Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bad Eggs   Rewatch 
April 1, 2015 11:39 PM - Season 2, Episode 12 - Subscribe

An egg baby school lesson takes a troubling turn as the eggs hold parasitic monsters that take control of their "parents."
posted by yellowbinder (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is a forgettable episode. I'm not really sure what it's going for: I guess it's maybe a metaphor for uncontrolled passion? Certainly there's a lot of that in this episode, but it's a bit of a distressing metaphor for pregnancy really. I also found the Gorch brothers massively annoying and not that funny. I don't really know why they're in this episode, as they don't have much to contribute to the episode (and, distressingly, one of them will be back in season 3!)

I also feel like this episode sets Joyce up to be quite mean to Buffy, who ends up getting punished for saving everyone's lives. I'm never a fan of a narrative which sets up a perfectly well meaning character as an obstruction, so episodes where Joyce does that are bound to rub me up the wrong way. If it was a plot point that had long consequences then maybe it might matter, but the grounding is completely forgotten by the next episode.

The one thing this episode does accomplish is that it establishes that Angel and Buffy's relationship is becoming increasingly passionate, setting up the much superior two parter coming soon.

-So the mother Bazoar wanted to be dug out so it could what? Go for a walkabout? I mean, it was killed by being hit repeatedly by a pick axe, so I don't think it's a great danger to the outside world. It would have made more sense for it to subjugate the full population first, but maybe it's not that smart.
-"Angel when I look into the future all I see is you." I have to admit first time round I found Buffy and Angel's relationship exhausting. On some level I still do, but I appreciate it as the very teenage first love that it is meant to be.
-Jonathan again!
-Buffy and Xander should clearly be in charge of all research
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:40 AM on April 2, 2015

So last episode we have the father throwing around his power, trying to control the Slayer. This episode we have... a pair of outlaw Texan vampires, a thing in the basement, complicated metaphors about sexuality and its potentially unwanted consequences, and a mum who's trying to throw her power around and keep Buffy under control. Yeah, it's a little tenuous.

So kids, unwanted consequences of sexual activity - diseases? Anyone? And what could be some ways to avoid or minimise risks of diseases and also mind-controlling eggs? Let's not mention those, shall we. We'll just assume that you didn't know about condoms because they skipped over that part in health class to let Xander and Cordelia slag each other off some more.

It's never really clear to me how much each episode takes place in a vacuum. Some things carry over - they remember Ethan Rayne, Spike, etc from one episode to the next. They refer to bug lady and Inca mummy girl several times throughout the season and the series. But this episode, if it comes right after Ted, seems a little strange for Joyce to be acting so hard-ass. Unless Buffy's confrontation of Ted - even though Ted turned out to be a serial killer (since Joyce wasn't let in on the robot part) - brought up some realisations for Joyce about how lax she's been as a mum. Dunno. I suspect I am overthinking this.

By the way, a bezoar is not a demon. A bezoar is basically a hairball. (Not always hair, and possibly hair plus other things. But you get the idea.) Bezoars were believed to be a universal antidote for poison as well. Neither of these aspects seem prominent here, which is rather disappointing really. (Fun fact which I just learned: you can get a bezoar from eating unripe persimmons. The idea that enough people have eaten enough unripe persimmons to make this a thing is truly mind-boggling. Second fun fact: you can apparently dissolve a bezoar with Coca-Cola. So dissolving nails may be an urban legend but it's still good for something!)

I finally got a good look at the classification system in the library and I am not impressed. They have a shelf label clearly indicating FICTION and then the Dewey range 001 - 200 underneath. Fiction would be in the 800s. 000s are computer science, history of the book, journalism, some weird things on UFOs that they don't know where else to put, dictionaries, directories, library and information science, that kind of thing. 100s are full of some good stuff, philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, psychology, the occult and paranormal, ethics. Not fiction. What kind of library is Giles running?!?!

And what happened to Oz? He has been conspicuous by his absence these past couple of episodes. Xander and Cordelia get to sneak off to the closet and snog, Willow should totally get the chance too.
posted by Athanassiel at 6:24 AM on April 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yep, this episode is definitely a tweener. Although the show hadn't really done a Lovecraft or Body Snatchers pastiche prior to this, it all still feels like well-trod territory. In fact, it's territory that was trod more nimbly by Robert Rodriguez/Kevin Williamson's The Faculty, which was released later in the same year (1998) that "Bad Eggs" originally aired.

