Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 18

Killed by Death

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Mar 03, 1998 on The WB

Episode Fan Reviews (23)

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  • Killed by Death

    This is an interesting little episode. The cinematography really won me over here as the events are shot in a very creepy style. There's a lot of atmosphere, and as everyone knows by now, atmosphere ranks high on 'good' list. That still doesn't change the fact that nothing important happens and that it's very weak compared to the potent "Passion" (2x17). Nonetheless, like "Inca Mummy Girl" (2x04), I find this episode decent enough.

    Like I mentioned before, I really love the camera work in this episode. It succeeds in displaying the hospital as an ugly and creepy place. Everything begins in the cemetary where Buffy passes out do to the flu. The Scoobies rush her into the hospital where chaos and uncertainty run wild. The gang is really scared that Buffy's not going to be okay. Giles and Joyce quickly make it to the hospital where Buffy is stabilized but still somewhat delusional. I've got to admit, it's scary seeing Buffy delirious like this and it reminds me of the frightening "Normal Again" (6x17). Also a nice little touch is how Cordelia "looks away" in anguish when they give Buffy a sedative shot.

    Also worth noting is Angelus' creepy visit to the hospital. Xander stands up to him when Angelus says, "Buffy's White Knight. You still love her. It must just eat you up that I got there first." Xander replies with the perfect comeback, "You're gonna die. And I'm gonna be there." Both come true in "Becoming Pt. 2" (2x22), although Xander doesn't get to see Buffy actually kill him.

    Later on the group is taking Buffy for a stroll in her wheelchair outside the hospital. During this moment, both Buffy and Spike are in wheelchairs. How funny is that? Look at where these two, who were fighting to the death back in "School Hard" (2x03), are now: crippled and helpless. Anyway, I love the reference to Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal in the same scene. Xander says, "Ooo, if he asks you to play chess, don't even do it. The guy's, like, a whiz."

    There's a couple other positives aspects to mention. One is that I'm really happy the doctor isn't the bad guy. Things stay somewhat unpredictable in every episode of this show. Another thing I liked is the final scene where Willow, Xander, and Buffy are all snuggled up on top of Buffy's bed eating snacks and watching TV. Very homely and cute.

    There's only a few things I didn't care for. Even though the episode's got a creepy tone, the pace is a bit too slow in some places. The one huge complaint I have, though, is Buffy's flashbacks of her cousin's death. As soon as we find out her cousin was killed by the same demon, the said cousin then turns into a plot contrivance just there to make us more sympathetic to Buffy. This connection was completely unnecessary. Also, the young girl version of Buffy looks nothing like Buffy. So while this isn't a particularly complex or standout episode, it works well as a slow, creepy, and decent little outing with the Scoobies.