After the relaxation of Thanksgiving, it's time to get back to the world of Buffy.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 10 is important because it changed the tone for the rest of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2. Kendra was revealed! Drusilla got back to full strength! And new relationships, like Oz/Willow and Cordelia/Xander started!
A lot happened in the back half of the two-part episode. Let's find out by rewatching "What's My Line (Part 2)."
When Kendra revealed she was the vampire slayer, my jaw dropped. I didn't believe her. In a show called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the only concept I knew true was that Buffy was THE vampire slayer.
If I was Buffy, I wouldn't have believed Kendra either.
This is a big moment for the series. Having two Slayers in existence changed the course of the series and how things developed in later seasons. In fact, it made a big impact in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 and Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7.
Having two characters who shared the same burden created a familiarity for Buffy, and a connection no one else shared. I loved this concept.
Debate question: Should Buffy's drowning really have been enough to trigger the next Slayer?
Sure, Giles and everyone else confirmed this and she did technically "die" for a few minutes. However, people drown all the time and they're saved through CPR. I wouldn't be a surprised if this happened to a past Slayer too with someone drowning in water.
Buffy would've also been technically alive if she was able to be brought back. The drowning, while easy in execution, did leave some plot holes.
I stand by my thinking in the rewatching for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 9. The second Slayer being in existence had to have been planned by the Powers That Be and fate. The trigger was too easy.
Giles: Good Lord. You were dead, Buffy.
Buffy: I was only gone for a minute.
Giles: Clearly it doesn't matter how long you were gone. You were physically dead, thus causing the activation of the next Slayer.
Kendra: She died?
Buffy: Just a little.
Giles: She drowned. She was revived.
Willow: So there really are two of them?
Giles: It seems so.
Willy is such a weasel. Of course he would try to find a quick buck with Angel locked in the cage.
He's one of the few minor background characters who pops up around the city that Buffy interacted with for information. I liked that he added texture to the shady side of Sunnydale and how humans interacted with demons. He had the cliche role of sleazy middleman.
Case in point: Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 10 had him making a deal with Spike for money. Later on we'll have him giving information to Buffy, but Willy tends to play the middle.
I'm still on the fence about this ritual involving Angel and Drusilla. If all it took was a book, a full moon and Angel's blood to cure her, this could have been accomplished a long time ago. And how did she even get cursed?!
For the case of the rewatch, I'm going to ignore this so we can push the story forward.
Drusilla wanting to torture and play with Angel was another reason why she's more dangerous than Spike. She found sheer pleasure in torturing her sire and stringing him up. She treated him like a doll to be played with.
Though...their scene seemed strangely sexual. I hesitated (and decided against) taking a screenshot for this rewatch since it verged on S&M. I mean, there was bondage and everything!
Cordelia: I can't believe that I'm stuck spending what will probably be my last few moments on earth here with you!
Xander: I hope these are my last moments. Three more seconds with you and I'm gonna...
Cordelia: “I'm gonna” what? Coward!
Cordelia: I hate you!
Xander: I hate you!
Xander: We so need to get out of here.
Cordelia: Uh huh. [She nods]
When I was seven years old, seeing Xander and Cordelia kiss was surprising.
The two were always bickering and they were complete opposites. In fact, looking at it in hindsight, it was almost like a teen sitcom cliche where the uncool loser gets together with the prom queen. These two didn't have anything in common except for being members of the Scoobies.
Being stuck in the basement and the attack of the Bug Man definitely heightened their romantic tension. It's the only way to explain the passion that erupted into a kiss.
As much as they served the plot, they never felt like endgame. Cordelia and Xander were that relationship that started and stopped in high school. There was no lasting vibe to their chemistry.
Speaking of the Bug Man, he was so creepy! The way he simply stared at Cordelia and dissolved into the pile of bugs was the essence of horror movies.
Though, I don't quite understand how him being a pile of maggots would have killed Cordelia or Xander. Would he suffocate them? Bite them from the outside?
(On second thought, let's not figure that out. That could be the cause of nightmares in the future.)
Kendra: I study because it’s required. The Slayer handbook insists on it.
Willow: There's a Slayer handbook?
Buffy: Wait. Handbook? What handbook? How come I don't have a handbook?
Willow: Is there a T-shirt, too? 'Cause that would be cool...
Giles: After meeting you Buffy, I realized the handbook would be of no use in your case.
Buffy: What do you mean it would be of no use in my case? What’s wrong with me case?!
If we're being honest with ourselves, Giles probably wished to have a Slayer more like Kendra.
Kendra believed in proper training, learning the basics and following the handbook. She was the ideal Slayer. With all things considered, she should have been successful.
Obviously, we know the outcome that this was not meant to be.
She and Giles bonded so easily over their geekdom. I wish we had seen more scenes of them together. Their chemistry was strong.
