The spotlight this time on Buffy The Vampire Slayer falls on the wild and wooly Xander! The Zeppo is simply the latest in my SPOILER filled My Year of Buffy posts!
What Buffy Did!
The Scoobies are in a demon fight underground and they prevail. But Xander gets buried in the process. After getting out, Buffy says he should maybe stay back next time, all in order to not get hurt. At school, Xander tries to play football with some jocks, but bumps into a jerk, Jack O’Toole. He threatens to beat Xander up. Cordelia sees all this and makes fun of Xander, saying he is useless, and a Zeppo. Zeppo was the normal Marx Brother. Giles tells Buffy an evil group wants to reopen the Hellmouth in order to end the world. Xander gets a fancy car to show off with. Later he meets a girl who he thinks is interested in him, but really only likes the car. He takes her to the Bronze, but whacks his car against Jack’s. Jack tries violence, but stops when a cop shows up. Xander lies to the cop, which impresses Jack, and he lets Xander tag along. Jack tells Xander they are gonna raise his dead friends. At school, the Scoobies are researching and Oz is in Werewolf form. Giles goes to the cemetery to contact the Spirits for help against the Sisterhood of Jhe, but they refuse. Xander, having already seen Jack raise some friends from the grave, tries to go with Giles, but that doesn’t work. Xander has to drive the teenage zombies around as they steal supplies to bake a cake with. He sees Willow outside the magic store and tries to leave with her, but that doesn’t work. Jack decides that Zander must die to properly join their ranks, and Xander quickly escapes. He finds Faith, saves her, and ends up in her motel room having sex with her. She finishes and kicks him out. At school, the Scoobies have to lock Oz Werewolf in the basement as the Hellmouth starts to open. Xander notices the stolen items in his car are not for cake baking, but explosives. Finding Buffy for help, he sees she is in another intense moment with Angel. Xander thinks he is on his own, so questions one of the zombies and finds out that Sunnydale High is the target. Xander shows up at school, where the Scoobies are in the library fighting creatures with tentacles coming out of the Hellmouth. He rushes by, not noticing their fight, and they do not notice him being chased. Xander and the zombies fight and chase through the school, while the Scoobies do the big battle in the library. Xander finds the bomb in the boiler room and fights Jack. Xander blocks the exit and taunts Jack with going with the bomb. Jack chickens out and defuses the bomb. After Xander leaves, Jack is eaten by Werewolf Oz. At the library, the Scoobies manage to defeat the Sisterhood, stop the tentacle monster, and close the Hellmouth. The next morning, the Scoobies talk about their fight the night before in very cryptic ways, mentioning unseen events and heroic deeds of unparalleled greatness. Oz strolls by and does not mention his adventure last night. When Xander walks away, Cordelia comes up and insults him yet again. Xander just confidently walks away.
Buffy and Faith and Willow and Giles fighting demons in a dark scary cave. Notice Giles is not in a three piece English professor suit anymore. Giles is cut off from his contacts? The Watchers suck. Xander was there? What about his residue military training? Wouldn’t that kick in? Is this the Xander is useless episode? Aww, no one is letting Xander play football. Okay, welcome to the psycho in the schoolyard, Jack. Okay, Cordelia is still season one bitch. And she thoroughly enjoyed taking Xander apart like that. Oz is the really understanding sort, listening to Xander prattle about his identity issues, the man who macked on his girlfriend. Sisterhood of Jhe. End of the world. Giles is really on edge here, like a man without a purpose. And Oz is back in his cage. Nice callback. The Sisterhood wants to open the Hellmouth, because that is a really bad idea. How did Xander get a vintage car? Okay Cordelia, you are going way beyond woman scorned and into obsessive territory. This hot girl is so annoying that Xander even wants to hang with Angel. This is getting a bit much, with his car hitting Jack’s car. Jack has a knife. This is not funny, but scary. And Jack now likes Xander because he didn’t tell on the cop. This is getting increasingly stupid. Jack is some idiot weirdo, but he was doing real magic? Kill me now, this is getting super stupid. Giles even gets no answers from the spirit guides. Poor Giles. Willy got beaten up and the bar was trashed? That sucked, actually feel sorry for the jerk. Xander staring in Weekend at Bernie’s The Revenge Edition. Was the magic shop always owned by Uncle Bob? This is so stupid with the whole keeping Xander safe theme. Xander is not really good at escaping. Faith! Xander saves Faith! Okay, time for Faith and Xander to do the nasty. Only Faith would think sex after a dislocated shoulder. This is the only interesting part of this episode, Xander losing his virginity to Faith. Oz is being agitated by the Hellmouth activity. Yes, get Buffy help Xander. And now to the parody of Buffy and Angel arguing yet again over him sacrificing himself. Is this one over yet? Giles and Willow prepare for the binding spell. Now that is a bomb right out of central casting. Xander fighting demons and such while driving is cute. That classic car is so Supernatural. Okay, Xander is finally using his military intelligence. Of course the bomb is in the Sunnydale High basement. And Buffy and Giles and Angel and Faith and Willow are up against the Hellmouth creature. I know what they are doing here, but it simply is not funny. Couldn’t you have chopped his head off? Not just drop a vending machine on him? And Buffy etc fights the creature. Well, at least the zombies got eaten by the Sisterhood. Now Xander can fight and has strength? Meanwhile at the Hellmouth, chaotic fighting. Like all bullies, Jack is a coward. Okay, l laughed when Werewolf Oz ate Jack. And of course the Scoobies talk about this amazing unseen adventure. Cordelia deserves a slap here. And Xander has found his mojo.
Xander has a simple request of his fellow Scoobies after a battle with, “If anyone sees my spine laying around, just try not to step on it.” Willow suggests burning marsh mellows with the demons and justified it with, “Occasionally, I am callous and strange.” Giles shows the Scoobies he has a donut fixation with, “I always have a jelly. I’m always the one who says let’s have a jelly in the mix.” Xander realizes what the teenage zombies are not doing with this bit, “Hey, they’re not baking any cake.” Xander mutters to himself a question we have all asked, “Where’s a Slayer when you need one?” Oz doesn’t realize he is full of zombie when he says, “No, I’m oddly full today.”
Not a fan of this one. I understood the point, a humourous side story of saving the day that no one knows about. But when Justice League Unlimited steals the concept in The Greatest Story Never Told, it works much better. Maybe my dislike is because I find Xander annoying, or because Scoobies were out of character, but most of the time I was checking my watch.
…is currently reading Saga v 1, 2, 3, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples