|Written by:||Marti Noxon|
|Directed by:||James Whitmore Jr.|
|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:||Meredith Salinger as Grace Newman|
Christopher Gorham as James Stanley
John Hawkes as George (the Janitor)
Miriam Flynn as
Brian Reddy as
James Marsters as Spike
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
|Co-Starring:||Brian Poth as Fighting Boy|
Sarah Bibb as Fighting Girl
James Lurie as Mr. Miller
Ryan Taszreak as Ben
Anna Coman-Hidy as 50's Girl #1
Vanessa Bednar as 50's Girl #2
The ghosts of lovers who died at Sunnydale High reenacted their deaths by possessing new hosts.
A fellow student named Ben approached Buffy in the Bronze to see if she would ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. She was very much NOT interested. Apparently, Willow believed that Buffy needed to start having more fun and start dating again. Buffy very much disagreed. Willow, in a different stage of dating than Buffy, thought that love was nice.
Next, we saw a couple arguing at Sunnydale High. He insisted that love was forever and pulled out a gun. Fortunately, Buffy arrived just in time to disarm him. Apparently, the couple was not upset at all until something came over them suddenly and caused them to act out the argument.
The next day, Principal Snyder displayed his usual lack of appreciation for Buffy's good deed. He was convinced that Buffy created some massive conspiracy to explain away how the previous night's actions were all her fault. Fortunately, a vegan chained himself to the snack machine, which required Snyder's immediate attention. While he was gone, a yearbook from 1955 mysteriously slid out of the bookcase onto the floor. Buffy put it back.
In history class, Buffy started zoning out and found herself in the same classroom in 1955. She saw a young female teacher (Grace Newman) talking with a male student (James) who lingered after class. It looked like they might be in love. When she woke up, she saw the teacher write "DON'T WALK AWAY FROM ME BITCH!" on the chalkboard. The class was very amused.
Buffy told Xander about these events after class. He was not convinced that there was anything out of the ordinary, at least by Sunnydale High standards. He changed his mind when a hand reached out of his locker and grabbed him.
That night, the janitor and a teacher suddenly started to act out a conversation that ended with the fight that we saw at the end of the teaser. Unfortunately, Giles was around instead of Buffy, so this encounter ended with the janitor shooting and killing the teacher.
Just to remind us about our favorite vampire trio, we saw that Drusilla liked a place that Angel picked out for them. Spike, on the other hand, thought that the new place was a little to sunny for his tastes.
Giles came to the conclusion that Jenny was causing this episode's mysterious events as a way to contact the other characters. Nobody else seemed to buy it. Willow did a little checking on her computer and found a case from 1955 in which a student and a teacher who were having an affair died in a murder-suicide. They were the couple that Buffy saw in her dream.
Talk about murder and suicide caused Xander to become hungry, so they went to the cafeteria. While Cordelia was ranting about the Sadie Hawkins dance, the food suddenly turned into live snakes. Principal Snyder and the police chief decided to say that a backed-up sewer line caused the problems. Snyder was worried that people will eventually find out that they were on a hellmouth. The chief was unsympathetic and suggested that Snyder take it up with the mayor. Snyder quickly backed down.
Willow suggested that an exorcism was the best solution. Buffy sat on the hot spot where Miss Newman was murdered while the other three formed a triangle. Buffy saw James and Grace dancing in a room. The right side of Cordelia's face had turned red and grotesque, but his face turned even more grotesque than Cordelia's. Finally, an arm reached through the floor and tried to drag Willow down. She screamed for Giles, who rescued her. At midnight, the characters started the spell, but a swarm of visual effect black dots chased them out.
Giles finally agreed that the spirit was James and not Jenny. Buffy realized that James sought compassion, but she believed that he did not deserve any. She stepped away and heard a ghostly voice saying that he needed her. She immediately returned to the school and, as the black dots parted for her, walked into the building.
Buffy met Angel in the school. His dialogue suggested that the black dots were supposed to be wasps. She was possessed and started to play James's side of the reenactment. Angel was at first a bit confused before he started to play Grace's role. This carried out until James, in Buffy's body, shot Grace, in Angel's body, and went to kill himself in a music room. This time, Grace, in Angel's bulletproof body, was able to forgive him. They kissed as bright visual effects moved toward the ceiling.
Neither Angel nor Buffy were happy when they finally got control of their own bodies. Buffy was sullen while Angel was busy trying to wash (literally) his shame off of him. He and Drusilla went out for a "vile kill," leaving Spike to step out of his wheelchair and kick it, vowing to get back at Angel.
It is good to see Principal Snyder again after a long absence.
The story is good for a stand-alone story.
