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(a.k.a. Bride of Frankenstein: The Bad Version)

Written by: Ty King
Directed by: Bruce Seth Green
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brend0n as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Robia La Morte as Jenny Calendar
Angelo Spizzirri as Chris Epps
Michael Bacall as Eric
Ingo Neuhaus as Daryl Epps
Melanie MacQueen as Mrs. Epps
Co-Starring: Amanda Wilmshurst as Cheerleader (Joy)

Plot Summary

Two students wanted Cordelia's head for a Bride of Frankenstein creation.

Plot Details

Buffy was impatiently waiting in a cemetery for a vampire to rise when Angel startled her. He wanted to talk about Xander but denied being jealous. Their interaction quickly reduced to an argument, which momentarily distracted Buffy from her duty. After eventually staking the vampire, she accidentally fell into an coffin in an open grave.

Buffy and Xander walked into the library to find Giles asking an empty chair on a date. Of course, they had a lot of fun commenting on the situation, and we get just about all of the fun we will get from this episode. Giles changed the subject to last night's slaying. He found the idea of grave robbing to be quite interesting, even though others thought that disturbing might be a more accurate way to put it.

When Willow and Chris were signing up for the science fair, a yearbook photographer (Eric) started taking pictures of Willow, Cordelia, and Buffy despite their objections. Afterward, Eric suggested that Cordelia would be perfect for their project, but Chris protested, saying that Cordelia was alive. Why do I think that this conversation might foreshadow the perpetrators of the grave robbing?

Willow found a newspaper article saying that the missing body belonged to a cheerleader at a neighboring high school who was killed with two other cheerleaders in an automobile accident. Giles hypothesized that the perpetrator could be a demon trying to consume souls or a voodoo practitioner. They decided to dig up the other two bodies to see if they were missing as well.

While Giles and Xander dug up a grave, Willow filled in Buffy and the audience on Chris. Apparently, Cordelia was in love with Chris's older brother, Daryl, who died in a rock climbing accident. Since the death, Chris has been in his own world and their mother never left the house anymore.

After cheerleading practice, Cordelia found that she was being followed. She first assumed that Xander was playing a joke but soon decided that it was more serious. She hid in a dumpster, where Angel found her. Cordelia used the opportunity to point out that Buffy was doing work without him, so he might as well spend time with her. However, as she was leaving the dumpster, she found a human hand.

Giles, Buffy, Willow, and Xander returned to the library discussing the fact that they found empty coffins. They found Cordelia hanging on Angel's arm. When they heard that there were body parts left over in the dumpster, they had to abandon their army of zombies theory. Angel did point out that there were some body parts unaccounted for, which led Willow to suspect that the missing parts were used as food.

The second mystery was why the parts were in a dumpster five miles from the cemetery. Buffy suggested that the perpetrators might be students. Might we have seen two students with a project that required women who were not alive? They decided to inspect the lockers of likely suspects. Cordelia backed out and suggested that Angel accompany her home. He did not object.

In an incredible surprise, Chris and Eric turned up on the list of the five or six students other than Willow with the anatomical knowledge to have dissected the bodies as neatly as they did. Chris had various anatomical books in his locker, as well as the newspaper article on the three dead cheerleaders. Eric's locker had parts of several pictures of women pasted together to create one whole woman. Now that the big surprise was revealed, we saw Eric and Chris with a corpse. Eric was hanging pictures of three female characters of the show.

Buffy, Willow, and Xander ran into Giles about to ask Ms. Calendar on a date. They left quickly despite his protests. He started to ask her just as awkwardly as he did the chair. Fortunately, Ms. Calendar asked him out on a date to the (American) football game.

Willow was researching possible reanimation techniques when Giles entered and said that all three heads were accounted for, so Chris and Eric still needed one.

Eric still wanted to use a currently alive head, but Chris did not want to kill anyone. His reanimated brother, Daryl, sided with Eric. Daryl apparently saw Bride of Frankenstein and wants a bride for himself. Eric showed him the three pictures of regular characters, and Daryl chose Cordelia.

Willow and Xander went to find Eric while Buffy went to find Chris. Buffy found Chris and Daryl's mother watching tapes of Daryl's old games. In the basement, Buffy found an anatomical drawing with Cordelia's head on it. She left through a window just as Daryl was sneaking up on her.

Buffy arrived at the football game just as Eric and Chris were trying to abduct Cordelia. Buffy wanted to bring her to safety, but Cordelia was more concerned with making sure that she was part of the human pyramid about to be formed. Buffy then confronted Chris, and managed to talk him out of hurting Cordelia.

Willow and Xander met with Giles and Ms. Calendar on their date. Willow and Xander ignored Giles's suggestion that they circulate closer to the field and, instead, sat right in front of Giles and Ms. Calendar and took some of their snacks.

