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season two  >  the dark age


Rupert Giles is the ultimate British librarian. He wears tweed. He's stuffy. He thinks rock music is abominable noise. And as Dark Age opens, he's being sought by a similarly stuffy-looking stranger who's running from a zombie named Diedre. Well, Giles is also a leading expert on things that go bump in the night, so that last one is understandable. Unfortuntately, the zombie finds the stuffy stranger before he finds Giles. And then, like all good zombies, she turns into green goo.


The poor guy may have been saved if Buffy hadn't aerobicizing in a lovely ensemble of a lime tank top and blue stretchy pants. And don't forget the black bra. Perhaps Giles has to take a sip of that tea every time he sees the strap. Or maybe he's figured out how to tolerate his Watcher duties and put more than just tea in his mug.


When next see Giles, he is having an uncharacteristic dream of dark magic and tattoos and demons and what appears to be quite the wrong crowd. He awakes in a panic. Or, maybe he's just late for school. Not that I'm complaining about seeing Giles in bed, and in such cute PJ's.


If I could be anywhere with John Cusack, I don't know that I'd pick a public restaurant. But enough of those thoughts of John slowly losing items of clothing in a secluded spot… a hot tub maybe, just after he's done the whole lifting his stereo over his head under my bedroom window in the rain thing. *Ahem* Where were we? Oh right.


Buffy has decided that leopard skin sunglasses are coming back any day so she'd better wear them now as not to miss it. Willow has taken the safe route with garanimals. Giles walks up engaged in something we've never seen before or since: talking to another student. The scoobies, with addition of Amy Yip loving Xander, basically decide that Giles' version of Anywhere But Here is wishing for mathier math class.


As they walk into school Giles warns Buffy not to be late to tonight's watch over the monthly blood delivery at the hospital. And understandably so. He's picture of responsibility. She's, well, wearing a skimpy halter top and those aforementioned hideous sunglasses. She's also wearing her typical-type skirt, which is to say that if it were any shorter, it would be a belt.


Jenny joins the crew in the hall, calling Giles that sweet and cuddly, as well as original nickname "England". And in a seemingly lighthearted moment, Willow remarks to Xander: "Feel the passion". It's so sad.


Jenny then tells Xander that Saturday, he'll joining Cordelia in the computer lab to catch up with class. Because that's not something you'd tell students while in class or any earlier than one days' notice or anything.


As Giles walks Jenny to class, she plays this really fun game with him. You should try it sometime because it's just a hoot. In this game, you borrow a really rare first edition book from someone and then tell them you folded over all the pages, underlined every other word and spilled coffee all over it. This game is even more hilarious if the book belonged to the owner's father. Yeah, Giles doesn't  think it's too funny a game either. Turns out she just wants to see him squirm cause she thinks he's sexy fuddy duddy. He apparently doesn't squirm enough, because she then starts to seduce him right there in the hallway as the student population swarms in. Get a broom closet already!


Did anyone ever tell you you're kind of a sexy fuddy duddy?


Giles, still all tingly from the squirm session, walks back to the library to the waiting police. And not just any police. This is the straight from Dragnet but with less acting skills version of the police.  They want to know what the earlier dead guy wanted with the Sunnydale High librarian.


Cordelia picks this opportunity as the only time she's ever come into the library looking for books and figures she can get a ticket fixed at the same time. Her observation skills are at her lowest point here, wondering what Giles yelling at her could possibly mean.


What? why does everybody always yell my name? I'm not deaf. And I can take a hint. What's the hint?


Detective Friday brings him right on to the morgue to identify the body. Giles knows him, but says he hasn't seen the guy in over 20 years. He seems a bit preoccupied with a tattoo (possibly an alien creature riding a broomstick) on dead guy's arm, but tells Mrs. Brilliant Interrogator and Crime Solver that he has no idea what it is. Uh-huh.


At that night's blood stakeout, Giles is a no show. Before Buffy has a chance to call him, the blood arrives and Buffy, with her astounding Nancy Drew skills of deduction figures that doctors couldn't possibly be taking delivery of blood. It's a hospital after all. And when have doctors been there? Must be vampires. She's right, of course, and this leads to fighting and staking, and a just-in-time Angel. She leaves Angel, the vampire to deliver the blood. Now, maybe he's trustworthy and all, but that's still kind of cruel. It's like asking someone who just quit smoking to hang on to your carton of cigarettes for you.


