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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3 Episode 13

The Zeppo

5
Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Jan 26, 1999 on The WB
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (32)

8.8
out of 10
Average
645 votes
  • The Zeppo

    8.5
    In one of the most unique episodes of the entire series things that are normally important to the show are made meaningless. Most episodes of BtVS and television in general adopt a standard A-B plot scheme (sometimes it's A-B-C). The A plot is always the focus of the episode; the most important thing. The B plot is usually some small character issue that's relegated to the background. It seems obvious that the A plot of this episode is going to be this pending apocalypse, but very quickly we start to notice that something is very wrong and it appears to be the fault of the director. The apocalypse thread isn't getting the screen time it would normally warrant and instead the entire episode is about Xander! It turns out the A plot is Xander's journey for self confidence and the B plot is an apocalypse via the hellmouth. This is weird and twisted stuff which will make for a different review. Instead of hitting on specifics I think I'm just going to let my thoughts flow as they come and see what happens.



    There's one scene in particular which sums up the entire episode, and I'm not sure yet if it sums it up in a positive or a negative way. This moment is when we jump in the middle of a melodramatic moment between Buffy and Angel crying about death and impending doom. Then Xander walks in, asks if he can help, then walks off and lets the melodrama continue. I think the intent is to let the audience mock and laugh at all the Buffy and Angel angst we've had to endure this season. While this is amusing to me on some level I kind of feel awkward about mocking what the show's like some of the time.



    I think there's an important distinction I must make between this kind of Buffy and Angel angst and the bunch we usually see. In this episode, we come into the middle of the melodrama. We don't know what's going on, we don't understand their motivation for feeling as dire as they do, so there's no way we can sympathise with them. This gives the viewers of the show a chance to stand back from the usual fare and get a genuine chuckle at their angst. I don't think I need to feel bad about laughing at Buffy and Angel here. If I dropped into the middle of a big sequence of Romeo and Juliet without any explanation of their motivations, I can be assured that I'd probably find it equally ridiculous and laughable.



    So I think with that distinction better laid out I can appreciate this episode more. We somehow are able to 'mock' the series without actually mocking it. That takes some careful writing and directing to pull off, so kudos to writer Dan Vebber and director James Whitmore Jr. Fortunately, the fun 'mocking' ploy isn't even the core of the episode. What we also get is so much character development for Xander that the impact won't fully sink in for many years to come.



    While I really enjoyed seeing Xander's personal adventure I think it still could have been done a lot better. Having reanimated corpses be the catalyst for this ride is ultimately too corny to work. There are some genuinely amusing lines, sure, but the added corniness is not necessary to get the point across. I like what happened with Jack before the corpse stuff started and the ending bomb scene could have still been pulled off had Jack been human. This is the biggest mistake of the episode.



    Early on Xander tries to convince Buffy and the gang that he's useful in their weekly demon skirmishes. He obviously doesn't do a very good job because everyone agrees to keep Xander out of the fighting for a while. The next day Cordelia amusingly lets her fury loose on him in a way that reminds us of her S1 days. She obviously has personal motivation to be snarky with him for what he did to her. Buffy later sends Xander to buy donuts for the group and that doesn't help matters either.



    All of this leads Xander on a mission to discover what the "essence of cool" is. His first subject is Oz, who as Xander points out, is "more or less 'cool'." Oz doesn't seem to be able to provide Xander with any concrete answers, but Xander does come to the proposal that being cool means having a 'thing;' something that people can identify you with. Fast forward a bit and now we see "car guy" Xander. He thinks that maybe this stylish old car will make him 'cool.' Well, in some ways it does. Right away an attractive blond girl comes onto him and wants to go riding around in the car. He ends up taking her to the Bronze where he then sits there bored out of his mind. Xander gets a taste of being 'cool' and discovers he doesn't like it at all. He is so bored of hanging out with a 'cool' person that he even jumps up in excitement when Angel walks in and wants his company!



    After some crazy antics with some reanimated corpses Xander eventually picks Faith up after a fight and they head off to her apartment. This is where Faith's logic kicks in: fight with no kill leads to sex. So she comes onto Xander and he doesn't do much to resist. I must admit that I'm a bit surprised Xander would have sex with someone he doesn't know very well. Sure he got excited about her stories about being nude and rassling aligators in "Faith, Hope, and Trick" (3x03), but this is a big jump from that. We saw Oz show sexual restraint with Willow in "Amends" (3x10), but I guess Xander's the type who will have sex with just about any girl who jumps on his lap and isn't under a spell. I can't say I respect him for that but it does make for some amusing future storylines (Anya in S4 for example).



    Xander learns things about himself and he has a growing confidence within, but it takes him a long while to fully seize that confidence and lets it rise to the forefront. We see this again and again from this episode to "The Replacement" (5x03) to "Hell's Bells" (6x16). Xander shows a moment of self confidence here when he confronts Jack in the basement of the school and gets him to defuse the bomb. He shows even more maturity when he doesn't feel the need to tell the Scooby Gang what he did and again when he lets Cordelia's snarky comments go without a response. It's important to realize that this is just a temporary attitude, at least in this episode. People don't change overnight, it takes time and many reminders before we finally "get it." This is what happens to Xander throughout the series as he slowly does 'get it.' I feel that by S7 he finally begins to grab a hold of his life and lets that confidence he's always had inside him finally play a more prominent role in his personality. Lets not forget that by series end he's still only in his early twenties. Buffy's cookie dough speech in "Chosen" (7x22) applies not just to her but to all the main characters.