Daryl was not happy about Cordelia being rescued. Eric convinced him to do what Chris was no longer willing to do. Daryl and Eric kidnapped Cordelia and strapped her to a table. She did not appreciate looking into the face of a dead student or seeing the remaining body parts. Eric was about to cut off her head, when Buffy intervened. Buffy fought Daryl while Xander rescued Cordelia. As the lab burned, Daryl chose to remain while all living humans left.

In the end, Ms. Calendar used the words "second date" to Giles. Cordelia tried to give Xander her heartfelt thanks for rescuing her, but he did not seem to appreciate it. Angel finally admitted to being jealous of Xander.

The Good

The scene in which Buffy and Xander caught Giles asking a chair for a date was just about the only good thing in this episode. The later scenes with Giles and Ms. Calendar were not bad either, especially when compared to the rest of this episode.

The Bad

The main plot makes no sense whatever. See the Imponderables section for more details.

It is very dangerous to introduce the idea that one could revive a dead person fairly easily. In a town as dangerous as Sunnydale, it is only a matter of time until someone the characters care about dies. If the dead can be revived with just an adrenaline shot and a jolt of electricity, then the characters will simply revive their loved ones. The only way to retain any dramatic meaning in future deaths would be for characters to forget this episode.

Overall Rank: 142

Action: 4

Buffy staked a vampire in the teaser.

Buffy and Daryl fought while Xander rescued Cordelia from the burning lab. This was better than the typical first season fight.

Comedy: 3

Giles asked a chair for a date, with Buffy and Xander providing commentary.

Xander describing Ms. Calendar as being in Giles's age bracket is unintentionally amusing as Robia LaMorte is only about nine months older than Nicholas Brendon.

Drama: 1

Angel was jealous of Xander but did not admit it to Buffy until the end of the episode.

Romance: 4

Angel and Buffy had a spat in the teaser over her sexy dance with Xander in the previous episode. He responded by not protesting when Cordelia came on to him, even in front of Buffy.

Xander talked about people not wanting what they can have. He might have been thinking of Buffy's lack of feelings for him, but Willow was definitely thinking about his lack of feelings for her.

Daryl's desire for a reanimated mate fits under the romance category as well as it fits anywhere.

Character Development: 2

Cordelia has a heart. She was in love with Daryl and was greatly hurt by his death. She is also becoming a little closer to the other characters, even starting to hang out with them in the library and showing genuine appreciation for saving her life. She also has an interest in Angel.

Angel admited that he is jealous of Xander. He even hints that his jealousy goes a bit beyond the sexy dance from the previous episode.

Importance: 0

Most Valuable Player: Xander

Buffy and Xander are the two candidates. Buffy convinced Chris to abandon his plans and defeated Daryl. Xander rescued Cordelia. Buffy got the Sherlock Holmes Award, so Xander gets this one.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Buffy

Willow figured out why Chris and Eric would still need a head, but Buffy figured out nearly every other plot point.

Goat of the Week: Cordelia

After Eric and Chris made one attempt to abduct Cordelia, she went to join the human pyramid rather than go somewhere safe. Granted, Eric and Chris were not likely to kidnap her in public. However, she went unescorted to a water fountain, where Eric and Daryl were able to take her without anyone noticing. She was very lucky that Buffy and Xander arrived in time.

Random Commentary

American football does resemble rugby more than it resembles what the rest of the world (save for Canada, Australia, and a few other places) call "football." Giles failed to notice the main difference between American football and rugby. American Football is to Rugby as a series of 100 meter dashes is to a marathon. Rugby is an endurance sport. The athletes spend most of the match/game (I am sorry, but I am an American. I am not sure what they are called in rugby) running. In American football, there is only one hour of game time over the course of three hours. About 40 minutes of game time is spent standing or waiting. It is very rare for a single player to play both offense and defense. Players often sit out plays. Therefore, there most players spend less than ten minutes doing any physical exertion. However, the athletes are going full out in those ten minutes.

An American football player may find himself in a position of no escape with a 330 pound (150 kilogram) opponent wearing 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of protection running at him at full speed. That player needs protection himself. There is no way that a 330 pound player wearing 40 pounds of equipment can run full speed for a full rugby match, so protection is not as necessary.


Other than to alert Buffy that there was grave robbing going on, why did Eric and Chris rebury two of the empty coffins and leave the third open in an open grave?

There appear to be at least several hundred students at Sunnydale High School. Why would Eric give Daryl only three choices for heads, and why would they happen to belong to the three regular female characters? Granted, all three are very attractive, but they are not the only attractive ones.

Chris and Eric needed to kill Cordelia so that they could attach her head to another body made up of body parts from others in order to reanimate it. Absolutely no part of the previous sentence makes sense. There is no need to attach Cordelia's head to another body; it is already attached to a body. She can simply be killed and reanimated. In fact, there is no need to kill or reanimate Cordelia's body because it is already animated.

