Buffy slept with Angel, which caused him to lose his soul and engage in numerous evil acts until Buffy was forced to send him to hell.
Buffy returned to Sunnydale with some issues concerning her "death" the previous season, but it was nothing that a bit of bone smashing could not solve.
Soon afterward, two vampires—Spike and Drusilla—arrived seeking a cure for Drusilla. After a couple of attempts, Spike failed in his goal to kill Buffy, but he succeeded in capturing Angel and using him to cure Drusilla. He himself was crippled when Buffy, her friends, and a new slayer, Kendra, arrived to rescue Angel.
Xander and Cordelia discovered and acted upon a mutual attraction, much to their regret. The sight of Xander and Cordelia kissing greatly upset Willow, even though she had already started dating Oz, who turned out to be a werewolf. Meanwhile, Giles and Jenny Calendar started dating, but that was aborted when she found out about his seedy past.Drusilla sought to reassemble the Judge, a demon created to destroy any trace of humanity. After failing to keep a key component out of her hands, a very wet Angel and Buffy had sex. The aftermath led to a moment of true happiness for Angel, which caused him to lose his soul.
Angel joined with Drusilla and Spike and accompanied Drusilla and the Judge for what they expected to be the Judge's first mass slaughter in centuries. Fortunately, Xander had latent military training from an earlier adventure and used it to steal a rocket launcher that Buffy used to blow the Judge to bits.
Meanwhile, Buffy learned that Jenny Calendar was a member of the Romany clan that originally cursed Angel. She was sent to Sunnydale to watch over him and to separate him from Buffy in order to ensure that he not receive a moment of true happiness. This revelation caused her to become estranged from the rest of the characters. She tried to make amends by attempting to curse Angel again, but he killed her before she could do so.
Construction workers unearthed a stone block that contained Acathla, a demon that would suck all living things into Hell if a sword was removed from his chest. When Angel failed to do so, he lured Buffy away from the others while Drusilla led an attack to capture Giles so they could interrogate him for any detail that Angel might have missed.
Meanwhile, Willow discovered a back-up disk containing Jenny's curse. Willow was attempting to reinstate the curse when Drusilla struck. In the battle, Willow was knocked into a coma, Xander had his right arm broken, Kendra was killed, and Giles was dragged away.
A now able Spike was frustrated at Angel's attempts to move in on Drusilla and wanted to preserve his food supply on earth. This led him to form an alliance with Buffy in which he would keep Giles alive and help her fight Angel if she let Spike and Drusilla leave town afterward. In the big fight, Spike managed to hold of both Angel and Drusilla while Buffy finished off the minion vampires and Xander rescued Giles. Buffy then fought Angel while Spike dragged Drusilla into his car and out of town.
Meanwhile, Willow got the idea to try to curse Angel again, despite Xander's misgivings. She successfully performed the curse but too late. Angel managed to pull the sword out of Acathla, and its mouth was opening. The only way to close its mouth would be if Angel himself were shoved in. After one last kiss, Buffy shoved him in. However, the emotional trauma of the past few months was very painful. This was compounded by getting expelled from school and a nasty fight with her mother after she learned that Buffy was a slayer. Buffy ended the season by running away from Sunnydale.
The triangle of Spike, Drusilla, and Angel is probably the most compelling set of villains in the entire show. I noted in my review of "School Hard" that the writers failed to make fans hate Spike and Drusilla like they were supposed to. Instead, fans liked them, with good reason. James Marsters and Juliet Landau are two of the best actors to appear on the show. They were both very charismatic and had great chemistry. David Boreanaz is not quite in their league as an actor (very few actors are), but he is much better playing a villain than he was when he played a good guy.
There was also a story arc this season. I found it very hard to write a plot summary for the first season because not much happened. I could simply write a one paragraph summary of each episode, but there was very little to tie them together. This season, I found it very easy to write a summary because things happened. My only difficulty was that there was sometimes several things going on at once, which made it difficult to organize everything into distinct paragraphs. Still, I welcome that problem over having nothing to write about.
Some fans like to call the second season the best of all seven seasons. I can debunk that argument in thirteen words: "Some Assembly Required," "Inca Mummy Girl," "Reptile Boy," "Ted," "Bad Eggs," "Go Fish." It is true that Buffy moved from a series of stand-alone episodes to a show with complicated story arcs. However, there were still many stand-alone episodes in which things happen to characters we have not seen before, will not see again, and do not care about. Some of these episodes, like "Lie to Me," "Killed by Death," and "I Only Have Eyes for You" are good for stand-alone episodes, and each season will have a few. However, this season had too much mediocrity than I would like.