Who guessed the policewoman was an assassin? Not me!
This was a fun twist, especially when you consider Buffy's dilemma of being given the possibility of becoming a cop. Buffy wondered about not being able to escape her destiny and trying something new. Showing that this cop was an evil assassin proved that (1) not all cops are good and (2) they can manage a double life.
Still, why did no one make the school shooting a bigger thing?!
I'm surprised that not a single person reacted differently after someone started shooting in the school. No police, no media or parents freaking out. And Oz got shot too! This should have been a huge scandal.
One of my favorite things about Kendra was the difference to the life she lived compared to Buffy.
While Buffy was a cheerleader and lived a comfortable life in Los Angeles, Kendra was given away by her parents to be trained as a Slayer. For those new to the Whedonverse, Potentials (girls who could become the Slayer) fell into two categories: (A) Those found by the Watcher's Council and trained since birth with a Watcher and (2) those who slip through the cracks. Kendra is the former and Buffy is the latter.
In fact, the odds of a Slayer being chosen from the latter is rare.
Buffy was left to scramble with no formal training or knowledge. It might also be one of the reason why Buffy's and Kendra's personality are quite different. And why their fighting styles completely are not the same.
Still, even with their differences, I liked seeing them bond over their fighting skills. While they didn't trust each other at this point yet, things were starting to turn around for them. The eventual bond was starting from somewhere.
Buffy: Still, I woulda kicked your butt in the end, and ya know why? No imagination.
Kendra: Really? Ya think so?
Buffy: Oh, I know so. You're good, but power alone isn't enough. A good fighter needs to know how to improvise...to go with the flow. Seriously, don't get me wrong, you really do have potential.
Kendra: Potential? I could wipe the floor with you right now.
[They stare at each other]
Buffy: That would be anger you’re feeling.
Buffy: You feel it right? How the anger gives you fire. A Slayer needs that.
The climax fight at the church is still one of my favorite endings.
We have all of the Scoobies together fighting to save Angel while the villains are trying to kill the heroes. There was blood, there were weapons, and there was a fire destroying the church. What more could you ask for?
Having the church organ crash down on Spike and Drusilla was a great ending.
Don't get me wrong, seeing the other villains being taken out too was great, like watching Xander and Cordelia get revenge on the Bug Man. However, there's something strangely satisfying with karma smacking Evil Spike in the face. Well, in this case it's crushing down on him.
It left their survival up in the air AND the good guys won the fight.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 10 served as an important hour for the development of the romantic relationships.
Obviously, Buffy reunited with Angel, but it was the other Scoobies who got the benefit of the closeness. Willow and Oz FINALLY got their overdue time together. After weeks of close encounters and teases, these two flirted and started slowly toward their next step.
In contrast, Cordelia and Xander heated things up with another makeout session. Prepare yourselves, Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. There's going to be a lot more romantic moments between these two.
Kendra: You talk about slaying like it's a job. It's not. It's who you are.
Buffy: Did you get that from your handbook?
Kendra: From you.
Buffy: I guess it’s something I really can’t fight. I’m a freak.
Kendra: Not the only freak.
Buffy: Not anymore.
Buffy and Kendra saying goodbye on a tender note was the perfect ending. It would've been terrible if these two didn't connect and find common ground before Kendra left Sunnydale.
It's a shame that she didn't get more screentime while active as a Slayer. I liked Kendra as a character. While I understand the need to focus on Buffy, there was so much untapped potential to show the properly trained Kendra alongside Buffy in the field, as well as the second Slayer storyline.
This was resolved in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 with the introduction of Faith. And Faith was the complete opposite of Kendra; whereas Kendra was trained and formal, Faith was wild and unpredictable. So luckily we saw a different side to this storyline with a new type of character.
Though, we could've had more of Kendra before her eventual death. Twenty years later and it's still not enough.
Did anyone think Spike and Drusilla would actually die in the fire?
This was only Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 10; we still had 12 episodes left in the season. There's no way two dynamic characters like these would be written out this early. However, based on rumors, Spike was originally going to die in the fire. I'm happy that plot point was scrapped in the end.
Drusilla getting her sanity and strength back changed the tone of the character. She was still mystical and dangerous, but she was more direct and forceful. This new side of her worked well when she assumed leadership while Spike had to recuperate.
Though, losing her light-hearted whimsical side was a sad moment. I'll never not miss the twinkling sounds whenever she said something foreshadowing yet confusing.
What did you think of "What's My Line (Part 2)"? Did you like Kendra as the new Slayer? Were you more scared of powerful Drusilla or weakened Drusilla? Which romance were you excited to see: Oz and Willow or Xander and Cordelia?
Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We'll be posting new rewatch posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Come back here and let us know what you think of the episode.
Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.