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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 1: Episode 5: Never Kill A Boy On The First Date

Air Date: 3/31/97

Special Notes: First appearance of “The Anointed One”, brief history of Giles

Andrew Webster

Action: 4.5
Comedy: 4
Plot/Story: 4.5

This episode does an excellent job of showing just how well rounded the Buffy series can be. Comedy, action, and plot are all found here in good helpings. When Buffy finds her first boyfriend, Owen, her life seems to be on the upswing. She learns quickly though that her responsibility as a slayer can easily interfere with her social life. As The Master begins his new plan to come to power, Giles learns of the prophecy behind it, and attempts to stop it with Buffy. Overall everything works with this episode. The action is intense, the comedy sporadic yet classic, and the story sets up the next episodes very well. This episode worked on many levels, and also further developed the characters, basically all the characters too. We get to see them on a more personal level, especially with their inner feelings for each other. This is a very strong episode that should not be missed by all means.

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Scott Tofte

Action: 4.5
Comedy: 3.5
Plot/Story: 4

This is the episode that furthers the notion that Buffy cannot have a social life and a slaying life at the same time. At least, not successfully. Buffy's first attempt at dating in Sunnydale ends up getting her hooked on a poetic bookworm, who spurts some Riley-like lines ("one minute you're there, the next you're not. It's like you're two different people") and ends up unknowingly tagging along on a vampire escapade. Giles also gets his first taste of alone action in this one, as he is forced to fight (run from) some vamps slayerless. Overall, it's a good episode, and the last chunk of series theme that we are served for a while.

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Discussion

Webby2299: take it away Scott
Eaglefreak2k: ok, "Never Kill a Boy..." is really the beginning of the whole season arc.
Eaglefreak2k: It brings in the idea of the annointed one
Eaglefreak2k: and also has the Master trying to rise again
Eaglefreak2k : and more funny master humor
Webby2299: a crucial plot point
Eaglefreak2k : this is the last episode that is based solely on character exposition
Webby2299: gotta love the book
Eaglefreak2k : its about buffy's desire to lead a normal life and slay at the same time
Webby2299: well, I don't know if that's entirely accurate
Eaglefreak2k : which is a reoccurring theme all series long
Eaglefreak2k : well, its the last one in this chunk
Eaglefreak2k : after this, the episodes are more story driven, and less expositiony
Webby2299: all right, point taken
Eaglefreak2k : to me ep's 1 and 2 are slayer mythology expo, episode 3 is "there aint just vampires", episode 4 is "xander is a lovesick puppy"
Eaglefreak2k: this is "buffy cant have the normal life"
Eaglefreak2k : whereas next ep is "xander is a hyena
Webby2299: what about the episode "Angel"
Eaglefreak2k: the angel episode sets up the next 2 seasons
Webby2299: ok, I think we ventured a little off topic there
Eaglefreak2k: what else is new
Eaglefreak2k: anyway
Eaglefreak2k: i like this episode, even though i kinda hate Owen
Webby2299: Owen, I'm glad we didn't see much of him...ever again
Eaglefreak2k : yeah. although he more or less popped up as "scott" is S3. but anyway, we've established the main theme of this episode
Webby2299: yes, moving along
Eaglefreak2k : so let's hit specifics
Webby2299: yes, Buffy trying to lead a normal life
Eaglefreak2k : are you specifying?
Webby2299: I shall start with the action
Funnysyphallis: ok
Webby2299: The action in this episode was actually pretty good in my opinion. We get to see a bus crash, a fight with a beefed up vampire, a chase through a funeral home, and a training battle. It all adds up to an action packed episode, more than we've seen in the previous epiosdes, and more than in future ones. Additional comments?
Eaglefreak2k : Agreed. Action, although still relatively cheesy, is good, and consistent
Webby2299: how about the comedy?
Eaglefreak2k : i love it in this ep
Eaglefreak2k : there are a lot of little one liners that keep me chuckling, and i love xanders jealousy of owen. and his mickey mouse watch
Webby2299: anything else you'd like to point out?
Eaglefreak2k : the master
Eaglefreak2k : hilarious as always
Funnysyphallis: ooh
Webby2299: cue the flashing lightbulb
Eaglefreak2k : and the first time a wierd vampire cult gets involved. the first of many
Webby2299: is that going to be another tally?
Eaglefreak2k : nah
Eaglefreak2k : did we add anything to our tally this time?
Webby2299: well, all that happened to Cordy was getting ignored by a guy, which was also funny to see
Eaglefreak2k : true
Webby2299: so, should I move on to the plot/story here?
Eaglefreak2k : ok
Webby2299: For the plot of the next bunch of episodes, and partially for the whole series, this episode is crux. We get our first glimpse of "the anointed one", we learn some history about Giles, and we realize that Buffy's life can never be normal, no matter how hard she tries. As a stand alone episode it also works well with the inspired comedy, and action sequences. Overall, this episode is very well rounded, and works on many levels.
Eaglefreak2k : agreed, even though i hate owen
Eaglefreak2k : i do like that giles tries to get in on som action of his very own
Webby2299: guy should've been burned alive...
Webby2299: Owen that is. And agreed with Giles
Eaglefreak2k : ok
Eaglefreak2k : overall rating?
Webby2299: I'd have to give it a 4.5, not quite perfect, but very good
Eaglefreak2k : ill have to say 4, simply because season one is overall very campy, and i have to take points for that somewhere. and this episode doesn't scream to me, as it is still more backstory in a new setting
Webby2299: well, at least we're in the same ballpark
Eaglefreak2k : so 4.25
Webby2299: a good episode to watch and enjoy
Eaglefreak2k : yay
Webby2299: so, I'd have to say that's a wrap for this one
Eaglefreak2k : easy enuff
Webby2299: well then, until next time, enjoy and come back for more installments.