Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 2 Episode 5

Reptile Boy

8
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Oct 13, 1997 on The WB
7.9
out of 10
User Rating
678 votes
29

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Giles is pushing Buffy in her Slayer training, her mother's rules are becoming more and more strict, and Angel is growing more over-protective. Buffy is feeling pulled apart. When Cordelia's college crush shows up on campus with a friend who has eyes for Buffy, Cordelia convinces Buffy to come with her to the frat party. But the party soon turns sinister, and Buffy learns the connection between the fraternity and the local girls who have recently gone missing. Xander, Giles, Angel and Willow must crash the party before all Hell breaks loose.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I have a lot of mixed feelings over this episode.

    6.0
    The main plot involving the frat boys is extremely dumb and boring, but everything else is pretty relevant and interesting. For each really dumb moment there seems to be a great moment to make up for it. For example, the scene where the moronic frat boys are dressing Xander up is made up for by the fabulous piece of character development from Willow when she bursts out in anger at Giles and Angel. It's basically a roller coaster continuously switching between great and terrible.



    I suppose I'll begin with what went right. The first scene is a great moment for Willow, Xander, and Buffy. It's so fun and cute to see the three of them all snuggled up together trying to understand what the heck is going on in this foreign music video they are watching. Another interesting topic brought up early is Buffy's reaction to killing vampires changing as a result of having "fuzzy feelings" for one. It's a shame that there's no follow up and direct conversation about this issue after it is mentioned here. Anyway, this scene ends with Buffy putting on her pout face in the hopes of making Giles soften up his stance on her social life, which is also quite cute.



    This brings me to the great scene in the graveyard where Angel tries to shut down Buffy's social advances. Angel basically 'warns' Buffy that this relationship is going to be extremely unusual and will undoubtedly get out of control. Buffy thinks she knows what she's getting into, but she really doesn't. Willow is the one, in a great scene later on, who convinces Angel to loosen up a bit, but in retrospect I'm not so sure this was a good idea. Angel seems to be the only one aware that his relationship with Buffy can only end in sorrow, but his attraction to Buffy and the pushing from her friends convince him to move forward with the relationship.



    Another great scene later on is when Willow has an unrestrained outburst on Giles and Angel about their attitude towards Buffy. Willow lays it on them saying, "you never let her do anything except work and patrol" to Giles and "you don't have time for a cup of coffee!?" to Angel, among other things. This is another step in Willow's development as a more confident and strong individual.



    Unfortunately, the main plot is the root problem of this episode. Even from the early scene where the girl tries to run away from the frat boys in robes you can tell this isn't going to be a remotely interesting plot. The early suspicions are quickly proven true when we discover that those frat boys worship a some kind of reptile demon. I don't know why writers think a plot like this can ever surpass mediocrity. It doesn't matter how well written an episode with a plot like this is, the idea is just too bad for it to work.



    Anyway, all the strict lectures from Giles along with Angel pushing away her advances are contributing factors in persuading Buffy to accompany Cordelia to this college frat party she knows she won't have a good time at, even though she claims otherwise. This leads to some good acting by SMG when she repeatedly nearly downs an alcoholic drink, then finally does. We soon find out that she was predictably drugged, but instead of being raped she's taken down to the basement to be fed as a sacrifice to the reptile demon. She of course breaks free which leads to a boring action climax where the group comes in to help and Buffy stabs the demon's tail. Yawn.



    So there's a lot of really good character development and dialog mixed in with a really bad plot and a boring final action sequence. I must say, though, that the character stuff tends to outweigh bad plots. So while this isn't a great episode, there is a lot of good stuff in here to make it a decent one.moreless
  • Reptile Boy

    6.5
    I have a lot of mixed feelings over this episode. The main plot involving the frat boys is extremely dumb and boring, but everything else is pretty relevant and interesting. For each really dumb moment there seems to be a great moment to make up for it. For example, the scene where the moronic frat boys are dressing Xander up is made up for by the fabulous piece of character development from Willow when she bursts out in anger at Giles and Angel. It's basically a roller coaster continuously switching between great and terrible.



    I suppose I'll begin with what went right. The first scene is a great moment for Willow, Xander, and Buffy. It's so fun and cute to see the three of them all snuggled up together trying to understand what the heck is going on in this foreign music video they are watching. Another interesting topic brought up early is Buffy's reaction to killing vampires changing as a result of having "fuzzy feelings" for one. It's a shame that there's no follow up and direct conversation about this issue after it is mentioned here. Anyway, this scene ends with Buffy putting on her pout face in the hopes of making Giles soften up his stance on her social life, which is also quite cute.



