buffy confused about the modern world. When they find Cordelia they find out that she is not what she dressed as, a cat, since she bought her costume at another store. Willow goes to Giles for help. Angel finds Xander, Buffy, and Cordelia and hides them in the kitchen of Buffy's home. A vampire breaks in and scares Buffy to death. At the library, Willow tells Giles about Ethan's costumes. They head to the shop, where Giles reveals that he knows Ethan. He orders Willow to leave and physically persuades Ethan to reverse the spell. Spike is looking for Buffy, who enters an alley and meets Larry, now a pirate. Xander arrives to beat up on Larry while Willow shows up to warn them of Spike. The gang tries to barricade themselves inside a warehouse, but Spike's gang breaks in. Just as Spike is about to kill Buffy, Giles breaks the spell by breaking the statue. Buffy recovers to defeat Spike and he flees. Buffy admits to Angel that she was trying to impress him. He tells her that he hated those people back then. The women were dull. He wanted someone exciting. They kiss. The next day, Giles returns to the store to find a note. Ethan has promised to return soon.

    The episode was really great, and it impacted the rest of the series with Ethan Rayne and Xander's military experience. It's great to everyone and a while see a Buffy episode that really stands out.
  • Bad things happen on Halloween. Especially when you're in Sunnydale.

    9.3
    This episode is really great. It's one of the my favorite Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes so far. The episode begins with Buffy fighting a vampire in a pumpkin patch while Spike films it while hiding in a bush. Angel waits for Buffy at the Bronze where Cordelia continues to hit on him since she does not know of his history with Buffy. At school the next day Principle Snyder forces Buffy and her friends to take a small group of trick-or-treating. Buffy says that Halloween is the only slow night for vampires and doesn't want to go out. Reluctantly Buffy, Willow, and Xander head to Ethan's Costume Shoppe. Willow gets the "classic" ghost, Xander gets a toy gun for some military fatigues he has at home, and Buffy gets a 1775 dress. Spike reviews the tape of Buffy fighting and Drusilla says that someone will make her weaker on Halloween. We then seen Ethan Rayne, the owner of the costume shop, chanting in front of a statue. On Halloween night Buffy convinces Willow to wear a black mini-skirt and a long sleeved crop shirt. She is still shy and when Xander comes she hides her outfit with the ghost costume. Later on in the night the spell comes into effect and everyone turns into the costume they're wearing. Willow is a ghost in a skmipy outfit, Xander is a solider, and Buffy is a helpless 1775 English noblewoman. Willow convinces Xander to stop shooting people. They find Buffy confused about the modern world. When they find Cordelia they find out that she is not what she dressed as, a cat, since she bought her costume at another store. Willow goes to Giles for help. Angel finds Xander, Buffy, and Cordelia and hides them in the kitchen of Buffy's home. A vampire breaks in and scares Buffy to death. At the library, Willow tells Giles about Ethan's costumes. They head to the shop, where Giles reveals that he knows Ethan. He orders Willow to leave and physically persuades Ethan to reverse the spell. Spike is looking for Buffy, who enters an alley and meets Larry, now a pirate. Xander arrives to beat up on Larry while Willow shows up to warn them of Spike. The gang tries to barricade themselves inside a warehouse, but Spike's gang breaks in. Just as Spike is about to kill Buffy, Giles breaks the spell by breaking the statue. Buffy recovers to defeat Spike and he flees. Buffy admits to Angel that she was trying to impress him. He tells her that he hated those people back then. The women were dull. He wanted someone exciting. They kiss. The next day, Giles returns to the store to find a note. Ethan has promised to return soon.

    The episode was really great, and it impacted the rest of the series with Ethan Rayne and Xander's military experience. It's great to everyone and a while see a Buffy episode that really stands out.
  • Halloween is supposed to be a quiet time but an old friend decides to bend the rules

    9.2
    This is a classic episode of Buffy!!! How could you not love everyone turning into their costumes because of the store they went to? Halloween turns into classic Sunnydale doom.

