Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 2)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(season 2)
Buffy Season (2).jpg
Region 1 Season 2 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Broadcast
Original channel The WB
Original run September 15, 1997 (1997-09-15) – May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 June 11, 2002 (2002-06-11)[1]
Region 2 May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)
Region 4 June 15, 2001
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 1
Next →
Season 3
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

The second season of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on September 15, 1997 on The WB and concluded its 22-episode season on May 19, 1998. The first 13 episodes aired on Mondays at 9:00 pm ET, beginning with episode 14 the series moved to Tuesdays at 8:00 pm ET, a timeslot the series would occupy for the rest of its run.

The emotional stakes are raised in season two. New vampires Spike and Drusilla come to town along with the new slayer, Kendra Young, who was activated as a result of Buffy's brief death in the season one finale. Xander becomes involved with Cordelia, while Willow becomes involved with witchcraft and Daniel "Oz" Osbourne becomes a werewolf after being bitten by a young cousin who just happens to be a werewolf. Buffy and the vampire Angel develop a relationship over the course of the season, but Angel's dark past as the evil and sadistic Angelus threatens to destroy Buffy and the world.

Plot[edit]

The emotional stakes are raised in season two as Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) returns from a summer in Los Angeles after her death at the end of the first season. After distancing herself from her friends and loved ones with her new, self-centered attitude that almost gets them killed, Buffy comes to terms with the traumatic events that transpired and crushes the bones of The Master (Mark Metcalf) once and for all, much to the aggravation of The Anointed One (Andrew J. Ferchland). A few weeks later two new vampires come to townSpike (James Marsters) and a weakened Drusilla (Juliet Landau)—who intend to use the blood of Drusilla's sire, Buffy's new boyfriend and ensouled vampire Angel (David Boreanaz), to restore her to full health when the time is right. Aggravated at the ritualistic attitude of the Order of Aurelius, Spike kills the Anointed One and takes control of Sunnydale's vampiric hordes.

Meanwhile, love is in the air for the members of the Scooby Gang as Buffy and Angel fall deeply in love, Xander Harris (Nicholas Brendon) and Cordelia Chase (Charisma Carpenter) begin an unlikely relationship, Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan) finds romance in the form of guitarist Daniel "Oz" Osbourne (Seth Green) and even Rupert Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) begins to further his relationship with computer science teacher turned techno-pagan Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte). Although after a visit by Giles' long lost friend Ethan Rayne (Robin Sachs) and the return of a powerful demon they used to worship in their youth, Jenny distances herself from Giles because she fears the dangerous life he leads. In "What's My Line" the time has come for Drusilla's ritual. Angel is captured by Spike after he summons a horde of bounty hunters called the Order of Taraka to attempt to eliminate Buffy. Meanwhile, a new Slayer shows up in town, Kendra (Bianca Lawson), who appears to be of Caribbean origin, sent to Sunnydale by her Watcher under the pretense of a very dark power rising up at the Hellmouth. Buffy and Kendra are forced to work together in order to rescue Angel and stop Spike's plan. Although they do save Angel's life and stop the Order, Drusilla is still returned to full strength while Spike is crippled by Buffy's assault. Kendra returns to her home as Buffy reaches a new appreciation for her destiny as a slayer.

During Buffy's 17th birthday, Drusilla and Spike resurrect a powerful demon called "The Judge" (Brian Thompson) who can burn the humanity out of people and who claims to be invincible. After Buffy and Angel escape from his attack, the two finally consummate their relationship which brings Angel "a moment of perfect happiness" and ends up costing him his soul. Buffy wakes up in Angel's bed the following morning alone and frets about his disappearance. Later she returns to his apartment where he torments her about giving up her virginity to him. Buffy is left emotionally devastated and suffers further betrayal after she learns that Jenny Calendar is of gypsy origin and was sent to Sunnydale in order to prevent Angel from losing his soul, a mission in which she failed. Angel, now Angelus, joins forces with Spike and Drusilla as they intend to use the judge to wipe humanity off the Earth. The Scooby Gang show up to stop them and Buffy uses a rocket launcher to kill the judge and halt the vampire's plan. She then fights one on one with Angel for the first time but cannot kill him. Instead she forcibly kicks him in the testicles and leaves. Meanwhile, Willow finds out about Xander and Cordelia's relationship and falls out with Xander as a result, while Giles' relationship with Jenny is shattered due to her betrayal.