The action scenes were much better in the second season than in the first season. It is probably a combination of a larger budget, better writing and directing, and more ambition.
Standout action scenes include:
This season focused more on pain than on humor, so the comedy was rather light, with the very notable exception of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," which was one of the funniest episodes of the entire show.
Comedy highlights include:
In the first season, good drama was the exception rather than the rule. In this season, especially during the last ten episodes, good drama was the rule.
Dramatic highlights include:
This season, romance consisted of more than Buffy and Angel and single episode romances. Giles and Jenny had an on-again off-again romance that ended when Angel killed her. Xander and Cordelia discovered their mutual attraction, and Willow and Oz started dating. Still, most of the latter half of the season centered on the fallout of Buffy and Angel's romance.
Key Romantic moments include:
Buffy started the season carrying some trauma from her "death" in "Prophecy Girl," and ended the season with even more trauma from sending Angel to Hell in "Becoming Pt. 2." In the meantime, her relationship with Angel deepened until they had sex and he lost his soul. Afterward, she watched as he began a killing rampage but could not bring herself to actually killing him.
Willow has matured over the season. She now has a boyfriend and served as a long-term substitute teacher. She relished both roles but regreted the circumstances that led to her having to take over Jenny's class. Willow has also taken an interest in magic and has already cast a few spells.
Xander now has a girlfriend in Cordelia. At first, he was upset, but a genuine affection has grown. He has been the #1 Angel-hater in the group, which has caused some conflict with most of the other characters except for Cordelia.
Giles has some skeletons in his closet. Apparently, he rebelled as a youth by experimenting in the dark arts. This directly resulted in the death of a friend at the time and in the deaths of two more during this season. He also started a romance with Jenny, but it kept getting interrupted by her discomfort with his past, his being upset at her betrayal, and her death. Throughout the season, it was very clear that his relationship with Buffy was the most important thing in his life.
Angel arguably went through the most dramatic change during the season when he lost his soul. He started the season trying to reconnect with Buffy after her return from Los Angeles and had his relationship with her grow deeper. It climaxed in having sex with her during "Surprise." However, this gave him a moment of true happiness, which cost him his soul. Since then, he has dedicated himself to causing as much pain for Buffy as possible. This continued until "Becoming Pt. 2," when Willow succeed in restoring his soul. Unfortunately, it was too late, and Buffy had to send him to Hell.
Cordelia has moved from being simply the comic relief toward becoming a three-dimensional character. She started this transformation by hanging around the other characters, even when she was not in danger. By "The Dark Age," she expected to be treated as part of the group. This transformation accelerated when she discovered that she was attracted to Xander. It was completed in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" when she turned her back on her old life and declared that she will do what she wants regardless of what the popular crowd thinks.
Jenny Calendar was really Janna Kalderash, a Romany woman who was sent to Sunnydale to keep an eye on Angel. She hid this fact from the other characters, which meant that she received much of the blame when Angel turned evil. Her loyalties were divided, and she genuinely wanted to make amends with the other characters. Unfortunately, Angel killed her before she could do so. However, in death, she finally received the forgiveness that she sought in life.
Joyce spent much of the season struggling with her attempt to understand her daughter without knowing that Buffy is a slayer, or what it meant that she was a slayer. She was quite pleased to see what Buffy was capable of during "School Hard," but the relationship went downhill when, in "Passion," she found out that Buffy had had sex and, in "Becoming Pt. 2," she found out that Buffy was a slayer. She is probably spending the summer between seasons two and three regretting her last words to her daughter.
Oz is apparently the only male in Sunnydale to notice the obvious: the hotness of Willow. Other than that, we do not know that much about him. He is in a band and is a werewolf. The latter does not seem to upset him too much, and he is willing to be locked up for three nights each month.
Principal Snyder appears to know about at least some of what is going on in Sunnydale. He knows about the Hellmouth and was sent to keep it quiet. It is not clear if he knows that Buffy is the slayer or if he would consider that a good thing or a bad thing.
Spike came to town and took over vampire leadership from the Anointed One. Once in Sunnydale, he commenced on accomplishing two goals: curing Drusilla and killing Buffy. He succeeded in the former, but barely survived. Soon afterward, his former "Yoda," Angel, turned evil and started moving in on Drusilla. Spike patiently waited to respond and succeeded in preventing Angel from activating Acathla and sucking all living things in the world into Hell.
