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REPTILE BOY (ep #2.05)

(a.k.a. Frats are Bad: or, The Attack of the Giant Snake, Part 1 of Many)

Written by: David Greenwalt
Directed by: David Greenwalt
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon 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: Greg Vaughn as Richard Anderson
Todd Babcock as Tom Warner
Jordana Spiro as Callie Megan Anderson
Co-Starring: Robin Atkin Downes as Machida
Danny Strong as Jonathan
Christopher Dalhberg as Tackle
Jason Posey as Linebacker
Coby Bell as Young Man

Plot Summary

Buffy and Cordelia went to a fraternity party where they were drugged and offered as a sacrifice to a snake demon.

Plot Details

The episode opened with Buffy, Willow, and Xander watching a Bollywood film. Of the three, Willow came the closest to understanding what was going on. Xander was bored, but Buffy was happy that things were quiet in Sunnydale. She had to know that she was jinxing things. In another part of town, a woman (Callie) jumped out of a second-story window to flee from some robed men. She made her way to a graveyard where one of the robed men (Richard) caught her.

The next morning, Buffy reported, ten minutes late, for her training session with Giles. He was concerned that she was not taking her training seriously enough, but she felt that she had too little time for herself as it is. He thought that she should be happy to have responsibility, but she was not convinced. Eventually, he just laid down the law and demanded that she do her duties.

That afternoon, when she was supposed to be training with Giles, Buffy hung out with Xander and Willow in front of the school. Richard and Tom pulled up to pick up Cordelia. Tom wanted to meet Buffy, so Cordelia dragged her to them, almost literally. Richard was a jerk, but Tom was able to charm her until Giles came to fetch her.

That night, Buffy found a bracelet that Callie was wearing. Angel came by and noted that he could smell blood on it. This led to an awkward conversation about dating, coffee, and 225-year age differences. The main gist was that they had strong feelings for each other but could not decide whether or how to proceed.

The next day, Cordelia asked Buffy to go with her to Richard and Tom's fraternity party. After Cordelia delivered a long speech, Buffy agreed to go. Meanwhile, Richard initiated a new member (Young Man) into his fraternity, which happened to worship an entity named Machida. Callie was chained to a wall, begging to be released.

Later, Xander was happy to hear that Buffy was going to the party with Cordelia instead of Angel. However, he was not happy that Tom would be there as well. When Buffy showed the bracelet to Giles, Xander was very quick to suggest canceling all plans so that she could put in some extra patrolling that night. Buffy managed to get out of it by saying that she needed to take care of her sick mother. Giles actually believed her

Willow was freaked out that Buffy lied to Giles to go to a frat party. She was resigned to being able to do nothing more than help Giles research, but Xander wanted to go to the party himself.

Cordelia was clearly much more comfortable at the party than Buffy was. Buffy was so far in the corner than not even Xander could find her. Unfortunately, a drunk frat member (Tackle) found her. Fortunately, Tom rescued her.

Richard, the drunk, and a third frat member (Linebacker) discovered that Xander crashed the party. They pretended that he was a new pledge and decided to "initiate" him by making him go topless except for an overstuffed bra, a blonde wig, and badly applied lipstick.

Buffy later went outside, where Richard and Tom finally managed to get her to drink. Buffy staggered back into the house, climbed the stairs, and collapsed on a bed, not realizing that Cordelia was passed out on the floor. Richard came in with rape on his mind. Tom stopped him by pointing out that Buffy was for the one they serve.

Meanwhile, Willow realized that the bracelet referred to Kent Preparatory School. A quick search found a story about a student, Callie, who had been missing for a week, and a further search found others who disappeared a year ago to that day. Giles wanted to call Buffy, but Willow stopped him and suggested calling Angel instead.

Buffy and Cordelia woke to find themselves chained in the basement alongside Callie. There were several robed figures and Tom, who had diamond shaped scars on his chest and back.

Angel said that Buffy found the bracelet near the south wall of the cemetery. Willow remembered that the frat house was near the cemetery and told Angel and Giles where Buffy really was. Giles was upset that Buffy lied, but Angel was more worried about whether she had a date. Willow told them both off and said that they needed to help Buffy.

Xander was not happy when he left the party. He did notice that Cordelia's car was still there.

Tom read an invocation in which he thanked Machida for granting them wealth and offered Buffy, Cordelia, and Callie as tribute. Machida—a giant, snake-like demon—rose to accept.

