My eyes are burning from all this television I've been watching but it's Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so that's okay. It's one of the more emotional seasons, so there's also a bit of tears. Even knowing what happens doesn't make it much easier, but it's good drama, you've got to admit.
Here's a recap of the season....
1. When She Was Bad: Buffy's back in town after being gone all summer, and not adjusting well after having killed The Master. Gives Xander a dirty dance which he both loves and dreads, knowing that it's not really him she wants. And it hurts others she cares about, like Willow, and Angel, who tries to keep his distance despite his feelings.
2. Some Assembly Required: Oh I hate the episodes with body parts that are not exploding vampires. A former student who died is brought back to life, but doesn't want to spend his time alone, so his beloved brother decides to make him a girl. Can you say ewww?
3. School Hard: Spike! We meet this platinum bad boy for the first time, only we hate him along with his crazy girlfriend Drusilla. Well, we did the first time around. Knowing what we know now, he's really not so bad... We also learn that no one's going to hurt Joyce Summers' little girl, not even Spike.
4. INCA Mummy Girl: Oh it's tough being a teenager in these times, as an Inca girl, recently released from death, learns in this episode. Pretty but a bit rough around the edges. Xander falls in love and almost gets the kiss of death.
5. Repile Boy: fraternity. Xander in a bra. Peer pressure. Human sacrifice. You know, typical teenage hijinx. And sometimes you really do have to watch out for the nice ones.
6. Halloween: Buffy, Xander & Willow all take on the persona of their costumes. Quite amusing. And then there's Oz, who's rather taken with "that girl" but he doesn't even know her name. I love that he doesn't go for the obvious ones like Cordy. Oz is one cool dude, and it's great fun to see Xander and Willow in charge while Buffy cowers in dark corners.
7. Lie To Me: Buffy's grade school crush - Jason Behr before "Roswell". Hideous 90's gothwear. Angel reminisces about honing his brooding skills. Willow finally figures out what that Divinyls' song ("I Touch Myself") is all about. But the real core of the episode is how it feels to be lied to by the people you care about most. And that eternal life is not all it's cracked up to be.
8. The Dark Age: Giles' mysterious past. Finally we get to see more of the sexy but uptight Watcher. We learn he was a bit of a bad boy and rebelled against his destiny. Me like.
9. What's My Line Part 1: Career Day, and Buffy realizes she doesn't really get to choose her career. It's been chosen for her. Willow & Oz finally meet! Albeit briefly, but how cute are they? And then there's Kendra. Now isn't her appearance interesting? Though having watched the whole season in just a few days, I really thought she'd been around longer than she had.
10. What's My Line Part 2: Worms! Icky, icky worms. Ugh. But oh the passion! In the creepy basement. The tension between Xander & Cordy finally cracks and smoochies ensue. Angel without a shirt, worth the price of admission. And then there's Jonathan, who we see briefly, for what, the 3rd time? so far in the series. His story is just beginning....
11. Ted: With John Ritter as the man courting Buffy's mother. I've always liked John Ritter, and he does a wonderful job as a by-the-rules guy who does not like the rebellious Buffy one bit. And of course, he is not what he seems. Buffy doesn't like him either, and ends up killing him.
12. Bad Eggs: A school project gone terribly wrong. When the Scooby gang is given eggs to take home and cared for like babies, it turns out these eggs are not the everyday, garden variety that can be fried, scrambled or boiled.
13. Surprise: This is it, the episode where all that intense longing between Buffy & Angel is finally consummated in some hot, romantic lovin'. Have to figure those centuries of experience makes it good for Buffy, wouldn't you think? And Willow finds out about Cordy & Xander, which does not make her happy. Lots of smoochies going on in this episode.
14. Innocence: Turns out Buffy's & Angel's special night was not without consequences. Turns out when Angel experience even a moment of true happiness, he loses his soul again. Turns out his happiness is his night with Buffy. This one is a tearjerker.
15. Phases: There's a werewolf in town and it turns out to be one of the Scoobys. Revelations all around with Larry the school bully making a startling confession.
17. Passion: Angel's obsession to drive Buffy mad doesn't end with her. He prefers to torment them all, and we see exactly how evil he's become, much to Giles' horror. Now Buffy has no reason not to kill him, no matter how cute he is.
18. Killed by Death: Buffy gets sick and ends up in the hospital, where she's at Death's door, who turns out to be a visitor from her past. Xander feels protective of his friend, and his white knight routine bothers Cordy. This is what I think of as a "filler" episode. Not really all that interesting but manages to drive the story a bit forward.
19. I Only Have Eyes For You: I loved this episode. A murder-suicide of star-crossed lovers from 1955 is reenacted in present-day Sunnydale over and over because the killer wants forgiveness but never manages to achieve it before people die. It culminates in a touching scene with Buffy and Angel when the spirits of the lovers inhabit their bodies, which later freaks Angel out.
20. Go Fish: The swimming team is all the rage in this episode where it turns out steroids aren't the only suspicious thing going on. There's also a side story where a member of the swimming team used to many privileges, thinks Buffy is up for grabs. And look, a very young yet still very cute Wentworth Miller From "Prison Break" is a swimmer.
21. Becoming, Part 1: We see a lot of Angel's history, how and when he was changed, as well as the gypsy curse that gave him back his soul. We also see Buffy when she first gets the call as Slayer, and Angel seeing her for the first time, and how that moment changed his life.
22. Becoming, Part 2: Buffy shows up at the library only to have the police show up as she's standing over a dead body. Giles has been kidnapped by Angel, and Willow is in a coma. Xander is broken up about seeing his best friend so helpless. And Spike reaches full power and hottie potential becomes evident. The infamous sword fight between Buffy & Angel. Much tears. There is much sadness by the end of this season...
A lot of good stuff this season. Hard to believe so much happened, and how it went down, but I have to say I applaud those difficult choices. Joss Whedon didn't shy away from those "don't go there" moments. Watching it in succession like this is really intense, but that's actually a good thing. Makes it much more effective, I think. So I might take a little break before moving on to season 3. Then again, maybe not.
What do you remember most about season 2?