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BEAUTY & THE BEASTS (ep #3.04)

(a.k.a. Next, on a Very Special Buffy...)

Written by: Marti Noxon
Directed by: James Whitmore Jr.
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendan as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Seth Green as Oz
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Starring: Fab Filippo as Scott Hope
John Patrick White as Pete
Danielle Weeks as Debbie
Phill Lewis as Mr. Platt
Eliza Dushku as Faith

Plot Summary

A classmate has been playing Jekyll and Hyde in order to impress his girlfriend.

Plot Details

The episode opened with Buffy, then Willow reading Call of the Wild to Oz (in werewolf state). Xander arrived to take over watching Oz because she had a test. Once Willow left, Xander decided that the book would make a better pillow than reading and went to sleep.

Meanwhile, Faith and Buffy were on patrol. Faith was interested in knowing where the students went to make out and whether Buffy had been doing so with Scott Hope. Buffy said that they did not have more than a few dates. She also took issue with Faith's belief that all men are beasts who are only in it for the chase.

The next morning, Giles was upset because a student was murdered while Oz was a werewolf. It did not help matters that there was an open window in the book cage where Oz was locked and that Xander was asleep for most of the night.

Meanwhile, Buffy was meeting with the school psychologist, who started to lecture her on how she needs not to get lost in love.

That night, Buffy was on patrol and ran into Angel, who somehow managed to find pants between now and when we last saw him. He either did not recognize Buffy or was still upset about being sent to Hell because they fought. Buffy beat him unconscious, dragged him to his old mansion, and locked him in manacles.

At the morgue, Willow, Xander, and Cordelia examined the body of the dead student. Willow was the only one who was able to maintain her composure, at least until she gathered the necessary evidence, when she fainted.

Buffy decided to relieve Faith in the Oz watch. Giles was a little suspicious about the books that Buffy was reading. She claimed that she dreamt that Angel came back. Giles either believed her or pretended to believe her.

Later that day, Buffy went to see Mr. Platt for a two o'clock appointment (even though the clock said 4:12). It took her a while to figure out that Mr. Platt not moving. He was dead.

Meanwhile, two students, Pete and Debbie, went into a storage room. He got very upset when he found that she apparently poured out a glow-in-the-dark drink that he concocted. Pete then got very veiny and started to beat Debbie while spouting cliché abusive male statements. Afterward, she met with Oz, who was not happy to see her with a black eye. Pete was not happy to see her with him.

In the library, Giles confirmed that Mr. Platt was killed shortly before Buffy arrived, which meant that he was killed during the day. Therefore, Oz did not kill him. Oz locked himself in his cage while Buffy and Willow went to confront Debbie. She did not seem to appreciate their concern and would not cooperate.

Meanwhile, Pete went to confront Oz. Pete transformed to his veiny appearance and tore the door off of the book cage. They tussled for a little bit until Oz turned into a werewolf. They fought some more when Buffy, Giles, Willow, Faith, and Debbie interrupted. Buffy tried to shoot one of them with the tranquilizer rifle, but Debbie pushed her, which resulted in Giles getting shot instead. Tweed apparently does not work as well on darts as it does on crossbow bolts, so he fell unconscious. Meanwhile, Oz ran off.

Faith and Willow took off after Oz. Faith and Oz struggled for a bit until Willow pulled his tail. This got Oz off of Faith, which allowed her to recover the tranquilizer rifle and shoot Oz.

Meanwhile Buffy fought with Pete. He escaped and found Debbie. Rather than being grateful for her keeping Buffy from shooting him, he instead blamed her for Buffy finding out. By the time Buffy arrived, Debbie was dead. Pete and Buffy fought again, when Angel arrived and killed Pete. Afterward, for the first time, Angel recognized Buffy. Both cried.

The Good

There was at least an attempt to discuss a serious issue.

The Bad

I get that this episode is trying to discuss a serious issue, but most of the main plot felt like "A Very Special Episode" of a much lesser show. Like many of Buffy's weaker episodes, it focused on people we have never seen before and will never see again. (I am getting tired of having to write this.) Pete and Debbie were never more than clichés, so I never cared about them. Part of this was because the actors were weak, a rarity on Buffy, but part of it was the writing. Marti Noxon wrote some of the best episodes of the previous season, but this episode does not approach her best work.

Between this episode (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), "Some Assembly Required" (Bride of Frankenstein), "Bad Eggs" (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), and "Go Fish" (Creature from the Black Lagoon); my guess is that a new rule is that Buffy should never try to remake classic horror films.

Overall Rank: 139

Action: 7

Buffy and Angel fought when she first found him.

Pete and Oz had a fight in the library. After a bit, Buffy took over for Oz.

Faith and Willow eventually chased Oz down after Oz struggled with Faith.

Comedy: 0

Other than Cordelia's "Oz ate someone" line, there was no comedy in this episode.

Drama: 6

Oz had to face the possibility that, in wolf form, he might have been responsible for someone's death while Buffy had to deal with Angel's return.