    This is a unique episode that dances on some very fine lines and comes out mostly successful. I'm not a fan of the reanimated corpses plot thread but everything else ranging from the A and B plot swap and Xander's moments of self confidence all sit well with me. On top of all that there are some fantastic lines given to Xander which constitute some of his best in the entire series.
  • A great ep from a series at it's peak

    10
    The Zeppo



    The Good;

    All of it, pure genius and a chance for Nic Brendon to shine like a beacon.



    The Bad;

    Not much, the zombie makeup could be a bit better but that's about all. Buffy's hair looks like it's been through the machine that makes crinkly chips. Surely Jack's bomb is not sophisticated enough to be boobytrapped, why doesn't Xander just yank the wires out? Like Spike in Lover's Walk and the swimteam in Go Fish isn't it a bit irresponsible to just let O'Toole go at the end?



    Best line;

    Willow; Occasionally I'm callous and strange (as we'll find out in Seeing Red)

    or

    O'Toole (threatening Xander with his knife) Are you sacred?

    Xander (desperate) Would that make you happy?

    But the winner is;

    Xander (wondering why Oz is cool) Is it the way you express yourself in short, non-commital sentences?

    Oz; Do I?

    also good is Xander's 'I like the quiet', he's prepared to die to save his friends.



    Character death;

    The Magic Box has a new owner but not for long.



    Shot;

    Various members of the undead gang when they were alive plus Oz twice by Willow



    Tied up;

    nope unless Faith and Xander indulged in some during the heat of passion



    Knocked out;

    Angel according to the dialogue plus werewolf Oz



    Women good/men bad;

    Actually a sisterhood of female demons this time around.



    Jeez!;

    Decapitation by letterbox, death by soda machine



    Kinky dinky;

    Faith shamelessly uses Xander for her own pleasure then chucks him out the door afterwards. Not that he's complaining! (and I'm sure millions of guys and not a few girls would agree). Xander seems to imply that he's never had sex before. We don't exaclty know how old he or Faith are so it could be statuatory rape, like Buffy/Angel (the legal age is 18 in California). Faith does this after the pain of Xander resetting her shoulder, linking pain, violence and pleasure (in Get It Done we discover why Slayers have this dark sexual side). Buffy seems to imply that Xander's car is a penis metaphor, love how her mind works. Xander's girl is lovely although Cordy's opinion of her is probably correct. Willow dreams of being naked, attacked by demons and late for a test.



    Calling Captain Subtext;

    Xander is quick to point out to the cop that although he and Jack are wrestling it's 'Not in a gay way'. Check out page 17 of the Sunnydale High Yearbook for a very interesting picture of Willow from this episode posed with a couple of SDH cheerleaders. Some of the dialogue about making Xander 'part of the gang' has a distinct Carry-On feel about it.



    Guantanamo Bay;

    Xander interrogates the zombie-gang by dragging one behind a car and threatening another with a bomb. Buffy goes to beat up Willy but finds someone has beaten her to it.



    Scoobies to the ER;

    Giles this time with a banged up arm and head wound.



    Where's Dawn?

    Presumably Buffy got Dawn and Joyce out of town as she did in Graduation Day pt2



    Questions and observations;

    The title comes from one of the lesser known Marx brothers. I suppose they could also have called it 'The Ringo'? (they do refer to Yoko later). Raising the dead appears to depend on the alignment of the stars as we later see in Bargaining although the magic is obviously different as Buffy is alive whilst Bob and co are zombies. Xander and Cordy still have a rapport despite them having fallen out. Cordy mocks Xander for his lack of superpowers but one day she will have her own in spades. The seeds of the season 7 ep Potential are sown here. The scene between Oz and Xander is wonderful, they have obviously made up although what would Oz have thought of Will telling Xander she loved him outside the Magic Box? Giles and Buffy both like jelly doughnuts. Amazingly the SDPD make themselves useful, rescuing Xander at the Bronze. Sunnydale obviously has it's share of criminal gangs in addition to all the evil. Uncle Rory is mentioned again. The series is confident enough to make fun of it's own cliches but the more serious point is that the Buffy/Angel relationship has not much room left to go. This is the last comedy ep before we start the evil-Faith storyline where things get a lot more serious. Xander uses the SDH soda machine to kill one of the gang, is this why it always gives the wrong drink from then on? He's pretty handy with the axe but then he wanted to be a fireman. Thankfully Oz still can't remember stuff he does as a werewolf but that'll change by season 4. Interestingly in this ep Angel is referred to as a the 'key' to opening the Hellmouth just as his blood awakened Acathla.



    10/10, one of the best eps for a series at it's peak.

  • xander feels left out...

