Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buffy Season 1, Episode 6

School field trip. Hurray. We're at the zoo. A group of cool kids pick on Buffy...yes, that's relative, because the cool kids and Xander get possesed by hyenas. Now, we get a very fascinating legend here. Buffy and Willow are about to follow Xander into the off-limits hyena exhibit when a keeper stops them and tells the story of how a tribesman told him that "hyenas can understand human speech. They follow humans around by day, learning their names. At night, when the campire dies, they call out to you. And once they have you separated, the pack has you." This is a fascinating legend, but I don't know whether it's a true legend or not.

Anyways, Xander and the cool kids have a mini-confrontation in front of the exhibit, which we see means that they're standing on this huge hyena glyph. Hyenas' eyes glow, the humans' eyes glow, and they're possesed.

That night at the Bronze Xander is acting very un-Xander-like. Predatory, selfish, bold. I take that back, regular Xander is quite selfish as well. The rest of his pack comes in and he laughs along with them at their cruel jokes. The next day while Willow tries to tutor Xander in math he is incredibly rude to her and throws his textbook in the trash. Willow is quite upset and Xander storms off. Meanwhile Buffy has a run-in with the schools new mascott, a pig dressed up as a 'Razorback'. Xander walks by and the pig freaks out.

In gym that afternoon there is a session of dodgeball, and the hyenas are acting like a pack. Xander really slams a ball at Willow, and you can tell that this is a kill. She confronts him afterwards, and he greatly insults her. He and his pack are left in stitches. As Buffy and Willow had just been having a conversation about how Willow is so in love with Xander, Willow is understandably crushed.

Really, I do have to compliment the choreographer for this episode. Pack behavior was researched extensivly. All of the cues, the movement, all of it emulated a pack perfectly, right down to the branching out and walking different levels when on the hunt. The actors also did quite well, and emulated the hyena laugh while sounding human decently.

...and the pack eats the new school porker. The principal acts comicly aggrieved. Buffy consults Giles, saying that Xander's been possessed by a hyena. Giles is firmly of the opinion that its just testosterone...until Willow come in with the news of the eaten pig. Giles abruptly goes to begin his research.

Buffy checks out the scene of the crime and has a run-in with Xander. The rest of the pack gacks the principal! Finally, I was getting tired of that whiny little bitch. Buffy knocks Xander out and cages him in the library...which oddly enough has a cage. Has anyone ever really noticed that? A CAGE in the school library?? I mean its convenient, but its nonsensical.

The pack comes to free Xander while Buffy is gone and Willow gets chased by them. Buffy saves her just in the knick of time and leads the pack off back to the exhibit to reverse the possession. Turns out the keeper from before is the real badguy who worships the hyenas. He, for some stupid reason, transfers all the hyena spirits to himself. An entire pack in one body? Doesn't work so well. Dude gets gacked, the day is saved, Willow gets a cute little romantic moment and all is well.

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