Part of Chris and Eric's reasoning is that they needed someone so undesirable that the victim would have no choice but to be with Daryl. If so, why would Daryl pick out possible faces based on appearance? If anything, he would want someone who would be undesirable, which eliminates any of the regular characters.

This assumes that an undesirable person would want to be with Daryl. In Annie Hall, Woody Allen took Groucho Marx's joke about not wanting to be part of a club that would have him as a member and applied it to relationships. Would Daryl want someone so undesirable as to want him? Would a reanimated Cordelia want someone so undesirable that he would want a now much less desirable her?

It is also not clear why Eric and Chris were so attached to the partial body that they had. In a town with the mortality rate of Sunnydale, it should not be too long before another dead young woman becomes available.

Memorable Dialogue

"Boy, I guess we never realized how much you like that chair." Buffy

"Speak English, not whatever they speak in..." Buffy
"England." Giles
"Yeah, you just say, 'I got a thing; you maybe have a thing; maybe we could have a thing.'" Buffy

"This chair woman, we are talking Ms. Calendar, right?" Xander
"What makes you think that?" Giles
"Simple deduction. Ms. Calendar is reasonably dollsome, especially for someone in your age bracket. She already knows you're a school librarian, so you don't have to worry about how to break that embarrassing news to her." Xander
"And she's the only woman we've actually ever seen speak to you. Add it up, it all spells 'Duh.'" Buffy
"Now is it the time to have a talk about the facts of life?" Xander
"You know, I've suddenly decided that this is none of your business." Giles
"Cause that whole stork thing is a smoke screen." Xander

"Grave robbing? That's new, interesting." Giles
"I know you meant to say gross and disturbing." Buffy
"Yes, yes, of course. Terrible thing. Must put a stop to it. Damn it." Giles

"You know what the key is? If Dr. Clark doesn't understand your experiment, he gives you higher marks so it looks like he understands your experiment. 'Effects of Sub-Violet Light Spectrum Depravation on the Development of Fruit Flies,' that should do the trick." Chris

"I don't think anyone should have to do anything educational in school if they don't want to." Cordelia

"You know what this means?" Buffy
"Fondren might actually beat Sunnydale in the cross-town body-count competition this year?" Xander

"Why is it that every conversation you people have has the word 'corpse' in it?" Cordelia

"Darn, I have cheerleader practice tonight. Boy, I wish I knew you were going to be digging up dead people sooner. I would have canceled." Cordelia

"Love makes you do the wacky." Willow

"Sorry, but I'm and old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and women have the babies." Buffy

"And he broke Cordy's heart? Thus possibly proving its existence." Buffy

"By the way, are we hoping to find a body, or no body?" Willow
"Call me an optimist, but I'm hoping to find a fortune in gold doubloons." Xander
"Body would mean flesh-eating demon; no body would point toward the army of zombies thing. Take your pick." Giles

"Why are these terrible things always happening to me?" Cordelia
"Karma." Xander

"Why go to all the trouble to dig up three girls, only to chop them up and throw them away? It doesn't make any sense, especially from a time-management standpoint." Buffy

"In my capacity as school official, this search is unauthorized. I cannot condone it." Giles
"Fine, your butt's covered. Wanna grab a locker?" Buffy
"Yes, of course." Giles

"People don't fall in love with what's right in front of them. People want the dream. What they can't have. The more unattainable, the more attractive." Xander
"And for Eric, the unattainable would include everyone that's alive." Willow

"But it's not doable. I mean, making someone from scraps, actually making them live." Buffy
"If it is, my science project's definitely coming in second this year." Willow
"And speaking of love..." Xander
"We were talking about the reanimation of dead tissue." Willow

"I don't know what it is about football that does it for me. I mean, it lacks the grace of basketball, the poetry of baseball. At its best, it's unadorned aggression. It's such a rugged contest." Ms. Calendar
"Rugged? American football?" Giles
"And that's funny because?" Ms. Calendar
"No, I just think it's rather odd that a nation that prides itself on its virility should feel compelled to strap on 40 pounds of protective gear just in order to play rugby." Giles
"Is this your normal strategy for a first date: dissing my country's national pastime?" Ms. Calendar
"Did you just say 'date?'" Giles
"You noticed that, huh?" Ms. Calendar

"A good rule of thumb for a first date is don't do anything so exciting it'll be hard to top on a second date." Ms. Calendar

"Did you just say 'second date?'" Giles
"You noticed that, huh?" Ms. Calendar

"Vampires get dates. Hell, even the school librarian sees more action than me." Xander

Characters in Peril


Evil Escaped

Buffy and the Law

Spoiler Questions

Highlight the space after each question to find the answer. It is strongly recommended that you do not do so if you have not seen episodes through the episode indicated.

This page was last modified on November 4, 2012