Over the next few months, Buffy readies herself for the day when she will finally have to slay Angelus and is given further incentive after Angelus murders Jenny Calendar soon after she figures out the incantation needed to restore Angel's soul. Giles is left emotionally shattered having just mended the relationship between him and Jenny and is traumatized when he finds her lifeless body in his bed, a gift left by Angelus. He attempts to take his revenge on Angelus but is saved by Buffy who claims she can't fight her mission on her own. Meanwhile Xander and Cordelia, and Willow and Oz, now a werewolf after being bitten by his young cousin, officially begin dating and both Cordy and Oz become genuine members of the Scooby Gang. Willow also begins teaching Ms. Calendar's computer science class due to her extremely high aptitude and subsequently becomes interested in Jenny's notes and websites devoted to magic while Spike becomes increasingly jealous over Angelus and Drusilla's apparently sexual relationship while he is left crippled in his wheelchair. In "I Only Have Eyes For You" it turns out that Spike is in fact ambulatory and that he is hatching a plan of his own to take his revenge on Angelus and win Drusilla back.

During the season finale, Buffy and Willow come across the spell Jenny was working on just prior to her death. While they deliberate on what is to be done, Kendra returns to Sunnydale by word of her watcher who claims that a dark power is once again rising at the Hellmouth. This power turns out to be the stone statue of the powerful demon Acathla who, once upon a time, attempted to swallow the world into Hell. Angelus hatches a plan to awaken Acathla once again and destroy the world. After he fails to awaken the demon however, Angelus sends a team led by Drusilla to kidnap Giles while he calls Buffy out to distract her. As Giles is taken away, Willow is left comatose, Xander's arm is broken and Drusilla kills Kendra. Buffy returns to the library to find the police waiting for her. She flees their attack and makes it to the hospital to find her friends. When no one can find Giles, she goes to his house where she finds a demon named Whistler (Max Perlich). He tells her that what happened with Acathla wasn't meant to go the way it did — Angel is in fact the key that will re-open Acathla but the Powers that Be thought that Angel's destiny was to stop him. Drusilla uses her psychic powers to trick Giles into giving Angelus this information after Angelus sadistically tortured the old watcher. Meanwhile, Willow awakens from her coma after a proclamation of love from best friend Xander and adamantly decides to try to perform the ritual of restoration to return Angel's soul. Spike joins forces with Buffy to help take down Angelus while Buffy's mom, Joyce Summers (Kristine Sutherland), finally figures out the truth about her destined daughter. As Buffy leaves to retrieve a mystical sword brought to Sunnydale by Kendra, Joyce tells Buffy never to come back. Sunnydale High School Principal Snyder (Armin Shimerman) expels Buffy from Sunnydale High. With nothing left, Buffy storms Angelus' mansion while Xander aids a weakened Giles. Buffy is too late, even with Spike's help (who takes Drusilla out of the fray). Angelus uses his blood to reawaken Acathla. As Buffy and Angelus compete in an epic sword fight, Acathla begins to swallow the earth. Meanwhile, Willow successfully performs the powerful spell after she is overcome by an unknown mystical energy. As Angel's soul is returned, Buffy has one chance to save the world and, after kissing him and proclaiming that she loves him, runs the magical sword through Angel's chest, who is then swallowed by the portal, closing it for good. Left utterly devastated, Buffy flees Sunnydale.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main cast[edit]

Recurring cast[edit]

Crew[edit]

Series creator Joss Whedon served as executive producer and showrunner. Besides Whedon, only David Greenwalt and Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali, now executive story editors, returned. Whedon wrote the most episodes, writing five by himself and co-writing one with co-executive producer David Greenwalt, and doing another story with Greenwalt, totaling seven episodes. Marti Noxon joined as a staff writer (promoted to story editor midseason) and wrote the next highest amount of episodes, writing five on her own and co-writing one with Howard Gordon, who joined as consulting producer for the first half of the season. Greenwalt devised the story for "School Hard" with Whedon, but wrote the teleplay solo. He then wrote and directed one episode, co-writing "Ted" with Whedon. Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali (returning from the first season) wrote three episodes together. Freelance writer Carl Ellsworth was fired following his first episode "Halloween".[2][3] David Tyron King wrote two freelance episodes (as Ty King), King was previously an executive producer on the previous series Whedon worked on, Parenthood (1990). Former story editors Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkemeyer returned and wrote one freelance episode. The other freelanced script of the season was "Go Fish", wrote by husband and wife team David Fury and Elin Hampton, Fury would continue to write freelance in the following season before joining the show full-time.[4]

Both Joss Whedon and Bruce Seth Green directed the highest amount of episodes in the second season, directing five episodes each. Later regular directors on the series, David Solomon (also co-producer) and James A. Contner directed their first episodes in the second season.