    This brings me to the great scene in the graveyard where Angel tries to shut down Buffy's social advances (second quote below). Angel basically 'warns' Buffy that this relationship is going to be extremely unusual and will undoubtedly get out of control. Buffy thinks she knows what she's getting into, but she really doesn't. Willow is the one, in a great scene later on, who convinces Angel to loosen up a bit, but in retrospect I'm not so sure this was a good idea. Angel seems to be the only one aware that his relationship with Buffy can only end in sorrow, but his attraction to Buffy and the pushing from her friends convince him to move forward with the relationship.



    Another great scene later on is when Willow has an unrestrained outburst on Giles and Angel about their attitude towards Buffy. Willow lays it on them saying, "you never let her do anything except work and patrol" to Giles and "you don't have time for a cup of coffee!?" to Angel, among other things. This is another step in Willow's development as a more confident and strong individual.



    Unfortunately, the main plot is the root problem of this episode. Even from the early scene where the girl tries to run away from the frat boys in robes you can tell this isn't going to be a remotely interesting plot. The early suspicions are quickly proven true when we discover that those frat boys worship a some kind of reptile demon. I don't know why writers think a plot like this can ever surpass mediocrity. It doesn't matter how well written an episode with a plot like this is, the idea is just too bad for it to work.



    Anyway, all the strict lectures from Giles along with Angel pushing away her advances are contributing factors in persuading Buffy to accompany Cordelia to this college frat party she knows she won't have a good time at, even though she claims otherwise. This leads to some good acting by SMG when she repeatedly nearly downs an alcoholic drink, then finally does. We soon find out that she was predictably drugged, but instead of being raped she's taken down to the basement to be fed as a sacrifice to the reptile demon. She of course breaks free (though she should have put in an effort to break free sooner) which leads to a boring action climax where the group comes in to help and Buffy stabs the demon's tail. Yawn.



    So there's a lot of really good character development and dialog mixed in with a really bad plot and a boring final action sequence. I must say, though, that the character stuff tends to outweigh bad plots. So while this isn't a great episode, there is a lot of good stuff in here to make it a decent one.

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  • Damsels in distress

    6.0
    Reptile Boy;



    The Good;

    Buffy slumping her head onto the table. Willow's rant at Giles and Angel. Cordy and Buffy getting all hot-to-trot for the party. Queen C's driving skills. Jonathon! On a date with Cordy no less. Buffy pouting (Giles her father figure more than ever)



    The Bad;

    The endings a bit cheery considering the fate of all those poor girls over the years, just like the disappearing corpses in The Harvest. You utterly cringe at the misogyny of the Frat boys. What exactly do the Sunnydale police make of the demon's body?



    Best Line;

    Buffy (to Angel)"When you kiss me I want to die"



    Questions and observations;

    Buffy and Cordy go illicitly to a party with a bunch of older guys, pass out through drinking and end up in chains being menaced by a huge snake. Or what the girls at my old school used to call 'Saturday night'. (Apologies to the writers of Friends). Seriously though I was beginning to think I was seeing sexual subtext where there was none but upon listening to David Greenwalt's DVD commentary it's clear that's exactly what was intended. Xander also tries his hand at cross-dressing.

    Another point for bisexual Will, she seems to fancy the frat boys. You wonder if Mayor Wilkins was a member of the fraternity?

    An OK ep but not the best, I'll give it 6/10 but that might be a little generous

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  • Way to go on moral message

    6.0
    Ok so this episode was ok. Cordelia and Buffy go for the older guys and end up at a Frat Party. Xander goes along being over protective friend of course. Cordelia and Buffy pass out over 1 drink. Some people might say there was drugs in the drink but Buffy could be a light drinker.



