Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 14

Innocence (2)

14
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 1998 on The WB
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Episode Fan Reviews (28)

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  • Innocence (2)

    10
    Here we are, at the episode that changed the direction the series was going to take. Instead of having season after season of endless monster of the week goofiness, we get a show that's powerful, dramatic, funny, action-packed, and gut-wrenching. It all began here. On the commentary of this episode, Whedon himself states that this is the first time the writers realized what they were capable of. I'm so happy they never looked back. You'll probably notice that I have no complaints about this episode, which is true. I tried hard to find something worth nitpicking over, but simply put this material deserves the first 100 I've given out.



    It begins with Spike hilariously making fun of The Judge, who's just sitting around doing much of nothing. Right away I notice that this is shot differently than most BtVS episodes. There's this one particular shot where we see only half of Drusilla's face, with Spike and the Judge in the background. I really like this, it's unusual and refreshing to see. Whedon is definitely a competent director who likes to take risks. Thankfully his risks usually pay off.



    Angel is still on the ground crying out Buffy's name when a hooker asks him if he needs help. He quickly stands up and says "the pain is gone," and then bites her and blows her cigarette smoke out of his mouth; Angelus is back! I love how Whedon uses The Judge to confirm that Angel isn't simply playing a game here. The Judge touches him and nothing happens, so we know he's lost his soul. I also love the chemistry between Angelus, Spike, and Drusilla. It is naturally added right on top of the great chemistry Spike and Drusilla already have. Angelus quickly reveals his intentions: he wants to hurt Buffy like her hurt Drusilla. This will be accomplished in three steps. Step one is using his position as her lover to emotionally shatter her, which he does in this episode. Step two involves killing off all her friends and family until she has nothing left aside from herself, which he begins doing in "Passion" (2x17) and continues doing in "Becoming Pt. 1" (2x21). Then step three will be to kill her, which he tries to do in "Becoming Pt. 2" (2x22). This guy is seriously sick, cruel, and evil.



    All the acting this episode is first rate. I especially love the entire sequence involving Willow discovering Xander and Cordelia's relationship. Willow manages to be angry, cute, and disgusted all at the same time. Alyson Hannigan is a fantastic actress! I'm really happy that Willow doesn't shut down and go in cry mode but instead 'accepts' their relationship in light of their current crisis. She still says that Xander has "gross emotional problems" though. Jenny gets a good scene with her uncle as well. He gives an interesting speech about vengeance being a living thing rather than something 'traded,' like commerce.



    Joss Whedon can sure be cruel to his characters sometimes. We really see Buffy get torn apart in the big scene at Angel's place. Angelus says the cruelest things anyone could possibly say to Buffy after what they'd been through. She dissolves into pain and SMG's acting is perfectly gut-wrenching. This was tough enough, but Buffy gets beat up even more later on. After frighteningly choking Willow, Angelus kisses Buffy and violently throws her against the wall. Angelus shares with Spike, "to kill this girl you have to love her." This wave of emotional attacks cripples Buffy so when the group is trying to figure out what to do in the library and Giles asks Buffy what she knows about the previous night, she can't take it and is barely able to hold herself up as she runs home crying. I love that Willow can see why Buffy is in so much pain and tells Giles to "shut up." When Buffy gets home she lets it all out in a very painful scene to watch. She touches the cross Angel gave to her back in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (1x01) and recoils in pain onto her bed where she curls up in a fetal position, crying and weeping. We've never seen Buffy in this much pain before.



    This emotional breakdown is followed by a haunting dream. In it she recalls her romantic sex from the previous night when the dream shifts to a cemetary where Angel tells her that Jenny Calendar is involved with what happened. This leads to the fantastic scene where Buffy charges into the Computer Lab, grabs a hold of Jenny's neck, and violently throws her back onto the table and demands for answers. Buffy finds out that it was her fault, not Jenny's. Giles then follows with a perfect reaction to discovering that not only Buffy had sex with Angel (and I think Giles knows he was her 'first') but that it also caused the loss of his soul.



    Continuity appears again here when Xander reminds everyone of his experience during "Halloween" (2x06). He uses his army knowledge gained in that episode to obtain a rocket launcher that Buffy can use to destroy The Judge. While Xander and Cordelia are in the army base, Willow and Oz are in the van. They share a cute scene here where Oz rejects the opportunity to kiss Willow because he knows the only reason she wants to kiss him is because of Xander's betrayal. I also love the "freeze frame" anology. This restraint on Oz's part is what really causes Willow to love and begin a seriously relationship with him. This relationship is solidified even further in the next episode when she finds out Oz is a werewolf, yet doesn't care.



    Right before the final confrontation at the mall, there's a small scene in which they are opening up the rocket launcher case and Jenny walks in asking if she can help. Buffy says, "get out." Jenny replies, "I just want to help." Giles then sternly answers, "she just said get out." This proves, once again, that Giles' allegiance is first and formost to Buffy. This is another big step on his path of becoming her father figure. Buffy gains a lot of respect for him right here.



    It's showtime. Buffy and the Scooby Gang come into the mall, Buffy calls The Judge "smurf," and they get set up to have the big showdown. The Judge is chain-zapping all kinds of people when Buffy shoots him with a dinky arrow. He says, "You're a fool. No weapon forged can stop me." Then Buffy cunningly answers, "That was then. This is now," and pulls out the rocket launcher. He tilts his heads and says, "what's that?" Rocket flies, Joss Whedon is jumping up and down yelling "YES!" on the set, and The Judge is blown back into pieces. This is simply pure satisfaction.



