Nightmares is the tenth episode from season one of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. SPOILERS ON as My Year of Buffy keeps biting along.
What Buffy Did!
Buffy has a nightmare about The Master, which her mom wakes her up from. She then talks about her excitement about her dad coming for a visit. Buffy tells Willow of her guilt over her parents divorce. At school, a kid is suddenly covered with spiders, Giles gets lost in his book stacks and Buffy finds out from Cordelia about a history test she did not study for. Later, a girl gets beaten in the school basement by a strange monster man. All along, a strange boy is seen through the school. These clues lead Buffy and Giles to finding out about a young boy in a coma. Meanwhile, the nightmares in real life keep happening. Buffy’s dad shows up and is outright mean to her, blaming her for his leaving. Figuring it all out, Buffy tries to help the astral projection of the boy from the strange monster man. Nightmares continue and the Scoobies finally end up at the hospital with the comatose boy. Buffy fights the monster man and we realize he is the boys little league coach, who beat the boy after a game. He is caught, the boy wakes up, and Buffy spends the weekend with her father.
We finally see Buffy’s dad! I hate spiders, and that spider scene was freaky. My spidey sense is going, because something is up with Giles getting lost in his own library. At eleven minutes in, I am calling this episode as the one where it all takes place in the characters heads, and spiders are often associated with memory and memory spinning and such. I kinda wonder why no one at Sunnydale thinks Giles is creepy for hanging out with Buffy all the time. Giles meeting Buffy’s dad equals present dad meeting absent dad. So daddy is being a jerk and Giles is illiterate, and no one figures it out? But at least Willow, the smartest person in the place, puts it all together. The true horror of parent abusing child I realize is what this one is about, not spider memory stuff. Yay Xander! Fighting off one creepy clown! Giles nightmare is Buffy dying is completely brilliant. And Buffy’s nightmare is becoming a vampire? Wow. Great concepts that tell us so much. Okay, officially getting intense here, scary monster man. Wait, wait, wait, it is the coach abusing the player? I was wrong about the spiders and the father! Wasn’t Xander over his Buffy crush since The Pack?
Xander gets a funny with this line, “Willow has been kinda – what’s the word I’m looking for? Insane about what happened yesterday.” Buffy explains their roles to Giles with this quip, “What am I knowledge girl now? Explanations are your terrain.” And Giles explains so much of this series with “Things like that are easy when you live on a Hellmouth.”
This one was really heavy and twisty and had me second and triple guessing everything. Fear comes in many forms and Joss explores this so well here. Yeah, and I hate spiders.
…is currently reading Divergent by Veronica Roth.