    They end up chained up in the basement and come face to face with a giant snake monster. Seems abit of long way to go to warn girls of the consequences of drinking and going to wild parties. Because you could end up face to face with a snake monster. And I know the reference to what the snake represents. Anyway, the monster was pretty bad. The Xander saved it a bit. Would of liked to seem him pickup some colledge girls though.moreless
  • Reptile Boy

    9.0
    Reptile Boy was yet another amazing episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Second Season. This episode showed us more depth into the characters, and their relationships with each other. Buffy and Angel have a dangerous conversation, Willow watches as Zander thinks of her as only a friend, and Cordelia continues to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and then act like she had nothing to do with her own situation. There was a funny moment with Giles while he was practacing before Buffy got to the library, and Willow and Zander showed up too. The story of the Fraternity was good, it touches on a scary realities.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • When Xander, Angel, Willow and Giles enter the frat house, Angel was never invited inside and had no problem entering. A possible explanation for this is: during the raising of Machida Tom states that they have no wealth or possessions. It is possible that they give everything to Machida as insurance just in case they don't feed him, thus making the house in the possession of a demon and allowing Angel to walk in freely.

    • The movie Buffy, Willow, and Xander were attempting to watch at the beginning of the episode is the 1993 Bollywood film Kshatriya.

    • When Cordelia tells Buffy what she mustn't wear to the frat party (things that Cordelia considers her "trademarks"), she mentions anything black among the rest. Nevertheless, Buffy arrives to the party wearing a black dress.

    • Apparently, Giles has had Angel's phone number since the end of Season 1.

    • Goof: Look how Giles pulls the printout from the printer out (of Callie). Those printers don't feed out like that. The page is upside down and turned around!

    • Nitpick: The length of Cordelia's chains change from the first scene they are in to the next. They appear to get shorter.

    • Goof: Not only were the fraternity boys apparently sentenced quickly, but when Xander reads the newspaper saying they were sentenced to consecutive life sentences, the headline only says, Fraternity Arrested.

  • QUOTES (35)

    • Tom: Thanks for letting me ramble.
      Buffy: You know, people underestimate the value of a good ramble.

    • Willow: I can't believe she lied to Giles. My world is all askew.
      Xander: Buffy's lying, Buffy's going to frat parties. That's not askew, that's cockeyed.
      Willow: Askew means cockeyed.
      Xander: Oh.

    • Cordelia: (about going to a frat party) This isn't about fun. This is about duty, your duty to help me achieve permanent prosperity. Okay? Do's and dont's: don't wear black, silk, chiffon, or spandex. These are my trademarks. And don't do that weird thing with your hair.
      Buffy: What weird thing with my--
      Cordelia: Don't interrupt. Do be interested if someone should speak to you. It may or may not happen, but do be polite and laugh at the appropriate intervals. Do lie to your mom about where we're going. It's a fraternity, and there will be drinking.

    • Buffy: I'm Buffy Summers.
      Tom: Oh, nice to meet you. Are you a senior here?
      Buffy: Junior.
      Tom: Oh, me too... except that I'm a senior and I'm in college. So we have that in common, and I major in history.
      Buffy: History stumps me. I have a hard enough time remembering what happened last week.
      Tom: Nah, nothing happened last week. Don't worry, I was there.

    • Xander: And we thought just because we didn't have any money or anyplace to go this would be a lackluster evening.
      Willow: I know! We could go to the Bronze and sneak in our own tea bags and ask for hot water.
      Xander: Hop off the outlaw train, Will, before you land us all in jail.

    • Giles: Buffy, you think I don't know what it's like to be sixteen?
      Buffy: No. I think you don't know what it's like to be sixteen. And a girl. And the Slayer.
      Giles: Fair enough, no, I don't.

    • Richard: So, who's your friend? (indicates Buffy)
      Cordelia: Her? Oh, she's not my friend.
      Tom: She's amazing!
      Cordelia: She's more like a sister, really! We're that close.

    • Cordelia: Buffy! Did you lose weight? And your hair... Alright, I respect you too much to be dishonest. The hair's a little... Well, that really isn't the point here, is it?

    • Willow: You're going to the fraternity party? What made you change your mind?
      Buffy: Angel.
      Willow: He's going with you? (to Xander) She's got a date with Angel! Isn't that exciting?
      Xander: I'm elated.
      Buffy: I'm not going with Angel. I'm going with -- ye gods -- Cordelia.
      Willow: Cordelia?! (to Xander) Did I sound a little jealous just then, 'cause I'm not really... Cordelia?!

    • Tom: (to Buffy) We're not all a bunch of drunken louts. Some of us are sober louts.

    • Cordelia: You know what's so cool about college? The diversity! You have all the rich people, and all the other people.

    • Buffy: Well, say it.
      Xander: I'm not gonna say it
      Willow: You lied to Giles!
      Xander: 'Cause she will.