This is another episode that focuses on characters that we have not met before and will never meet again.
The ghosts of James and Grace tried act out their deaths three times, once successfully.
There is little comedy other than a few funny lines.
Giles is still in mourning for Jenny, and Buffy is still mourning Angel.
James and Grace's spirits were feeling a lot of angst.
Willow appeared very happy in her romance and wanted Buffy to start dating so she could be happy as well. We never actually see Oz, however.
Most of this episode's events came from James and Grace's doomed romance and parallel Buffy's romance with Angel.
The climax gave the excuse to see Buffy and Angel acting as lovers one more time.
Willow is comfortable enough with the idea of Xander and Cordelia being together to make jokes about it. She also enjoys her teaching responsibilities and has been studying magic.
Buffy still feels guilty about what happened to Angel and believes that it was her fault. In her mind, she killed him.
Giles naturally feels pain because of Jenny's death. He seemed desperate to believe that the hauntings were cause by Jenny trying to contact them.
Spike is more physically able than he lets on. His anger toward Angel is also growing.
Principal Snyder is apparently aware that the school is built on a Hellmouth.
As an episode, this was not particularly important. However, it did make Joss Whedon realize that David Boreanaz could carry his own series, which inspired the spin-off Angel.
The problem of the week could only be solved by Grace forgiving James. However, it would be difficult for her to do so because (1) she is dead, and (2) James killed her. Somehow, she managed to find someone who could be shot and survive so she could forgive James and let him rest in peace without causing any more innocent people to die. Willow would also get consideration, but she gets the Sherlock Holmes award. Buffy and Angel were not acting voluntarily at the end, so they do not get consideration.
Willow discovered the James and Grace were the culprits and came up with the exorcism spell to stop them.
James is this week's goat (1) for not listening to Grace's good advice to stop their relationship and (2) for killing Grace and himself in such a way as to cause their spirits to be restless and cause more innocent people to die.
I think that someone of Willow's ethnic background might be a little more careful when using the phrase "final solution."
In "Halloween," when Willow was a ghost, she could be seen by others and could talk, but she could not manipulate any physical object. In this episode, the ghosts could not be seen, but they could push a yearbook off of a bookshelf.
Some people were disturbed by the fact that the recording of "I Only Have Eyes for You" heard in the episode was made a few years after the episode took place. I am more disturbed by the atrocious grammar of the title.
Interview with Joss Whedon Joss Whedon talks about how impressed he was with David Boreanaz's performance when he was playing Grace possessing Angel. He also talked about the theme of forgiveness.
"You came; you saw; you rejected." Willow
"Impulsive? Do you remember my ex-boyfriend, the vampire? I slept with him, he lost his soul, and now my boyfriend's gone forever, and the demon that wears his face is killing my friends. The next impulsive decision that I make will involve my choice of dentures." Buffy
"You just went O.J. on your girlfriend." Buffy
"That's right. I wanna thank you. What would Sunnydale High do without you around to incite mayhem, chaos, and disorder?" Principal Snyder
"I don't incite! I stopped that boy from killing his girlfriend. Ask him. Ask the janitor." Buffy
"People can be coerced, Summers. I'm no stranger to conspiracy. I saw JFK. I'm a truth-seeker. I've got a missing gun and two confused kids on my hands—pieces of the puzzle—and I'm gonna look at all the pieces carefully and rationally, and I'm gonna keep looking until I know exactly how this is all your fault." Principal Snyder
"I bet you'll think coding is pretty cool. I mean, if you find two-digit, multi-stacked conversions and primary-number clusters a big hoot." Willow
"'Something weird is going on.' Isn't that our school motto?" Xander
"Xander, what happened? Did Cordelia win another round in the broom closet?" Willow
"This was no wimpy chain rattler. This was 'I'm dead as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore.'" Xander
"It's paradise—big windows, lovely gardens. It'll be perfect when we want the sunlight to kill us." Spike
"I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. In fact, I, well, I encourage you to always challenge me when you feel it's appropriate. You should never be cowed by authority, except, of course, in this instance when I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong." Giles
"You're dreams are becoming wicked accurate, Buffy. You wouldn't happen to see me coming across some big cash or possibly knowing the love of a woman in the full body sense?" Xander
"I hope you guys aren't going to the Sadie Hawkins dance tonight, because I'm organizing a boycott. Do you realize that the girls have to ask the guys and pay and everything? I mean, whose genius idea was that?" Cordelia
"Obviously some hairy-legged feminist." Xander
"Really, well we need to nip this thing in the bud. I mean, otherwise, things are going to get really scary." Cordelia
"To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it." Giles
"OK, overidentify much." Cordelia
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.