Episodes[edit]

Note: For the 1997–98 television season, each ratings point represents 980,000 households or one percent of the nation's estimated 98 million television households. So, for example, a rating of 3.4 means that an average of approximately (3.4 x 980,000) = 3,332,000 households were watching Buffy.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
13 1 "When She Was Bad" Joss Whedon Joss Whedon September 15, 1997 (1997-09-15) 5V01 2.8[5]
Buffy suffers a vision in which the Master, undead, kills her once again. The Anointed One plans to resurrect the slain Master in a ritual using his exhumed skeleton, with kidnapped Scooby Gang members as blood sacrifices. Buffy rescues her friends, then deals with her residual fear and anger by obliterating the Master entirely.
14 2 "Some Assembly Required" Bruce Seth Green Ty King September 22, 1997 (1997-09-22) 5V02 3.1[5]
Bodies of girls killed in traffic accidents are being dug from their graves. The culprits are two science students, Chris and Eric, using pieces of the girls to create a bride for Chris' monstrous brother, Daryl. The only thing the young monsters need now is Cordy's head—can the Scooby Gang members arrive in time to save her?
15 3 "School Hard" John T. Kretchmer Story by: Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt
Teleplay by: David Greenwalt
September 29, 1997 (1997-09-29) 5V03 3.3[5]
The Night of St. Vigeous is fast approaching, when the power of all vampires will be at its peak. Spike and Drusilla blast into town and learn that Sunnydale has its very own Slayer. Impatient to add a third notch to his tally of Slayer-kills, Spike attacks Buffy at Sunnydale High on Parent Teacher Night—with disastrous results.
16 4 "Inca Mummy Girl" Ellen S. Pressman Matt Kiene & Joe Reinkemeyer October 6, 1997 (1997-10-06) 5V04 3.1[5]
After the seal of protection lying in her sarcophagus is broken, a mummified Incan girl in a museum exhibit is revivified when she sucks the life-force from a touring student. An unsuspecting Xander falls head over heels for the Latin beauty, Ampata, and must save Willow when his mistake threatens to cost her her life.
17 5 "Reptile Boy" David Greenwalt David Greenwalt October 13, 1997 (1997-10-13) 5V05 3.4[5]
Upset again at Angel, Buffy lies to Giles and goes to a frat party with Cordelia, where their dates drug them and chain them in the basement. The house brothers worship a snake demon and sacrifice girls to it annually in exchange for wealth and power. Giles, Angel, and Willow compare notes and meet up with Xander just in time to help Buffy break up the cabal.
18 6 "Halloween" Bruce Seth Green Carl Ellsworth October 27, 1997 (1997-10-27) 5V06 3.6[5]
Costume shop owner Ethan Rayne casts a spell that transforms kids into their costume personae. Angel and Cordelia try to help as Willow becomes a ghost, Xander a soldier, and Buffy a brainless, helpless 18th-century noblewoman. Spike joins the fun and tries to take advantage of the Slayer's predicament, but Giles breaks Ethan's spell at a critical moment.
19 7 "Lie to Me" Joss Whedon Joss Whedon November 3, 1997 (1997-11-03) 5V07 3.3[5]
Out patrolling, Buffy spies Angel with a demonstrative Drusilla, then catches him in a lie later. Billy "Ford" Fordham, Buffy's long-time LA school chum, transfers to Sunnydale High, but nobody suspects he is negotiating a deal with Spike—and offering the Slayer as trade goods. Angel discreetly enlists Willow's help.
20 8 "The Dark Age" Bruce Seth Green Dean Batali & Rob Des Hotel November 10, 1997 (1997-11-10) 5V08 3.6[5]
Haunted by his dark past when he was known as Ripper, Giles confronts his old crony Ethan Rayne in an attempt to save Jenny from the lethal consequences of possession by the demon Eyghon. With Giles and the Slayer slated as its next victims, demon-ridden Angel forces Eyghon to possess him instead.
21 9 "What's My Line (Part 1)" David Solomon Howard Gordon & Marti Noxon November 17, 1997 (1997-11-17) 5V09 3.4[5]
To get help killing Buffy while he intensifies his search for Dru's cure, Spike calls upon the Order of Taraka. Buffy is attacked by a series of assassins, including her heir "Kendra, the Vampire Slayer", who was called when Buffy died at the end of Season 1 and initially mistakes Buffy for a vampire. Kendra, having seen "vampire" Buffy kissing vampire Angel, has already taken Angel out of the picture.
22 10 "What's My Line (Part 2)" David Semel Marti Noxon November 24, 1997 (1997-11-24) 5V10 3.4[5]
While Career Week drags on at Sunnydale High, Buffy and Kendra form an uneasy alliance to stop Spike from sacrificing Angel, whose blood, ritually spilled when the moon is full, is Drusilla's only cure. The Slayers bring Spike's plan, to host a massive killing spree for Dru's "coming out party," down around his ears.
23 11 "Ted" Bruce Seth Green David Greenwalt & Joss Whedon December 8, 1997 (1997-12-08) 5V11 3.8[5]
Buffy returns home one evening to find her mother kissing a stranger in the kitchen. Joyce's date, Ted, turns abusive with Buffy, who accidentally kills him in self-defense. Believing herself guilty of manslaughter, the Slayer is heartily relieved to learn that Ted is a serial killer android targeting Joyce as his next wife/victim.
