10 – The Zeppo – S03E13
One of my favourite episodes for sure, The Zeppo is one of the more unique episodes in the entire run of Buffy. Xander is started to worry about how uncool he is, and how he doesn’t seem to have a real place within the Scooby gang. Buffy is the Slayer, Willow is into magic, Giles is a former watcher and has all his book knowledge, and Oz is a freakin’ Werewolf. In an effort to find himself, he borrows his Uncle’s car… which only leads to him being bullied into driving around a psychopath who tried to stab him and wishes to resurrect some of his dead friends. What makes this episode so fun and unique though is that while all this random stuff keeps happen to Xander, Buffy and the rest of the gang are facing a mega evil event that could spell their deaths and the end of the world. We continue to get over-acted scenes with the gang exaggerating how bad things are getting and how much trouble they are in, all the while thinking that Xander is somewhere safe and not helping out. Of course, he ends up preventing a disaster all on his own, finally standing up to the evil bully and realising he doesn’t need special abilities or powers to save the world. Plus he gets to have sex with Faith!!!
09 – Conversations with Dead People – S07E07
While this episode does have some fighting and action, its mainly based around, as the title suggests, conversations. With dead people. Buffy, Willow and Dawn all have experiences with something supernatural. Dawn seems to be terrorised by a ghost and visited by her dead mother, Willow is visited by a dead student on behalf of Tara, and Buffy meets up with a former classmate now turned Vampire who is hell bent on psychoanalysing her before they try to kill each other. Some excellent dialogue throughout the entire episode, and the reveals at the end set us up for a roller coaster ride of a final season!
08 – Lies My Parents Told Me – S07E17
Spike may have a soul at this point, but one song from his past and he becomes just as vicious and as violent as he ever was. In an effort to figure out the cause, they use a mystical stone to go into his mind and let him go through his memories. As it turns out, a song his mother used to sing to him triggers these violent outbursts. Robin Wood, the principal of Sunnydale High and son of a former Slayer finds out that Spike was the Vampire who killed his mother, and decides to use the song to bring out the old Spike so he can kill him for revenge. During this fight, Spike has flashbacks of the time he turned into a Vampire and his relationship with his mother, coming to a revelation and finally gaining control of himself and loosening the grip the song has on him. All the while, Giles knows what is happening and attempts to distract Buffy, believing that Spike is a danger and needs to be killed. All in all a great episode with some real insight into Spike’s past that we hadn’t seen before. Oh, and a particular scene with Buffy, Giles and Robin cracks me up every time too!
07 – Enemies – S03E17
After Faith accidentally killed a human, she went through some changes. Those changes resulted in her turning against Buffy and the gang, joining forces with The Mayor (the big bad for that season) in secret. The Mayor and Faith attempted to turn Angel back into Angelus using dark magic, and at first it seemed to work, only to be revealed that he was in fact still Angel and still had his soul, and simply pretended to be Angelus to get as much information on the upcoming Ascension as possible. What’s great about the episode is how Faith tries to act remorseful and goes to Angel for comfort in hopes of taking him to bed and taking his soul. When that doesn’t work they just go the magic route. Angel acting as Angelus again is amazing as always, and even makes the reveal at the end a little disappointing for fans of Angelus like me.
06 – Chosen – S07E22
The show finale. The long build up to the battle of good vs evil; Slayers Vs The First. Season 7 was based around Buffy training potential slayers to face off against an army of “Uber Vamps” working for the first evil, so cleverly named “The First”. In this final episode, all the potential Slayers become true Slayers thanks to an ancient magical weapon belonging to Slayers, and a big middle finger to the original watchers who made up the “one in every generation” rule. The battle scene is epic in every sense, and the score is absolutely amazing too. Who will live and who will die adds tons of suspense to the final ever episode too!
