What's My Line (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

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"What's My Line"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Buffy whats my line.jpg
The two vampire slayers: Buffy and Kendra
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 9 & 10
Directed by David Solomon (Part 1)
David Semel (Part 2)
Written by Marti Noxon (Part 1 & 2)
Howard Gordon (Part 1)
Production code 5V09 & 5V10
Original air date November 17, 1997 (Part 1)
November 24, 1997 (Part 2)
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Dark Age"
Next →
"Ted"
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"What's My Line" is a two-episode story in season two of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In part one, Buffy endures Career Week at school while Spike hires assassins to kill her; a fierce fighter who identifies herself as "Kendra the Vampire Slayer" shows up in Sunnydale. In part two, Angel is taken by Spike for a ritual in which Drusilla is restored to health.

Plot[edit]

Part one[edit]

Spike works on a cure for Drusilla. Dalton, a vampire transcriber, is unable to decipher the book stolen from the library which contains a cure. Drusilla informs Spike that they need a key because the book is in code.

Buffy witnesses Dalton stealing an object from a mausoleum, but he escapes when she is distracted by another vampire. She enters her bedroom and finds Angel waiting to warn her of grave danger. Buffy reports to Giles, and he is concerned when she tells him about the theft from the mausoleum.

Spike and Drusilla examine the key stolen by Dalton, a gold cross. Spike decides to call the Order of Taraka, an ancient guild of assassins, to rid himself of Buffy once and for all. Back at school, Willow is taken into a secluded lounge area to be recruited by a leading software company, along with Oz, the boy who has been watching her for weeks. At the mausoleum, Giles realizes that Josephus du Lac, the author of the book stolen from the library, is buried there and that the book's key was taken from the mausoleum.

The assassins begin to arrive. A large, intimidating man exits a bus, and a door-to-door beauty salesman attacks Buffy's next-door neighbor. A young woman attacks an airplane worker in the cargo hold of a plane, escaping with little difficulty.

Giles tells Buffy, Xander, and Willow about the "du Lac Cross" which can be used as the key, and he enlists their help with further research. Buffy arrives at the ice skating stadium for a date with Angel. She is attacked, but Angel arrives in time to help her fight off the assassin whom she kills with the blade of her skate. Angel, recognizing the assassin's ring, warns Buffy that she should leave Sunnydale and hide. The female from the plane watches from the shadows.

The assassin next-door to Buffy's house feeds on the neighbors's body by disintegrating into hundreds of writhing mealworms which can reshape themselves into limbs at will. Buffy is paranoid and jittery, suspicious of each person who passes by in the hallways at school, including Oz. Buffy arrives at Angel's empty home and falls asleep in his bed. Angel goes to Willy's bar for information, and Willy finally confirms Angel's suspicions that Spike is behind the assassins. Before Angel can leave, he is attacked by the mysterious female. She locks him in a metal cage in front of an eastern window, with only a few hours until sunrise.

Giles reveals that the missing manuscript contains a ritual to restore a weakened vampire back to health. Xander and Cordelia enter Buffy's house, and Xander searches for her while Cordelia waits downstairs. She hears a knock at the door and lets in the mealworm assassin. In Angel's bedroom, Buffy is attacked by the mysterious woman. They fight, and the woman tells Buffy that her name is Kendra the Vampire Slayer.

Part two[edit]

Realising that they are both slayers, Buffy and Kendra go to Giles for assistance in explaining the situation. They learn that Kendra was called when Buffy temporarily died in her fight with The Master in "Prophecy Girl". Meanwhile, Willy has saved Angel from certain death, but sold him out to Spike. Spike takes Angel back to the warehouse, where he will be held until he can be sacrificed to restore Drusilla to full strength.

Xander and Cordelia run and hide in the basement, although before long they are arguing with each other. After an unexpected kiss, they rush to escape, running past the attacking mealworm assassin. At school, Buffy, whose test results recommend a career in law enforcement, attends a career seminar. The police officer leading the seminar tries to shoot Buffy. Oz is shot and slightly injured as he pushes Willow out of harm's way. Kendra comes to Buffy's rescue, and they fight off the attacker. The Scoobies then gather in the library, where Giles announces that Spike intends for Angel to die in the ritual to restore Drusilla.

Angel is tortured by Drusilla, both emotionally and physically; she pours holy water on him as she reminds him about how he killed her whole family. Angel taunts Spike with insinuations that Spike is unable to satisfy Drusilla, in the hope that Spike will kill him before he can be used to cure Drusilla. Meanwhile, Kendra gains a newfound respect for Buffy's qualities as a slayer. Later, the slayers go after Willy to learn what happened to Angel; they force Willy to take them to the location of Spike and Angel. However, Willy leads them to the assassins, and the ritual has already begun. Buffy attacks Spike to save Angel, and Kendra and the Scooby Gang arrive to back her up. Xander and Cordelia lure the mealworm assassin underneath a door into a liquid glue trap. Willow and Giles stake a vampire while Buffy and Kendra fight several of their own. Spike starts a fire and rushes to rescue the unconscious Drusilla, hoping that the ritual has had time to cure her. Buffy prevents their exit, crushing them in falling rubble. She helps the weakened Angel to exit the building.

With the danger over, it is time for Kendra to leave. Buffy and Kendra discuss their position as slayer. Kendra remarks that Buffy considers slaying to be a job when it is actually a part of who she is. The two, now friends, say their goodbyes and Buffy is left with a new outlook on her position as the slayer, as well as the knowledge that she is no longer alone in her calling.

At the remains of the church, Spike lies seriously injured under the rubble. Drusilla rises, the ritual having worked and restored her to full power. She carries her partner out of the debris, promising to return the favor and make him as powerful as her.

Production[edit]

  • The hold of the plane in which Kendra arrived in Sunnydale was turned upside down and used as a sewer tunnel in later episodes.[1] The ice rink, called Iceland, is found in Paramount, California, around 25 miles from where Buffy was filmed.[2]
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar is a fan of ice skating in real life, and lists ice skating as one of her hobbies,[3] which, according to writer Marti Noxon in the DVD commentary for the episode, is the reason ice skating was incorporated into part one.
  • Seth Green mentioned in an Ultimate TV talk that the line "I mock you with my monkey pants" was initially dreamt by Alyson Hannigan. Joss Whedon decided to insert it in the episode. Marti Noxon said in her DVD commentary for the episode that all the lines after Oz's compliment about Willow's smile were ad-libbed by Seth and Alyson.

Reception[edit]

Part one pulled in 3.5 million households on its original airing, while part two had an audience of 3.9 million households.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Golden, Christopher; Holder, Nancy, The Watcher's Guide, Volume 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Simon & Schuster, p. 95 
  2. ^ Golden, Christopher; Holder, Nancy, The Watcher's Guide, Volume 1 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Simon & Schuster, p. 96 
  3. ^ Episode Guide: What's My Line Part One, BBC 
  4. ^ "Nielsen Ratings for Buffy's Second Season Archived 2006-08-23 at the Wayback Machine.."

External links[edit]