Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) finds her life is getting more complicated. Two new vampires named Drusilla (Juliet Landau) and Spike (James Marsters) have come to Sunnydale to fill the void created by the death of the Master. Love is also in the air with an unlikely pairing of Xander (Nicholas Brendon) and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Willow (Alyson Hannigan) finds new love in a new student named Oz (Seth Green), and even Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) discover romance in Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte). Buffy is also finding love with Angel (David Boreanaz) but loving Angel might become the biggest danger in Sunnydale when an age-old curse surfaces that could change everything for Buffy.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 2 was the series’ first full season after a short premiere season and ran from September 15, 1997 to May 19, 1998. The series continued to gain critical acclaim and a vapid following. Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 2 won Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Makeup (“Surprise”/“Innocence”) and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series—Dramatic Underscores (“Becoming—Part 1”) with nominations for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series (“Becoming—Part1”/“Becoming—Part 2”).
Buffy was a college series, but I missed the first half of the second season due to being out of the country. With no DVDs, DVR, or online streaming, it was often hard to catch up with series like Buffy that relied on regular viewing. Despite this, I did catch up and continued to watch Buffy through the conclusion…Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 2 is really where Buffy became Buffy.
The series really ended up priding itself on having plots that weaved through seasons and even multiple seasons. Minor characters introduced in season 1 end up showing up in later seasons. Here, Buffy builds a lot of the foundation for the rest of the series.
The season mostly amps up the relationship between Buffy and Angel. The first half of the season has the “will-they-or-won’t-they” sexual tension between Angel and Buffy. This culminates in “Surprise” and “Innocence”. The second half of the series has “Bad Angel” and finishes up with “Becoming”. It is a good story arc and gives lots of range to both actors who are boosted by a great supporting cast which continues to expand.
Visually, Buffy always looked sadly cheap. Some of it was intentional with the recognition that the series had budget challenges, but other times, the editing and style seem rather weak. It remains consistent through the whole series, so it establishes itself as its own style…but that doesn’t necessarily make it good.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 2 really makes Buffy a classic series. The overlapping storylines, different types of villains, and the Buffy-Angel romance are kind of what the series is at its core. With so many emulators, Buffy (from an outsiders perspective) might not have aged entirely well, but for fans, it remains a fun series with fun characters.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer—Season 2 Episode Guide:
2.1 When She Was Bad Airdate: 09/15/97
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is back from her summer break in Los Angeles and something is wrong with her. With everyone noticing that something is wrong with Buffy, Buffy seems to only be colder. When the bones of the Master (Mark Metcalf) are stolen, Buffy learns that the vampires of Sunnydale intend to resurrect him.
2.2 Some Assembly Required Airdate: 09/22/97
Angel (David Boreanaz) and Buffy find a grave dug up, and Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) determines that bodies are being stolen. Xander (Nicholas Brendon) finds there is tension between he and Angel after Buffy danced with him. When Willow (Alyson Hannigan) realizes that her classmates in the science department might be responsible, Chris (Angelo Spizzirri) and Eric (Michael Bacall) are revealed to be constructing their own Frankenstein Monster, but Chris might have different motives for the creation…and they need one more part that only Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) can provide.
2.3 School Hard Airdate: 09/29/97
Buffy and a student named Sheila Martini (Alexandra Johnes) are assigned by Principal Snyder (Armin Shimerman) to prepare for the parent-teacher night. Unfortunately, the Anointed One (Andrew J. Ferchland) has new agents in Spike (James Marsters) and Drusilla (Juliet Landau) who have plans for Buffy…and Buffy’s friends and her mother (Kristine Sutherland) could get caught in the middle.
2.4 Inca Mummy Girl Airdate: 10/06/97
A trip to the museum unleashes a mummy on Sunnydale. When Buffy’s exchange student is Em is attacked, the mummy (Ara Celi) replaces him and finds her way into Buffy’s home. A concert in Sunnydale brings a guitarist named Oz (Seth Green) to town.
2.5 Reptile Boy Airdate: 10/13/97
Buffy questions where her relationship with Angel stands. When Angel indicates that he can’t see her, Buffy agrees to go to a frat party with Cordelia, but the frat has its own secrets involving a cult…Buffy and Cordelia are drugged for the cult’s leader and could be the next victims.
2.6 Halloween Airdate: 10/27/97
It’s Halloween and things in Sunnydale are about to get crazy. When Buffy, Xander, Willow, and the others are assigned to chaperone children on Halloween, the costume shop owner (Robin Sachs) creates a spell to make people become their costumes. With Buffy behaving like a woman from the past, Xander trapped as an officer, and Willow stuck in ghost form, Giles seeks out the man responsible…and finds he’s tied to his past.
