Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 6 Episode 5

Life Serial

3
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 23, 2001 on The WB
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
464 votes
21

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Buffy decides that in order to take care of herself and Dawn she must get back to college and find herself a job. This all becomes much more difficult when the nerd Trio decide to present the Slayer with a series of challenges to determine the extent of her abilities.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Here's an episode that just misses the mark of excellence.

    8.0
    "Life Serial" is a very enjoyable yet slightly flawed outing which continues the slow burn to the, well, hyper excellerated burn that will happen in "Once More, with Feeling". What it does right is balance the darker issues running in the background with a mature flavored candy-corn surface. In other words there's some solid value and, thanks mostly to the Trio, it's hilarious.



    The plot -- Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew trying to test the Slayer while she tries to put some of her life back together -- functions as a means to showing how complicated it will be trying to find a new purpose in life. It also shows how fragile Buffy is and how easily she gives up when things don't go perfectly the way she wants. Everything focuses squarely on Buffy, although it's important to notice how much more interested Giles is in regard to many of Buffy's answers to tough questions about her life.



    This begins when Dawn asks how Buffy's trip to see Angel was. Giles perking up with great interest in Buffy's response says a lot by itself. He wants to see if she's going to take charge of her life and only ask him for assistence, not complete control over all the unpleasant things she doesn't want to have to deal with right now. When she answers a different question, Giles bluntly asks her what's next with her life. Dawn's even excited to hear Buffy's hopefully determined response, but instead all both of them get is confusion. As Warren will correctly say later, "it's like she's completely without Buffy's first thought is going back to school, of which she was sad to be forced to leave in "Tough Love". Instead of just going with it, she seeks Giles' agreement first.



    In the past, Buffy often going to Giles for opinion and agreement over life-changing matters was expected, and even healthy. But now that Buffy's mom is dead, Giles knows it's time for Buffy to step up, grab ahold of her life, and start making autonomous, adult decisions. Disappointment immediately becomes Giles because he knows this is something Buffy is capable of; how she handled the Glory crisis, particularly in "Tough Love" and "Spiral", proved it. But taking control of your inner demons proves to be a much, much harder nut to crack. This is, in a nutshell, what S6 is entirely about and a big reason why I love it. It realistically depicts just how impossibly difficult and time-consuming it is to break out of horrible habits and emotions.



    It's at this point when the plot kicks in. The Trio throws three tests at Buffy aimed to gain information about her. Only in this state could Buffy ever be more than annoyed by the pranks the Trio pulls in the first half of the season. First we see Buffy giving university another shot. This is a scene that really shows how utterly sophisticated and confusing college can be when you've been out of it for a while. Willow nails it when she later tells her "you're not dumb. Just It's unfortunate for Buffy that, combined with the Trio's time inhibiter, she's just not in the emotional space to be persistent and keep trying. It's also interesting to see how Buffy's language has gotten harsher along side her life. You can see a "what the come out right as the scene amusingly cuts away.



    Feeling unjustly stupid about her aptitude for school she decides to use Xander's help in getting her a construction job, definitely a possible fit for her strength. It's funny just how small and meek she looks here! This just makes it all the more fun to see the shock of all the other workers when she easily picks up an incredibly heavy metal beam right after being ridiculed. As she works she talks up a storm to her new co-workers who are getting angered by how quickly she's working. Everything was going surprisingly well until Andrew's summoned demons attack and then all the guys blame Buffy, thereby getting her fired. It's a shame these demons Buffy dispatches are so incredibly hokey as it takes some of the fun out of the scene.



    After failing in the workplace of, once again, no fault of her own she decides to stoop to retail, a fate she earlier claimed is worse than death. This entire sequence of scenes is not only positively hilarious, but also go to reinforce how easily Buffy's giving up. All the differently abrupt ways Buffy tries to alter the time loop fail to break her out of this painful cycle. At one point she even has a quick succession of confusion, anger, and tears. It's not until she calms down and reasons her way through does she break out of it. This whole sequence represents a large part of her struggles to come -- being stuck in a 'loop' of destructive behavior until she takes a calm step back from her emotions and reasons things through all that confusion, anger, and tears. It's interesting to note that Buffy does fairly well at everything she tries, but the Trio and her lack of persistence keep mucking things up.