    3.7
    Xander feels left out of the ground in this episode as he keeps asking if the gang need his help, each refusing everytime he asks.... This mediocre episode brought the brilliance of season three of Buffy The vampire Slayer as the plot was stupid and pointless. Buffy and the gang (excluding xander and Cordelia) have to face the beast that resurfaces from the hellmouth which was "all-of-a-sudden" and random, having an apocalyptic episode during the course of the season.
    Cordelia lightened up the show's performance, just being herself (snipp and b!tchy) as we love her....
    Dan Vebber was not strong at writing like the other writers thorughout the season, hence bringing this shameful episode that ruined 60 minutes of my life...
  • Trivializing the Apocolypse

    9.6
    A Xandercentric episode! In the series, there truly aren't enough of these. In a way, it's good, because it makes the very few of them that much more special. Without a doubt, The Zeppo is the most heavily Xander favoured episode there is. This is the second time Xander has directly saved Buffy's life, and the first he directly saved Willow, Faith, Giles, Oz, and Angel's lives. And, somehow, all the things of a normal episode that usually make this show so good were trivialized so Xander's story was more important. The roles truly reversed. Angel and Buffy had one of their famous moments, when Xander walks in and totally ruins it. But the moment wasn't even that important, even though in any other episode it would have brought tears to the viewers eyes. This time, it was more of a "who cares?"
    And, of course, the end of the world. Another who cares? The gang is desperately trying to save the world as the hellmouth is opened again, and it just doesn't matter. Xander's story is the main focus this time around, and even though the rest of the gang is facing their toughest foe to date, it just doesn't matter.
  • The Zeppo

    9.5
    The Zeppo was a Buffy The Vampire Slayer original. This episode was complex, challenging viewers to get engaged and connect with the characters while paying attention to the seperate story lines. The main focus in this episode was on Zander and his exploits. Shortly after a battle with deadly demons where Zander almost got seriously hurt, he started feeling outcast by the gang because they don't need his help. He feels like they all have super powers to contribute but he has nothing. In his adventures we see Zander finding himself through experiences and how he relates to them. In the mean while there is an Apocolypse coming and the Hellmouth will open. I love how they cut from Zander in a funny or semi serious moment to Buffy and Angel in a Deep Drama Moment. The story lines were both really good and a pleasure to watch. I thought I didn't like this episode from what I remembered until I just watched it, and it was definitely a great one!!!
  • One of the funniest Buffy episodes yet

    9.8
    As far as otherworldly action, this episode had some holes. Yes, there was a sub-story about the Hellmouth opening and Buffy and the gang having to fight it, but this all took a backseat to Xander, who spends the episode dealing with his own strange problems.

    This episode, in some ways, was a long time coming. Xander is really a big part of the group's comic relief, and though he occassionally comes through by killing a vampire or knowing a fact, he is usually just the extra who makes sarcastic remarks (and, may I say, he does this well). So, naturally, there had to come a point where he question his importance. And this episode did that beautifully.

    The story of the Hellmouth with Buffy and Co. was underdeveloped...the only reason why I didn't give this episode a 10. The story, however, wasn't supposed to be about Buffy, so this actually wasn't that big of a deal.

    Xander was fabulous in this episode, dealing with this weird night in true Xander fashion...with quips and confusion. One of the best scenes is when he goes to Buffy to find out what to do, finds her and Angel having an intense conversation, and then still stands there stammering before he comments, "This probably isn't the best time...can I help?" The actors in this scene all play this moment beautifully, esp. Buffy and Angel who just stare at him.

    The episode was extremely funny, a nice relief that didn't detract from the gravity of the show. It was fun without being silly...of the episodes so far, this was one of the best.
  • Xander has to save himself as the gang tries to save the world.

    10
    This is one of the episodes that really shows off the essence of Xander's character where he is kind of hapless, under appreciated and afraid of things, but at the same time not afraid to die in order to save his friends which is such a good quality in him. I love how everyone tries to protect him by shoving him out of the way which is commented on so well by Cordelia who mocks the importance of snacks (Giles and the Jelly donuts is classic). Then as the night progresses he runs into everyone who tells him he is useless or sleeps with him depending on who they are just for Xander to end up saving them from a non-apocalyptic fate. I love how he reuses the afraid line when facing off with the zombie in the basement. Which Oz then eats which is so funny (I also love the scene with Oz when Giles tells him he is cutting it close and he flippantly replies aren't I always or something that is so classically Oz, but that is an unrelated note). Then the irony of it all is presented in the last scene as Willow, Oz, Giles and Buffy discuss how no one will ever know what they did and Xander who has just saved all of their life walks up and is then dismissed by them. But he accepts his fate and it is a really good moment.
  • From Zero To Hero

    8.9
    The Zeppo-When Xander realizes that he isn't needed by the gang as much as he'd like to believe, his quest to prove he's cool leads him to an unforgettable night that finds him consorting with fast women, raising the dead and rolling with a dangerous crowd that could put Sunnydale in a world of hurt. Meanwhile, Buffy, Giles and the rest of the crew engage in a furious battle with the Sisterhood of Jhe, an all-female demon apocalypse cult that intends to reopen the Hellmouth and bring about the end of the world.

    Xander has always been the underdog of the Scooby Gang for pretty much all 7 seasons of Buffy as he doesn't have it easy like the rest of the gang. Like Cordelia puts its, each one in the group has a distinct ability or power that is essential to the team like slayers, vampires, watchers, werewolves, witches etc. But Xander is just the extra muscle who makes jokes on the sideline which sometimes ends up with himself hurt in the process. That's what makes "The Zeppo" my favorite Xander centric episode because it takes all the things we love about Xander by proving to Cordelia in the end that his special ability is his clever thinking and big heart.

    My favorite aspect of the episode is how the writers basically parody the show itself by putting such a serious event like another apocalypse as a sub-plot and have Xander's adventure as the main plot of the episode. It's just hilarous in some spots how campy the end of world situation feels like when another touching Buffy/Angel moment is ruined by Xander. Nicholas Brendan is at his comedic best here as Xander's situation gets worse and worse. Jack and his undead gang make great foes for the funny man and I even loved the scene when Xander accidently decapitates one of their heads, lol.