    • Xander: Boy, what a long day!
      Willow: And you skipped three classes.
      Xander: Yeah, and of course they flew by.

    • Cordelia: (runs into a parked car) Why do they park so darn close to you?

    • Xander: Cordelia's much better for you than Angel.
      Willow: What happened with Angel?
      Buffy: Nothing, as usual. A whole lotta nothing with Angel.
      Xander: Bummer.
      Willow: I don't understand. I mean, he likes you. More than likes.
      Buffy: Angel barely says two words to me.
      Xander: Don't you hate that?
      Buffy: And when he does, he treats me like I'm a child.
      Xander: That bastard!

    • Xander: So Cor, are you printing up business cards with your pager number and hours of operation, or are you just going with a halter top tonight?
      Cordelia: Oh, are we feeling a little envious? You could belong to a fraternity of rich and powerful men... in the Bizarro World!

    • Buffy: Who needs a social life when you've got your very own Hellmouth?
      Giles: Yes! You have a duty, a purpose. You have a commitment in life. Now how many people your age can say that?
      Buffy: We talkin' foreign or domestic? How 'bout none?

    • Angel: This isn't some fairy tale. When I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after.
      Buffy: No. When you kiss me I want to die.

    • Angel: You're sixteen years old. I'm two hundred and forty-one.
      Buffy: I've done the math.

    • Xander: Okay, so tonight, channel fifty-nine, Indian TV, sex, lies, incomprehensible story lines. I'll bring the betel nuts.

    • Xander: So, Cor, you're datin' college guys now.
      Cordelia: Well, not that it's any of your business, but I happen to be dating a Delta Zeta Kappa.
      Xander: Oh! An extra-terrestrial. So that's how you get a date after you exhausted all the human guys.

    • Cordelia: And you! You are going to jail for fifteen thousand years!

    • Richard: Hi sweetheart, I'm Richard, and you are...?
      Buffy: So not interested.

    • Angel: She found the bracelet in the cemetery, near the south wall.
      Giles: The south wall...(looks at Willow, who is fascinated by the glass Angel is standing in front of) What are you doing?
      Willow: Oh! Sorry. The reflection thing, you don't have. Angel, how do you shave?

    • Cordelia: You'll go to college someday, Xander. I just know your pizza delivery career will take you so many riveting places.

    • Angel: Buffy.
      Buffy: Angel.
      Xander: (sarcastic) Xander.

    • Willow: You want to protect her?
      Xander: Mm-hmm.
      Willow: And prove that you're just as good as those rich snotty guys?
      Xander: Mm-hmm.
      Willow: Maybe catch an orgy?
      Xander: If it's on early.

    • Buffy: I wasn't lying. I was just protecting him from information that he wouldn't be able to digest properly.
      Xander: Like a corn dog.
      Willow: Like you don't have a sick mother, but you'd rather go to a frat party where there's gonna be drinking, and older guys, and probably an orgy.
      Xander: Whoa! Whoa-ho-ho, rewind. Since when do they have orgies, and
      why aren't I on the mailing list?
      Buffy: There's no orgies!

    • Cordelia: Oh, Buffy, it's like we're sisters! With really different hair.

    • Cordelia: Come on, Richard and his fraternity brother want to meet you.
      Buffy: Well, I don't really want to meet any fraternity boys.
      Cordelia: And if there was a god, don't you think he'd keep it that way?

    • Xander: Why is she singing?
      Willow: She's sad because her lover gave her 12 gold coins, but then the wizard cut open the bag of salt, and now the dancing minions have nowhere to put their big maypole... fish thing.
      Xander: Uh-huh. Why's she singing?
      Buffy: Her lover? I thought that was her chiropractor.
      Willow: Because of that thing he did with her feet? No, that was personal.

    • Xander: Angel, Angel, Angel. Does every conversation we have have to come around to that freak? (sees Angel standing next to him) Hey man, how you doing?