    After all the pain of the day, Buffy runs to Spike and starts drinking. A lot. In a not-so-with-it state she blurts out "life is Well, yes, it very often is stupid and one of a whole lot of different things, both good and bad. Spike points out that she is the type of girl who'd enjoy throwing punches and getting information the rough way. This is something he's seen in her for a long while now dating back to "Fool for Love" and "The Weight of the World". Attention is brought to this again because of where their relationship is heading. Spike then elaborates this time, saying "your life's gonna get a lot less confusing when you figure this out" ... "You're not a schoolgirl. You're not a shop girl. You're a creature of the darkness. Like me. Try on my world. See how good it It turns out Spike is going to get his wish before too long.



    Although right now Buffy just wants to ignore her problems with the closest bottle of alcohol, her agreement of Spike's suggestion goes a bit deeper than it appears. We find out in "All the Way" that Buffy's thoughts about Spike have become more sexual. That, combined with the fact that the only person she can stand to be around is him, creates some interesting development. Here, though, this entire kitten poken sequence feels very date-like and would probably constitute their first. A few things I just plain enjoy about this part of the episode are Buffy's incredibly entertaining reactions to chugging down big gulps of alcohol, Spike's subsequent amusement, cheating at kitten poker, and Clem! Instead of the usual 'boyfriend wants to play cards with his buds but the girlfriend is bored' we get a neutered vampire wanting to play cards with his demon buds but the Slayer is bored. Very fun situation!



    In the midst of all of this Buffy comes back home to Giles: the warming effect. He instantly makes her feel safe, taken care of, and warm again. This is when he gives her a check to help her get back on her feet, saying "Go easy on yourself, will you? I mean, you don't have to figure the whole thing out at once, you know, job and everything. You're pushing yourself too The check is intended only to do just what I said: help her get back on her feet. Buffy's gratitude is heart-warming, recognizing that having him around reminds her of having her mom alive.



    Unfortunately, before she leaves the room, she tips Giles off to the unfortunate fact that Buffy's accepting this money for the wrong reasons. Buffy says that "this... makes me feel safe. Knowing you're always gonna be Giles doesn't want Buffy to feel like she can come to him everytime she needs something important taken care of in her life, or everytime she's low on cash. Giles wants her to grow up, take care of her own family, and handle adult responsibilities. This is because, ultimately, Giles won't be around forever. Even if he didn't choose to leave in "Tabula Rasa", Giles can't be the one to give Dawn the kind of discipline and love that only Buffy can. He can't be the one to pay for everything in the household. He also can't sit and watch Buffy continue to act like she's a kid still when she's really not anymore, and not just from a responsibility standpoint. Most of all, he simply wants to see Buffy grow up, find strength in herself, and move onto the next stage of her life. This moment definitely gets Giles thinking it's time for him to leave which he hopes will force Buffy to face herself: her biggest challenge yet.



    In the end, "Life Serial" turns out to be better than I initially thought, although it's still marred by a handful of nagging bits of hokiness. Between all the laughs is some solid character work for Buffy which keeps her development moving forward to new and interesting places. I have to say I'm quite pleased with the balance achieved here.moreless
  • Buffy goes to work

    8.0
    LIFE SERIAL



    The Good;

    Buffy in the workplace, funny...



    The Bad;

    ... but ultimately a bit depressing



    Best line;

    Spike; "C'mon, someones got to stake me"



    Women good/men bad;

    The guys on Xander's building site are pretty sexist towards 'Little Britney' even though she saved their lives.



    Jeez!;

    Shouldn't Buffy make sure she rescues all the kittens?