    The scenes in the high school have to be the most hilarious scenes as both storylines come together for a lot of slap stick moments like the apocalypse demons eating one of the dead guys and Xander running to the Hellmouth demon's head.
    But the most significant moment is how Xander outsmarts Jack, using his wits instead of his fists. It's a great scene as Xander saves his friends unknowing to them the next day. Showing in the end, that even though no one know what he did, Xander has the knowledge that his pretty special and no amount of bashing (like from Cordelia in the end) can hurt him now. Also, Xander loses his virginity to Faith of all people and that scene is too priceless! All and All, a very funny episode that gives Xander some quality respect as well as has some hilarious hijinks all over the place.
  • Season 3, Episode 13.

    8.5
    Xander feels that he isn't needed by the gang and finds himself fighting for his life. Meanwhile, Buffy, Willow, Faith, and Giles try to prevent the Hellmouth from opening in the school library.

    This was an OK episode. I wasn't crazy about it at first but it got better when Faith had the fight scene. I can't believe Xander lost his virginity to Faith! I liked his "up" comments. LMAO. That was an interesting scene. Plus, I also liked when Xander walked in on Buffy and Angel during all the drama. It was nice to see the monster from 1.12 again though. Cool episode. I liked when Oz ate the dead dude and said he was oddly full the day after. Hehe.
  • In Zeppo Xander proves his worth even if it does go unnoticed.........

    9.1
    The Zeppo is an absolutley genius episode! Buffy is obvoiusley the main focus of most episodes and the other charachters are frequently brought up as having their own strengths to add to the fight against evil,wether it is Giles knowledge,Angel's Vampire abilities,or Willows magical skills. Xander finally gets the chance to prove that he is strong and witty and clever enough to beat the baddies and true to style the others are so caught up in their own minidramas that he ges unnoticed as usual.
    It's sad that the one time Xander acheives something that makes him feel useful that no-one notices!
    It's not actually until the scoobies are up against Adam that he is seen by Buffy and co to be useful-becoming the "heart" and later in season 7 when Dawn points out that Xander "sees things" as the eyes of the operation.
  • Xander realizes that he can be the one to save the world... or at least the school.

    10
    My personal favorite of the entire series!

    Xander is awesome. The episode was so well written, and it is almost impossible to watch it without smiling at soe point. It was soooo funny and the ending just makes me happy. I would have to say that it is also the must original. Every fan is ready for the 'oh no, it's the end of the world, Buffy will do what she can but good luck.' But this episode shows how it is on the otherside of Sunnydale. The world was ending right above Xander's head, but he dealt with his own problems instead. The best part of this episode was when Xander walked in on Buffy and Angel fighting over who would die for the end of the world. It shows just how annoyingly dramatic she can be at times.

    "I'm having a very strange night."
  • Xander becomes a man...and hangs out with dead guys!

    10
    Two words: holy cow! This episode was so awesome! I thought the story ideas were very funny and clever and they made the serious stories comical and I think the main characters on the show that were responsible for that were Seth Green (Oz) and Nicholas Brendon (Xander) because I love how Oz is a man of few words and how Xander constantly walks in on serious torylines in this episode considering that he was spending time with dead guys who were probably former frat guys. Every character in this episode shined in some way, and I highly recommend it.
  • Slayers, Witches, Werewolves, Vampires and, Uhh... Xander

    8.2
    This is another one of those "love it or hate it" episodes. I've never been a huge fan of Xander, but it's almost impossible not to like him here, especially as he ends up going on a huge journey of self-discovery in just 40 minutes, from (and I know this is corn) zero to hero.

    This year has seen a lot of evolution in the Scooby Gang, whilst Xander has relatively stayed the same. Because of all this, it's unsurprising he's having identity issues, and it isn't helped by Cordelia's mean-ness toward him. I loved seeing him trying to enhance his life and attempts to be cool ("Is this a penis metaphor?"), and it was admittedly fun seeing him in the end save the day, although without anybody really knowing.

    I wasn't a huge fan of the zombie stuff. Besides the mailbox death (which was hilarious), I found O'Toole and his crew to be a little one-note, and barely interesting. I did like Xander's dialogue, especially his self-awareness of his one-liners and speaking too much, but those elements weren't used enough, instead concentrating for too long on the resurrected folk.

    I liked the little scenes centered on the Hellmouth, even if nothing new was brought to the table. I always found these scenes to basically show the audience what the series would be like in the hands of less talented writers, with almost every episode featuring some random demon popping up and trying to open the Hellmouth and cause the end of the world. It was a pretty routine battle, which worked well for an episode where this was relegated to subplot instead of the main story.

    An experimental episode which I neither loved or hated, The Zeppo mostly succeeds in what it set out to achieve, but isn't really that memorable.

    Director: James Whitmore Jr
    Writer: Dan Vebber
    Rating: B-
  • It’s all about Xander and an apocalypse of course

    9.1
    Okay this was a rather adventurous episode. I loved how everything was about Xander because it's never about Xander.

    The opening of the Hellmouth was exciting as usual. I loved that Buffy was getting thrown by the monsters from the library in the middle of the battle.

    When Xander was showing off his car to Willow and Buffy saying that it was his thing I loved how clueless Buffy and Willow looked and then Buffy asked if it was a penis metaphor. That scene was way too funny.

    Xander pissing that one guy off was brilliant. I loved the football and the car. I can't believe that guy was raising his dead friends too because that was weird. It was cool though that they were going to blow up the high school at the same time as a group of demons were trying to open the Hellmouth.