    The resulting fight with Angelus is very personal and ends with Buffy not being able to kill him and settling with kicking him where it hurts. In a moment like this I'm always worried that there won't be any consequences from letting him live. This is a Joss Whedon show, though, so no worries of that happening. The biggest consequence of letting Angelus live here is Jenny Calendar's murder in "Passion" (2x17).



    There is a really touching scene between Giles and Buffy in his car right before the end of the episode. Buffy is heart-broken and saying "this is all my fault." Giles replies with "if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm, I'm not your man. All you will get from me is, is my support. And my respect." This naturally warms Buffy's heart and renews her to be able to move forward from here.



    This leads to the final scene with Buffy and her mom. Joyce asks, "Did you have fun?" Buffy replies, "I got older." Joyce then responds, "You look the same to me." This is an important point. Buffy feels as though she's lost her innocence, but Joyce is trying to tell her that, even with whatever she's been through, she's still an innocent. It's important to note how supportive Joyce is without even knowing what's bothering Buffy. It is so reassuring to know that Buffy has her mom and her friends to rely on when everything goes bad. That's what makes "Becoming Pt. 2" (2x22) even more painful than this episode: her family appears to abandons her and her friends can't understand her.



    Joyce letting Buffy take comfort in her arms, all nice and cozy, is the perfect end to this fantastic episode. The series is now operating on all cylinders and never calms down all the way through S7. This is the moment the show went from good to fantastic and meaningful. The season is gearing up. Here we go!
  • Agonising and beautiful at the same time

    10
    Innocence



    The Good;

    As Joss says "Buffy in pain, show good!" And he really puts her, Jenny and Giles through the wringer here (Willow also has her pain but Oz is there to thankfully not kiss it better) But you know what? It doesn't matter because in the final scene she ends up back in Joyce's loving arms (and probably Dawn's too in everyone's memory) and it's all too beautiful for words.

    Stunningly brilliant in every way, quite possibly the best episode of Buffy ever.



    The Bad;

    Ummmmmm?

    Actually one thing I don't like is Angelus killing the hooker in the alley (She is lovely in a trashy sort of way, the Gorch's were wrong!). Such a misogynistic cliche, couldn't he have killed some guy emptying the bins or something?



    Best line;

    Xander (to Cordy) "Wear something trashy...er" (unkind actually as CC's outfit is very nice although a little school-uniformish).

    Plus;

    Giles; "I'd say we've hit rock bottom"

    Xander; "I have a plan"

    Cordy; "Oh no, there's a lower place!"

    But best dialogue;

    Joyce; "So how was your birthday?"

    Buffy; "Got older"

    Joyce "You don't look any different to me" (nice contrast between the scene where Joyce senses something different about Buffy after she's lost her virginity)



    What the fanficcers thought; Angelus kills the scoobs but others (Jonathon, Harmony etc)take their place, Deadscoobies as fanfiction.net



    Questions and observations;

    So much good stuff, the dream sequence and the scene where Angelus kills Jenny's uncle especially good. But how does he know he's in town? Did Dru have a vision?

    So Sunnydale has it's own army base (couldn't the Initiative have been based there?) as well as an airport big enough for a 747, zoo, docks etc Not bad for a town of under 40,000. How come Spike is prepared to destroy the world now but not in Becoming pt2? You can start to see his jealousy of Dru and Angelus almost from the start, without Darla the Fanged Four are out of balance. Although, like the Harvest or Adam or the Mayor turning into a big snake it would have been bad but would the Judge really have been the end of the world? Buffy using a firearm is a rare sight (I always thought she chucked it away afterwards but obviously she saves it for Season 7 'Him', couldn't she have used it on Adam or Glory?). It was always one of the things that troubled me about the supernatural threat, that really faced with modern technology they're not really up to much (love the Judge's ignorance of what he's facing followed inevitably by death) Buffy says she beat up Willy the Snitch again. I think most people fell in love at this point with Oz, ironically because he DOESN'T want to kiss Willow. Jenny leaves the Scoobies here and realistically will never get back in. Alison Hannigan shows some superb acting skills upon her discovery but all the actors really shine here. Oz joins the Scoobies from the beginning. This makes the Scoobs offically;

    1. Buffy

    2. Giles

    3. Willow

    4. Xander

    5. Angel (for the course of the ep at least)

    6. Jenny

    7. Cordy

    8. Oz

    the biggest they'll ever be until season 5



    10/10 and more of I could make it, just superb and a whole new era for Buffy

  • After consumating their love, Angel looses his soul, joins Spike's and Dru's gang and starts to torture Buffy.

    9.5
    This is one of those episodes that just tears your heart out. It begins right where Surprise left off, with Buffy in Angel's bed and Angel in the ally in pain. The we see Angel stand up, kill a hooker and we know... Angelus is back!
    David Boreanaz plays Angelus with such a finness and power. He balances this fine line of Angel/Angelus beautifully and as evil as he is; he is a joy to watch.
    Sarah is amazing is this episode. She is so vonerable and on edge; depicting everything Buffy is going through right on the surfaces. The subplots and supporting characters are also great, but this episode belongs to David and Sarah and Joss Whedon. He is the master, and this is a piece of art!!!
  • A FREAKIN AWESOME EPISODE

    10
    this was such a great episode!!! I adore the circle of friends ( Willow, Buffy, and Xander) such a witty trio but when things go wrong r there to pick up the pieces. Angelus was a perfect plot twist.... and a perfect edition to such a wonderful hour of entertainment. The part with Willow and Angelus in the hallway was my all time favorite..and when Xander came to her rescue it made my heart melt... they would be cute together ( no matter how much i love Oz). Based on how this episode ended it is clear to say that the resident bad guy.. and season villian will be Angelus...who would have thought??
  • Innocence

    10
    Innocence, the conclusion to the double episode feature of the midseason, was perfectly astounding!!! This episode brought new dilema's to the characters lives, and keeps a steady pace with action, drama, and humor. I think that the Judge was a great villian and makes for an interesting story. We have learned a lot more about Ms. Calendar such as her origins and true purpose. I look forward to seeing what happens next. Buffy and Angel continue their fight in the mall and Buff doesn't kill him, Angel taunts her, and she says to give her time. I think that the rest of the season is shaping up for a great run!!!
  • Season 2, Episode 14.