    I loved everything that was going on between Buffy and Angel. Their relationship was very shaky here because of Buffy's insecurities. All Buffy wanted was to be the person she thought Angel would love. It was so classic and her being jealous of Cordelia was just very amusing especially at that point in their relationship.

    There was also development of Giles' character even though it was not explored in full depth until "The Dark Age" you could tell that Giles' past wasn't exactly clean. It was great to see the development of Giles though.

    Spike was great as usual. I loved him and the little kids that were dressed up as demons going after Buffy, that was just great.

    Xander the Army guy was amusing as was Ghosty Willow and 18th century Buffy, but the best part was Willow being the only one with her memory. I loved Cordy dressed up like a cat, and it was even funnier that she didn't turn into a cat. You could also see the light sexual tension between Xander and Cordy brewing.

    And who could forget Synder making them take the little kids out? I loved Synder for that!

    This was a fantastic episode Buffy definitely a classic.
  • It's Halloween in Sunnydale!

    9.1
    Halloween has arrived. Pretty much every Buffy episode feels sort of like Halloween with all of the demons and such, but this one is the actual holiday. And from what we learn in this episode, it is not an active night in the demon world. Well, all of that changes in this classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode. The debut of Ethan Rayne causes chaos to erupt in Sunnydale. I really love this episode and think it is one of the best episodes up until this point. This is where season two recognizably hits a stride that it would not relinquish for the rest of the season. When everyone is turned into what they were dressed as for Halloween, the scoobies would have to save the day without the help of the slayer. That they do, remarkably. Part of what makes this episode so great is the humor it contains. Cordelia is hilarious as usual. Another interesting this about this installment is the confrontation between Giles and Ethan. It is easily recognizable that they have a very dark past together and we are left to wonder what it is. This angle would be explored later in the series, but not very thoroughly. I really think that Giles is a character with massive potential that was never attained. Overall, this is a really great episode of Buffy. Recommended.
  • Strange things happen when Buffy and friends purchase their costumes at a new party store.

    9.0
    HILARIOUS!!! This episode is one of the funniest of season two. Buffy's quips about muskets, and low apperal, and that hind of stuff are so outrageous and out of character. It makes them that much funnier. Also, this episode marks the first appearance of Ehan Ryane. Rayne becomes a reoccurring character in the next few seasons.
  • You are what you wear, literally

    9.3
    Buffy and the gang gear up for Halloween. They are recruited by Snyder to take kids out trick-or-treating and have to buy costumes for the occasion. Apparently Halloween is a big snoozer where vamps are concerned, so no way out of the trick or treating for our gang. A mysterious man, Ethan Rayne, has a costume shop in town and this is where our gang ends up getting their costumes. Buffy dresses in 1775 era garb, Xander is a soldier, and Will is a ghost. This is all fine and well until Halloween night when they all turn into what they are dressed as. Spike gets wind of it and decides to gun for Buffy that night. Fortunately Giles, with Willow-ghosts help, is able to stop Ethan Rayne who is the cause of this in the first place. Oh yeah, Oz sees Willow for a second time and he is hooked...but she has no idea yet.
  • A light hearted bit of fun!

    9.5
    The entrance of Ethan Rayne and he is up to no good as could be expected. The costume shop guise only covers the sadistic guise of a man who wants fairytale to be real.

    Xander turning into a soldier was the best of all the transformations, it was odd to see him take control and follow orders without quipping, whingeing or refusing. Ghost Willow was interesting as well because it lead to Willow being thrown into the spot light and taking charge. The 18th century Buffy ws not such a good character, she was too wimpy for the Buffy we all know and love, I think Angel thought so to.
  • Halloween in Sunnydale

    10
    This was definitely the best Halloween episode Buffy ever had. It was sooo much fun to watch the characters' confusion plus some major ass kicking by soldier-Xander. There are a lot of references to that later in the show, so this is also some kind of key episode, I think.