24 12 "Bad Eggs" David Greenwalt Marti Noxon January 12, 1998 (1998-01-12) 5V12 4.0[5]
For Health class, students unknowingly adopt "eggs" of a Bezoar demon growing under the school. Its arachnoid "babies" are able to directly control a person's central nervous system. Dealing with a pair of outlaw vampire brothers in addition to slaying the enormous Bezoar before its progeny take over Sunnydale, Buffy gets ultra-grounded for her trouble.
25 13 "Surprise" (Part 1) Michael Lange Marti Noxon January 19, 1998 (1998-01-19) 5V13 4.3[5]
Buffy turns 17 and the Scoobies plan a surprise party. Meanwhile Drusilla plans her own celebration as Spike collects her presents: the disassembled pieces of The Judge, an ancient demon called to cleanse the world of humanity. Stymied at every turn, Buffy and Angel go back to his place to regroup, where they confess their deepest feelings and make love for the first time. Afterwards, Angel wakes in the middle of the night calling Buffy's name in anguish...
26 14 "Innocence" (Part 2) Joss Whedon Joss Whedon January 20, 1998 (1998-01-20) 5V14 5.1[5]
Because he finds even "one moment of true happiness" in Buffy's arms, Angel's curse is nullified; he loses his soul and reverts to his former self, the vicious super-evil killer vampire, Angelus who teams up with Spike and Drusilla to have the Judge destroy humanity. Jenny Calendar turns out to be a Gypsy spy. Devastated by these betrayals, Buffy still takes out the reputedly indestructible Judge using her birthday present from Xander—a stolen rocket launcher.
27 15 "Phases" Bruce Seth Green Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali January 27, 1998 (1998-01-27) 5V15 4.8[5]
There's a werewolf at large in Sunnydale and the Scoobies discover that it's Oz. Buffy tries to protect Sunnydale residents from the beast's savagery, and protect the savage beast from a bounty hunter who doesn't care that his target is human 28 days out of 31. Meanwhile, Angelus stirs up more trouble for Buffy. Willow convinces Oz she still wants to see him, despite everything.
28 16 "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" James A. Contner Marti Noxon February 10, 1998 (1998-02-10) 5V16 4.4[5]
Valentine's Day has everyone on edge. With secret reluctance, Cordelia dumps Xander to appease her friends. Crushed, Xander coerces Amy to cast a love spell, but it goes awry and every woman in Sunnydale, except Cordy, becomes pathologically attracted to him. A smitten Dru saves Xander from Angelus, but who will save him from the screaming mob?
29 17 "Passion" Michael Gershman Ty King February 24, 1998 (1998-02-24) 5V17 4.2[5]
Angelus kicks his terror campaign against Buffy and her friends into high gear, leading them to believe Joyce is his next target. Jenny makes progress rediscovering the gypsy Ritual of Restoration and, with Buffy's terse blessing, gets back together with Giles. Jenny and Giles also work with Buffy and Willow to ritually revoke Angel's invitations into their various homes. Angelus takes his anger out on Jenny with tragic results.
30 18 "Killed by Death" Deran Sarafian Rob Des Hotel & Dean Batali March 3, 1998 (1998-03-03) 5V18 4.0[5]
After flu lands Buffy in the hospital, she rescues fevered children from Der Kindestod, a nightmare demon invisible to healthy people. When getting well means losing her ability to fight the demon, Buffy reinfects herself. In saving the other children, she also avenges her young cousin and puts her own hospital phobia to rest.
31 19 "I Only Have Eyes for You" James Whitmore, Jr. Marti Noxon April 28, 1998 (1998-04-28) 5V19 3.5[5]
The tortured ghost of a former Sunnydale High student re-enacts a murder-suicide on the night of the school's Sadie Hawkins dance. Bespelled to play the parts, Buffy and Angelus change the tragic outcome just enough for the lovers' spirits to find peace, and for Buffy to learn the meaning of forgiveness.
32 20 "Go Fish" David Semel David Fury & Elin Hampton May 5, 1998 (1998-05-05) 5V20 3.5[5]
Xander goes undercover on the Sunnydale swim team after members begin turning up dead. Apparently, the swim-team coach gives fish/steroid cocktails to the swim team to get them to perform, but it turns them into sea monsters.
33 21 "Becoming (Part 1)" Joss Whedon Joss Whedon May 12, 1998 (1998-05-12) 5V21 3.7[5]
Kendra's Watcher sends her back to Sunnydale because a dark power is rising: Angelus, Spike, and Drusilla have found a petrified demon called Acathla and plans to perform a ritual that will allow Acathla to wake up and suck every living thing on the planet into hell.
34 22 "Becoming (Part 2)" Joss Whedon Joss Whedon May 19, 1998 (1998-05-19) 5V22 4.1[5]
With Kendra murdered by Drusilla, Willow in the hospital with head trauma, and Giles kidnapped by Angelus, Buffy must decode Whistler's cryptic clues and accept help from an unexpected source (Spike) to stop Angelus in order to prevent the world from being sucked into Acathla's hell dimension.

