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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season One: Episode Four: Teacher’s Pet
Original Air Date: 3/24/97
Special Notes: More character death, Xander steals the show

Andrew Webster

Action: 3.5
Comedy: 4.5
Plot/Story: 2

This episode furthers the concept of discontinuity between episodes, showing that not everything has to revolve around one central theme. Having problems in class, Buffy is pulled aside by her Chemistry teacher, only to receive inspiring words of confidence. But when a substitute Chemistry teacher enters, the lab isn’t the same. Natalie French, decidedly too hot to be a teacher, is wooing all the male students, including Xander. Buffy has a suspicion that Ms. French is not all that she appears to be. Because Xander is so enthralled with this teacher, a lot of the episode plays off of him. He gets embarrassed, nearly killed, and holds the whole episode together. The action in this episode isn’t bad at all. The fight sequences are well done, and there’s a sense of urgency that helps move things along. The comedy in this episode is the best highlight. Though it mostly involves Xander, the rest of the cast gets in their shots as well. Angel appears again too, still playing the role he assumed in the previous episodes. This episode, like “The Witch” does nothing to further the plot of Buffy, but it’s an excellent stand-alone episode. This is definitely one to enjoy.


Scott Tofte

Action: 3
Comedy: 5
Plot/Story: 3

The furthering of the Buffy/Angel tension really starts up in this one: She is resentful, he is overly comforting, xander is jealous. And again on the Buffy front, she is finding an adult who can see her inner potential, however as we know, everytime that happens, the person dies. Enter hottie sub-teacher, and the beginnings of the xander-centricity of this episode. He feels the need to assert his manliness, and takes the teacher's "affection" as far as it will get him, till he realizes she's a huge bug. This also marks the beginning of the Xander bad dates episodes. This episode is mostly comedy and character development, with most of each aspect going to xander, however, there is some crucial plot development in the Master storyline. The gang is realizing that anything is possible in sunnydale. Overall, this is a quaint little episode, but nothing spectacular. If you like xander humor, as i very much do, you will enjoy this one.



Cordelia almost dead: 2
Cordelia finds badness: 1
Xander bad dates: 1
Apocalypses: 1



Webby2299: Teacher's Pet.
Webby2299: Season One
Webby2299: Episode Four
Webby2299: Scott, what were your first impressions of this episode?
Eaglefreak2k: campy idea, but joss makes it work
Eaglefreak2k: kinda cruddy story idea, but with hints of development and good amounts of xanderocity
Eaglefreak2k: that was my initial take
Webby2299: I knew you were going to bring up Xander, he really steals the show here
Eaglefreak2k: thats what he's there for
Webby2299: he made this cliched concept really work though in my opinion, maybe more so than Joss did
Eaglefreak2k: well through this campy idea, we learn that xander has more than a crush on buffy, and that all the adults who see potential in buffy usually die
Eaglefreak2k: throwing that whole, "dont get too attatched" idea in the mix
Eaglefreak2k: i mean look at her history...
Webby2299: true, it's more dotted with deaths than James Bond's
Eaglefreak2k: Dr Gregory, The counselor,
Eaglefreak2k: her father is gone
Eaglefreak2k: angel turned evil then left
Eaglefreak2k: her mom died
Webby2299: and now that we've ruined the plot for the next 5 seasons...
Eaglefreak2k: riley went all safari
Eaglefreak2k: just saying
Eaglefreak2k: buffy's usually less happy than angel
Eaglefreak2k: back on topic though
Webby2299: yes, a brief summary of the episode perhaps?
Eaglefreak2k: that pretty much took care of my views of the plot
Eaglefreak2k: how bout yours?
Eaglefreak2k: or a summary
Eaglefreak2k: go for it
Webby2299: well, a teacher shows promise in Buffy, guy is found in an unlikely place the next day, and a gorgeous substitute is the new teacher. Only problem is, she can rotate her head 180 degress around and even vampires are scared of her. She tries to woo the boys of the class, meets with success, and Buffy has to put a stop before Xander gets hurt. All in all, the whole teacher student attraction is overplayed, but Xander makes this episode work with his comedic style.
Eaglefreak2k: ok thats about it
Eaglefreak2k: i do think the attraction is a bit overdone
Eaglefreak2k: but then again, xander's manliness was questioned
Eaglefreak2k: he had to prove himself
Webby2299: and, there's a scientific explanation behind the attraction itself
Eaglefreak2k: ?
Eaglefreak2k: the whole virgin thing?
Webby2299: no, the chemical pheremones, which I didn't spell correctly
Eaglefreak2k: ah
Eaglefreak2k: forgot that part
Eaglefreak2k: ok, lets get to the comedy of it
Eaglefreak2k: your take?
Webby2299: I thought this was a very funny episode. Most of the jokes revolved around Xander, but Giles had his moments too, especially with his transatlantic phone call. I think this episode really showed how Buffy can be a good working comedy when it wants to throw in the jokes. What about you? And when you're done with your take we can jump back to the action category we completely skipped.
Eaglefreak2k: who said we had to go in order?
Webby2299: ...the powers that be?
Eaglefreak2k: ok, my take. Yeah xander gets the majority of all the joke work, and rightly so, he's the funniest character on the show. but i also agree that giles got in some few good jabs, and buffy had a couple as well. But Giles is that more subdued "im smarter than you so i can mock you" sense of humor. it works well, particularly in season 3 with wesley. But even right here, he can jump in with a great one-liner whenever needed. Definately a funny episode
Webby2299: now, how about that action?
Eaglefreak2k: not a lot, but what there is is good. It's mostly in the last battle. This is another mostly suspenseful episode broken up by comedy. But that final battle is a doosey
Webby2299: I have to agree, other than a brief confrontation with "Fork Guy" that's about it
Eaglefreak2k: yeah, he was pretty useless, other than showing what the master has working for him
Eaglefreak2k: but i like this episode
Webby2299: as do I, the comedy really saves it
Eaglefreak2k: despite the fact that it's basically lame, its still fun, and has some key info
Webby2299: so, overall rating?
Eaglefreak2k: 3
Webby2299: I've gotta go a bit higher with a 3.5. Not up to witch calibur because the plot is kinda cheesy
Eaglefreak2k: so 3.25 is our average rating
Eaglefreak2k: that works for me
Webby2299: well if it doesn't, then I'm fired
Eaglefreak2k: true
Eaglefreak2k: and we be done again
Eaglefreak2k: 4 down, 9 to go for this season
Webby2299: yes, thanks for reading our column again and tune in next time