Xander, dressed in a robe, found Giles, Willow, and Angel approaching. They filled each other in on what is happening. The four of them barged into the house and started to attack the frat members who were not in the basement. Xander, in particular, took the opportunity to work out his aggressions, but Angel and Giles joined in as well. In fact, Willow had to remind them that they were there to rescue Buffy.

Buffy did not need rescuing. She was broke out of her chains and attacked the fraternity members who did not go upstairs to check out the commotion. She then stabbed Machida just as the others made their way downstairs. Cordelia was very grateful and thanked Angel for rescuing her. After the others left, Giles apologized for pushing Buffy too hard and promised to do more than a lot of nudging.

In the end, Cordelia decided to go back to dating fellow high school students. Current and former fraternity members faced many repercussions, including life sentences, reduced profits, tax troubles, and suicides. Angel finally suggested getting coffee with Buffy, sometime.

The Good

Cordelia had some good lines.

It was good to see Willow chew Giles and Angel out.

The Bad

The importance rating of 0 says it all. A person can skip this episode and miss nothing of importance.

The final scene was very weak. It would take years for all of the events that they described took place. However, events that I will not spoil would make other things that happen in that scene impossible. It was also a little too moralistic. We already figured out that the fraternity members were bad guys. We do not need to be told that.

Overall, this is an episode that felt like a typical episode of a mediocre show, not of a show capable of greatness like in "Prophecy Girl."

Overall Rank: 134

Action: 5

In the teaser, Callie tried to escape from the frat house but was recaptured.

Xander, Angel, Giles, and Willow barged into the fraternity house and the first three proceeded to beat on some of the fraternity members.

As Cordelia was about to be fed to Machida, Buffy freed herself. She attacked the fraternity members in the basement before killing Machida.

Comedy: 3

The description of the Bollywood movie was humorous.

Charisma Carpenter did a good job at doing a very bad fake laugh. Self-centered Cordelia was also fun.

Giles had a little slapstick humor when training Buffy, but the scenes were more comedic unintentionally for having Giles, who is supposedly trained in obsolete weaponry, trying to use a two-handed weapon (quarter staff) with just his right hand.

Drama: 3

Buffy once again had to deal with the struggle between her duties as a slayer and her desire for a social life.

Willow finally blew up at both Giles and Angel for the way that they have been treating Buffy.

Romance: 5

Cordelia had a new boyfriend, Richard. Somehow, I doubt that their relationship will survive his trying to have her killed or his lengthy prison sentence. By the end of the episode, she had already moved on to Jonathan, who was last seen almost kissing an Inca mummy girl.

Buffy is having vivid dreams about Angel, perhaps ones that cannot be described on broadcast television. She wants him to make a move toward a relationship and went to a party with Tom. I doubt that Buffy and Tom's relationship will survive his trying to have her killed or his lengthy prison sentence either.

Character Development: 3

Buffy feels overwhelmed by her slaying duties and by her feelings toward Angel.

Angel feels a little guilty about his feelings for Buffy. He finally brought himself to asking her on a coffee date.

Giles realizes that he should not treat Buffy as if slaying were her entire life.

Willow showed some inner strength when she finally told Giles and Angel off.

Xander feels protective over Buffy and appeared to be a little concerned about Cordelia as well.

Importance: 0

Most Valuable Player: Buffy

Nobody really stood out. In fact, Buffy nearly received Goat of the Week. However, she did break out of her chains and killed Machida, so she wins the MVP for this episode.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Willow

Willow recognized that the bracelet was found near the fraternity house where Buffy was attending a party. She got bonus points for recognizing what Giles and Angel were doing to Buffy. Therefore, she earned her first award of the show.

Goat of the Week: Cordelia

It not a good idea to bring the slayer to the demon that one worships. However, there is no reason to think that Tom or Richard even knew that there was such a thing as a slayer, much less that Buffy was the slayer. Therefore, I cannot fault them. Machida was simply unlucky, so it was not his fault. Buffy and Cordelia, however, should have known that going to a fraternity party and that drinking alcohol was not a good thing. Buffy did manage to free herself and kill Machida, so Cordelia is this episode's goat.

Random Commentary

I am guessing that it is just coincidence that Callie and Richard had the same last name. Anderson is a fairly common surname in the United States.

One of the nice things about the World Wide Web is that it is "world wide." I can read perspectives from nations other than my own. It surprises me sometimes when I find that people in other nations are unfamiliar with things that I take for granted, like fraternities.

