Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Killed By Death   Rewatch 
April 22, 2015 11:07 PM - Season 2, Episode 18 - Subscribe

Hospitalized with the flu, Buffy discovers a demon preying on sick children that only they can see.
posted by yellowbinder (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is a really weak episode. Like many of the pure "mystery" episodes, theres a lot of filler here, very little killer. There just isn't much going on, and not a great deal of peril, some nice horror moments aside. There's some interest in Buffy being afraid of hospitals, but this is a new invention for this episode, and it turns out her fear was generated by the very thing causing the deaths in the first place! Sigh. There is also a bit of the theme the show likes to repeat, where Buffy claims something is going on, and no-one believes her, but she is right (this will come to it's height with the roommate episode in Season 4). There really should come a point when they should just believe her.

The villain is.. quite creepy here, but his motivation is dull, and he is defeated hilariously easily (Buffy just snaps his neck) for someone who is usually invisible. It doesn't help that the child actors aren't very good. This episode mostly has the feel of Buffy breaking into a Stephen King film: normally the children would have to defeat the monster themselves, but luckily they have a superhero to do it for them (and that in of itself feels unrewarding, the children are merely there to be in peril, rather than contribute to the solution).

-"Tact is just not saying true things. I'll pass."
-Giles and Joyce have a lovely conversation, stoking the background sort of romance they dally with throughout the show
-You'd think being the slayer would mean you didn't get the flu
-Xander standing up to Angel is pretty cool, although as she gets better and he stays its clear that Cordelia really hasn't got a hope of winning him over
-Apparently Buffy and Celia played power girl in what is clearly Buffy's bedroom in Sunnydale. Huh, guess they just commuted up there to play games.
-"Looks like I interrupted a secret meeting!" "You sure didn't!"
-Buffy wants to stay in her private hospital room for another night. Poor single parent Joyce, having to pay for this.
-That image of Celia dying in that way is really horrifying. The eye attack thing is just horrid.
-Apparently Buffy can't get through a locked door in this episode.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:45 AM on April 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Maybe it's just because I'm not feeling well, but I didn't mind this one too much. It's about the speed of where my head is at, and soooo less with the sadness than the previous episode. Which I can't really say much about atm or else there may be more crying.

So, my verdict is, that just as Buffy has to infect herself with the virus again to see the Kindertod, you need to be not well in order to watch this episode. Even Xander's super annoying vigil seems kind of sweet if you're sick.
posted by Athanassiel at 3:30 AM on April 23, 2015

I recently began watching through Season 2 again and I must say I wasnt at all looking forward to this episode-and it turned out to be just as slow moving as I remember.

Having said that the death of Celia in this episode has to be one of the most horrific in the shows history and the villain is actually quite scary-he is really well constructed and the eye thing? Just grim.

Overall not the worst episode ever, but easily passable.
posted by Picollecta at 7:08 AM on April 23, 2015

I just couldn't get into this one, or Go Fish later on. Part of it is that they're not great episodes. The other part of it, for me, is that after Passion, everything other than the Angelus storyline feels like a distraction. I didn't mind taking a breather from the main arc with Phases and Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered, but once Jenny was killed that raised the stakes for the Scoobies. (I would argue that it shouldn't have, that the imperative to kill Angelus existed well before Jenny's death, when he was killing people they didn't know, or didn't know well, but it's a consistent pattern that certain people's lives matter a whole lot more to Buffy&Co than others.)

If it were up to me, non-main-arc episodes would have aired first, and the last four episodes of the season would be Passion, I Only Have Eyes for You, and Becoming, Parts 1 and 2.
posted by creepygirl at 8:25 AM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I almost passed on watching this one, it's long been in my bottom 5 episodes, not counting the morass of mid/late Season 7. While weak it was ok on rewatch though.

I didn't find Xander's vigil to be annoying, despite Angel and Cordelia's comments it didn't seem based in unhealthy obsession but in protective friendship. Definitely the first time I've actually felt ok about him in a while. Impressive how everyone steps up here, especially the opening scene where the Scoobies successfully fend off Angel.

Buffy dosing herself is very MORE MOUSE BITES, very silly. The villain is pretty lame, a crappy balding Freddy Krueger knock off, although the eye thing is super creepy. The doctor and security guard are perhaps a shade too fishy, the "He understands about children; sometimes they die" thing is a totally uncomfortable moment.

Am I the only one who couldn't stop searching for that thing on Buffy's face after Cordelia mentioned it?
posted by yellowbinder at 10:59 PM on April 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ah, yes, I knew there was something I forgot to mention! What was it that Cordelia meant? Her nose? Or is there something else that only Cordelia can see and none of the rest of us can?

Idunno about Xander, I think it is true that I am now excessively suspicious of him. He could at least have thanked Cordelia for bringing him coffee and doughnuts. But him reading the riot act to Angel was pretty fun.
posted by Athanassiel at 11:07 PM on April 23, 2015

Yeah this isn't Xander being awful or anything, I think this is just the show indicating that he isn't over Buffy yet, but not in his usual creepster way.

I want to complain a bit more about the Celia thing. I really hate it when backstory is introduced for one goddamn episode and then never remembered again. Buffy watched her cousin writhing in agony on a hospital bed before dying, powerless to help. This is actually something that should really inform her character more! This is similar to Normal Again in Season 6, where we discover that apparently Buffy spent some time in a mental institution, which, again, should have informed her background more than just that episode! It's a bit of a cheap way to write an episode (Lies my Parents Told me also does this a bit, but get's away with it, it's not unreasonable she wouldn't have mentioned an old friend to her new ones).
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:05 AM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

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