    10
    After a night of passion with Buffy, Angel is transformed into his old self. Spike, Drusilla, and Angel try to get enough energy for The Judge by taking him to a shopping mall to murder people and obtain power.

    I loved this episode. It's so different to see Angel this way. I liked seeing Buffy and Angel get into a fight though. I also liked that Buffy kicked him in the nuts. I also liked when Buffy used that bazooka thingy to kill the Judge. This is definitely one of the best episodes in the history of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
  • Willow: I knew it. I knew it! Well, not knew it in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know.

    10
    So many good things happen in this episode, it is just great. The introduction of evil Angel is the most dramatic and his conversation with a confused Buffy is really heartbreaking, his reaction shows off his evil side but Buffy just thinks that he is being the typical guy and thinks that she is just rejecting her. I love when she asks if it or she was bad. It is such a realistic moment and you really feel for her in the moment. Then Willow finds out about Xander and Cordelia and her reaction is just so sad as she realizes that her and Xander never really have a chance and that Xander would rather be with someone hates than with her. Then she runs into an Angel gone bad and Jenny ends up revealing her connections to the group. Buffy's anger is understandable but harsh and I feel that she lets her anger over Angel interfere with how she reacts to the betrayal of Jenny that is much better than the betrayal of Angel. Then they come up with a plan to take out the judge who has been constructed by Spike and Dru with a newly evil Angel. I reallhy like Spike's reaction to the new Angel which shows that he is happy and jealous at the same time. The plan plays out really well because Xander has to insult Willow further by requiring the help of Cordelia, but Willow calls Oz for the van. I really like when Willow wants to make out with Oz, but he won't because he knows that her motivations are wrong. His speech about the freeze frame is so cute and he really hits the nail on the head when he accuses her of trying to even the score and saying that it is on the empty side, which it really is.
    Then the finally take it to the judge at the end using all of their respective skills to take the judge down. The rocket launcher goes over really well and then the fight between Angel and Buffy at the end shows how both the demon and the human are having a hard time letting go of their love.
  • Consequences

    10
    Angel losing his soul after achieving true happiness was definitely a suprise. Before this episode. Angelus was just someone we couldn't imagine because Angel was such a good guy. Well it certainly made his character more interesting. This episode kind of dooms Buffy and Angel's relationship. The scene when Angelus says "Yeah you were a real pro" is just heartbreaking. Sarah did a great job but let's not forget Willow's reaction when she finds out what the treasurer of the We Hate Cordelia Club is doing these days. Willow wants to even the score by asking Oz to make out with her but it's very sweet that he doesn't because. The Smurf demon was.. well blue but very cool how he got killed of with a rocket launcher. To sum up two amazing episodes that changed Buffy (the show and the character) forever.
  • Buffy wakes up from her night with Angel, who has turned back into Angelus, and has to begin to deal with the aftermath of a soul-less Angel.

    9.5
    This is one of my absolute favourite Buffy episodes. I classify it as 'tearjerker' because that's exactly what it is. Every time I watch this episode I get rather emotional.

    David Boreanaz (kind of unfortunately in a way) does some of his best acting when he is Angelus. The way Angelus is towards Buffy when he comes back to his place and is so dismiss of her is absolutely gutwrenching to see- especially the look on Buffy's face when he just walks out of the room. Then comes the scene where Buffy is crying on the bed, and it just rips my heart. This is also the episode where Willow discovers Cordelia's and Xander's relationship, and handles it rather well I have to say. But for me, the episode is most memorable because of the whole 'Angel is now Angelus' thing- it is very well written and the actors all do an amazing job. Would recommend this episode to anyone, even someone who hasnt' yet seen the show.
  • this is the episode that talked bout the main reason this sho was created. the girl who had sex and got punished.

    9.5
    This episode is great and amazing. the way joss did it was so great and artistic! the actors did their best in this episode. especially sarah and david. it was jus heartbreaking when angel (angelus, tho buffy didn't know that) told buffy he dont love her. david really nailed the acting. it was such a big change for him to do. also, juz looking at sarah's face made me almost cry. the scene where buffy is crying in her bedroom literally had me in tears. it was just so sad. i absolutely love the scene where willow was talking to xander about kissing cordelia. it was heartbreaking yet funny as well. i didn't kno whether to cry or laugh. i love willow speech about the 'we hate cordelia' club to whic xnder was the tresurer. the part where angel tried to kill willow was so exicting. it also made buffy realised that the angel she knowed was gone and the monster that was killing her friends was wearing his face.
  • the aftermath of Buffy and Angel's night together brings about a change no one would have predicted

    10
    great episode as much as Buffy (the character) annoys me I did feel for her back then because she truly believed he was still Angel so his words were very harsh. Also I really felt for Willow finding out that Cordelia and Xander were kissing behind her back. I mean Willow kept hoping Xander would notice her as more than a friend and for him to have feelings for someone he hates before he has feelings for her I can understand how that would be hurtful. I really loved how they handled the no weapon forged could hurt the judge afterall that was back in the middle ages they didn't have weapons like rockets back then. This episode sets up the arc for the second half of the seasons with Angelus being the big bad that Buffy must kill
  • The Day Their Love Died

    10
    Innocence-After a night of passion with Buffy, Angel awakens as a soulless monster. After killing a human for the first time in decades, he remembers what it is like to be a true vampire. He then joins Spike and Drusilla in their plan to destroy the world.