    In this eppy, we first learn about Giles' dark past which is not only very surprising, but another great storyline that we'll see some more in the show.

    When everyone turns into the person or thing he's dressed as, Halloween is far from quiet in Sunnydale this year. Willow, Angel and Cordy are the only ones to know who they all really are and they keep the group save until Giles fortunately figures out what's going on and saves the day. Great eppy!
  • A treat (pardon the phrasing) that is a lot more than mere fluff.

    9.0
    For obvious reasons, Halloween is the holiday that was most likely to have a themed episode on “Buffy”. This could’ve been bad for the episode, as it might’ve felt obligated instead of furthering the narrative and character development. However, this episode picks up on the promise of “School Hard” and is a nice treat of an episode. While it may not be especially scary, it is a lot of fun. Writer Ellsworth utilizes a lot of the character development and runs with it.

    It does a good job continuing the theme of Buffy wanting to be like a normal girl by having her want to be that, only this time she’s fascinated with the normal girls from when Angel was human in the 18th century (although this time frame would be changed by the end of the season). Buffy’s inability to realize that Angel likes her for who she is hints at the major problems that will come to a head later. When she tries to be that girl, Ethan’s spell renders her helpless, and it places everyone in a compromising position.

    In “Reptile Boy”, we saw Xander’s feelings of powerlessness at the hands of the frat boys, and this episode it continues into this episode with the introduction of bully Larry. This crisis in masculinity has been a major part of Xander’s character. With Buffy, an incredibly powerful woman, as one of his closest friends, it can be hard not to feel inadequate. This episode plays with that as Xander becomes that Alpha male soldier and gets to experience that power he lacks. Of course, the big gun as a phallic symbol is as relevant as ever.

    It also plays off Willow’s discomfort putting herself out there. Since they already did an invisible girl late in the first season, a ghost was the next best thing. Similar to Xander, Buffy brings about insecurities, even if it’ll eventually give away to self-confidence that wouldn’t have happened had Buffy never come to Sunnydale. Willow just can’t be sexy the way Buffy can. However, this episode has some more hints at a romance between her and still unaware Oz.

    Bringing Spike back to the fold is great. While this continues the show’s theme of having a recurring villain throughout a season, his presence assures the show’s advancement, whereas the last two were close to retread of season one. His “neat” comment while surveying the mayhem caused by the possessive costumes is classic.

    They also explain why he’s been laying low; he’s been watching Buffy from a distance, studying her fight techniques to gain some advantage. There should’ve been more exploration on this, as Spike’s fascination with the Slayer would become a major facet of his character. Although why did the vamp taping the fight not charge the batteries beforehand (then again, lackeys are never known for their intelligence, right)? Also, the vamp dusted doesn’t seem to be one she’d spend enough time fighting to warrant a tape.

    One of the biggest contributions this episode made to the series was developing Giles’ dark side. Previously, Giles was seen as somewhat bumbling, aloof guide to Buffy, but now Giles is a lot more interesting. Giles apparently had a dark past that isn’t evident on the surface. Ethan represents what could’ve happened had Giles continued that path, creating chaos for no reason. Unfortunately, this element isn’t explored in the series as much as it could’ve been, but they make up for that with some other bumbling characters with dark sides.

    This episode appears to have been made to be a light piece of entertainment in what would eventually become a dark season. No one is killed and there isn’t a sense of danger. However, seeing these characters act like someone they’re not, but actually developing the characters in the process, elevates this beyond fluff to one of the best episodes of the second season.
  • Buffy's afraid of a car and Cordeila is protecting her? Xander's a studly commando? Willow's dead? When costumes turn the town upside down, it's up to Xander & Cordeila to protect the slayer. First introduction to Ethan Raine and Giles' dark side.

