Help-Buffy is settling in to her job as the newest counselor at Sunnydale High helping troubled teens and sorting out problems. But when a student named Cassie calmly states that she has only a week to live, Buffy is at a loss. Buffy investigates, and soon comes to believe that Cassie is psychic rather than suicidal
"Help" is one of those episodes of Buffy that sticks with you after watching it. While not considered one of the best episodes of the series among the fandom, "Help" is still truly a emotionally rewarding episode with a strong script, great performances from the main cast and guest stars, especially Azura Skye as Cassie. One of the best guest stars as well as one of the finest one off characters of the series, Cassie is a deeply trouble yetremarkablyfascinatingteen-agedgirl who finds herself doomed to escape her death. With Azura's inspiring performance and powerfully written dialogue (especially her speech to Buffy and Xander outside her house), Cassie is soundeniably real and I can't image young girls who watched this episode not relating to her. Sure her vague, mysterious psychicpower is never explained but from her strong sense ofindividualityto her touching poetry and her amazing intuition, Cassie is acharacteryou can't help but root for. Even her relationship with Mike was well done. While it was a minor side plot point, there were so believable and you even feel bad for Mike knowing he and Cassie will never go to the dance together. it was It's a truly tragic moment that even after Buffy saves her not once but twice, that we find out absolutely nothing could have stopped Cassie from dying and Cassie was right all along.
Like I said the main cast is great here, like James Masters, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Michelle Trachtenberg. I loved the moments where Cassie tells Spike that one day, she'll tell you and that one day Buffy will make a difference. It's thought provoking writing that foreshadows the series finale where Buffy in fact tells Spike she loves him and Buffy does make a difference, a HUGE difference by changing world by making all potential slayers throughout the world real slayers. I also loved the direction in certain scenes, like the sequence where the gang are hard at work trying to prevent Cassie's death while her poetry echoes through the background. Really stunning and artsy! Zachary Ty Bryan of Home Improvement fame guest stars as Peter, the student responsible for almost getting Cassie killed. It's a prettyforgettablerole for a pretty well known star at the time and the random demon that pops up during asacrificeritual reminded me of "Reptile Buy", which isn't good. The only good moments to come out of that were seeing Spike lose it on Peter, fighting through the pain from the chip, then the demon biting Peter and Buffy cleverly dismissing Peter's cry for help. But the moment that really gets me was the last scene with Buffy, Willow, Xander and Dawn. It's a tearjerker of a scene. Buffy coming to terms with knowing there was nothing she could have done to Dawn tearfully thanking Buffy for making Cassie her friend. Really riveting stuff. "Help" is the season's first stellar effort!