This episode was probably intended to be more dramatic than it turned out to be.

Romance: 2

Buffy saw Angel for the first time this season, and the main plot was driven by Pete and Debbie's relationship. However, there was not much romance.

Character Development: 0

Importance: 1

Buffy now knows that Angel has returned to Sunnydale.

Most Valuable Player: Faith

In addition to being a weak episode overall, it was also weak when it came to heroics. There were only two really candidates: Faith, who shot Oz, and Angel, who killed Pete. I am guessing that Buffy could have handled Pete without Angel, so Faith gets the MVP.

Sherlock Holmes Award: Oz

Oz figured out that Jeff Orkin and Mr. Platt both had Debbie in common, which might mean that Pete was the villain of the week.

Goat of the Week: Pete

By the time this episode started, Pete was too far gone to control himself. However, when he started to drink the glow-in-the-dark liquid, he placed himself on this course that would result in his death. Some might want to give this award to Debbie for not leaving Pete, but her situation was more complicated. Abusive partners tend to be most dangerous when the victim is leaving or trying to leave. She was simply in a dangerous position and does not deserve to be the Goat. Her pushing Buffy when Buffy was trying to shoot Oz does merit a little consideration.

Random Commentary

I am a psychologist, albeit not the counseling type. However, I know enough about counseling to know that Mr. Platt spoke too much and listened too little during his session with Buffy. Furthermore, he made conclusions well before he had sufficient information. I know that the point was to have someone tell Buffy what she needed to hear in as little screentime as possible, but the sessions felt wrong.


Why was Giles much more sympathetic to Buffy falling asleep while watching Oz than he was when Xander fell asleep while watching Oz? Watcher's Pet!

I do not understand why anyone thought that Oz killed Jeff Orkin. To do so, Oz, as a werewolf, would have had to figure out that it could escape through the window, sneak out without waking Xander, kill Jeff, and sneak back in without waking Xander. Oz is not that intelligent as a werewolf. He usually focuses on the cage, because he can see out through the cage. He does not go looking for windows and does not know how to work them. He is neither stealthy nor quiet. Finally, once free, he would not sneak back into the cage. Given the information that they had, Oz's suggestion that there was another werewolf in town was far more plausible.

Memorable Dialogue

"I can handle the Oz full Monty. I mean, not handle-handle like hands-to-flesh handle." Xander
"OK, well, it's not for you. It's for me because I'm still getting used to half a Monty." Willow
"Oh, good. Half? You and Oz? Which half?" Xander
"Wouldn't you like to know." Willow

"All men are beasts, Buffy." Faith
"OK, I was hoping not to get that cynical till I was at least 40." Buffy
"It's not cynical. I mean, it's realistic. Every guy from Manimal to Mr. 'I Love The English Patient' has beast in him, and I don't care how sensitive they act. They're all still just in it for the chase." Faith

"We have a marching jazz band?" Buffy
"Yeah, but, you know, since the best jazz is improvisational, we'd been going off in all directions, banging into floats. Scary." Oz

"We're not gonna be friends. You have friends already, I hope. Friends are a good thing. They like you, agree with you, tell you what you want to hear. That's not what you need right now. What you need is a trained, not-too-crazy professional who will always give you his honest opinion, which I offer you." Mr. Platt
"Not too crazy, those are your credentials?" Buffy
"Look, Buffy, any person—grown-up, shrink, Pope—any person who claims to be totally sane is either lying or not very bright. I mean, everyone has problems. Everyone has demons, right?" Mr. Platt

"Lots of people lose themselves in love. It's no shame. They write songs about it. The hitch is, you can't stay lost. Sooner or later, you have to get back to yourself." Mr. Platt

"Oz ate someone last night." Cordelia
"He did not!" Willow
"Oz does not eat people. It's more werewolf play. You know, I bat you around a little bit, like a cat toy. I have harmless wolf fun. Is it Oz's fault that, you know, side effect, people get cut to ribbons, and maybe then he'll take a nibble and... I'm not helping, am I?" Xander

"It would take someone of extraordinary will and character to survive that and retain any semblance of self. Most likely, he'd be a monster." Giles
"A lost cause?" Buffy
"Maybe, maybe not. In my experience, there are two types of monster. The first can be redeemed or, more importantly, wants to be redeemed." Giles
"And the second type?" Buffy
"The second is void of humanity, cannot respond to reason or love." Giles

"Two o'clock, Buffy Summers, right? Wait, don't turn around, OK? And don't say anything; just listen. That's your thing, right? There's something going on. I mean, this whole entire story is probably gonna convince you that I'm loony-bin material, but there's nobody else that I can talk to, not Willow and not Giles, nobody. They found out, they'd freak on me or they'd do something, and I need help. I just, I need to talk to someone. I'm so scared. It's this guy." Buffy


Police and Guns

Buffy and the Law

Strictly the Caucasian Persuasion

Giles Unconscious

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 12, 2012