Fraternities are all-male social organizations. (All-female versions are called "sororities".) Most have a national organization with chapters at various colleges and universities in the United States. The names of most of them consist of two or three Greek letters, so, collectively, they are often referred to as the "Greek system."

They are fairly controversial. Supporters of fraternities tend to tout the following benefits:

Not everyone agrees that fraternities are beneficial. Opponents claim the following: I do not know how true the claims of either side are. I do suspect that the excesses of fraternities are less true today than in the past. For example, laws against underage drinking have pushed many fraternities to ban alcohol at their functions, at least officially.

It is my understanding that the film, Animal House, is a fairly accurate depiction of fraternity life in the time in which the film took place.


Several people have noticed that Xander read about the sentences of the fraternity members in a newspaper with the headline about a fraternity being arrested. Justice does not work that fast in the United States, so it is unlikely that sentence would be passed on the same day as the arrest. However, it does not say which fraternity was arrested. It could be that, by coincidence, another fraternity was arrested the same day that sentences were pronounced. True, the photograph looked like the Delta Zeta Kappa house, but the new fraternity could have taken over the old house, or there could be several houses based on the same design. OK, this is a stretch, even for me. That final scene was very dumb.

Nancy Stafford wondered how Angel was able to enter the fraternity house without an invitation. A fraternity house is a place of residence, and the invitation was given only to Xander. Angel should have been wearing the robe so that the fraternity member could have invited him in instead.

DVD Extras

Reptile Boy Script—Ordinarily, I would say it would be better to include a script for a good episode rather than for this episode. However, I found it useful in determining which guest star played which fraternity member and in determining who Young Guy, Tackle, and Linebacker were.

Reptile Boy Commentary by Writer and Director David Greenwalt—Greenwalt spent most of the time describing what is occurring on screen. If I were blind, I would find it very useful and would wish that it were done in the better episodes. I can see, however, so this commentary was mostly useless. There are spoilers through the third season and for the first season of Angel. The rare insights include:

Memorable Dialogue

"She's sad because her lover gave her twelve coins, but then the wizard cut open the bag of salt, and now the dancing minions have nowhere to put their big maypole fish thing." Willow
"Why is she singing?" Xander
"Lover? I thought that was her chiropractor." Buffy
"Because of that thing he did with her feet? No, that was personal." Willow

"You could ask him for coffee some night. It's the nonrelationship drink of choice. It's not a date; it's a caffeinated beverage. OK, sure, it's hot and bitter, like a relationship that way." Willow

"Buffy, did you lose weight? And your hair. All right, I respect you too much to be dishonest. The hair's a little. Well, that really isn't the point here, is it? The Zeta Kappas have to have a certain balance at their party, and Richard explained it all to me, but I was so busy really listening that I didn't hear much. Anyway, the deal is they need you to go, and if you don't go, I can't, and I'm talking about Richard Anderson, as in Anderson Farms, Anderson Aeronautics, and Anderson Cosmetics. Well, you see why I have to go. Buffy, these men are rich, and I am not being shallow. Think of all the poor people I could help with all my money." Cordelia

"You don't have a sick mother, but you'd rather go to a frat party where there's gonna be drinking and older guys and probably an orgy." Willow

"This isn't about fun; it's about duty, your duty to help me achieve permanent prosperity, OK? Dos and Don'ts: Don't wear black, silk, chiffon, or spandex. These are my trademarks. And don't do that weird thing with your hair." Cordelia

"You know what's cool about college? The diversity. You've got all the rich people and all of the other people." Cordelia

"Why do you think she went to that party? Because you gave her the brush-off! And you never let her do anything except work and patrol! And I know she's the chosen one, but you're killing her with the pressure. I mean, she's 16 going on 40! And you, I mean, you're gonna live forever! You don't have time for a cup of coffee?" Willow

"They may be involved in some kind of ritual." Giles
"With the missing girls." Willow
"With Buffy." Angel
"OK, that is the guy you want to party with." Xander

"That's for the wig, that's for the bra... that's for the makeup, and that's for the last 16 1/2 years." Xander

"Guys, Buffy, snake, basement, now!" Willow

"I told one lie. I had one drink." Buffy
"Yes, and you were very nearly devoured by a giant demon snake. The words, 'Let that be a lesson' are a tad redundant at this juncture." Giles

Characters in Peril


Police and Guns

Buffy and the Law

Unusual Pairings

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 5, 2012