Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | April 18, 2011

Robin’s Review: S2, E09 – What’s My Line? (Part 1)

Synopsis: It’s Career Week at Sunnydale High and Buffy is sad to think that she will never have one. She also catches Spike’s minions stealing something from a mausoleum. Giles is worried and works out that Spike is trying to find a cure for Drusilla. In order to keep Buffy out of the way Spike puts a bounty on her head and calls in the deadly assassin Order of Taraka. Giles and Angel are freaked out by this. A strange woman attacks Angel and then Buffy revealing herself to be Kendra the Vampire Slayer.

The Good: The main job of any “Part 1” is of course to set up “Part 2.” This does an excellent job leaving several important hanging threads: Oz finally meets Willow, Angel is in danger, Spike is about to restore Drusilla’s health and the Order of Taraka are closing in on Buffy. The most intriguing thread of all though is the appearance of Kendra the Vampire Slayer. “Part 2” already feels like must-see TV, so mission accomplished.

Without seeing “Part 2” there isn’t too much to conclude yet. But…as ever Spike and Drusilla were eminently watchable and the childlike music that plays whenever Drusilla is rambling suits her perfectly. It was nice to see Angel and Buffy on a romantic date and have her accept him as he is, vamp face and all. I give the writers real credit for the slow introduction of Oz into the series. When he finally sat next to Willow and offered her a canapé it felt like we already knew what he was thinking. I had forgotten that one of Spike’s vampires got away with a book from the library recently and it was a nice piece of continuity to connect that incident to Spike’s ongoing efforts to help Dru. I liked the introduction of Willy the bartender as another human who is in on the world of vampires and can provide answers. Finally I also liked the theme of Career Week as an ideal way to have Buffy focus on her calling and mortality. The show has become increasingly clever at bringing those themes out of their stories.

The Bad: Kendra’s Jamaican accent is awful. It slows down her speech pattern as she works on pronouncing each word correctly. It’s a choice I think everyone probably regretted afterwards.

The Unknown: What was the guy who attacked Buffy and Angel at the ice rink? If he was human then how on earth did he fight Angel hand to hand like that? What is the maggot guy and how does that work? Ick. What bounty did Spike offer the Order of Taraka? Is Kendra really a Vampire Slayer and how can there be two?

Best Moment: I really liked Angel’s suggestion of going to the ice rink. It’s the first time that we have seen him behave like an actual boyfriend and it seemed a particularly sweet idea.

The Bottom Line: An excellent “Part 1” that makes me annoyed I have to wait to see the next part.

66/100

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