    Well after an impressive start, "Innocence" takes the major events of the previous episode creates some the best drama and intense moments of the series so far. This is the first time we witness one of the main characters turning evil and it's one of the most surreal arcs the writers ever wrote. David Boreanez's performance is terrific as he really shines as he breaks out of his lover boy persona and becomes a real threat for the Scooby Gang. Angelus is a very creepy and disturbed villain with his mannerism being distinct from Angel yet his fasination with Buffy is a twisted version of Angel's. You can immediately tell this will be a tough battle for Buffy.

    Sarah also shines throughout as her sleeping with Angel not only effects her physically but mentally. One of great metaphor Joss conveys in how when you sleep with someone it always has consequences. Like the real world, when a girl sleeps with a guy, the day after, he goes all evil on her. This is a clever concept that Joss creates and I loved how Buffy was beating herself up for Angel's change, especially after the bedroom scene. The way Angel is so cold toward her and Buffy is overwhelmed by his disgust towrd her played tremedously by both actors. Also, Buffy's breakdown in her room could reduced anyone to tears when watching, Sarah was that good!

    The core of the episode is how everyone reacts to Angel's return to his evil roots. Spike and Drusilla are overjoyed to have him back on the dark side while Xander, Willow, Giles, and Cordelia are horrified yet overwhelmed. I loved how Ms. Calender was so in control when she first encountered Angel after the change. Robia shows some real great depth in the character of Jenny by taking some responsibilty for what her people have forced her to do. I also loved Buffy confrontation with her when her dream revealed the truth to her. The development of the true happiness part of the curse is wonderful giving Buffy more guilt about what she's done and has to do. The sub-plots are also excellent. The scene where Willow finding out about Xander and Cordelia's relationship is heartbreaking as the dialogue is touching and Alyson's performance being so overwhemingly sad. Willow never gets a break as the only guy she ever loved is in love with a girl he hates. I also liked how when Willow tried to get back at Xander by kissing Oz, he shot her down. This is a great development on Oz's part, showing that this is a classy guy and that he wants Willow when she truly wants him. Just goes to show how cool of a guy he is. Also, loved Xander using his soldier knowledge he gained from Halloween transformation to help defeat the Judge.

    The episode concludes with some of the best action set ups of the show has ever done ( at that poitn at least). Buffy with the rocket laucher is a wonderful yet hilarious sight as the Judge's last words being "What's that do?" as she shoots and he goes BOOM! Then you have the fight between Angelus and Buffy which is well choregraphed but also Buffy's first emotional fight as she is fighting the man she use to love. It makes sense that Buffy couldn't kill him yet as her feelings are still too strong to let him go. But this sets up well for the horrible things that Angel will do to her and the gang in the end. All and All, an incredible episode full of amazing dialogue, superb action for a TV of 1998, and unforgettable moments that are very moving.
  • I Never Knew Angel Could Be This Bad

    9.5
    Upon first meeting Angel in "Welcome to Hellmouth" I was under the impression he was a good guy and had been one his entire life. That all changed with "Angel" but I still couldn't see him as anything different. Then this episode rolled around.

    We pick up where we left off in "Surprise" Angel wakes up next to Buffy and immediately jumps out the window. From there he bites a woman and we start to realize this sin't the same Angel we've come to know and love over the pst year and a half.

    This Angel is different -- and surprisingly effective. David Boreanaz defintely shows his range as an actor in this episode. He switches from the good boy we all liked into a soulless monster (no pun intended). After this, I never looked at Angel the same again-but in a good way.
  • The most important episode to date, indicative of a lot of the great stuff to come.

    10
    As “Buffy” was designed to be a feminist response to the blonde girl who always got slaughtered because she had sex in horror films, Joss Whedon had to be very careful to show the ramifications of Buffy’s first time without placing her in a role they wanted to avoid. They pull it off, due in part to having Buffy’s pain be psychological rather than physical and the rest of the cast stepping up their game for the darker material. This episode exposes a new depth to the series and the characters and is largely responsible for setting the mold for what was to come.

    Having Buffy and Angel together is all well and good, but as mentioned in the previous review, the “Sam & Diane” factor often makes for uninteresting drama. Their relationship has always had a star-crossed quality to it. He’s a vampire. She’s the slayer. How could it work? The solution to keep them apart once they had no other option but to consummate the relationship is brilliant, and becomes a key piece of their storyline as well as Angel’s character, which will continue to be developed through his spin-off.

    One moment of “true happiness”, presumably his orgasm with Buffy, whom he loved, turned him back to his old self. Of course, it would make sense for the gypsies to tell Angel this, since the guilt over what he has done would make him do everything possible to avoid unleashing that terror on the world again and by doing so, suffer for it. However, the gypsies’ code of vengeance isn’t logical, and they must’ve assumed he would be miserable forever and dwell in his demonic sins. Obviously something intervened to make Angel a changed man that the gypsies failed to acknowledge when it was cast. Enyos, and presumably those who cast in a century earlier, knew there was a way to reverse the curse, but proper boundaries were never placed.

    A reasonable question brought from the return of Angelus would be why he doesn’t kill Buffy outright. As it is explained, Angelus is dramatic in his murderous work. He took pleasure in destroying Drusilla’s life and making her insane before turning her into a vampire, so it would make sense that he would make a production out of destroying what once made him feel human instead of killing Buffy as if she were just another victim.