Drusilla was apparently on her way to insanity before Angel turned her into a vampire. Sometime before the beginning of this season, she had an unfortunate encounter with a mob in Prague, which left her very weak. Fortunately, for her, her boyfriend, Spike, brought her to Sunnydale and cured her, nearly at the cost of his undeath. She showed her appreciation by doing nothing to discourage Angel from trying to move in on her and even collaborated with Angel to destroy their entire food supply. Spike managed to stop them, and it remains to be seen how she will react.
The following characters have received Most Valuable Player awards this season:
The following characters received strong consideration for Most Valuable Player awards this season:
Xander continued to forget that Buffy is the title character of the show and fought hard for MVPs. Buffy managed to get one more than he did during the season, but, so far, they are tied for the most MVPs over the entire series with nine each. Giles and Angel are tied for a distant third with only three each.
The following characters did the most to solve the main mystery this season:
The following characters also received consideration for this award during the season:
In the second season, Giles figured out that this award was made for him (not literally). He won this award most often this season and moved into a tie with Buffy for the most over the first two seasons. Willow also recognized her potential for this award and made a strong showing. She is now tied with Angel for winning this award the third most times.
The following characters sabotaged their cause during the second season:
The following characters came close to becoming the goat of a week:
I suppose that most of the characters should be grateful for the last three of Angel's four Goat awards. Unlike last year, only six characters were killed in the episode for which they won a Goat, although this does not include Angel who was sent bodily into Hell.
Some of the most memorable dialogue of the season includes:
"You know, we've never been close, which is nice, 'cause I don't really like you that much, but you have, on occasion, saved the world, so I'm gonna do you a favor." Cordelia
"And this great favor is?" Buffy
"I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it." Cordelia
"Excuse me?" Buffy
"Whatever's causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain; spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it, 'cause pretty soon, you won't have the loser friends you've got now." Cordelia ("When She Was Bad")
"You get the hell away from my daughter!" Joyce ("School Hard")
"Principal Snyder said you were a troublemaker, and I could care less. I have a daughter who can take care of herself, who's brave and resourceful, and thinks of others in a crisis. No matter who you hang out with or what dumb teenage stuff you think you need to do, I'm gonna sleep better knowing all that." Joyce ("School Hard")
"I have a choice. I can spend my life waiting for Xander to go out with every other girl in the world until he notices me, or I can just get on with my life." Willow
"Good for you." Buffy
"Well, I didn't choose yet." Willow ("Inca Mummy Girl")
"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 ("Reptile Boy")
"Guys, Buffy, snake, basement, now!" Willow ("Reptile Boy")
"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 ("Reptile Boy")
"My mummy used to sing me to sleep at night. 'Run and catch / The lamb is caught in the blackberry patch.' She had the sweetest voice. What will your mummy sing when they find your body?" Drusilla ("Lie to Me")
"Lie to me." Buffy
"Yes, it's terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everyone lives happily ever after." Giles
"Liar." Buffy ("Lie to Me")
"I have to ask. Has either of you girls considered modeling? I have a friend with a camera, strictly high-class nude work. You know, art photographs, but naked. You don't have to answer right away." Willy ("What's My Line Pt. 2")
"Yeah, it bugs me too, seeing him like that. Another five minutes, though, and Angel will be dead, so I forbear. Don't feel too bad for Angel. He's got something you don't have." Spike
"What's that?" Buffy
"Five minutes." Spike ("What's My Line Pt. 2")
"The monkey's the only cookie animal that wears clothes. You know that? You have the sweetest smile I've ever seen. So I'm wondering, do the other cookie animals feel sorta ripped? Like, is the hippo going 'Hey, man, where are my pants? I have my hippo dignity.' And, you know, the monkey's just 'I mock you with my monkey pants.' And then there's a big coup in the zoo." Oz ("What's My Line Pt. 2")
"You talk about slaying like it's a job. It's not. It's who you are." Kendra
"Did you get that from your handbook?" Buffy
"From you." Kendra ("What's My Line Pt. 2")
"Buffy's surprise party will go ahead as we planned, except I won't be wearing a little hat." Giles
"But Buffy and Angel..." Willow
"... May well be in danger as they have before, and, I imagine, will be again. One thing I've learned here in my tenure on the Hellmouth is that there is no good time to relax. Buffy's turning 17 just this once, and she deserves a party." Giles ("Surprise")
"I'm naming all the stars." Drusilla
"You can't see the stars, love. That's the ceiling. Also, it's day." Spike
"I can see them, but I've named them all the same name, and there's terrible confusion." Drusilla ("Innocence")
"I knew it! Well, not knew it in the sense of having the slightest idea, but I knew there was something I didn't know. You two were fighting way too much. It isn't natural." Willow
"I know it's weird." Xander
"Weird? It's against all laws of God and man. It's Cordelia. Remember the We Hate Cordelia Club of which you are the treasurer?" Willow