05 – Passion – S02E17
Angelus has been unleashed upon the world again, and begins to play his evil mind games with Buffy and her friends. He enters her room at night and draws a picture of her sleeping, he kills Willow’s fish, and stalks her in general from the shadows. Meanwhile, Miss Calendar tries to make it up to the gang for lying to them about who she was and why she was in Sunnydale by attempting to restore Angel’s soul. Buffy sees that Giles misses her deeply and in her own way forgives Miss Calender enough to help make Giles happy. Giles invites Jenny (Miss Calender) to his place later in the evening to discuss something (the fact that she knows how to re-in-soul Angel), and just as it seems like someone is going to get a happy ending… Giles discovers the dead body of Jenny in his bed. Distraught, Giles wages a full on war against Angelus, nearly getting himself killed in the process. Everything about this episode is fantastic, from Angelus being a psychopathy stalker, to the wonderfully done scene where Giles discovers the body. Its built up as a big romantic encounter with rose petals and candles and a note simply saying “upstairs” while classical music plays… and then shocks you with the dead body of Jenny. Giles losing his mind and trying to kill Angelus is a great moment too.
04 – Becoming – S02E22
This season 2 finale packs in the action and emotion like no other episode before it! Angelus is set to unleash hell upon the earth, and as always its down to Buffy to stop it. Willow is put into a coma, Giles is kidnapped and tortured, Kendra is dead… and of all people Spike joins forces with her to prevent the world from ending. During all of this, Buffy is wanted for murder and her identity as the Slayer is finally revealed to her mother, who does not take it well. The climax of the episode sees Buffy and Angelus face off, with Buffy being forced to kill him and send him through the portal he opened up in order to close it. Unfortunately, Angel’s soul is restored just before this and Buffy must make the hard decision to kill her loved one! When its all said and done, Buffy cannot go back home and is seen leaving Sunnydale!
03 – The Wish – S03E09
What if Buffy never went to Sunnydale? Well, this episode tells exactly that story! After being humiliated, Cordelia comes to the conclusion that everything wrong in her life is a result of Buffy. She wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale, unaware that Anya, a Vengeance Demon, was there to grant that very wish! The town of Sunnydale is a dreary place, quite literally as everyone wears grey clothes so they don’t stand out to the Vampires that now rule the town at night time. The Master is alive and in full control of everything, with his favourite minions being XANDER AND WILLOW. Angel is alive and caged up, and Giles, still a watcher, has a group of fighters trying to save Sunnydale. This “what if” world is a fantastic look into how much of a difference Buffy made, and lets Xander and Willow show us a new side of them as vicious and perverted Vampires! We also get a little hint on the sexuality of Willow too!
02 – The Gift – S05E22
“Death is your gift”. The original Slayer told that to Buffy earlier in the season, though at the time none of it made sense. Now, in this season finale, as Buffy rushes to the aid of her sister Dawn to prevent Glory, a GOD, from ripping apart every dimension just so she can get home, Buffy finally understands. Plenty of emotion here as Buffy sacrifices her life to save that of her sister, and the rest of the world. Spike is heartbroken, especially after he was just beginning to redeem himself in Buffy’s eyes after being tortured at the hands of Glory and still refusing to give Dawn up. We also have a very tense scene as Giles brings up the fact that the only way to prevent this from going down might be to kill Dawn, but Buffy refuses to hear it. Has this been the end of the show, I feel it was a very fitting episode to end it all. But as such, Buffy would continue on for 2 more seasons, but it still doesn’t take away the impact this episode had!
01 – Hush – S04E10
The Gentlemen. CREEPY FUCKERS. None of the monsters or demons in Buffy or Angel were ever actually “scary” as a fan to watch on tv. Except for these guys. The Gentlemen, aside from being unbelievable creepy, come into a town, steal everyone’s voice, and cut the hearts out of virgins while they are still awake but unable to scream. Almost the entire episode is done in silence, with nobody having their voice, making it a unique episode and also very brilliant that they were able to do it, and do it this well. The episode also starts off the relationship between Willow and Tara, and we also see Buffy and Riley discover who each other is. Definitely the best episode of the entire show imo, and certainly a contender for one of the best put together episodes of any TV show ever.