Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Buffy: Some Assembly Required (2.2)

Too much of Some Assembly Required is bogged down by a ridiculously boring Bride of Frankenstein pastiche, another episode that introduces a couple of Sunnydale High students purely there to service a horror story, and not to do a whole lot else. There are a couple of interesting elements (Daryl's loneliness; the lengths some people will go for love), but it's quickly drowned out by the slow pacing of the story itself. Chris and Eric are cyphers, Cordelia is once again stuck in 'victim' mode, and the final fight sequence is a hootenanny of body doubles and wriggling. Ugh.

But, like with pretty much every Buffy episode, there's some interest to be found in the non-monstrous subplots. Giles' awkward flirtation with Miss Calendar is endearing-as-all-hell, and I love their chemistry together. He's stuffy, nervous and old-fashioned; she's all in-your-face, sexily neurotic and modern. It's not an original type of relationship, but their courting is fun. Equally rewarding is the first real meeting of Angel and Cordelia, that great scene with Cordy in the dumpster and later her clinging onto Angel in the library were both hilarious.

There's also some fun stuff all about Buffy's squicky behavior last episode, with Angel jealous of Xander and embracing Cordelia's advances in an attempt to make Buffy just as jealous as he is. It's such a silly teenage thing, but instantly relatable. I also love Buffy and Angel's casual relationship. They're certainly not a couple, but they're both aware that there is something there between them and they're just seeing where it goes, fully accepting of the major restrictions (destiny, sunlight) that can't help but impact their 'thing'. Aww.

There are some interesting ideas at work here, it's just a pity the monster story is so awful, making this episode one of my least favorites of the entire series. D

Guest stars Robia La Morte (Jenny Calendar); Angelo Spizzirri (Chris Epps); Michael Bacall (Eric); Ingo Neuhaus (Daryl Epps); Melanie MacQueen (Mrs. Epps)
Writer Ty King Director Bruce Seth Green

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