    Whedon boiled down the concept of these episodes to “I sleep with my boyfriend and now he won’t call me.” Unfortunately a lot of guys take advantage of women, sleep with them, and then treat them like trash or just another conquest the next day. Angelus is the ultimate example of the jerk ex-lover who takes that moment of vulnerability and exploits it to inflict the maximum amount of pain. He is excessively cruel, reducing his night with Buffy into a triviality and exposing it to everyone in hopes of humiliating her. There had to have been a lot of anticipation for Angelus showing up considering how he’s been built up in the past, and David Boreanaz makes it worthwhile (although some of his delivery in this episode is overdone).

    It’s worth revisiting Buffy’s exchanges with Kendra from “What’s My Line, Part 2”, where they argue whether a slayer should be detached or connected to others. While the slayer is supposed to be isolated as a key to her strength, Buffy has forged tight bonds with her friends, mother and Angel. In an interesting juxtaposition, her bond with Angel causes her heartbreak, but her friends provide her with the strength to save the day.

    With the idea that Angel’s soul may never be restored, Buffy has to prepare to kill him and unfortunately her personal ties to Angel kept her from doing it in this episode. Had Kendra been involved, she wouldn’t have had an issue doing it. These connections Buffy has with other characters become crucial pieces of the season and series, making this episode the fitting starting point of that theme.

    Of her friends, it makes sense that Willow is the only one who can truly empathize with what Buffy’s going through. Buffy is living the dream romance that Willow had wanted for herself. With her recent discovery of Xander and Cordelia, the heartbreak is as real as Buffy’s, albeit not as intense.

    Willow finding Xander and Cordelia making out makes up for all the instances where it was obvious that they were together but Willow somehow dismissed it. I’m not sure they could’ve pulled off a scene like this earlier in the series. Willow telling Xander that he would rather be “with someone [he] hate[s], than be with [her]” is simply gut wrenching, and before they can recover from that, Willow is in the middle of a three way stand-off with Angelus.

    At first, Giles remains characteristically the clueless father figure, oblivious to the fact that his slayer is growing up. Ultimately he shows his unyielding support of her, even giving Jenny the cold shoulder. The best example of this is at the end when Giles drives Buffy back to her home after failing to kill Angelus. His sincerity is assuring in this time of crisis, and is another example of the maturing of the show.

    In a nice call back, one that would be used in not enough future episodes, Xander uses his military prowess earned from his brief possession in “Halloween” to commandeer and teach Buffy to use a rocket launcher. It makes sense for them to use modern technology to blow The Judge apart since their research deadlocked them with the standard “no weapon forged”.

    Jenny’s lack of disclosure to those she’s befriended leaves her in the dog house, where even Giles isn’t standing up for her. It certainly doesn’t help her case that she is inexperienced with the gypsy practices that are responsible for the curse and she’s completely useless to find a way to give Angel his soul back. This response must’ve been what they were foreshadowing in “The Dark Age”, but this pay off is far more interesting.

    While The Judge was a MacGuffin of sorts in the previous episode, in this episode he serves a story device to tell Spike and Drusilla that Angelus has truly returned and he’s not merely playing along as a spy. Also, rendering him useless by the end of the episode explicitly shows that the “Big Bad” of the season isn’t him, but Angelus.

    The Master from the first season was largely isolated from the rest of the cast until the finale (the dream in “Nightmares” doesn’t count). Now we see the new trend that will be used through the end where the “Big Bad” is an element that’s tangible to Buffy and her friends. It makes for better drama to have the heroes have a personal interest in the villains than simply preventing an apocalypse because ultimately these clashes serve to develop the characters.

    In the “What’s My Line” episodes, they established Spike’s jealousy towards those who caught Drusilla’s attention, then a captured Angel. Now that Angelus has arrived, Drusilla’s flaky nature has her moving closer towards him, a reality that Spike clearly doesn’t like. This love triangle proves to be particularly powerful, as it sets up some major moments towards the end of the season and down the road.

    Spike even can’t go with Dru and Angelus on their mission to destroy the people at the Sunnydale mall. One must wonder what was going through his head as he sat in a hidden corner of the factory when the gang arrived looking for them. It would probably be for the best, as Spike’s humanity, the most apparent of any no soul vampire, would make him a good target once The Judge came to full strength. The Judge called their human feelings in the previous episode, but it’s clear that Spike’s feelings for Drusilla are far stronger than vice versa.

    Oz, as some fans reviled initially, wisely turns down Willow’s advances to make-out. By preferring to wait until Willow is ready for someone other than a rebound guy, it makes Oz far more endearing. TV fans can be a territorial bunch, especially when it comes to romances. Oz’s plan of patience is the best way to make nice with those wary of a new guy coming in to Willow’s life, and it feels very natural.

    This is the most important episode of the series to date and as creator Joss Whedon has argued, possibly the most important episode they’ve ever done. This episode finds a new maturity to the show, as some relationships are left in shambles, while others grow closer. It is the beginning of “Buffy” as we know it.
  • Angelus

    7.9
    We learn that by sleeping with Angel, sharing a moment of perfect happiness where his soul no longer plauges him, Buffy cost him his soul though it is by no means her fault. She couldn't have known what would happen, though someone else might have. Jenny Calender is not all she appeared to be, as the gang finds out in this episode. She is a gypsy, one of the descendants of the people who cursed Angel with a soul all those years ago. To bad she can't curse him again. Now not only does Buffy halfta deal with Angelus newly reunited with Spike and Drusilla but she most also figure out a way to take down the judge, though no weapon forged can destory. Fortunately for her that was then, this is now. Thanks to Xander she manages to disassemble the judge and keep him from killing quite a lot of people at the Sunnydale mall. She is not so lucky with Angelus, unable to kill him though given the chance.
  • Happy birthday buffy!

