Thursday, May 15, 2014

"School Hard" - The Great Buffy Rewatch of 2014

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

We've actually only missed one episode together! And it was very monster of the week in that in involved a boy at Sunnydale reanimating his dead brother and then trying to create a zombie-esque GF for him. Obviously Cordelia was top of the list of body parts. Buffy saved the day though - so it's okay!

Onto today's episode. School Hard. It's a good one!!

Okay, we're going to try something a little different here. Instead of a stream of consciousness play by play of the episode I'm just going to watch it and write about it after. 

The episode revolves around Parent Teacher conferences, where Principal Snyder is intent on discussing Buffy with her mom. Idk if you knew this but Buffy is pretty much one of the "worst" students. To be fair, she does cut class all the time (to save the world). But if you view it from her teacher's standpoint, they rarely are at the Bronze hen bad stuff is happening so they don't know she's a hero. They probably do think she's just a crazy bad student.

this is the face of Sunnydale's worst student

So, Buffy spends the episode worrying about her Mom finding out she's a bad student (or worse - the Slayer). And also, planning the Parent Teacher Conferences with the other bad seed of Sunnydale - some girl named Sheila. She deals with her punishment by painting signs and trying really hard to impress everyone. It's actually pretty adorable how much she cares about her reputation. Oh, and did I mention that she covers for Sheila the dirtbag? She cares about other people's reputations too! (and in overalls no less)

More importantly though, this episode is our first introduction to Spike (and Drusilla). The new Big Bad in Sunnydale who (spoiler) will be around for a while. And this is an amazing intro episode for him. He banters with the annoying one and his lackies and asserts his dominance by offing him. That's right, Spike killed the Annointed One. Put him in a cage and showed him the sun. And oh, vowed to kill the Slayer.

True Love. and the new Big Bad!
But aside from showing his machismo, he also demonstrates a softer side when interacting with Drusilla, his lover. Interesting to note, Drusilla is insane. Like, bat shit crazy. Nothing she says makes any sense and it's pretty much amazing. For example, she talks to her dolls. And calls them cute names like "Miss Edith". And Spike just laps it up!

Important facts about Spike (that we learn in this episode at least):
  • He's killed 2 slayers in the past
  • According to Angel, once he sets his mind to something he doesn't give up
  • He's barely 200 (practically a baby!)
  • Oh, and he knows Angel well enough to call him Angelus
  • BECAUSE ANGEL WAS HIS SIRE (meaning he made him)
She made lemonade. How is she bad?
So, anyway, the night of the Parent Teacher Conference comes and the Scoobies are preparing for Spike's attack (which he claims is going to be on Saturday) by reading and making weapons. Natch. And Buffy is trying to show her mom that she's doing well here in Sunnydale. But, obviously, vampires show up to ruin the day with Spike leading the charge! (lesson - Never trust a vampire to keep to a schedule) 

It's really an epic showdown. The power to the building is cut and people are scattered in different rooms all over. Buffy's crawling through the vents and dusting vampires all over the school. Until she comes to the end of the battle to face Spike one on one. Punches are thrown and Buffy has the upper hand. Until suddently she doesn't. 

This is where it get's good. Joyce (that's Buffy's mom) smacks Spike upside the head with an axe. It's very reminiscent of Molly Weasley in a whole "Not my daughter, you bitch" kind of way. She doesn't find out that Buffy is the Slayer and doesn't realize that vampires are real. But she showcases some seriously badassery.

Overall, it's a really solid episode. It's where the show demonstrates that it's coming into it's own and really finding it's voice. Everyone is getting their character fleshed out and you start loving even the sideline players. Plus, the annoying one is dead! Who cares what else happens!

Best Quotes:

"If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock." - Spike

"Does anyone remember when Saturday night meant 'Date Night'?" - Xander
"You sure don't" - Cordelia

"You get the hell away from my daughter!" - Joyce (aka Buffy's Mom)


  1. Go badass Joyce! Great ep. Plus I love any that have Spike and Dru!

  2. I love the way Joyce and Spike's relationship develops over the course of the show.

    1. It's crazy! Joyce is such an underrated character.


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