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Buffy The Vampire SlayerThe Five (by Five) : Best episodes of Buffy
Monday 24 October 2005, by Webmaster
buffy the vampire slayer logoY’know, I thought it would be a cool idea and all to let you in on what I think are the top five episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, seeing as it’s almost Halloween and all (and yes, I know, baddies find the day to be boorish and cliché). But can I really sum up seven seasons of episodes within a measly list of five? Well, I’ll do my best, and I’m sure no matter how I order them or list them, someone’s going to disagree. Big time. So, without further ado...
First, I need to have some honorable mentions here, because I just don’t feel right at all not having them in the list. If I could, I’d have listed ’The Wish’ (3.9) and ’Tabula Rasa’ (6.8) among my favorites, but this is ’The Five’, after all. I know many will tell me I should have added ’The Body’ (5.16) to the list, but sorry, it’s not one of my favorites.
5) The Zeppo (3.13) — This episode is better known to me as "The Xander Episode". Finally the guy with no special powers gets his day in the sun, except nobody’s around to witness it. Xander takes down a high school bully zombie gang, saving the school and the rest of the Scoobs in the process. Not only that, but the man loses his virginity to Faith. Faith! A nice touch was how much the writers downplayed the battle that Buffy and gang were calling the possible "end of the world," as we barely caught a glimpse of what was going on during brief scenes when Xander was in the high school. Cap it all off with the look he gives Cordelia. Perfect.
4) Fear, Itself (4.4) — I just loved Oz. I hated that he later left the show, and I always dreamed up scenarios in later seasons when he’d return for good. He plays a great part in this episode, where a "fear demon" takes hold of a fraternity house during a Halloween bash, turning everyone’s worst fears upon themselves. Oz’s worst fear was, of course, turning into a werewolf outside of a full moon and then hurting Willow. And then there’s Anya’s idea of a scary costume: a rabbit. In a classic ending, the gang finally comes face-to-face with the fear demon, and we learn that the heading next to its picture in Giles’ book translates to "actual size".
3) A New Man (4.12) — This had some great interaction between Giles and Spike, something we hadn’t really gotten to see in the past. I also love the Ethan Rayne character, who in this episode changes Giles into one of the very things he fights: a demon (I always thought that the BBC’s Ripper series should start out with Giles meeting Ethan, so we could learn more about their sorted past, but I digress). Since Spike is the only one who can understand the Fyarl demon language, Giles relies on his help. I didn’t really care for season four all that much, mainly due to the featured big-bad being a bit disappointing. Thankfully this (and one other) episode brightly outshines what was a rather lackluster season.
2) Once More, With Feeling (6.7) — The famed musical episode had me a little nervous. Could these cats actually sing? And could Joss put together a story that made sense in a musical setting? Oh, why oh why did I doubt the Whedonmyster. It’s evident that a lot of time and planning was put into making sure this episode worked and worked very well. Not only were the songs well done, but the lyrics made complete sense with the story and the characters. Some of the songs were sung very well, too. Everything’s explained in a very Buffyverse-believable sort of way, and we even get a huge plot point for the series thrown in there for good measure: Buffy and Spike’s first kiss. No list of Buffy favorites is complete without this episode. None, I say!
1) Hush (4.10) — No brainer. If someone who had never seen Buffy (blasphemy!) asked me to show them just one episode of the show to get them hooked, this would be it. Joss and company pull off one hell of a stunt by making an almost completely speech-free episode, and damn does it work. Also, this is one scary-ass episode. Holy creepy on those ’Gentlemen’ and the gimps that hurried after their floating bodies. And those plastered on grins. Parents, do not show this episode to your young kids; they will have nightmares for months following watching this. And once again, we get a huge piece of the Buffy story added in the mix, as Riley finally finds out that Buffy is a little bit "special".
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