Here is our first episode of few in the series that contains absolutely no vampires. Is that a bad thing? No, actually. Buffy may be the Vampire Slayer, but she can still defeat any other evil being that gets in her way.
So Buffy decides to become a cheerleader. She goes to try-outs where she meets Amy (who makes an important recurring role much later in the series). While one of the best of the girls try out, she suddenly sets on fire, luckily it was Buffy to the rescue. Later, many of the other cheerleaders begin getting into danger such as Cordelia's car crash due to sudden blindness, and the girl who, uh... Lost her mouth?
Anyway, we soon find out it's because Amy is actually her evil, youth-stealing, wicked Mother in Amy's body (she's a witch, duh). Amy's mother switched bodies with her because she felt that Amy was wasting her youth, so she took it.
I actually really love this episode, it's one (if not THE) favourite episode of mine from Season 1. Just like in previous episodes, Joss has been able to trick us with these awesome twists that we don't see coming. Actually, now that I think about it, pretty much every episode of Season 1 has some sort of twist to it. It's definitely not a bad thing though, it surely keeps us on our toes.
Another thing that recurred in this episode is Joyce's worry of Buffy getting into trouble again like at her old school. It's good to know that Buffy's past has not totally been forgotten of. And let me just say that I love Joyce. She is my favourite parental figure on a TV show. She genuinely cares about her daughter, and she wants to trust her, even after the trouble Buffy has gotten into. She's not totally harsh on her, and is only when necessary. And although she's busy with her new job, she's still there when Buffy really needs her. She's just the perfect Mom.
Something else to take notice in this episode is Willow's jealousy towards Xander's crush on Buffy. Buffy is clearly not very interested, but Xander is there giving Buffy jewelery and attempting to ask her out. I love how so early in the series we're seeing development in the characters. It makes them seem so much more alive and realistic. I watch other TV shows which aren't that bad at all, but in every episode, it's like the characters haven't changed at all. In "Buffy", the characters are somehow different in a way in every episode. Well, not really different, but they grow. They develop. Even though most of Season 1 are filler episodes, it doesn't stop the characters from growing.
"First vampires, now witches. No wonder you can still afford a house in Sunnydale." - Xander Harris