The Pack is my next episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, as part of My Year of Buffy. SPOILERS ONWARDS!
What Buffy Did!
A school trip to the zoo shows us Lance, an idiot who puts his trust in some bullies. When Xander tries to help him, they all are possessed by animal spirits of hyenas. From here one, Xander and the bullies act like jerks, strut like asses, and are constantly cruel. Giles chalks it all up to teens will be teens, till someone shows up dead. When Buffy confronts Xander about this possession, he attempts to rape her. The rest of the animal gang attack and kill the Principal. Giles seeks the zoo wardens help with reversing the possession, only to find out the guy wants the power for himself. Evil zoo warden gets the power, fights Buffy, and falls into the hyena pit, becoming their dinner.
Lance is an idiot for trusting the bullies. But then again Blubber trusted the bullies in the Judy Blume book. Willow and Buffy should really take a course in how to tell your friends are possessed, because they are really clueless. The nastiest, most horrifying part of this episode was the dodgeball segment. We all know how those days in gym class went, and have the therapy bills to prove it. While the music video style shots of the pack of teens-as-animals is supposed to be something scary, it is really just plain goofy. I did not see the villain reveal coming, but again his death was so Smallville. YES! The Principal dies! My first wish came true! Can’t wait for Cordelia to croak. The most intense and uncomfortable scene here is the possessed Xander trying to rape Buffy. Joss is drawing parallels here with group mentality and how it “allows” people to do heinous things. I am surprised the network did not have a spaz.
“And the weird behaviour award goes to,” is Buffy’s understatement of the year. And later, Buffy provides a little Geek humour with “I can’t believe you of people are trying to Scully me.” Why didn’t Scully me become an actual term?
While the main plot was kinda goofy, the implications of the pack mentality groupthink is a fascinating concept. Can’t wait to see where Joss goes with these ideas in the future.
…is currently reading Divergent by Veronica Roth.