    Kinky dinky;

    About the weirdest fanfic I ever read had Buffy having sex with the mummy hand. In the follow up story she lures it out of her using a magic charm then smashes it to atoms with her troll hammer (although surely all she needed to do was go upstairs and start the cycle again?). Buffy thinks that the candle buyers' girl isn't going to sleep with him whatever scent he chooses. Anya pictures HERSELF naked when selling, talk about 'sales figures' (the corset top Buffy wears to university would certainly do the trick! And check out the stripper heels she crushes Giles' specs with). Andrew thinks that Scully from the X-files 'Wants him so bad' and envies Jonathon that Buffy 'touched him'. The Nerds find free porn at the end. Lots of gags about Jonathon's 'magic bone'.



    Captain Subtext;

    Willow is a 'breast girl'. Andrew is hesitant to hold hands but as Warren observes you know what ***phobia REALLY means. Spike tells Buffy she's a creature of the night, we'll later find that's true. Anya and Dawn dance together.



    Apocalypses; 6



    Scoobies in bondage:

    Buffy: 8

    Giles: 4

    Cordy: 5

    Will: 3

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 4

    Oz: 1

    Faith: 3

    Joyce: 1

    Wes: 1

    Xander; 1

    Dawn; 3



    Scoobies knocked out:

    Buffy: 16

    Giles: 11

    Cordy: 6

    Xander: 9

    Will: 5

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 6

    Oz: 3

    Faith: 1

    Joyce: 3

    Wes: 1

    Anya;2

    Dawn; 1



    Kills: 3 demons for Buffy

    Buffy: 96 vamps, 40 demons, 6 monsters, 3 humans, 1 werewolf, 1 spirit warrior & a robot

    Giles: 5 vamps, 2 demon, 1 human, 1 god.

    Cordy: 3 vamps, a demon

    Will: 6 vamps + 1 demon +1 fawn.

    Angel: 3 vamps, 1 demon, 1 human

    Oz: 3 vamps, 1 zombie

    Faith: 16 vamps, 5 demons, 3 humans

    Xander: 5 vamps, 2 zombies, 1 a demon,

    Anya: 1 vamp and 1 a demon

    Riley; 18 vamps + 7 demons

    Spike; 3 vamps and 2 demon

    Buffybot; 2 vamps

    Tara; 1 demon



    Scoobies go evil:

    Giles: 1

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 1

    Angel: 1

    Oz: 1

    Joyce: 1

    Xander: 4

    Anya; 1

    Dawn; 1



    Alternate scoobies:

    Buffy: 6

    Giles: 3

    Cordy: 1

    Will: 2

    Jenny: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 2

    Joyce: 2

    Xander: 3



    Recurring characters killed: 10

    Jesse, Flutie, Jenny, Kendra, Larry, Snyder, Professor Walsh, Forrest, McNamara, Joyce



    Sunnydale deaths;

    89;



    Total number of scoobies: 6

    Xander, Willow, Buffy, Anya, Tara, Spike, Giles



    Xander demon magnet: 5(6?)

    Preying Mantis Lady, Inca Mummy Girl, Drusilla, VampWillow, Anya (arguably Buffy & Faith with their demon essences?), Dracula?



    Scoobies shot:

    Giles: 2

    Angel: 3

    Oz: 4

    Riley; 1



    Notches on Scooby bedpost:

    Giles: 2; Joyce & Olivia, possibly Jenny and 3xDraccy babes?

    Cordy: 1?

    Buffy: 3 confirmed; Angel, Parker,Riley, 1 possible, Dracula(?)

    Angel: 1;Buffy

    Joyce: 1;Giles, 2 possible, Ted and Dracula(?)

    Oz: 3; Groupie, Willow & Verucca

    Faith:2 ;Xander, Riley

    Xander: 2; Faith, Anya

    Willow: 2;Oz and Tara

    Riley; 3; Buffy, Sandy and unnamed vampwhore

    Spike; good or bad?



    Dawn in peril; 4



    Dawn the bashful virgin; 1



    Questions and observations;

    The woman who asks for the mummy hand reminds me of Elle McPherson. The introduction of Clem, here unnamed. If I ever write a TV show I'm going to include a box of kittens in every script (I understand Marish Carey does the same thing?). The Nerds testing Buffy is reminiscent of 'Lois and Clark'. For my money Roger Moore is the greatest James Bond and Dalton the 3rd best after Brosnan. The foreman refer to 'Gidget' as did Joyce in Prophecy Girl. Britney of course, huge now, all conquering at the time. Warren's right about the o'clock thing. Connery is Warren's favourite Bond, interesting that he has a reputation for being misogynist?