"Look, I was gonna tell you." Xander
"Gee, what stopped you? Could it be shame?" Willow
"Alright, let's overreact; shall we? Willow, we were just kissing. It doesn't mean that much." Xander
"No, it just means that you'd rather be with someone you hate than be with me." Willow ("Innocence")
"I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex." Xander ("Innocence")
"Sometimes, when I'm sitting in class, I not thinking about class, because that would never happen. I think about kissing you, and it's like everything stops. It's like freeze frame. Willow kissage. Oh, I'm not gonna kiss you." Oz
"What? But freeze frame." Willow
"Well, to the casual observer, it would appear that you were trying to make your friend Xander jealous or even the score or something, and that's on the empty side. See, in my fantasy, when I'm kissing you, you're kissing me." Oz ("Innocence")
"Do you want me to wag my finger at you and say you acted rashly? You did, and I can. I know that you loved him, and he has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months are gonna be hard, I suspect, on all of us, but, if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm not your man. All you will get from me is my support and my respect." Giles ("Innocence")
"Buffy, you can't blame yourself for every death that happens in Sunnydale. If it weren't for you, people'd be lined up five deep waiting to get themselves buried. Willow would be Robbie the Robot's love slave. I wouldn't have a head." Xander ("Phases")
"Why don't you rip her lungs out? Might make an impression." Spike
"Lacks poetry." Angel
"Doesn't have to. What rhymes with lungs?" Spike ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered")
"You're a sheep. All you ever do is what everyone else does, just so you can say you did it first. Here I am scrambling for your approval when I'm way cooler than you are because I'm not a sheep. I do what I wanna do, and I wear what I wanna wear. And you know what, I'll date whoever the hell I wanna date, no matter how lame he is." Cordelia ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered")
"It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace, but we would be hollow—empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead." Angel ("Passion")
"If I decide to walk into Buffy's room, do you think for one microsecond that you could stop me?" Angel
"Maybe not, maybe that security guard couldn't either, or those cops, or the orderlies, but I'm kinda curious to find out. You game?" Xander ("Killed by Death")
"Cordelia, have you actually ever heard of tact?" Giles
"Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass." Cordelia ("Killed by Death")
"I'm good at medical stuff, since Xander and I used to play doctor all the time." Willow
"No, she's being literal. She had these medical volumes and diagnosed me with stuff. I didn't have the heart to tell her she was playing it wrong." Xander ("Killed by Death")
"Frogs, frogs! Get them off of me! Oh, my God, Frogs! Get them off of me! Please help! Get them off! Frogs, frogs! Oh, my God, horrible frogs! Get them off!" Willow
"Not her, the other one." Dr. Wilkinson
"No more frogs." Willow ("Killed by Death")
"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 Only Have Eyes for You")
"To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it." Giles ("I Only Have Eyes for You")
"Xander? Oh, my God, Xander! It's me, Cordelia. I know you can't answer me, but, God, this is all my fault. You joined the swim team to impress me. You were so courageous, and you looked really hot in those Speedos. I want you to know that I still care about you, no matter what you look like, and we can still date, or not. I mean, I understand if you wanna see other fish. I'll do everything I can to make your quality of life better, whether that means little bath toys, or whatever." Cordelia ("Go Fish")
"Someone wasn't worthy." Spike ("Becoming Pt. 1")
"Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really, but it does. So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No, the big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are." Whistler ("Becoming Pt. 1")
"I want to torture you. I used to love it, and it's been a long time. I mean, the last time I tortured somebody, they didn't even have chain saws." Angel ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"We like to talk big, vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' It's just tough-guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people, billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then, someone comes along with the vision, with a real passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Piccadilly; farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?" Spike ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"Come on, Will. Look, you don't have a choice here. You gotta wake up. I need you, Will. I mean, how am I gonna pass trig, you know, and who am I gonna call every night and talk about everything we did all day? You're my best friend. You've always... I love you." Xander ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"Willow, she told me to tell you..." Xander
"Tell me what?" Buffy
"Kick his ass." Xander ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"That's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends, no hope. Take all that away, and what's left?" Angel
"Me." Buffy ("Becoming Pt. 2")
"Ooo, I need a hug!" Mutant Enemy ("Becoming Pt. 2")
The following evil entities are still at large:
Indictments against the characters include:
Notable nonwhite character include:
Giles was unconscious in the following episodes: