Season 2, Episode 15: Phases

In this episode! (Note: there is much discussion of Catholic philosophy at the end of this. Quite interesting, says Agnostic Katherine)

  • We begin this episode as we do most with an argument. Mark asserts that Xander is homophobic, and Katherine says he isn’t
  • Katherine shows Mark that there are several callbacks in this episode. Note that Xander speaks about being part of the hyena pack, and the great scene with Oz and Willow at the trophy case (shout out to Nina)  and the connection to episode 3 “The Witch” is clear.
  • Mark points out the bands are back, and Katherine said she loved 5 of the songs.
  • Katherine is curious about Mark’s reception to Oz learning he is a werewolf. Katherine can’t find a podcast that likes this. We love it and think it is exactly the way Oz would handle any crisis.
  • Katherine also loves the Larry misdirect, that he could possibly be the one who killed Theresa.
  • So, gang, it comes to this—who is right?
  • Katherine and Mark throw down over Larry. Mark thinks Xander is being homophobic; Katherine says maybe a teeny tiny bit, but overall, it is awkwardness and the fact that Larry has been a bully to Xander his entire life. Katherine argues that Xander is noble in not sharing Larry’s coming out to him.
  • Mark is glad we finally know Xander’s phone number.
  • Mark points out the diffference between vampires and werewolves; werewolves have a soul. Katherine reminds Mark that Giles also said that werewolves don’t have a conscience.
  • We are split on Giles. Katherine thinks he was delighted by most things in this episode, even Xander’s dumb jokes. Mark agrees that Giles is in good spirits, but that he was mocking Xander. What do you think?
  • We are intrigued that Xander still can’t get his romantic act together. He is jealous of Oz and Willow, and still has feelings for Buffy. Xander, Xander, Xander.
  • Mark was initially confused about embalming vampires, but ultimately resolved this problem.
  • We agree that Theresa’s death is tragic and Katherine raises the issue of whose responsibility it is (duh, besides Angelus.) Is it at all Buffy’s fault since Buffy could have killed Angelus in the last episode but didn’t?
  • Mark thinks a key theme of the episode is that Buffy is grappling with the fact that she is a killer. In response to Katherine, Mark engages in a really interesting lecture on “proximate cause.” He argues because of this liability law, Buffy is ultimately not responsible for Theresa’s death
  • Mark next discusses the responsibility vs. Grace (jump to 37:10 into the podcast) which is fascinating to Katherine because Katherine is obsessed with issues of responsibility. One suggestion that Mark makes is that it may not be possible to keep one’s hands clean. One has to make moral decisions in the world and sometimes these decisions result in people getting hurt. This can’t be avoided, and choosing not to make a decision can actually result in greater harm. Katherine, while relistening to this podcast is stunned by this discussion. She thinks of these issues often.
  • Mark suggests that while we need to give Buffy slack, at the same time, her hope that Angelus will return and become Angel again is a dangerous belief that could lead to further problems. (Wink wink audience.)
  • Katherine and Mark end by talking about how we oppose killing werewolves because we are vegetarians, but have not problem with the killing of vampires.

Season 2, Episodes 13 and 14: Surprise and Innocence

In this episode!

We are thrilled to report on two episodes! Katherine promised Mark it was a game changer, and he agreed!