    Marks out of 10; 8/10

    moreless
  • A Trio of Pranks

    8.0
    Life Serial-Buffy decides that in order to take care of herself and Dawn she must get back to college and find herself a job. This all becomes much more difficult when the nerd Trio decide to present the Slayer with a series of challenges to determine the extent of her abilities.

    To a casual viewer, "Life Serial' may seem like it doesn't have much going for it, but with some great character moments/interaction and effective humor, "Life Serial" manages to be very entertaining at times. Almost completely centered around Buffy (and the Trio of course) with very briefappearancesfrom the rest of the main cast, this episode is actually the first to focus on the adult life issues that Buffy must face this season. After Buffy returns from her mysterious from Angel (honestly, the writers killed us by leaving that Buffy/Angel moment off screen!), Giles waste no time in asking Buffy what her life plans are and like most young adults, Buffy decides to go back to school and then tries getting a job: once at the construction site with Xander then at the Magic Shop with Giles and Anya. But as Buffy finds out, trying to establish an adult life is pretty hard, not just because of her feeling "stupid"during Willow's class, but because apart of her just doesn't want to start over with new life considering well....she didn't want to be brought back in the first place! It doesn't help that she has 3 geeks making her life worse with their silly, over the top pranks that they consider threats.

    The Trio is do amuse in this episode, you got to love the moments with the Deathstar on the van, Andrewaccidentallylanding on the van's horn which honks out the Star Wars theme (talk about priceless!), the Bond actorargument, not to mention, Jonathan's magic! The three situations they put Buffy are all full of hilarious moments like Warren's time warp confusing Buffy so much to the point where she's about to drop an "F" bomb in a priceless cut away scene, Andrew's demons making things worse for Buffy at the construction site after the other construction workers ridicule her (even though she showed them what's what after lifting a large metal beam with ease!) and my personal favorite moment, Jonathan'scustomerservice time loop. Sarah Michelle Gellar really doesn't get enough praise for her comedic timing because I could watch that sequence over and over and I still laugh at loud. From her crushing Giles' glasses to her breaking the doorbell to "You want slug? Go wit Slug? She's not gonna sleep with you anyway!" to her attacking the mummy hand customer etc. All excellent comedy writing and great performance from Sarah. From there, things continue to go downhill as Buffy hilariously gets drunk when Spike takes her out to investigate the possible demon who is messing with her. The kitten poker scene is just classic and we get to see Clem for the first time! Love that guy! You also got to love the moment where Jonathan masquerades as a large, threatening looking demon yet has the strength of...well...himself. But on a serious note, the way the episode ends, is another big plot development with Giles comforting Buffy after being a drunken mess all night. It really shows just how close Giles and Buffy have come, even too close as when Giles gives Buffy the check she not only accepts but pretty much tells him she's glad he'll always be there to bail her out of all the other problems she faces. Buffy's comforting smile as she walks away is a drastic contrast to Giles' disappointing expression. Buffy's dependence is touching but it's only holding her back from doing what she needs to do. It's a strong development that will continue until Giles eventually makes a hard decision for Buffy that will force her to move on for the rest of the season. Overall, "Life Serial" is a solid episode with it's strong script that shows Buffy's struggle with adult issues but having some fun doing it.moreless
  • Life Serial

    9.5
    Life Serial was a superb episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This episode really showed us more of the Trio who are mostly familiar faces from the past. They test Buffy and though she over comes every thing they throw at her they still are confident and have more information on her now. I think this was a fun episode to watch with humor, action, magic, intrigue, and drama. Buffy's new nemesis the Trio are keeping things interesting and I look forward to seeing what they do next. Buffy is still dealing with just being back and the others are still not aware of the whole truth.moreless
  • The Trio are just the funniest guys and they really do try to expose bUfy's weaknesses...