    9.4
    This is a classic Buffy ep. It's well written, stylish, and funny. The idea of turning into your costume never occurred to me and I've seen X-files and other sci-fi stories. Only Joss Whedon and his team could come up with something so dark and amusing without losing the classic BTVS brilliance.

    We see Willow as a ghost and another glimpse of Oz, foreshadowing how important to the show he will become.

    We discover that the women Angel knew in his former, human life, held no interest, and that Buffy really is the woman of his dreams.

    Giles shows his classic self, being spooked when Willow walks through a wall in the library, scaring him and making all the cards he's holding fly everywhere. Yet, we see him later, confronting Ethan and showing us real anger and strength. Seemingly out of character, but written in a way that let's us know that this is just another side to the mysterious watcher and we will see more of it.
  • who are you?

    8.4
    another fun season 2 episode where the whole cast becomes their costume. my favorite was willow in a ghost costume and it was very fun. also angel and buffy hooking up and cordelia trying to seduce angel and putting on her cat costume. this is a very fun episode and also oz sees willow again and continues his line of who is that girl? very fun episode and the characters got to be different. willow more grown up. xander kick butt and buffy scared girl.
  • Halloween is supposed to be uneventful in Sunnydale...

    10
    So Giles has a dark past that we are soon going to find out more about. So it’s Halloween in Sunnydale which Giles says in usually quite, Buffy is looking forward to the night off until she get volunteered to take kids trick-or-treating. Her and Willow break into the watcher diaries to read up on Angel and Buffy decides to dress up as an old-fashioned girl – the kind Angel would like. Xander goes all military and Buffy tries to get Willow to go all sexy but she chickens out and puts a sheet on over her costume. Turns out there is a spell on all Ethan’s costumes (and he knows Giles and his past). On Halloween night everyone turns into what they are dressed as with no idea of who they are except Willow who is a ghost but knows who she is. Cordelia didn’t get her costume from the same place and didn’t change and Angel is still himself so they end up protecting the group from Spike who decides that something is going down this holiday. Giles finds Ethan and figures out what happens and breaks the spell just in time for the Slayer to kick some butt.
  • A mighty fine episode!

    10
    Excellent! This episode was one of the few best episodes in the second season. Every person in SunnyDale turns into whatever costume they're wearing. Like for example if Willow's a ghost, then she becomes a real ghost. Xander is a soldier and Buffy becomes an 18th century noblewoman. But trust me on this: This is a great watch for every Buffy fan!
  • Lady Buffy!

    9.0
    Watching Buffy, Xander, and Willow become their less then inovative costumes was actually really inovative. I was kind of surprised that they didn't give them really unique costumes they could do amazing stories with but they did a lot with just a ghost, soldier, and vistorian lady. Not to mention these severe character changes it brought on. It changed them all much more then I expected. Even Willow, who's costume didn't actually change who she.

    My favorite episode from the season!
  • The Scoobies' identity games turn serious when a rogue sorcerer from Giles' past turns the friends into their Halloween costumes.

    9.0
    Halloween's coming and it just so happens that all the Scoobies are feeling like they'd rather be someone else. Buffy worries that's she not traditionally feminine enough for Angel after seeing old drawings of the dainty damsels her boyfriend used to date. Xander's feeling like a wimp after Buffy rescues him from Larry the beefcake, and Willow's sick of feeling sexually unattractive.

    Trying to compensate, Xander dresses up like a soldier, Buffy squeezes into an old ornate dress, and Willow (with prodding & support from Buffy) musters the courage to put on a really revealing outfit that draws a lot of attention to her body. Well, she almost does.

