Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Some Assembly Required   Rewatch 
February 25, 2015 11:27 PM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Two students are graverobbing to create their own Bride of Frankenstein. The final part required? Cordelia's head.
posted by yellowbinder (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
"Love makes you do the whacky". There's an attempt at a thematic through line to this episode: what we'll do for love. We have Angel being jealous about Buffy's dance, we have Giles and Calender's first flirtations (which are lovely!) and then we have Chris caring about his brother.

But eh. All in all, I like this episode as much as I like that line, which feels self consciously buffy speak if ever I've seen it. To my mind, far too much time is spent before the final reveal of Daryl doing slightly underwhelming investigation, especially when the biggest threat we see for most of the episode is the creepy camera guy. Grave robbing does not a master villain make. All in all, other than some fun moments, there just isn't much to this episode. A forgettable early Season 2 episode.


-Buffy on Angel being quiet: "you stomp, or yodel!"
-Buffy falls into another grave in a comedy pratfall
-The gag about zombies eating the flesh of the living is really overworked, as it requires Xander to apparently know that zombies don't hunger for the flesh of the living. That said, I think the show will call back the zombie's not wanting the flesh of the living joke multiple times, demonstrating that is a joke doesn't land the first time, just keep repeating it until it does!
-Cordelia loses her car keys under the car. Horror movie classic. Then a disembodied hand grasps her skirt... how?
-Xander gets to be pretty badass in the final moments with his fire trolley moment
-There's a really misjudged scene where we're meant to feel sorry for zombie Daryl not being able to play American football.
-I did love the rugby gag, which is entirely true
-The timing of some of this is pretty funny. I guess Chris and Daryl live very close to the school.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:32 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a really keen bit of sadness when we see Daryl and Chris' mom just sitting in her pajamas, smoking and watching her late son's highlights over and over. That's a miserable person right there.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:43 AM on February 26, 2015

Anthony Stewart Head is doing the Slayer summary now instead of Whedon. Much better.

Angel should not wear beige. Bad sartorial decision. Especially when he doesn't change his outfit from one night to the next. I guess vampires probably don't sweat, and mausoleums aren't big on BIRs but still!

And this one brings up another recurring theme in Buffy: guys creating women to fulfill and/or meet sexual desires. With varying degrees of evil involved. Chris is trying to help out his brother. Daryl wants... well, a warped and wrong kind of companionship. But Eric seems happy to kill for the fun of it. Who's the monster? It's done better - or worse, depending on your viewpoint - later but the fact that it shows up as a storyline multiple times is pretty creepy.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:59 AM on February 26, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's a creepy thing. Doing a story about it isn't creepy.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:58 PM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

The stories about creepy things seem more creepy as the show ages. As a teenager I could experience the episodes just as a cool Frankenstein episode or a funny robot story, or the other funny robot story, or a wacky girlfriend slavery and murder romp (maybe not that last one). As an adult who sees more and more the pervasive creepiness around women in society every year, going back to these stories does creep me out probably a little more than intended. Oh yes, terrible thing, must put a stop to it... dammit.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2015 [5 favorites]

Yellowbinder, exactly. In isolation, not necessarily creepy. Just as Xander's, um, possessiveness and lechery could be dismissed as teenage boyness. But the show spends a lot of time on these things, and like you, as I get older I'm more aware of the pervasiveness of sexual violence against women. And I think that in art, there's a line between describing the horrible things that happen to women so you can make a statement about how awful it is, and indulging the desire to depict horrible things happening to women. I'm not saying Whedon is necessarily doing this; I honestly can't decide if he is or not. But it's making me pretty uncomfortable this time round.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:28 AM on March 5, 2015 [6 favorites]

If the long-threatened Buffy reboot series ever happens, this would be an interesting episode to revisit in light of real-world issues. I see some meaningful parallels between the boys' plan and with the rise of revenge porn and celebrity nude photo hacks on the Internet. I think the writers tapped into something really essential to understanding the antisocial misogynist mindset, namely the degree of comfort that some men have with regarding women entirely as collections of parts, or as commodities to be hoarded and traded for status. IIRC, this is the first episode to really bring these kinds of issues to the surface in the Buffy universe, and it'll be interesting to see how it gets developed later in the series when we come across Warren Mears for the first time.
posted by Strange Interlude at 3:32 PM on March 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Highlight of this episode has to be Cordelia's eye roll when Xander chastises her for interrupting him and Willow. So far this season is 2 for 2 episodes where Cordelia reaches out to the Scooby gang and gets shot down in the most over the top kind of way.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:15 PM on April 23, 2016

This town really has alot of high-school aged kids that they can just let die pretty often and the school still seems full! Not too many memorials around or sad parents. A highschool full of neverending redshirts.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:43 PM on January 8

Oh and I know its TV but the clothes this kids wear would never be allowed at my school:
Bra straps showing...nope
Short skirts...nope
Stomach showing...nope

I do feel like I have to be the truth-sayer to my non-American friends for what is and isnt a realistic depiction of an American high-school.
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:47 PM on January 8

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