    8.9
    Aww this is a major tearjerker when buffy doesnt have a single thing to wish for because shes sooo sad its heartbreaking :( im glad everything works out in the end but shes soo young and delicate and innocent hence the title its very emotional and upsetting you can really see the pain in her eyes and if anyone has ever felt the way she does you'll understand how horrible it is and how much it hurts! :( poor buffy though its not the best way to spend your 16th birthday hope everyone has a good one !:) yaay 4 u
  • First wedding night, baby!

    10
    Cool! Awesome! Thrilling!
    I just feel sorry for Angel became Angelus and tried to bite Buf! This episode showed us the moment of real Angel's happiness. And now we know what to do to make him bad :(!
    I hope he'll change or some power will give back his human soul!
  • The end of the innocence

    10
    Buffy wakes up after her night with Angel, and he is gone. She is more than a bit concerned as she goes to the gang and asks if they have heard from him. They try to tell her not to worry, but Buffy knows something is up. She would be right. It seems Angel experienced a true moment of happiness, and according the the gypsy, he reverts to Angelus. This episode broke my heart for Buffy first and foremost, but also for Giles, who found out Jenny knew all along. Not to mention Willow, who sees Xander and Cordy kissing in the stacks. At least they were able to take out the Judge, but Angelus, Spike and Dru are still out there. Buffy grows up literally overnight in this one, and she knows what she has to do: Kill Angelus. Best Quote: Cordelia: Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?
    Xander: I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex
  • Angel becomes Angelus!

    10
    This was the best episode of Buffy I have seen to date, it has every single emotion possible in it, anger, jealousy, hatred, love etc.

    As Angelus joins Spike and Drusilla for a spot of destruction you can see that there are big things to come.

    Buffy looke3d so hurt when she found out that Angel have become his evil self again, I'm sure she felt even worse when she discovered that it was all her fault.

    I'm now kind of glad that Jenny is a romany gypsy, it means that we can find out more about the curse and that there is a slight chance of getting the good Angel back.
  • A moment of true happiness

    10
    This was the first time it almost hurt to watch the show. I felt so bad for Buffy and I instantly hated Angelus. But what can you do? It's done and now they have to deal...

    I agree with what someone else wrote in their review: Angelus is a disturbing guy, but his evilness is almost comical. You can hate him, but he somehow still makes you laugh. It's twisted... David Boreanaz' role is the perfect schizophrenic character. He gets to play both, completely good and totally evil. It's amazing how he switches from one role to another. We got a first taste of that in "School hard" when he tried to trick Spike by making him believe he was Angelus.

    When Jenny's true identity was revealed, it got even more interesting. Finally we learn more about the curse and how things are connected in the Buffy-verse!

    Also, there was more of Spike *yummy* and last, but not least, we have that sweat moment between Willow and Oz, it's just sooo cute!

    Over all, a perfect episode! One of the best ever in the show's history!!
  • bad Angel...mad Buffy...sad Willow...

    10
    Cordelia: "Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?"
    Xander: "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."

    A funny quote in such a serious episode where sex does make people grow up very fast. So Buffy and Angel had sex and with the moment of true happiness he lost his soul again, enter Angelus. The new but not improved Angel goes to Spike and Dru and the Judge and tells them that he wants to torture Buffy. Spike doesn’t seem overjoyed that Angel is back because he is still in a wheelchair and Dru’s all hot an Angel. They go with the Judge on a massacre and he isn’t worried because at the time he was alive no weapon forged could kill him. Enter today’s technology and they blast him to pieces with an anti-tank weapon. I felt so sorry for Willow when she found out about Xander and how he would rather be with some he hated then her. When ever she cries on the show I get tears in my eyes.
    Willow: Weird? It's against all laws of God and Man! It's Cordelia! Remember? The, the 'We Hate Cordelia' club, of which you are the treasurer.
    Xander: Look, I was gonna tell you.
    Willow: Gee, what stopped you? Could it be shame?
  • Intercourse with the Vampire

    10
    Innocence marks the beginning of Buffy as a mature and daring series, being confident enough to write in storylines involving leading characters dying, leading characters being put in grave danger and, in the case of this episode and the rest of the season, a leading character turning evil.

    Angelus is a psychotic, disturbing bad guy who's almost comical with his evil-ness. David Boreanaz clearly loves the opportunity to play such a bad-ass, and the reactions to his new personality are excellently written and wonderfully acted by the entire cast, namely Sarah Michelle Gellar, who puts in a masterful performance in this episode. When Angelus taunts Buffy about their night together, she automatically puts the blame on herself, asking if she wasn't good enough. Later, she beats herself up even more by coming to the conclusion that it's entirely her fault that Angelus is back.

    Jenny Calendar really impressed me in this episode. I found her a way more interesting character after her gypsy identity was revealed and she completely rocks in two scenes in this episode. Firstly, the scene where the Scoobies discover that Angelus is back sees Jenny suddenly appearing with a huge cross, telling Willow to get away from him. Robia La Morte is completely convincing in this scene and is one of the stand-out stars of this episode. I also loved the scene in which Buffy slams her down on a desk. It's such a powerful moment and shows how split apart the group is becoming, with Jenny suddenly untrustworthy as well as Buffy and Willow both being so emotionally wounded and Angel gone bad.