    • Willow: South wall, that's near the college and, the fraternity house!
      Giles: The fraternity?
      Angel: That's where they're taking these girls? (Willow nods) Well, let's get out there.
      Willow: Buffy!
      Giles: Well, there's nothing concrete, so let's not disturb her until-
      Willow: Is there! With Cordelia. They went to a party at the Zeta Kappa house.
      Giles: She lied to me?
      Willow: Well...
      Angel: Did, did she have a date?
      Willow: Well... why do you think she went to that party?! Because you gave her the brush-off. (to Giles) And you never let her do anything except work and patrol and I know she's the Chosen One, but you're killing her with the pressure. I mean, she's sixteen going on forty.(to Angel) And you! You're gonna live forever. You don't have time for a cup of coffee? Okay, I don't feel better now, and we've gotta help Buffy. (both stand there ashamed for a minute, then follow Willow)

    • Xander: Don't you just hate those kind of guys? Whatever they want just falls into their laps.
      Willow: With their charmed lives, movie star good looks and more money than you can count? Uh, huh, I'm hating!

    • Buffy: I told one lie, I had one drink.
      Giles: Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words "let that be a lesson" are a tad redundant at this juncture.

  • NOTES (10)

    • Jordana Spiro (Callie) attended the same high school that Joss Whedon attended and at which his mother was a respected teacher, Riverdale High School in New York City.

    • Featured Music: The song that plays at the frat party at which Buffy dances with Tom, and also at the end of the episode when Angel asks Buffy for a coffee, is called "She" by Louis Says.

      The song that plays when the frat brothers make Xander dance at the party is "Bring Me On" by Act of Faith.

    • When writing the script, David Greenwalt was really surprised and pleased that he came up with a demon name as unique and original as Machida. However, while filming the episode, he noticed that all of the crew members carried around equipment furnished by Makita Power Tools. He immediately realized how unoriginal he actually was.

    • Overnight Rating: (each 1/2 hour) 5.8/8 & 5.2/7.
      Wb Rank: 5/14.

    • The French title for this episode is "Devotion" which means the same thing in English.

    • Cordelia reads Teen Time magazine to learn what college guys want, which is where her infamous fake laugh comes from.

    • Cordelia drives a Chrysler, and her license plate reads QUEEN C.

    • Both Richard (one of the frat guys) and Callie (the kidnapped girl) have the last name Anderson.

    • The character of the snake-demon Machida was originally slated for at least two episodes, but due to the difficulty in the application of make-up and some technical problems through which one of the stuntmen passed out, his lines were cut, and he was killed off in this episode.

    • We learn in this episode that vampires can smell blood with uncanny ability.

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • Machida:

      Machida's form is reminiscent of a mythological Hindu being known as a Naga. Nagas were a primeval race of serpent people with the bodies of snakes and the heads of humans. Unlike Machida, Nagas were usually benevolent, though some sources claim that Nagas could kill with a single glance when angered. Nagas feature heavily in Hindu and Buddhist lore.

    • Xander: Godzilla's attacking downtown Tokyo! Aargh, Aargh!

      Godzilla is of course the big green lizard from the sci-fi classics.

    • Cordelia: You could go on to live among rich and powerful men...in the "Bizarro World."

      The Bizarro World is an alternate reality in the Superman comic books where everything is the opposite of what it is in the real world. The Superman comics also feature a character called Bizarro from the Bizarro World who is pretty much a dumb version of the Man of Steel.

    • Buffy: There's a kind of hush all over Sunnydale.

      Herman's Hermit's (and later, the Carpenters) released a song in the 60s called "There's A Kind of Hush" which has the line, "There's a kind of hush all over the world."

    • Tom: Anyway, the Hulk is gone.
      Comic book and TV show character the Incredible Hulk is very large, not very intelligent brutish sort that actually quite resembles a drunken fraternity brother.

    • Xander: Oh Buffy I don't think so. Frying pan, fire.

      Out of the frying pan into the fire is an expression used to describe an escape from one bad situation that only leads to a worse situation.

    • Angel: When I kiss you, you don't wake up from a deep sleep and live happily ever after.

      In the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, the handsome prince wakes the cursed princess from a deep sleep with a kiss. And of course they live happily ever after.

    • Xander: OK boots. Start a-walkin'.
      A reference to the 1966 Nancy Sinatra song "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'". More from Xander's music of pain collection (see season 1 episode - "Prophecy Girl").

    • Xander: I'll bring the betel nuts.

      Betel nuts are very popular in India and Taiwan. They are chewed (sort of like chewing tobacco) and provide a stimulant effect.

    • Buffy: It had surround sound.

      Surround sound is an audio processing technique that spreads appropriate sound to front, side and back speakers to provide a more realistic experience.

    • Buffy: I for one am giddy and up.

      A play on the term giddyup used to get horses moving.

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