    To me, the scene in which Willow appears at the top of the stairs in the ghost (obv suggesting her insecurity about the physicality of her body) costume is one of the more affecting and underappreciated moments in the Willow/Xander romantic arc. We see her stunningly revealing costume in the preceeding scene with Buffy, and we know she looks very sexy, so given what we know about the way Xander's mind works, we expect that when Willow appears in the next scene, Xander will finally notice her as a woman and perhaps finally fall for her. So when Willow does appear and the camera pans up off Buffy's sympathetic but dissappointed epxression to show her friend in the concealing ghost costume, the sense of missed opportunity is palpable and poignant. At the same time the fact that this opportunity depended on Xander's perpetual horniness and immature understanding of sex appeal is both true to character and bracingly unsentimental.

    Other reviewers have covered the rest of what makes this episode great, so just go watch it already!
  • He Did the Mash... He Did the Monster Mash.

    9.3
    A Halloween episode of any other series usually means some creepiness, allusions to horror movies and the inclusion of monsters and classic scary situations. But, with Buffy, it was a little more difficult to think of an original idea of a Halloween-set episode. Using the ingenious idea of characters turning into the costumes they're wearing, this episode is one of the first episodes to show how great this show is, utilizing the fact that we all know Buffy, Xander and the others so well, and then smartly turning it around on its head.

    The costume change also allowed characters to act on their inner desires or hopes. Xander wanted to be seen as a macho tough guy and eventually became a tough army soldier, whilst later going on to beat the crap out of jock Larry, who initially was the one who beat the crap out of him whilst in normal Xander mode. Willow also got to become somebody else, even though she wasn't completely affected by the spell. Using Halloween as a night to throw aside any reservations about herself, she ended up walking home in a revealing outfit, rather than the giant ghost costume she wore on top, even catching the eye of Oz, yet again.

    Halloween is most notable for a little more character development on Giles' part. During the course of the episode, we discover his "Ripper" alias and his dark side, feeling no hesitation about going to violent lengths to get information out of his old friend Ethan. And, yet again, Willow is placed in position as the big cheese of the Scooby Gang. With Buffy becoming an 18th century annoyance and Giles elsewhere, she takes control, telling everybody what to do and helping partly save the day.

    A truly imaginative, exciting, funny, dramatic and well-written episode with enough mystery and subplots that Spike's inclusion in the hour is almost unnecessary, Halloween is a true classic of Buffy season two, laying the groundwork for the awesome-ness to come.

    Director: Bruce Seth Green
    Writer: Carl Ellsworth
    Rating: A-
  • Trick or Treat!

    8.9
    "You're beginning to scare me, Giles. You need to have some fun. You know, there's this place you can go, right, and you sit in the dark, and there are these moving pictures, right? And the pictures tell a story."

    What is quite an old idea of being transformed into your Halloween costume (I mean, the Goosebumps books and series did it at least three times) is given the Buffy treatment, and offers the oppurtunity for the cast to act out of character. Also, Giles gets to punch someone about a bit, and Willow looks great!
  • During Halloween a sorcerer from Giles' past shows up to cause trouble. Buffy is turned into a helpless 'lady'. Willow dies and becomes a ghost and Xander turns into Soldier Guy (which becomes way too overused later as a plot device).

    9.5
    An uproarious episode filled with funny bits:

    Willow: True. It's too bad we can't sneak a look at the Watcher diaries and read up on Angel. I'm sure it's full of fun facts to know and tell.
    Buffy: Yeah. It's too bad. That stuff is private.
    Willow: Also Giles keeps them in his office. In his personal files.
    Buffy: Most importantly, it would be wrong.

    Needless to say, they do exactly that in a really funny skit:

    Buffy to Giles (to distract him): Buffy: Ms. Calendar said you were a babe.
    Willow looks back again, but this time gives Buffy a look and shakes her head.

    Giles: She said what?

    Buffy: (meekly) Well, she said that you were a...h-hunk of burning...something or other. So, (exhales) whadaya think of that?

    Giles: Uh, I... (exhales) I don't, um, uh... A burning hunk of what?


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    We also have great fun with Buffy as a Duchess: 'I'm not meant to understand things, I'm just meant to be pretty.'
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