    8.9
    In this episode three boys Warren, Andrew and Jonathan try to expose Buffy's weaknesses in the attempt to become a threat to her. Buffy is just recently broke so she is trying to fing a job or something to do with her life. It is too late to sign up for college but she does take a couple of trial classes with Tara and Willow. Warren attaches a speed thing to her so that times passes forward really quickly and Buffy is left spellbound. After going pretty crazy she finds it on her jacket and it selfs-destruct. "Maybe it was lint. Maybe it was evil lint." She then tries to get a job at the construction site where Xander works, but Andrew summons demons to her and of course she kills them, but they evaporate and she loses her job. And then Jonathan does his thing which is probably the most effective and the funniest: "Here, you like slug? Take slug! She ain't sleepin' with you anyway!" She is going a continuos loop until she can satisfy the customer with an ancient mummy hand. "It's kinda hairy though, maybe it was a daddy hand."

    This episode is hilarious and it is really the first of the many great episodes involving The Trio.moreless
Paul Gutrecht

Paul Gutrecht

Tony

Guest Star

Noel Guglielmi

Noel Guglielmi

Vince

Guest Star

Enrique Almeida

Enrique Almeida

Marco

Guest Star

Danny Strong

Danny Strong

Jonathan

Recurring Role

Adam Busch

Adam Busch

Warren

Recurring Role

Tom Lenk

Tom Lenk

Andrew

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (14)

    • When Spikes is in the crypt with Buffy there is clearly some brown under his bleached hair, but in the bar shortly after his hair is completely blond.

    • Buffy kicks the Jonathan "demon" in the chest, yet Jonathan in the van later says he was hit by her fists. Its possible Jonathan was just making a general statement about being on the receiving end of a confrontation with Buffy and not intending to be taken literally.

    • The mummy hand is mobile and aggressive yet it is left lying out in the open in the basement. It's odd that it isn't kept in some sort of box.

    • As Buffy walks away from Xander and the construction crew after the fight with the demons Xander is seen from behind shifting back and forth. The shot changes to face Xander and he's standing still.

    • When Willow and Tara are seen immediately after Warren runs into them Tara's right hand is gripping the strap on her handbag about three or four inches above the bag itself. The shot reverses to show them, plus Buffy, and Tara's right hand is now open and resting on the bag.

    • It seems odd that neither Warren nor Jonathan are aware of Andrew's airbrush project until they see it. Air brushing an image as large as the Deathstar on the side of the van would take much more than a few minutes, also the air compressor needed to operate the air brush makes noise.

    • At the beginning of the episode as Warren is showing Jonathan the van's interior Jonathan walks right up to the side of the van. The camera angle reverses and Jonathan walks up to the van a second time.

    • This is the first time it is mentioned (or shown) that some demons and vampires play cards for kittens (as for money).

    • When the trio are watching Buffy on their monitors, you may notice that the program is a bit like Quicktime. And at the bottom of the monitor, it is obvious that they are watching a saved file because there is a time tracker which shouldn't be seen if they were watching a LIVE feed.

    • LOOK CLOSE: When Andrew, Jonathan, and Warren are using binoculars to watch Buffy at the construction site, you can see the camera crew in the reflection at the end of the binoculars.

    • Buffy says she left school when her mom got sick, but she actually didn't do it until "Tough Love", which was after Joyce died.

    • In the scene that takes place in Spike's crypt (when him and Buffy share a flask of whiskey), James Marster's accent slips upon saying "You're not a shop girl".

    • When Warren speeds the life around Buffy, no one seems to notice Buffy standing still in slowed time, yet they manage to hit her- which means she is really there.

    • When the camera cuts to Buffy and Spike clearing away the smoke left by Jonathan (disguised as a demon), you can see James Marsters smiling for a bit.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Spike: (to Buffy) You're not a schoolgirl. You're not a shop girl. You're a creature of the darkness, like me. Try on my world. See how good it feels.

    • Buffy: I guess I could've been been blacking out, but...there was this thing on my sweater, you know, and then it just blew away or went poof. Maybe it was lint. Maybe it was evil lint!