    Faith and Xander having sex was kinda funny and even a little cute. It was sad to see Faith throw him out though.

    I also enjoyed Cordelia and Xander. The two of them are so funny when they are fighting over something ridiculous. Cordelia insulting Xander's manlyness was also good. I loved how Xander just kind of walked away from her in the end.

    This was a great episode.
  • Xander kicks butt!

    9.5
    Favorite Quotes:
    Xander: "I happen to be an integral part of that group. I happen to have a lot to offer."
    Cordelia: "Oh, please."
    Xander: "I do!"
    Cordelia: "'Integral part' of the group? Xander, you're the, the useless part of the group. You're the Zeppo."

    Wow, Cordelia is really pouring on the harsh in this one. She is hitting Xander back the only way she knows how, by insulting him at every turn. It doesn't help his ego that the Scoobies kind of bench him when it comes time to fight the baddies. It CERTAINLY doesnt help when the school bully targets him. I really enjoyed this episode because it gave Xander a chance to prove himself TO HIMSELF. No one even knew how he saved the school from blowing up, and he didn't need for them to know. It was enough for him just to know. He is the coolest! And he even gets naughty with Faith...
  • Respect Xander. He's earned it.

    10
    Xander is just the average guy.

    No super powers.
    No magical abilites.

    His greatest talent is remembering to make sure there are enough Jelly donuts for Giles.

    He has charged into battle countless times, staring evil in the face and helping Buffy save Sunnydale and the world.

    He's been heroic in his own right before. Remember he did save Buffy's life after she drowned. In this episode, He takes on Jack and his band of undead pals who want to blow up the school.

    In the end... You see just how strong of character and conviction Xander is. Willing to risk certain death and coming out on top.

    I have two favorite quotes from this episode.

    The first is a conversation between Xander and Jack:

    Xander: "I know what you're thinkin'. Can I get by him? Get up the stairs, out of the building, seconds ticking away... I don't love your chances."
    Jack: "Then you'll die, too."
    Xander: "Yeah, looks like. So I guess the question really is... who has less fear?"
    Jack: "I'm not afraid to die. I'm already dead."
    Xander: "Yeah, but this is different. Being blowed up isn't walking around and drinking with your buddies dead. It's little bits being swept up by a janitor dead, and I don't think you're ready for that."

    The second and possibly greatest isn't so much of a quote but a lack of one.

    Cordelia: "Ooo, look, it's Mr. Excitement. On another life-or-death doughnut mission, or are we just cruising for bimbos again, giving them lessons in lack of cool? What? What? WHAT?!"

    [Xander Walks Away - Smile on his face]

    -Xander proved you don't need have super strength or magical powers to be a hero and save the day.
  • Xander's personal bettle

    9.6
    While the rest of the gang fight off another apocalypse Xander is facing his own problems dealing with some zombies and a feeling that he is not needed.

    Did Xander ever tell Oz that he ate someone? I think he would want to know, even if it was a zombie, not a human.

    I really like this episode because of the ironic humour but it really annoys me that I don't know what happened with the others, I am really interested to find out, I hope it comes up in a later episode.

    Xander was a bit slow at getting the baking a cake joke, I mean cake ingredients from a hardware store?
  • Xander has his own advanture!

    10
    An all-female demon apocalypse cult comes to Sunndydale to open the Hellmouth. The group tells Xander is not needed for this but ends up getting into trouble anyways. Meanwhile Buffy and the Scooby Gang (excluding Xander) fight the demon that comes out of the Hellmouth. A group of dead boys are awakened and chase Xander through the school. Real cool of them to exclude the main problem and focus on Xander's little misadvanture. We need a little comedy now and then.
  • Finally, Xander gets a decent episode!

    9.3
    This was a terrific way to have Xander become more than the goofy, ineffectual sidekick. Although he has been the focus of other episodes (The Pack, Inca Mummy Girl, Go Fish to name less effective and not as well-written episodes ), this was a great showcase for the character to be the \"A\" story and grow on the process. Just the fact that Buffy and the rest of the gang are the \'B\" plotline is novel and shows how everyone is the hero of their own story, even Xander. His development thoughout the series is slow with pivotal moments like in this episode, much the way people in the real world change and grow much more slowly than you see on TV. In the \"unreal\" Buffyverse, Xander ends up being the most \"real\" of the characters.
  • the slayer, the witch and the zeppo...

    10
    Poor Xander. There have been many times that he has felt like he is not equal in the scoobies. Buffy, well she has the slayer thing gong for her. And Willow is now all witchy. Ox not only has the cool band thing but also happens to be a werewolf. Cordy, kinda a scoobie, is the most popular girl in the school. And now there is Faith, another slayer. And another reminder that Xander is just Xander, the Zeppo. So Xander decides to find his “thing”, and he gets a car. All this does is attract the wrong attention. While the gang is off protecting the world Xander had been hit up buy a dead guy who want Xander to help him gather his other dead friends and have some fun. They want to kill Xander first to bring him onto the gang, this freaks him out and he takes off only to run into Faith. She invites him to her places to “release some tension” and they end up having sex. She kicks him out and it’s just then that he realizes the fun that the dead gang was talking about was blowing up the school. Xander rushes there and fights the undead and convinces Jack to stop the bomb. In another part of the school the scoobies are having the fight of their life and win. The next day at school they are all talking about it and tell Xander he’s lucky he wasn’t there. He just smirks knowing the truth.
  • a very funny episode, mainly because it focuses on Xander.