2.7 Lie to Me Airdate: 11/03/97
Buffy learns Angel has a strange relationship with Drusilla while Buffy finds a former classmate named Ford (Billy Fordham) has transferred to Sunnydale. Ford reveals that he knows Buffy’s secret…but Ford has other secrets as well. When Angel suspects Ford isn’t telling the truth, he enlists Willow and Xander to help him.
2.8 The Dark Age Airdate: 11/10/97
Rupert has always been seen as a fuddy-duddy, but when a man from Giles’ past surfaces, Buffy finds Giles might have his own secrets…which involves the costume shop owner Ethan Rayne. When Giles refuses to ask for help, Buffy, Xander, Willow, and even Cordellia must set out to help Giles.
2.9 What’s My Line?—Part 1 Airdate: 11/17/97
It is Career Week at Sunnydale and Buffy is realizing that she doesn’t have a future since she’ll always be the Slayer. When Spike summons assassins to kill Buffy, Buffy learns that she might not be strong enough to stop them…unless she has help from a girl named Kendra the Slayer (Bianca Lawson).
2.10 What’s My Line?—Part 2 Airdate: 11/24/97
Xander and Cordelia find themselves getting closer than expected when attacked by one of the assassins. Angel is prisoner of Spike in an effort to restore Drusilla…which means Kendra and Buffy must team-up to save him.
2.11 Ted Airdate: 12/08/97
Things have calmed down in Sunnydale, but Buffy finds new problems when she learns her mother is dating a man named Ted (John Ritter). To Buffy, Ted seems too perfect, and when she accidentally lashes out with her powers, Buffy could face jail time.
2.12 Bad Eggs Airdate: 01/12/98
Buffy, Xander, Cordelia, and Willow learn that they will be raising “eggs” in their sex education class. Cowboy vampire brothers named Lyle Gorch (Jeremy Ratchford) and Tector Gorch (James Parks) have come to Sunnydale and targeted Buffy. Buffy finds herself and her friends weakening…and the source could be a surprise.
2.13 Surprise Airdate: 01/19/98
Buffy’s about to turn 17 and her friends are planning a party. When Buffy has a nightmare that Drusilla is alive and kills Angel, Buffy worries that it could be a portent. Jenny gets a visit from her Uncle Enios (Vincent Schiavelli) who reminds her of her duty to her people. Drusilla and Spike plan for the resurrection of the Judge…and it could mean Angel must leave.
2.14 Innocence Airdate: 01/20/98
Angel and Buffy have slept together, and it has cost Angel his soul. As Drusilla and Spike work with the Judge to bring about the Earth’s destruction, Buffy finds that her greatest enemy might be the man she loves.
2.15 Phases Airdate: 01/20/98
Buffy tries to get past her dealings with Angel and when a werewolf appears in Sunnydale, it seems like the perfect distraction…until he gets into a competition with a professional werewolf hunter named Gib Cain (Jack Conley). Willow and Xander find they are at each other’s throats when Willow starts dating Oz.
2.16 Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered Airdate: 01/27/98
Valentine’s Day has Xander planning the event with Cordelia. When Cordelia is pressured into dumping Xander, Xander goes to Amy Madison (Elizabeth Anne Allen) for a spell to get revenge on Cordelia…but spells have a way of backfiring. Buffy learns that Angel is coming after her for the holiday.
2.17 Passion Airdate: 02/24/98
Angel is getting closer to Buffy and her friends and threatening to kill them. As Jenny Calendar searches to undo the damage she has done, Angel sets out to prevent her from doing it.
2.18 Killed by Death Airdate: 03/03/98
Ravaged by the flu, Buffy ends up in the hospital. Buffy discovers there is something in the hospital hunting children and that it could be related to her childhood.
2.19 I Only Have Eyes for You Airdate: 04/28/98
Ghosts are roaming the halls of Sunnydale and using bodies of students to recreate their deaths. With the danger growing, Buffy must find a way to stop the cycle forever.
2.20 Go Fish Airdate: 05/05/98
Sunnydale’s swim team has suddenly gotten good. When the swim team begins to die mysteriously, Xander goes undercover as Buffy and Giles seek out reports of strange fish monsters.
2.21 Becoming—Part 1 Airdate: 05/12/98
Buffy has decided that it is the time for the final showdown with Angel as she tries to deal with finals. The discovery of Ms. Calendar’s spell of restoration for Angel could change Buffy’s plans…and drive a wedge in the Scoobies. The discovery of Acathla’s grave brings Kendra back to Sunnydale and into danger.
2.22 Becoming—Part 2 Airdate: 05/19/98
Kendra is dead, and Buffy is on the run from the police who suspect she could be responsible. Buffy meets Angel’s friend Whistler (Max Perlich) and makes an unlikely ally in Spike. Willow clings to life while Giles is held hostage by Angel. Buffy’s mother learns Buffy’s secret and has a showdown about her future. Angel hopes to awaken Acathla, and Buffy cannot allow that to happen.