    • Warren: W-what the hell is that?
      Andrew: Death Star, dude! Wicked, huh?
      Jonathan: (scornfully) Thermal exhaust port's above the main port, numb-nuts.
      Andrew: For your information, I'm using the Empire's revised designs from Return of the Jedi.
      Jonathan: That's a flawed design!
      Warren: Guys! (they shut up) Okay, the thing is, since we're messing with the Slayer, who could pummel the three of us into a sludgy substance, it might be a good idea for us to (yelling) NOT draw attention to ourselves!

    • Spike: What's wrong, luv?
      Buffy (drukenly, struggling with her jacket) What's wrong?! You were gonna help me! You, you were gonna beat heads and, and, and fix my life! But you're completely lame! Tonight sucks! And, and look at me! Look at, look at stupid Buffy! Too dumb for college, and, and, and freak Buffy, too strong for construction work. And, and my job at the magic shop? I was bored to tears even *before* the hour that wouldn't end! And the only person I can even stand to be around is a ... neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker.
      Spike (embarrassed): Oh, you saw the cheating, did you?
      Buffy: Also, I think you're drunk.

    • Giles: Buffy, a word in your ear. If you think of the store as a library it'll help you to concentrate on service rather than selling.
      Buffy: Yes. And then I'm going to marry Bob Dole and raise penguins in Guam.
      Giles: (not listening) Yes, uh, quite, quite, yes.

    • Jonathan: Unnnh, next time I do that spell, one of you guys has to look like the demon.
      Andrew: (in awe) The Slayer touched you.
      Jonathan: Yeah, it was sexy the way she touched me real hard with her fists. I only looked big. I actually had the proportional strength of, uh, me.
      Warren: Guys, think about this. We took on the Slayer. I mean, we've got all kind of stuff in the computer now: speed, strength, reaction time. We're getting what we need to really become a threat to her. We tested her, faced her, and we survived.
      Jonathan: Unless I have internal injuries that will eventually kill me.

    • (Spike is playing cards with three demons while a somewhat drunk Buffy watches.)
      Demon #1: You're lucky today, Spike.
      Spike: Got my good-luck charm with me.
      Demon #2: You cleaned us out. No one's that lucky.
      Demon #3: Yeah, I'm starting to think you cheat.
      Spike: Me? Cheat? (pointing to Demon #2) He's got x-ray vision!
      Demon #2: Yeah, but, uh, I'm not using it.

    • Jonathan: I need you to hold hands.
      Andrew: (recoiling) With each other?
      Warren: Well, you know what homophobia really means about you, don't you? (picks up a piece of bone with carvings on it)
      Jonathan: Stop touching my magic bone!

    • (About Giles helping Buffy)
      Spike: Right, Because Giles works the mighty forces of library books.

    • (Giles gives Buffy a loan to help her in a financial slump)
      Buffy: Thanks... for this. In a way, it' kind of like having Mom back.
      Giles: In your scenario, I'm your mother?
      Buffy: Would you rather be my shiftless absentee father?
      Giles: You don't have a handsomely rakish uncle, by any chance?

    • (Spike is playing poker and can't provide the ante)
      Spike: C'mon, somebody's gotta stake me.
      Buffy: I'll do it. (Spike glares at her) What, did you think I was just going to let that lie there?

    • Warren: Subject sighted at 4 o'clock.
      Johnathon: That's not 4 o'clock.
      Warren: Well it is if you're facing the front of the van.
      Johnathon: But we're not facing the front of the van, we're facing that way. That's twelve so she's at 2 o'clock.
      Warren: Look she's over there okay?

    • Warren: Connery was the only actor in the bunch.
      Andrew: Timothy Dalton should get an Oscar and beat Sean Connery over the head with it!

  • NOTES (8)

    • The nerds have three clocks in their van (that can be seen after the Magic Box tasks). The clocks are labeled Toronto, Sunnydale and Moscow.

    • Warren jokes about Andrew, saying, "You know what homophobia really says about you, don't you?", implying that Andrew might be gay. This ambiguity is a recurring theme throughout the rest of Andrew's character development on "Buffy", but on the final season of "Angel" is put to rest.