    9.0
    This is definately one of my favourite episodes of season 3, I loved the fact it focused on Xander because that made it a very funny episode, Xander trying to act cool and trying to save the day were really funny. I also loved the fact that the episode focused on Xander and his mission to stop the school from being blown up when there was an apocalypse happening nearby. Overall this was a very cleverly written episode with many laughs but plenty of drama. And the fact that it focuses in on Xander was really good because he is a great character that is vital to the show.
  • While the gang exclude Xander's help in stopping an apocalypse to protect him, he finds his own trouble anyway.

    5.8
    I find this episode pretty boring all around. The Sister of Jhe do nothing for me. The idea that the gang would exclude Xander's help this late in the show strikes me as ridiculous and the Zombies are boring, with the exception of Channon Roe who've I've always liked.

    Xander's playing the hero is fine and I like that he doesn't even mention it to the gang, but at this point I just don't buy his "I'm just a Zeppo" problem. Not after all he's been through and saving Buffy's life! I would have easily bought this one if it was inserted somewhere during the first season, but now... this boat has already sailed at this point.
  • great episode

    8.6
    this was an episode dedicated entirely to xander for the most part. he got into trouble without buffy's help and he even gets busy. it was a nice departure from the norm. i would like to see the creators of lost do an episode like this that has to deal with one of the survivors you never see. what they go through when the rest of "cool club" are bust with some sort of disaster on the island.
  • While the scoobies fave the deamon on the hell mouth, Xander deals with the undead!

    9.9
    This is the best Xander episode EVER!! In this episode; Buffy, Angel, Faith, Willow and Giles are fighting an apocalypse to end apocalypses (the demon that protects the hell mouth is raising). But that is just the sub plot to this episode, The main focus is Xander's exploits with a group of undead boys who want to blow up the school.

    This episode has the best story in the season (perhaps the series). It was nice to see so much Xander. This episode, transformed Xander from a bumbling fool used mostly for comic relief, to a key player in the team.


    Xander is my favorite character in the series!

    The only downfall of this episode, is I wish we could have seen more of the battle with the hellmouth demon. Maybe in the next episode they could have recounted the events to Xander. But then of course it wouldn't have been as fun to enjoy this episode, had we known what went on.
  • 'Cordelia. Feel free to drop dead of a wasting disease in the next twenty seconds.'

    8.3
    ‘The Zeppo’ is yet another episode of Xander but it isn’t as good as his last episodes. In fact, it’s one of the weakest of the series so far. But that doesn’t make it a bad episode.

    I had my difficulties with this episode, mostly because of the cringe-worthy dialog here and there. Those irritating zombies and irritating double storyline.
    But I did love the Xander in the episode, he really needed some spotlight because he was starting to become boring and irritating.

    It begins with Xander humiliating himself again, on school he meets a guy named Jack who tells him to sod off or else he will kick his ass. Cordelia sees it and hurts him by telling him that he’s the zeppo of the group, the boy with no cool, She enjoys making fun of him.

    Meanwhile the gang is worrying and say that they will have to face their biggest fear that day. The hellmounth is going to open again *bore*

    I definitely loved the Xander storyline with his car and the gay reselling with Jack. Until they started to raise the zombies. It served some painful scenes to watch like the cake baking and the drama around Angel and Buffy. Eventually Xander had sex with Faith which was the biggest highlight of the episode.

    Xander then realised that the zombies weren’t baking cakes, they put a bomb in the school. I like how Xander killed the zombies though, first he grabbed one and while asking questions his head falls off. The second one he kills on school when he throws someone on his head and the third is killed by some b!tch demons.

    Xander was great throughout and how he saved the school from exploding while the others were battling the big hellmounth beast. Also Jack and Xander had some great tension together and how Xander convinced Jack to turn it off was great, it’s a shame Jack was killed by Werewolf Oz. I also loved Xander’s scene with Jack when they were playing with Katie.

    Next day they are all bruised and think that Xander was save while he saved them. Proved that he wasn’t useless and no Zeppo. I loved that Oz was full because of eating Jack. It ends with Xander smiling and walking away from Cordy leaving her with ‘what? What? What?’

    ‘The Zeppo’ failed here and there and it’s my least favourite Xander episode. I still like it, it’s funny and Xander’s character makes it enjoyable to watch.
  • So, Xander has finally gotten the chance to be "Up" with people!

    9.5
    Originally, The Zeppo was not one of my favorite episodes, but it is also an episode that grows on you the more that you watch it. It is interesting to note that Xander finally seems to have come to terms with the fact that he will never have powers and never be anything special. But that's one of the reasons the character of Xander has grown on me. His non-specialness makes him unique in the Buffyverse. I mean look at the other main characters in the Buffyverse: Buffy and Faith are slayers, Willow is a powerful witch, Angel is a vampire, Cordelia has the visions, Fred and Wesley are smart. Then there's Xander with nothing special about him. That makes him the character with which we, the audience, can relate to most.
  • "Did I mention that I’m having a very strange night?" - Xander

    9.8
    We all love the AleXander Lavelle Harris stories, right? This one is basically Xander’s Night Off, where he is semi-ousted from the gang after they discover that whereas Buffy and Faith can fight, Willow can cast spells, Giles can contact the spirit world and Oz can, erm, turn into a werewolf, Xander is a bit useless (and if it were he who crimped Buffy’s hair, he should give up all ideas of hairdressing as a career). The Scoobies seem to be forgetting about all the times he’s saved the world, sat up all night doing research or busted his arm hitting vamps. Still, without the MacGuffin, there’d be no story in this, one of the finest and most structurally ambitious of the Buffy oeuvre. Jimmy Olsen from Superman and the straight guy from the Marx Bros are referenced, but The Zeppo brings to mind a more literary allusion – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – the Stoppard play in which the action of Hamlet is seen from the perspective of minor characters.