Anyway, Buffy heads over to Giles' to check out why he didn't show up. Giles is dependable right? He's tried and true, pillar of virtue. Never even unbuttons the top button of his shirt.


So, wonder of wonders, when Buffy knocks on Giles' door, he answers it sans jacket, tie loosened, buttons unbuttoned all over the place, and possibly drunk. He doesn't seem to care much that he missed the blood buffet extravaganza and tells her to go away. Buffy thinks something must be up. Ya think?


Back in Giles' apartment, he's trying to call…. the woman zombie who killed his friend. (Remember, the one who turned into a puddle of goo? Yeah, her). He finds out she's dead (goo actually, but he doesn't know that) and Giles downs another drink. Giles! We never knew you!


The plot thickens when he crosses the zombie woman's name off a list that includes the dead guy from the morgue (also crossed off), a third crossed-off name, his own name, and that of Ethan Rayne. Yeah, the Halloween costume shop guy. We knew something was up between those two. And also some kind of past.


And you will never guess  what happens next. Giles has the same alien on a broomstick tattoo as the dead guy! Oh, you did guess? Well, play along here and act surprised. Do you think maybe Ethan has one too? I'm all on pins and needles here. (Well, not literally, cause then I'd get up and sit somewhere else.)


Then amidst some scary music, Giles looks in the mirror and says, "So, you're back." Who, who? Who's back? You're still thinking that Giles is all stuffy, right, and he must mean Ethan, bringer of all bad things? We'll see.


Meanwhile the dead guy gets up out of the morgue. He's a zombie now too! We get to see dead guy as nekkid zombie guy, who is similar to Sunday sitting on the couch watching football with a beer belly guy, grunts and all.


It's Saturday and time for Jenny's fun Saturday school. Conveniently, out of all the students in school, only Xander and Cordelia are scheduled for it, and Willow of course, came for fun. Lo and behold, Buffy shows up too. Could it be that she wants in on the rocking computer programming style party? Nah, she just figures Jenny might have the inside line of Giles' recent strangeness.


Xander thinks he knows the scoop. And let's face it, he's right, as always. He tells them that "no one can be as wound as straight and narrow as Giles without a dark side errupting." And here is when we first learn of Xander's Uncle Roary. Oh Uncle Roary. How disappointed we were when we met you.


Yup. I knew this would happen. Nobody can be wound as straight and narrow as Giles without a dark side erupting. My Uncle Roary was the stodgiest taxidermist you ever met -- by day -- by night it was booze and whores and fur flying... were there any whores?


Cordelia says Giles seemed fine when she ran into him talking to the police. She somehow knows that he was talking to them about a homicide, even though the cops didn't say a word while she was in the room. Could this be foreshadowing of future psychic ability? You think?


Buffy heads to the library and notices someone is there. Who could it be...? Yep, it's Ethan Rayne. The 'push the bookcase on Buffy' trick doesn't work and she realizes that he's the costume shop guy.  So, she punches him. I think it was just an excuse to let those bra straps show again.


Ethan lets on that he and Giles "go back…. way back." We knew there was something between those two. He's looking for Giles, who's busy at the moment having another one of those hell-demon, scary music nightmares. Buffy calls him and wakes him from the spiffy dream. You'd think he'd be more appreciative. And, sit down for this one - Ethan does have a tattoo! Were these guys in the navy together you think? Buffy asks Giles about the Mark of Eyghon. My money says it's the tattoo. I'm taking it to Vegas, baby.


Dead guy turned zombie crashes into the library and Ethan grabs Buffy to get her out of harms way, um  use her as a human shield. Giles hears the noise over the phone and comes a running. As the rest of the gang rush into the library, score one for Cordy! She trips Ethan and keeps him from escaping.


That'll teach you to mess with me when I've got a... girl.


Then it's Buffy vs. Zombie in a fairly short fight that ends with the zombie in the weapons cage. Giles, who must live next door to the school, or possibly above the gym, arrives in short order, and sees his *cough* friend *cough* Ethan and dead zombie guy.



