Episode 16: Some Assembly Required

Summary

In this episode, Cory and Laine explore Frankenstein metaphors, how Cordelia is suddenly very aware of Xander, and just how smart are red heads in Sunnydale anyway?

Thanks for joining us for Season 2, Episode 2- Some Assembly Required.

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Music

Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Magnatune.

5 thoughts on “Episode 16: Some Assembly Required

  1. So I don’t know the exact moment Cordelia realizes Angel’s a vampire, but by the season two episode Halloween, she definitely doesn’t. She thinks Buffy’s joking when she tells her (and Buffy and Willow thought she already knew). I don’t know if it’s straightened out in the episode itself, though (I’m not sure if she sees Angel vamp out in that episode).

    I agree, based on Willow’s relationships with Tara and Oz, that she seems to fall for the individual person. That is how I read her in those relationships. I do know that she says she’s ‘gay now’ in the show, but just based on her behavior in both of those relationships I read her as falling for the person first and foremost. There are myriad ways to experience attraction and I like that Willow can be read that way.

    Also, when this season was airing (season 2 was on when I was in 7th grade) I thought Oz was basically the perfect human being. I actually initially stopped watching the show shortly after he left, and picked it up later in college.

    Season 2 and season 3 are definitely my favorite Buffy seasons, and even though some episodes are comparatively unremarkable, that’s probably the harshest thing I can say against them. I fully admit I’m not objective about them. I’ll rewatch every single episode from these seasons (and have, multiple times) and I have love for them all (the same is true for me for the season 1 episodes, even though I know seasons 2 and 3 were much more ambitious in both what they actually did and what they tried for).

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    1. Also, I love that you point out the camaraderie in this episode, including the integration of Cordelia into the group. That’s part of what makes me love these season 2 episodes so much–there’s this feeling of closeness and of working together as a team.

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  2. While I’ll admit Xander using the term “femmes” was rude, my favorite part of the episode has to be when Buffy tells him that she was raised knowing that men do the hard work while women have the babies. I thought that was brilliant.

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    1. Now after finishing watching, Xander was quite rude, more than I really remembered. And while Cordelia was just looking to find her place with the group and even thank Xander in the end, he just is so mean to her. I do like how its Willow we see doing more outside of the group, being more developed as a character, and even being the voice of reason for Buffy. But the whole episode I was sitting here going: Angel, did the dry cleaners mess up your order or something because I can’t take you seriously with that tan jacket. Honestly. Im.so happy to never see that jacket again. But Angel, as a character, I love seeing him with flaws because it gives him depth. And Giles fumbling with dating Jenny. I personally see him trying to get back in the dating game after years of not dating, and trying to be socially acceptable with his behavior and choice of words. He probably hasn’t been on a date in 15 years. Ever since he started training as a Watcher, he most likely had no time. There just seems to be so much character development from most of the main cast, except for Xander. He’s just been rude and annoying this whole episode.

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  3. First, I love this podcast! I love NWW too, but this one is so much fun. I listen to it during my commute and just react to you guys—interject comments and whatever and really wish I could engage in conversation. I wanted to comment all last season and just never got around to it. I guess that’s the danger of listening while driving. Anyway, I’m in front of a computer today so…

    My thought on Angel’s awful, awful outfit (that jacket is just grotesque) is that he’s trying to be more human and this is the result. His jealousy was driving him to madness. Not really — well, kind of. A big part of this episode focused on Angel’s jealousy of Xander and the human people in Buffy’s life, right? The clothes are his way of signaling that he’s trying to change so that he can fit in/be more in Buffy’s life. Generally, he dresses in dark, broody colors— it’s kinda the same with all “creatures of the night” but the humans in BtVS wear brighter, lively colors— the gross khaki jacket, though inappropriate for anyone under the age of 80, is more alive colorwise. Angel’s also more attentive to Buffy than we’ve really seen him, he actively seeks her out multiple times and pouts when she’s not around or available. He’s not acting cryptic or mysterious which is basically Angel during the whole first season. And though after this tragic ensemble he goes back to his dark colors, he never quite returns to his old aloofness.

    Of course, there were several terrible Angel outfits in season one, just none as bad as this. It could be that the showrunners were still working out his look. Why they decided to try this one, I don’t know.

    Xander was awful in this episode. Xander’s awful in most episodes. The older I get the less I like him. I do think the femmes comment was the writers trying to be clever and failing. I’m pretty sure (99%) the term never leaves his lips again. I chock it more up to rejected Buffy Speak than anything else.

    I think they were still trying to figure out Giles’ backstory and had not discovered Ripper yet. I can kinda headcanon it that’s his awkwardness is a deliberate choice that he’s made to mask the bad boy sex god that is his true self. But it does not quite work out. I mean, outside my fanfiction.

    I love Cordelia in this episode. I like how vulnerable she is trying to make herself part of the Scoobies. She doesn’t quite fit yet and she knows it and she’s not really sure she wants to be but she does. We also get to see her being really dedicated to something. She’s becoming more of a character and less of a caricature of a mean girl. Not to say that she’s suddenly become a kind person, but she’s more of a person.

    I don’t really see the literary Frankenstein much here. Maybe in the intelligence of the Creature/Daryl and his insistence on a female companion and hiding from humanity…but that’s in several movies too. So it’s just not there for me. He’s not even that grotesque.

    The writers really missed the mark not having Chris & Daryl’s mom kind of running things behind the scenes. That would have been so good. I hadn’t actually thought of it until you guys talked about it, so thanks for ruining this episode more for me? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Whatever, it wasn’t exactly my favorite episode in the world. No one’s really done Frankenstein right anyway, anywhere, but now I’ve got some interesting storylines to traipse down.

    Anyway, super-fun episode, guys, I’m looking forward to your next.

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