    So, after being asked to be “fray-adjacent” to fights, Xand becomes obsessed with “finding his thing”, i.e. discovering the essence of cool. He plumps on borrowing his Uncle Rory’s car and picks up, first a girl whose jacket oddly matches the vehicle’s paint, and then some zombies. Which is kind of ironic, since Uncle R stuffs dead animals to make them look re-animated. However, a shiny new car does not equal a shiny new Xander as he is still intimidated by (Dr Ray Barnett look-alike) Jack and his zombie pals (isn’t the first zomb to be raised, Bob, a little (too) similar to Darryl, the living dead football star from Some Assembly Required?) and still wound up by Cordy’s taunts. Ironically, Xander becomes the wheels man, which is what he wanted to be when he borrowed the car, albeit he preferred his old gang of alive people to his new alternative group of dead “friends” (“I’m not dying to be in the gang”). As he drives the zomb-hooligans around, he comes across each of his real friends, all of whom want him to be safe and out of danger from the impending apocalypse, unknowing that they are putting him further into danger by failing to see that he needs them as an escape route. Similarly, Xander is so caught up in his own drama that he fails to see the import of the hellmouth opening. It’s here that the brilliance of the story kicks in: by only seeing things from Xander’s viewpoint without the background events, the ensuing crisis becomes de trop. For example, the snatched scene of Buffy and Angel’s melodrama seems ridiculous when juxtaposed with Xander’s comic mis-timing.

    Because the Scoobs are busy fighting off the Sisterhood of Jhe (the hellmouth openers), Xander has to work things out on his own. He is only rewarded with Faith’s good lovin’ when he manages to outwit and lose the evil dead gang. Her comment that she’ s got all worked up from the fight, with “no kill; I’m about ready to pop”, as she throws Xander onto the bed, portrays her as a preying mantis kinda chick, which she fulfills when she kicks Xander out after she’s had her wicked way with him. This is fortunate because Xander discovers the zombie gang are planning to blow up the school, with Buffy, Giles, Willow and Wolfoz inside it, and he needs to foil the plot. Thus the subplot becomes the main plot: all the fighting of the hellmouth beast (who, oddly we don’t see in S7 when the hellmouth opens once again) is irrelevant if one little bomb will blow them all to tiny mushy bits.

    Like Buffy in the last episode, Xander has to use his cunning, ingenuity, and bluffing balls of steel rather than physical strength to defeat the bad guys. Oh, and his car. This is not without its comic appeal – Parker’s head being knocked off as Xander is threatening him and Dickie running away as Xander is warning him, much to the latter’s chagrin (“I wasn’t finished!”), not to mention Xander chasing Dick with an axe, only to be chased back, Marx Bros style, by the Sisterhood of the Travelling Apocalypse.

    However in the dénouement, Xander shows much more than comic appeal as he faces down Jack and looks death in the face with a smirk. He discovers that courage isn’t about knives, bullying or even fighting, it’s about facing your fear and dealing with it. At the beginning of the episode, aggressive Jack asked wimpy Xander: “Who has the most fear?”, but it’s clear to everyone that in this situation, confronting actual death, that it’s the zombie-tormenter who is the most afraid.

    The tense silence of the situation as the bomb counts down is juxtaposed with the loud stormy fight with the hellmonster. Xander is offstage, but fighting the most important battle of his life. As Xander wins the contest of nerves and Jack diffuses the bomb, there’s a lovely bathetic moment as Jack warns (an already departed) Xander that he’s not finished with him yet. His threat: “The first time you turn your back - ” is interrupted by an “aaargh!” as Ozwolf eats him. Live by the dark magicks, die by the, um, werewolf.

    The next day, the gang share a self-congratulatory moment as they relive the hellmouth battle: “No-one will ever know how close [the world] came to stopping….no-one will ever know what we did”, which of course applies just as much to Xander as the rest of the group. Xander has at last found his thing; the cowardly lion has got his courage. He doesn’t need to tell people what he did, he is happy to go for snacks and ignore Cordy (having faced a zombie killer and then death, she is of no consequence). He has discovered what it means to be cool – self-acceptance, self-confidence: the holy grail of the teenager. A night to remember indeed.
  • It's all about Xander!

    9.2
    Buffy and the gang is facing yet another apocalypse, but Xander is feeling left out when Buffy doesn't need his help and Cordelia Tells him he's useless. He starts to hang out with a new gang, Who are all dead and chaos ensues (but in a funny way) Xander soon has to stop the undead boys from blowing up the school. This is just a great episode, perfectly constructed. While you see clips of Buffy saving the world, This episodes all about Xander saving the school.
  • So many people didn't get this episode.

    9.3
    At the time of this episode's original airing, it seemed that so many people just did not understand it. The episode did not have a fair treatment for a while, although there were some who got it. In the years since, the episode has grown and has gotten the attention and acclaim it deserves. I was disappointed that a lot of people did not understand it when it first aired. I thought the Buffy group caught on quicker than that. Anyways, it's an excellent episode and the way it's structured and plotted is quite ingenious. Xander has always been an interesting character in the group of Scoobies. In all the other shows that have come and gone in recent memory, characters like Xander never got fully explained. They were just there, and they were part of whatever was going down at the time. But they were never in the lead. Writer Dan Webber has written a clever and entertaining episode that focuses on those kinds of characters. Who are these people?. What is there real life like?. What do they do?. Webber was with the show for a pretty short time, but his episodes were great. Too bad we didn't get more from him. I think he was pretty much gone after this season. He did give the show some fun and entertaining episodes, and this one is no exception. So, what exactly happened this week in Sunnydale?...