    This was also the first episode that really made me appreciate Oz. In one scene, he rejects Willow's offer to kiss her, saying that he understands that the only reason she wants to be kissed is to make Xander jealous or "even the score" with him. Seth Green is perfect in this scene, and the look on Willow's face at the end of his speech shows that she's completely falling in love with him at that very moment, just as the audience does as well.

    Whilst Becoming and Passion are usually the most talked about season two episodes, in my opinion Innocence is the best hour from this year, combining all the ingredients that make Buffy the stunning show that it is. Featuring complex storylines, some scene-stealing acting and a visually stunning battle scene, Buffy rarely gets better than this.

    Director: Joss Whedon
    Writer: Joss Whedon
    Rating: A+
  • Now that the human soul of Liam is gone, Angelus gets to play. His first plan: torture Buffy Summers.

    9.8
    The brilliant pairing of the bad-seed family: Angelus, Spike and Drusilla (too bad Darla is currently dust).

    One of the most heart-rending episodes of Buffy. And its not just the PLOT, it's the exquisite writing that makes the viewers HURT with the characters.

    Powerhouse acting by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alyson Hannigan. David Boreanez shows he's not just a pretty face...and he has SO much fun being evil.

    Xander's first 'soldier-memory' i.e. convenient plot device to move things along shows up. I can forgive it however, since Buffy with a rocket launcher is absolutely a fantastic visual.

    The Judge doesn't leave much of an impression, but its only because we're so emotionally wrapped up in the Angel-to-Angelus shock and angst.

    This is another episode that showed Buffy was one of the most creative and interesting shows on television. Fantasy/Sci-Fi snobbery be damned.

    And of course, it completely changes the entire dynamic of every character on the show and its whole direction for not just this season, but in seasons to come. The entire Buffyverse, in fact, gets turned on its head starting here.

    Anything really can happen to any of our characters!
  • 'As long as there's injustice in the world, as long as scum like you is walking... well, rolling, in the streets, I'll be around. Look over your shoulder. I'll be there.'

    10
    The second part of the amazing ‘Surprise’ which is even a lot better.

    Innocence is so far the best, all he characters have their turn and twists, also this episode is extreme depressing and filled with sad lines which bring much to this amazing show.

    It continues where Surprise left us with Angel in an alley, a woman sees him and asks if he needs some help but he says he doesn’t and when she steps closer he grabs her and bites her and then breathes out her smoke.

    When Angel goes to visit Dru and Spike, he makes fun of Spike and doesn’t seem to scared, then The Judge touches him to burn him up but there is no humanity in him so he can’t. Angelus says he’s back and wants to destroy the world but first he wants to hurt Buffy because she made him feel like a human being.

    In the library Cordy and Xander are fighting a lot, then they go after a book cage and he apologize, then they kiss but Xander sees Willow watching them and runs away. Xander tries to apologize but she’s too mad and says that he prefers being with someone he hates than with her, Willow says it’s against all laws of nature and walks away.

    When Buffy goes to Angel’s apartment she finds him there and was so worried, but he is acting strange and detached from her. He says that she was good in bed, he thought she was pro but that they don’t have to make a big deal out of it. He hurts her and leaves her behind all broken up.

    When Jenny goes to her uncle he tells her that she was taught to revenge because they are it, she says that Angel could help them and that he an Buffy are inlove, the uncle says it’s too late and that Angel already turned into Angelus and now Buffy has to kill him.
    ‘We’re all fools’

    Back in school Willow comes back and tells Xander that they aren’t okay but this is more important, Xander then has a plan but the lights turn out. Angel arrives and tells Xander to get the rest and asks Willow to step over to him. Jenny then sees it and tells Willow to step away but it’s too late. Buffy comes in and Xander saves Willow from Angelus. He kisses Buffy and says that her boyfriend is dead and then throws her against the wall and walks away.

    In the library they all come to now and Buffy is devastated and runs home, Xander has a plan and needs Cordy for it and Oz’ van.

    Meanwhile Angelus has a fight with Spike and this time they don’t make out, he says that the only way to kill Buffy is by loving her.

    While Buffy comes home, sad and depressed she holds Angel’s cross and cries on her bed. Then she dreams about when and how they had sex (very well filmed thank you very much) and then sees in a graveyard that Jenny is standing there.

    Buffy goes to school next day, pissed off and grabs Jenny by her throat and threatened her to tell everything. Jenny tells about what she is and where she grew up, also that Angel became Angelus the minute he achieved one moment of true happiness which was him having sex with his beloved Buffy.

    Jenny can’t help her but her uncle may, sadly when they find him he’s already dead.

    Meanwhile Xander and Cordy go to steal a bazooka and leave Oz and Willow in the van, he says that he wants to kiss her but when she really wants to kiss him back and not to get even with Xander.

    When The Judge, Angelus and Drusilla go to a mall to kill everyone, they are interrupted by Buffy who grabs a bazooka and shoots and kills The Judge making him fall into tiny little pieces.

    The alarm goes off and water falls out by the smoke, Buffy goes after Angelus and they fight but she can’t kill him, she isn’t ready yet and instead she kicks him in the nuts ‘give me time’

    When Buffy and Giles go home she thinks he’s disappointed in her but he isn’t and says that he can only give her his support. Buffy goes inside and Joyce has candles and little cakes, Buffy says he grew older and lets the candles burn out (such a beautiful scene)
    ‘Goodnight my love, remember your mine sweet heart’

    Such a beautiful and depressing episode, poor Jenny and Buffy and well, everyone else. This is Buffy’s at it’s best.
  • Brilliant, just brilliant!

