Halloween (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
|Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode|
Willow, Buffy and Xander in their Halloween costumes, which have taken over their personae due to a spell
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Bruce Seth Green|
|Written by||Carl Ellsworth|
|Original air date||October 27, 1997|
"Halloween" is episode six of season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was written by freelance writer Carl Ellsworth and directed by Bruce Seth Green. The narrative follows Ethan Rayne, a Chaos worshipper, who sells Halloween costumes that transform their wearers into a more real version of that costume.
Buffy and Angel finally agree to a date, but Buffy is delayed at Pop's Pumpkin Patch by a vampire. Another vampire films the fight from hiding. As Angel waits at The Bronze, Cordelia shows up and starts flirting with him. When Buffy finally arrives, she is turned away by Cordelia's sharp tongue. Cordelia continues to hit on Angel, unaware of his history.
The next day, Principal Snyder forces Buffy and her friends to chaperone small children while they trick-or-treat. Buffy would rather take a break during the only slow night for vampires. Later, Larry, the school bully, threatens Xander while asking him about Buffy, who smashes Larry into a soda machine. Xander is angered by the damage that does to his reputation.
After Xander leaves, Buffy and Willow's conversation eventually turns to speculation about Angel's past. The two decide to sneak into Giles' office and borrow the passed-down Watchers' Diary. From this, they hope to learn more about what type of women Angel used to be attracted to as a human. Buffy is slightly mopey after her date with Angel didn't fly, and is eager for information on how to win him over.
The gang has to dress up for Halloween. They head to Ethan's Costume Shoppe, where Willow gets a ghost costume and Xander buys a toy gun to go with his army fatigues from home. Buffy and Xander make up, but then she spies the most beautiful pink 18th-century gown—one that matches what she has spied from Giles' Watcher files on Angel. Ethan Rayne, the proprietor, appears and gives it to Buffy.
On Halloween night, Buffy persuades Willow to wear a black miniskirt and a long-sleeved crop top, but Willow's shyness returns; when Buffy goes to answer the doorbell, she covers up with her ghost costume. Later that night, Ethan's spell takes effect and everyone wearing a costume from his store turns into the respective persona. Willow becomes a real ghost, able to walk through walls; Xander a soldier; and Buffy an 18th-century noble woman.
With Buffy incapable of leading and fighting the threats around them, and Xander armed and skilled in combat because of the spell, Willow is forced to take the lead. She persuades Xander not to shoot the monsters now roaming the streets (as most of them are the trick-or-treaters), and to obey her. They find Buffy disoriented, frightened, and confused by the modern world. Willow rushes them to Buffy's house, where her mother is conveniently not home. Outside, Cordelia screams and Xander rushes out to save her. They find that Cordelia has not changed into what she is wearing—a cat—because she bought her costume from another store. Willow goes to Giles for help. While Cordelia searches the house, Angel shows up and takes Buffy into the kitchen. As Angel tries to kill a vampire that has sneaked into the house, he reveals his vampire face. Buffy is horrified and runs from the house.
Arriving at the library by walking through walls, Willow, after scaring Giles by just showing up where there isn't a door, tells him about Ethan's costumes. They head to the shop, where Giles reveals that he knows Ethan. He orders Willow to leave and forces Ethan to tell him how to reverse the spell.
Spike is looking for Buffy, who enters an alley and meets Larry, now a pirate. Xander arrives to beat up Larry while Willow shows up to warn them of Spike. The gang tries to barricade themselves inside a warehouse, but Spike's gang breaks in. Spike is trying to kill Buffy; Willow orders Xander to shoot the vampires with his now-real M16, but just then, Ethan reveals the secret to ending the spell and Giles smashes the statue, breaking the spell. Buffy recovers to defeat Spike and he flees.
After being corporeal again, Willow, despite the ordeals, also feels confident, discarding her ghost costume and heading home. Oz sees Willow around town again, asking himself "Who is that girl?"
Buffy admits to Angel that she was trying to impress him. He tells her that he hated those people back then. The women were dull; he wanted someone exciting. They kiss. The next day, Giles returns to the store to find a note. Ethan has promised to return soon.
- A diary entry depicts a girl connected to Angel's past from 1775, when the entry also says Angel was an 18-year-old human. This date does not fit with later flashbacks to Angel's early days. In the first part to the season two finale, "Becoming, Part One", the date when the vampire Angelus was sired is given as 1753. This date is also upheld in several episodes of the Buffy spin-off, Angel.
- Cordelia learns Angel is a vampire.
- Cordelia meets Oz, but the way she calls him, it looks like she already knows him.
- Xander retains his knowledge and skills of an experienced soldier after Ethan's spell, thus becomes proficient with military hand-to-hand combat, tactics, and weaponry. This comes to use in later episodes.
- This episode marks the first time that Willow takes command of the Scoobies, as Buffy has no recollection of who she is and therefore has no way of leading her friends. Willow will take command of the Scoobies again many times, most notably during the time between seasons 5 and 6, for good and bad. This episode also marks Willow, for the first time, learning how to assert herself.
- This is the first hint at Giles's past, more of which is explained in "The Dark Age".
- This episode marks the first appearance of Ethan Rayne, who will later be a recurring character. For the first time, we learn from him the former nickname of his old friend Giles, "Ripper". Ethan will make his second appearance in "The Dark Age" later this season.
- This is also the first appearance of the school bully, Larry, who will appear in later episodes
- Willow assures Buffy that Cordelia is not Angel's type, Buffy relaxes. However, in the television spin-off Angel, the characters Cordelia and Angel do eventually develop romantic feelings for each other years after Buffy's relationship with Angel disintegrates.
- This episode establishes that vampires show up on film, despite the fact that they have no reflections. This trait will continue until the series finale and crossover to the spin-off Angel.
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