The Gorches seem like an odd misfire as characters. They're freighted with a bit more backstory than most of the show's vamps-of-the-week, but they still don't really have any function other than appearing in a couple of scenes in the C-plot before randomly stumbling across the A-plot and immediately getting pwned. Also, for a couple of hardened Old West desperadoes, they look like they're pair of headset-mics away from becoming a Top 40 country-pop duo. Thank goodness Angelus shows up next week, because outside of an out-of-commission Spike/Dru, the vampires are barely a threat these days.

That said, I do think it's kind of interesting that the episode buries the lede on a not-yet-explicitly-spelled-out factor in the Scooby Gang's group dynamics; namely, that Cordy is the only non-virgin in the group. She and Xander have been going at it pretty hot and heavy in the broom closet, but it's obviously hasn't gone past 1st/2nd base. The fact that Cordy is presented as a high school girl who's had sex, but without any further textual implications about her character or discernment seems like a step forward from the virgin/slut duality of a lot of teen shows, even today.
posted by Strange Interlude at 4:48 PM on April 3, 2015

Is it implied that Cordy and Xander haven't gotten past 1st/2nd base? I thought I remembered it being implied that they had actually done the deed. Although, where, I suppose, seeing as they're still hiding from everyone? In a closet? (actually, that may well just be mid-30s me talking - sex in a closet wouldn't have seemed so unlikely a few years ago).

Anyway yeah, bit of a "meh" episode. Not really clear where it's going or what it's trying to say.

Don't really agree that this sets up Joyce as "mean" though. I think it mainly just contributes to me feeling for her. Poor, poor Joyce. She's trying so hard to be a good mum (and she is!) but there's so much craziness going on that she doesn't stand a chance. And all Buffy's good qualities are hidden from her because they tend to involve killing monsters, so she's stuck thinking her daughter is a disaster and not getting why.

An aside - all the "possessed" people filed into a closet which was seemingly full of mining tools. How did they get there? Fireaxe, fine; Shovel, sledgehammer and pickaxes, Maaaaybe. But I'm pretty sure Cordy came out of that closet holding a mattock. A fucking mattock! Why would that be there?
posted by Dext at 5:29 PM on April 5, 2015

Finally got around to watching! This is as close to what I can identify as my first episode, and it's not bad on that axis. The opening has a nice catch by Buffy with a vamp missing his escalator reflection, and although it's played out a little by now the oblivious mom stuff is clear. It's an ok, simple but fun monster story, it works as an intro. But yeah, never going to be one of the greats.

Joyce's grounding Buffy does seem a bit harsh, but I guess it fits in with the theme(?) of children or whatever? Conseqeunces of sex, which will be hit much harder next week? It definitely is muddled, normally these kind of monster stories play on themes of conformity, like the mentioned (and excellent) The Faculty.

Yeah Xander and Cordy never did it. There was some implication in Season 1 of Angel in the demon pregnancy episode that that was actually her first time, which would make her actually the last Scooby virgin, but I'm not sure how seriously we're supposed to take that.

The cowboys are pretty bad. I wanted to enjoy their cheesiness on this watch but they were just super lame and pointless. The bit with Buffy having to fight them and the possessed at the same time was fun, but hardly worth it.

I really enjoy the Buffy Xander stuff in this episode, even before they're the only ones left. I've been trying not to beat the "awful Xander" drum this season, even though he hasn't been great. I think he's mostly better from here on out.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:55 PM on April 5, 2015

The opening has a nice catch by Buffy with a vamp missing his escalator reflection

Huh... I have never noticed that! I just sort of assumed he saw a skeevey guy with a girl in a shopping mall and assumed he was a vampire. That makes more sense! (Also, how is a vampire in a shopping centre in the middle of the day?)
posted by Cannon Fodder at 8:06 AM on April 6, 2015

I was going to ask how the vamps got into the shopping mall in the middle of the day too. If it were that easy, wouldn't it be more of a thing? Do vamps actually have to sleep during the day, or is it just unsafe to go out into the evil light of the evil daystar? Etc. But I have been nitpicking a lot, and I really like that scene where Buffy notices the lack of reflection, so I thought I'd shut up for once. Thanks for bringing it up for me, Cannon Fodder!
posted by Athanassiel at 5:00 PM on April 6, 2015

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