    Buffy and the crew are facing a new dilemma as the Hellmouth is opening up. Buffy, and the others, decide that it might be for the best if Xander sat this one out and to be safe. Little do they, or Xander, know that this will send Xander on a wild adventure of his own.

    Finally!. Xander gets an episode pretty much all to himself. Xander-centric episodes are too few and far in between. This is the first great Xander episode since season two's "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered". But just who is Alexander Lavelle Harris?. Up until now, we didn't really know. Xander was always the slightly goofy friend who was always there to help and always there to deliver a quip every now and then. Xander was just...there. And he was always just normal. How could he fit into his group of friends and do some of the things they could do?. He can't. His friends are slayers, vampires, watchers, werewolfs, and practicing witches. Where does that leave Xander?. What can he contribute?. Well, Xander may not of contributed to what the others are fighting against, but he saves people anyways. Another horrible evil is coming to Sunnydale and the Hellmouth is going to open. It's all doom and gloom. The usual kind of nights in beautiful Sunnydale. Giles and Willow are off doing their usual research stuff and so on, and everyone ele mixed up in the current goings on. And Faith pretty much keeps to herself the whole time as well. But this time, the mega apocalypse that this new evil will bring is not the main part of the story. Xander is pushed to the side and we are with him the entire episode, on his own adventure, popping up here and there in the major battle his friends are going through. But it's Xander's adventure that is the main problem here. He meets up and gets mixed up with a gang of zombies who want to make Xander a part of the gang. He has to die first to do that. There's always a catch!. But Xander learns that the undead group also plan on blowing up Sunnydale High. Not cool!. While Buffy and crew are busy keeping the Hellmouth closed from the library floor, Xander is trying to keep the whole entire school from blowing up.

    The idea for the episode was clever, and it's execution brilliant. The way they plotted the whole thing and interspersed both happenings going on was fantastic. This is where people, in the beginning, lost it. Why were we wasting time with Xander and his little Zombie romp when Buffy and the others are battling the Hellmouth and an oncoming apocalypse?. Because this isn't about Buffy and the other Scoobies. This isn't about the apocalypse or the Hellmouth opening. It isn't even about the school blowing up. Those things are all background filler for what this is all really about. This is a character piece. This is about Xander. Nothing else. It makes you wonder where Xander goes and what he does when he is gone from a scene. If Xander isn't there, where is he?. What does he do?. What is his life like when he is not present?. Just who is Xander?. It was a clever idea. It shows that Xander is just as much a hero and heroic as Buffy or any of his friends. He might not be battling the opening of the hellmouth or an apocalypse, but he is battling his own zombies and saving lives in the process as well. There are people who still think that the apocalypse and the hellmouth opening was what was truly important in this episode. It's not. It never was. And not only is this episode about Xander being a hero in his own right, but it's also an episode where Xander finally becomes a man. You know what I am talking about. After saving Faith, they end up back at her dingy motel room and get their wild monky love groove thing on. Our Xander is growing up. And this coming out later to Willow is quite heartbreaking and devastating. Not to mention deadly for Xander as well.

    It was nice to see this of Xander. Some people, including me, have had some issues with him. His treatment, for instance, towards Angel, and towards Buffy for loving Angel. There have been times where Xander has infuriated you, but you knew he always had a point. You knew that he was always looking out for everyone. You were mad, but you couldn't fault him, even if you wanted too. So, it was nice to see Xander in this episode as being the Xander we all know and love, and becoming a true hero. The funny lines from him were there in full force, but the ending was amazing. Xander really has become his own person, and is every bit the hero as Buffy, Willow, Giles, and Angel.

    In the end, "The Zeppo" is a great episode that was cleverly written, directed, and wonderfully acted. Mostly from Nicholas Brendon who was pretty much the one who was front and center for the majority of the episode. Another great episode that showed once again that the show writes and creates exciting and different stories. The best Xander episode.
  • It's all about Xander as he becomes friends with a group of demons as he drives around Sunnydale, helping them to get supplies to blow up the school. Meanwhile the gang is trying to stop the Hellmouth from opening...again

    7.5
    Forgive me for being brash, but what the heck was this episode supposed to be about? It did not serve any purpose, not even a filler episode like when they invented the Oz/werewolf episodes,yada yada yada. Xander has always been the arch-nemesis of Angel because, in Xander's eyes, Angel is a demon with a soul. So the only reason he is not acting as a monster (a la Angelus) is because of the soul brought on by the gypsy curse. So why would Xander go from being a demon hater to someone who willingly decides to hang out with a bunch of demons. And when he gets in over his head, he goes to Giles, who doesn't seem to care...very unlikely. So he goes to Buffy, who is having some inane fight with Angel (which they never explain why she is whining to him and why they are fighting...doesn't make sense), but when Xander appears distressed Buffy, the Slayer is too busy with boy problems to care about saving the world or anything like that. Sorry, Joss, but this episode sucked. The only moment of somewhat okay-ness is when Xander hooks up with Faith. That might be plausible...but the episode should have focused less on the demon story line and more on Faith, perhaps.
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