    10
    This is one of the best episode of Buffy ever, and quite possibly one of the best hours of television I have ever seen. I had just watched this on DVD and I realized how much it was so true to life. Despite her supernatural trappings, Buffy always manages to get through the hard times, and Angelus being resurrected has got to be one of the most painful things she has ever had to go through. This is a prime example of a real woman, and after all this she stills comes out stronger, harder, better. So did this remarkable series, and therefore this in my opinion is one of the best episodes of all time.
  • Tada.. Angelus is back.

    9.9
    The first kill for Angelus is tremendous; he bites his victim, a smoking woman, and then he blows out some smoke just like he has fired a gun.
    Angel is so mean and cruel to Buffy, when the meet for the first time after his transformation.
    Finally Xander and Cordelia show their love to others, not intentionally though, but still.
    In some way one could say that the episode before this two part episode, Bad eggs, was a prequel to these. In that episode the gang are told in a biology class the risk of having pre-marital sex or to early at least before they are ready. When Buffy becomes to intimate with Angel, he becomes Angelus. To some extent one could consider Angelus as a VD, and a rather nasty one too.
    A great line from Xander: “I’m seventeen, looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex.”
    Buffy uses a Swedish made antitank gun called Pansarskott, the world’s most efficient weapon against tanks. The gun is used by the American forces in Iraq. This is a one time gun; once it is fired it can’t be fired again. It does not make the sounds that were sound edited into the episode.
  • "There is no humanity in him" - The Judge on Angel

    9.8
    Surely Buffy has watched enough teen movies to know that bad things happen after sex, usually being murdered by a psychopath. Sex=death. However, the obvious analogy in this episode is that boys change after you sleep with them; they don’t call, they don’t want to know, they become nasty. It’s almost a relief for Buffy when she discovers Angel has Gone Bad – his taunting of her, his use of his experience against her (just lost) innocence is more than Buffy can bear. As he says to Spike about the slayer: “To kill her you have to love her”. Angel knows all of Buffy’s weak spots in a way that Spike can’t (in this series at least). Interesting how Spike is interested in destroying the world whereas Angel is more into destroying Buffy. Dru is interested in both. As previously mentioned, Dru is connected to Buffy in this series and just as Spike’s paramour has psychic visions, Buffy is starting to trust her psychic dreams. She sees Jenny at a funeral (foreseeing Jenny’s death?) but Buffy knows it means that Jenny is aware of what’s going on. Poor Jenny, she is stuck in the middle of her family (her clan) and her friends (her new life). Giles drops her pretty quickly when they find out what has happened; he stands with Buffy against her. Poor Giles; he has to find out that his daughter-figure had sex, but he deals with it magnificently: “All you will get from me is my support and my respect.” Jenny’s uncle is obsessed with “not justice but vengeance” and we all know what happens to vengeful people in Buffy tVS. The Kalderash are not interested in the fact that Angel is paying for his sins – they want him to stay tormented for ever. With Buffy he forgot his suffering - and how terrible for her to know that his love for her, his moment of true happiness and contentment, caused his change to Angelus which is bad for her, bad for the world. Jenny is right when she says that “People are going to die”.

    In the meantime Willow too is losing her innocence. She can’t cope with Xander’s interest in another woman. Her pathetic reminder to Xander that he was the Treasurer of the I hate Cordelia Club is a harking back to their shared childhood and she is unable or unwilling to understand why her best friend would go for her worst enemy. She could handle him fancying Buffy because she admires her, but Cordy? In Willow’s mind, Xander’s like/love/lust for Cordelia negates her personality. She is better than Cordy, but her crush can’t see that. Her long-legged amble towards a shadowed Angelus forces on our minds how young and ingenuous she is; fortunately Xander almost makes up for his love-betrayal and saves her from Angel(us). Willow is then determined to lose her kissage virginity and the scene in the van with Oz shows her willingness to move on and the moment when Oz doesn’t kiss her is the moment she falls slapbang in love with him. The look in her eyes is stupendous.

    Cordelia is also showing signs of wanting to be with Xander in more than a snog in the stacks way. She complains that Xander would die for Buffy but not for her and questions him about sex whilst being impressed about Xander’s pseudo-army knowledge (which is used as a plot device several times over). Sunnydale is truly the town that grows with the network budget. A docks and a barracks and a mall in three episodes! We return to the Mall for the Team Buffy vs Team Angel showdown. As in the previous episode when Angel and Buffy wore matching black and white, here they (and their stunt doubles) are in black leather trews and dark trenchcoats – they mean business. The sprinklers replace the rain of the night before and although Buffy cannot kill her former love, she can appropriately kick him in the sex organs.
    The Judge’s lack of knowledge of modern things: “Spiffy?” “What does that [rocket launcher] do?” is amusing, especially when he’s blown to blue pieces. No weapon forged indeed!

    The last scene is remarkable as Buffy, having won a pyrrhic victory against Angel and the Judge, tries to cope with the loss of her innocence in several ways. Joyce asks her what she did on her birthday, and the writing and the acting are wonderful as Buffy replies: “I got older”. Joyce wants Buffy to make a wish with her cupcake candle but Buddy knows there is no point - wishes don’t and won’t come true.
  • Powerful, Powerful episode

    9.5
    Just when I thought this series couldn't get any better, along comes "Innocence"! This episode has everything that makes this series a classic. You've got Angel turning evil....and the great part is that he stays evil! He isn't changed back to "good" Angel, even though we know eventually he will. We've also (finally) got some character development for Xander, my least favorite character. And I have to say, I was really intrigued by the whole Xander/Cordelia relationship. And you've also got the big confrontation between Buffy and Jenny. Anthony Stuart Head played his distress over Jenny's betrayal perfectly. It was one of the most believable examples of acting I haver had the pleasure of watching.
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