    • The check that Giles gives Buffy (or a copy of it) later appeared for sale on the Internet auction site Ebay in August, 2004. It was eventually bought for $990.

    • This marks the first appearance of James C. Leary as "Clem" on the series although he is not called Clem in this episode it only refers to him as "loose skinned demon" in the end credits.

    • David Fury wrote the teaser and the first two acts of the episode. Jane Espenson wrote the final two acts.

    • Every act begins with Buffy saying "This is going to be great." She says so when she starts class, when she's a construction worker, when she begins as a sales clerk, and when she gets drunk with Spike. Each time, Buffy says it with a little less enthusiasm, except for when she gets into the alcohol.

    • In one of UPN's promos Buffy is described as Buffy The Sales Clerk and Buffy The Construction Worker.

    • This episode marks the third time Buffy gets drunk in the series so far. Buffy first touched alcohol in season 2's 'Reptile Boy' (which wasn't really her fault as it was spiked), and then 'Beer Bad' in season 4 is the first time she really drinks heavily. Here she drinks so much she can hardly stand up.

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • The animated mummy hand is very similar to the character "Thing" from The Addam's Family show and films.

    • Van's Horn: Star Wars Theme
      When Andrew falls on the horn for the van, while they are watching the construction site, the horn plays the Star Wars Theme. The music for all the Star Wars movies was created by John Williams.

    • Warren: What the hell is that?
      Andrew: Death Star dude! Wicked huh?
      Johnathan: The thermal exhaust port is above the main port,numbnuts.
      Andrew: For your information, I'm using the Empire's revised designs from Return of the Jedi.
      Johnathan: That's a flawed design.

      Return of the Jedi is the sixth part of the Star Wars saga created by George Lucas. The original Death Star was first seen as a schematic in Episode 3, Revenge of the Sith. This Death Star was destroyed in Episode 4, A New Hope by Star Wars hero, Luke Skywalker, of the Rebel Alliance. The Empire (the evil ruling class) created a second Death Star that was seen in Episode 6, Return of the Jedi, (as seen on the side of the van that Andrew was painting). This was also destroyed by the Rebel Alliance, by the end of the 6th episode, this time by Lando Calrissian.

    • Woman: This hand is dead. The power is gone. I'm not giving you money for this.
      Buffy: Oh, it's just playing dead. Little scamp.
      This is yet another reference to the "parrot Sketch" on Monty Python.

    • Tony the Foreman: Hang on, Gidget!

      The character of Gidget first appeared in the book Gidget, The Little Girl With the Big Ideas by Frederick Koehner, based on his daughter Kathy. The book inspired movies, sitcoms, telemovies and a cartoon. Also, "Gidget" quite often wore her hair in pony tails like Buffy had in that scene.

    • Tony the Foreman: Why don't you put little Britney on haul duty?
      This is a referance to Britney Spears. It is also ironic that Buffy did an impression of Britney Spears on Saturday Night Live.

    • Tara: One time, when me and Willow were watching Spongebob Squarepants.
      Tara is referring to Nickeledeon's very own yellow sponge, which strangely enough, seems to be a hit with university students.

    • Warren: This mummy hand has ceased to be...
      Andrew: It is an ex-mummy hand.
      Refers to the Monty Python's "Parrot Sketch" wherein a customer complains loudly and vocally at a pet shop where he bought a parrot which turned out to be dead.

    • Andrew: I just hope she solves it faster than Data did on that ep of TNG where the Enterprise kept blowing up
      In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Cause and Effect", the Enterprise is stuck in a "temporal causality loop" which ends with the destruction of the ship. They break the loop when Data is able to send a message between successive time loops and change the "ending" of the loop so the ship isn't destroyed.

    • Title: Life Serial
      A play on the breakfast food: Life Cereal.

    • Warren: Or Mulder, in that X-Files where the bank kept exploding.
      The X-Files season 6 episode 'Monday' features a woman who is trapped in a perpetual time loop repeating Monday as she tries to stop her boyfriend from blowing up a bank with Mulder and Scully inside.

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