Posted by: thebuffyrewatch | June 19, 2011

Cordia’s Review: S2, E17 – Passion

Season 2, Episode 17
Original airing: February 24, 1998

My Rating: 92

The Good: Amazing, astounding, fantastic. Are there enough words to describe how wonderful this episode is? The characters, dialogue, story and execution are masterful. And to top it all off, it’s just as powerful every time I watch it.

This episode is Jenny’s swan song, but it’s also Angelus’ showcase. His cruel nature is on full display as he taunts Buffy and her friends. He uses his knowledge of his time with a soul to particularly hurt Buffy through Willow, Joyce and Giles. And even though his murder of Jenny was apparently not originally part of his plan, he makes the most of the situation, driving Giles to act completely irrationally and risk himself as well.

This was perhaps the worst thing he did to Buffy in the episode. Her face when she realizes Giles’ might die in the fire is heart-wrenching in and of itself. And her tearful plea that she can’t do this alone as Giles cries over Jenny is painful as well. Finally, she wraps it all up by stating aloud that she’s ready to kill Angelus and she’s sorry she couldn’t do it sooner. For the first time, Giles has no conciliatory words for her.

Willow, Xander and Cordelia are wonderful moments of power and comic relief in the episode. Willow’s adorable panic over being asked to teach the class is matched by Cordelia’s ridiculous fear that Angelus will attack her in her car. But Xander trumps them both with his absurd comments in the face of everyone’s fear, wrapping it all up by describing Giles as a kitty off to “kill kill kill.”

The Bad: Two logical fallacies arise, as they often do in Sunnydale. The police are pretty relaxed about removing Jenny’s body from Giles’ home despite the fact that she obviously suffered a violent death. Giles would most likely be suspect number one and handcuffed, if not jailed. But apparently, he was released rather quickly.

The other silliness was the idea that Principal Snyder would ask Willow, a high school junior, to teach the computer class instead of getting a substitute. This unfortunately resulted in a distraction during Buffy’s end-of-episode voiceover.

Favorite Moment: Giles’ discovery of Jenny’s body is the beginning of a series of incredibly painful scenes to finish the episode. When he arrives to his rose-covered home, his face is so sweet and hopeful, only to have his whole world come crashing down when he discovers Jenny on his bed. The expressions on Giles’ face are heart-breaking and it only gets worse from there. Beautifully acted.

The Bottom Line: I’ll say it again: Amazing, astounding, fantastic. Are there enough words??



  1. Couldn’t agree more with your favorite moment. Giles’ face throughout is heart-wrenching. The hope when he sees the rose. How his face lights up like a teenager in love. Then the despair when he realizes what’s happened to her. Not to mention the reaction Buffy and especially Willow have to the phone call they recieve at the end of the episode. It’s so believeable, it makes me tear everytime.

    We’ve heard what Angel was capable of in the past, but it doesn’t seem like the sort of stuff we would see happen to such a loved character. I suppose the shock value is one of the things that makes this episode so good. As sad as it is, it seems like this is the sort of push Buffy needed to get up the nerve to be “ready” to kill him. As the slayer, knowing what she knows about his past, she was well aware of what he’s capable of and should have gotten the job done before anybody got killed.

    Can’t wait for the next episode!!

  2. I know this is a really old post, but ive got to say, you are the only person I have seen that mentions the whole police problem. This bothered me on my millionth rewatch so much that I searched for anyone who mentioned it. Its quite insane that the police wouldnt arrest giles. No other suspects, found neck broken in his bed of all places. In no believable reality would he not be arested and grilled for 20 hours until he gives a confession after being beaten with a phonebook. Cant get past this.

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