  • Mark makes a great comment to start off that it was great seeing these episodes after watching the previous two. In his opinion, “Ted” was the least Buffy episode, and “Bad Eggs” was the worst Buffy episode; finally, we have episodes worthy to sink our teeth into.
  • Katherine explains a little about the history, in that Buffy was on Monday nights, but Joss cleverly arranged to have Surprise shown on Jan. 19, and Innocence shown the following night, a Tuesday, as the new default Buffy show night.
  • Mark says these definitively were  game changing episodes, and he didn’t predict anything that happened. He pointed out that Buffy and Angel’s romance was stopped; Angel returns to being a bad vampire; Jenny gets busted; Xander and Cordy’s relationship heats up and is exposed; Willow’s character sharpens…
  • Mark was really excited when Angel quoted The Four Tops: “Just look over your shoulder, and I’ll be there.” This is why Katherine has Mark as a side-kick. Great catch!
  • Katherine agrees with all of Mark’s comments about the exciting moments, but she is possibly most excited about Drusilla and Spike. Katherine loves how Angelus alters the dynamic. A favorite moment is when the Judge sees Angelus. Spike assumes Angelus will be destroyed, but it is Spike and Dru that stink of humanity; Angelus has zero humanity. Whew.
  • Mark’s one disappointment in the episode is the whole “weapon forged by man” thing. He expected it to be a brick or somesuch. Katherine tried to defend this but couldn’t seem to get the words factory out of her mouth. Am I right gang? How do you defend the use of the Howitzer?
  • We both loved the dream sequences. Buffy’s dreams are prophetic. Another glorious sigh as seeds are planted.
  • Mark had another great catch: no Giles intro to the episode.
  • Katherine points out the significance of the “hippo has pants” comment from Willow.
  • Mark is dying to know if there is any significance to Jenny’s license plate. Do any of our fans know? And Mark loves Giles’s car.
  • Katherine points out that there is a reference to the first episode and the discussion of carpe diem with Willow.
  • Mark gave an abbreviated fashion report:
    • Mark says Buffy should not have worn those clogs. Katherine points out that Buffy’s footwear is pretty much always inappropriate
    • Mark says Xander’s camel hair hockey sweater was a daring choice
  • Mark and Katherine argue about Jenny. I believe that Katherine won this debate.
  • Mark did wonder if Angel might not be really evil and that this was a deception. Interesting for the future, right gang?
  • Katherine shares her introduction to Buffy when listening to an NPR story about Angel’s becoming a monster after Buffy’s loss of her virginity. Good memories.
  • Mark is really impressed with the relationship between Buffy and Angel. Joss does a great job of capturing the pain and the angst.
  • We are both fascinated by Angelus. We feel Spike’s pain—he just wants Angelus to end Buffy. But Angelus likes to torture and torment.
  • We feel bad for Buffy. It’s her birthday, she has lost her virginity to someone she loved, and her boy friend is a monster. Katherine suggests that despite all the other terrible things that Buffy has lived through, this may be the worst thing she has experienced.
  • Katherine explained that when these episodes aired, the Buffy fandom went crazy. They were so upset about what happened to Buffy and Angel. Joss was asked about this and said, in typical Joss Whedon fashion (and why I love him so much): “What people want is not what they need.”  Mark loved this and said that it reminded him of what Katherine told him during the first episode that “no one is immune.”
  • We both agree that another reason why Joss is a genius is because in a Buffy episode, everybody has a role and a reason for being in the scene. For example, Mark loves Oz witnessing his first vampire slaying. We adore Oz.
  • Mark also loves Oz’s response to Willow’s romantic overture. Oz is always authentic. We want to be Oz.
  • Great discussion about Xander and friendship. Mark says the reason why Katherine loves Xander is because he exhibits true loyalty and friendship. The example Mark gives is when the Scoobies thought Angel and Buffy might be dead, it is Xander and Willow, who threw out logic, but loyally planned on trying to save the day and their friends, if possible. Mark said that sometimes people will claim to be friends and will do anything for you, but then there are those few who actually turn up. Xander and Willow are those friends. True friends.
  • Katherine and Mark argue over Dru and Spike. Mark just can’t get interested in them. Katherine adores them, maybe enough for both.
  • Katherine shared that Joss and Kristine (Joyce) said these were their favorite episodes.
  • Katherine and Mark perform a scene between Jenny and Giles that got cut from the original. Then, follows a discussion about how Buffy lives such a precarious life. Every battle could be the last.
  • We can’t wait to hear what you all think of these two episodes. Do you remember if you predicted what would come next?