After a heated exchange between Ethan and "Ripper", during which only Buffy's annoying questions seem to be stopping the smoldering looks and pent up range from erupting in a passionate kiss, zombie guy breaks out of the cage and knocks Jenny unconscious. Buffy kicks him a few times and it's just enough to turn him into the blue goo. And ew! It gets on Jenny. Next comes a moment between Giles and Jenny that might be touching if it wasn't for Jenny's glowing eyes! I knew she was a demon spawn!


Giles gets all defensive and won't let the scoobies in on the deal about the Mark of Eyghon. He takes off with Jenny, leaving the gang to rifle through Giles's stuff.


Back at Giles' apartment, it's time for more liquor!


The researching troupe finds the scoop on the Mark of Eyghon. Turns out it summons a spirit who possesses a dead or unconscious person. And people summon this demon type thing for laughs and the occasional orgy. I don't need to say it do I? Giles' list? An orgy? Something up between Ethan and Giles. Oh never mind. You simply don't want to see the truth. Moving on then.


Buffy and gang finally get with the program and realize that zombie guy is no more, so the demon's not possessing him. And Jenny was conveniently unconscious at the right moment. She seems to be acting pretty normal to me, trying to get Giles to take advantage of her "weakened state".


The romantic moment is somewhat lost though when Jenny becomes a freaky demon creature out to have sex with Giles or possibly to kill him. Or maybe both.


Buffy crashes in and runs the Jenny demon off. She demands to know the deal, and Giles finally spills that (drum roll), he created the demon! He was the orgy guy! (see above, re: orgy.)


Willow and Xander are discovering scary things of their own, including a picture of a rock and roll Giles, complete with long hair and guitar. Giles tells Buffy that he hasn't been "math class could be mathier" guy his whole life. He dropped out of college and starting hanging out with Ethan, doing magicks, and apparently summoning demons to spice up their sex life. They had to kill one of the orgy gang and thought they were rid of the demon. Obviously, they were wrong.


And then Ethan and I discovered something a little bigger.


Buffy's off to help Ethan (remember, he's that guy she hates) and hopefully not kill Jenny in the process. Cause, you know, Jenny can't die or anything. Buffy finds Ethan at his shop, where he has lots of weird naked mannequins in vaguely disturbing poses. She figures that Ethan will hide while she takes on the Jenny-demon hybrid, but he has other plans. He knocks her out and then ties her up. No, get your mind out of the gutter! He figures she's the tattoo type, and that the Mark of Eyghon would look great on her. Then, he'll burn off his own tattoo with acid and be home free.


Willow is the absolute master of the obvious as she interrupts her research with Xander and Cordelia to proclaim that they "have to figure out how to kill this thing… and fast!" Cordelia lets them know that all they have to do is decapitate Jenny and they'll be free of the demon. But we all know that won't work. No one can touch Miss Calendar's sweet neck. After a potential WWF Smackdown between Cordelia and Xander (and the second time in this episode a heated argument in the library almost became passionate kissing), Willow apparently comes up with a brilliant plan. It somehow involves dead bodies. What could it be…?


Giles is seriously wigging, and his nightmare vision things tip him off to Ethan's dastardly plan. He runs to save her, but Jenny the Eyghon one gets there first. Once Giles arrives, the 'take me, no take me' games can begin. And who should arrive in the nick of time? Why Angel of course. He starts strangling Jenny, cause he really likes her neck. Oh wait, I'm getting way ahead here. Actually, it's all part of Willow's plan. Sure enough, Eyghon jumps out of Jenny into Angel (the closest dead body - get it?), where Angel's demon beats him to a pulp… or whatever it is that Eyghon-type demons get beaten into. Giles takes Jenny home and Ethan disappears to moon over Giles in peace.


The next school day finds Buffy with some weird 50's type scarf around her neck, complaining about getting the tattoo removed. She says she's worried about her mom seeing it, but apparently, she finds it more important to wear a really skimpy shirt than to cover her back with actual clothing.


And on the Jenny and Giles front, the offer of staying in and making Giles squirm has been downgraded to maybe a drink sometime. Giles was closer to scoring as stuffy square guy. Giles is reticent about summoning the whole demon thing, but there's one thing about his past that he's proud of: liking the Bay City Rollers. I'm not sure which is worse.




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