Reception[edit]

The two-part episode "Surprise"/"Innocence" won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Makeup for a Series. Christophe Beck won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for "Becoming (Part 1)". The season finale, "Becoming (Parts 1 & 2)", was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series.[6]

The second season is included on Pajiba.com's list of the best 15 seasons of the past 20 years.[7]

DVD release[edit]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season was released on DVD in region 1 on June 11, 2002[1] and in region 2 on May 21, 2001.[8] The DVD includes all 22 episodes on 6 discs presented in full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Special features on the DVD include three commentary tracks—"Reptile Boy" by writer and director David Greenwalt, "What's My Line" (Part 1 & 2) by co-writer Marti Noxon and "Innocence" by writer and director Joss Whedon. Whedon also discusses the episodes "Surprise", "Innocence", "Passion", "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Becoming" in interviews. Scripts for "Reptile Boy", "What's My Line" (Parts 1 & 2) and "Innocence" are included. Featurettes include "Designing Buffy", a 15-minute featurette which details the set designs; "A Buffy Bestiary", a 30-minute featurette detailing the monsters featured in the season; and "Beauty and Beasts", a 20-minute featurette showcasing the make-up process. Also included are cast biographies, photo galleries, and series trailers.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete Second Season (1997)". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ Egerton, Judith (May 20, 2005). "Native son set to make mark in Tinseltown". The Courier Journal. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ "How I got fired from writing for Buffy - Native son set to make mark in Tinseltown". Whedon.info. May 23, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  4. ^ "A Brief History of Mutant Enemy". Whedon.info. May 24, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Second Season". Archived from the original on April 11, 2004. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ ""Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (1997) - Awards". IMDb. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  7. ^ Stacey Nosek (April 15, 2008). "Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Two". Pajiba.com. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Buffy DVD and VHS". BBC. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season 2". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved July 31, 2010. 

External links[edit]