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I dreamt...I dreamt that Giles and I opened an office supply warehouse in Vegas.

season two   >   surprise


Many things could be said about Surprise. For instance, one could point out that Jenny makes a crap Gypsy. And that it came out of nowhere, and was arguably the dumbest thing they've ever done, short of putting her "uncle" in that hat. One could further pick on the overuse of misdirection as ominous music plays every time Jenny steps onscreen. One might find fault with the dock scene, and Angel jumping in after Buffy and her green velvet pants. [Seriously, did he think Buffy didn't know how to swim? -SP] One might even question where that evil Gypsy went during the dock scene - she just dropped Buffy and Angel off and drove away? [I guess Buffy, with her super-slayer strength, was just going to walk back to town.] If one got bored puzzling over these things, they might question the abuse of velvet and Buffy's mascara, but that really was a theme of the season, and not just this episode, so I suppose we can't really blame that on the script, can we?


So, in the interests of non-cattyness [we have to be interested in non-cattyness now? say it ain't so!], let me get going on this recap for you. Buffy has a dream. A whacky dream, natch. It involves monkeys whose pants have been stolen, Willow drinking cappuccino, Buffy's mom asking her if she's really sure she's ready for something and Angel being staked by Drusilla.


Ah. Good times. Let's watch that scene again.


Okay, so technically none of the following happens until the day that is not today, but I sort of feel it belongs first and that the editors clearly weren't thinking at all, and I'm the one recapping this anyway and come on, we're talking about the crack team that messed up some very simple shit in When She Was Bad, so I think that I should be given the benefit of the doubt, yes? So anyway, Buffy wakes up freaked out, her mother asks her if she's really ready for her driver's test and breaks a plate. In the dream she broke a cup, but apparently it's close enough to scare Slutty. I mean Buffy.


But, seriously. That skirt? The skirt that she wears the morning after her dream? I so would've been sent home in that thing. Of course, there's no better way to say "good morning, I dreamed you died. Uh, again." to your undead American boyfriend than in a skirt that is only a millimeter longer than your underwear. [And, of course, with knee-high white go go boots.] It helps to soften the blow. The making out heavily helps too. And we're going to pause another moment here to just focus in on Angel's necklace. Can we get a cap of that? Thanks. Now, can we just focus on this for a moment.



Can someone tell me what this is? Because, honestly, I think it's a clothes pin - the kind that really pinch your fingers, in cheap silver on a chain that is way too long for any straight man to wear. Okay, so, Buffy intimates that she'd like to get down and dirty with Angel, Angel's not exactly going to say no, considering it's been at least a hundred years since he got any, and then she trots off to school, having successfully completed her correspondence course in cock teasing.


Are we a family site? Can I say "cock teasing"? Whatever. I just did. [Dude, we have fuck you e-cards. If we're a family site, we're already in trouble.]



I'm gonna' ask you to go out with me tomorrow night, and I'm kinda' nervous about it, actually. It's interesting.

Willow finds it all romantic. Not the cock teasing, the possible sex. [Hey, maybe as an up-and-coming lesbian, she finds the cock teasing funny!] Willow needs to reassess that situation. He's dead. He's cold. He's…well, by all rights he should be rigamortised and inanimate and seriously decomposed. He's held together by a demon. But they're 17-ish and stupid. So there you go. It's romantic. However, a word of caution to Angel and any other 250+ year olds looking to get some sophomore tail: if your girlfriend, who is a good 200 years younger than you, can't even say "sex" and instead cutely says that she'd like to see you at bedtime? She's not ready, man. Not even close.


Jumping off of my soapbox, and choosing not to think about having sex with a dead man, I return to the episode. Willow asks Oz out. It's very cute. Go watch it. It is noteworthy to mention that when Willow walks away from Oz, she is doing the Jan Brady walk. I'm not sure what it means, but as nothing on Buffy is ever not important, as posters around the world can and will tell you, I'm fairly certain it's significant. Feel free to begin pontificating.


The date in question is Buffy's birthday party. It's time to begin the great BtVS tradition of fucking with Buffy on the day of her birth. To kick off the festivities, we have nightmares of Drusilla being evil (Buffy's) a dismembered arm in a box (the Judge's), betrayal by a comrade (Jenny/Janna/whatever), and the threatened disappearance of her boyfriend (Angel). Not as cool as being locked up in a house powerless with a crazy vampire, but whatcha gonna do?


 And anyway, Angel's coming, so she'll be able to protect him and have cake.


Buffy's party, which she arrives at unfashionably late by crashing through a window and dusting a vamp, is inexplicably held in the Bronze. I say inexplicably because the eight of them are the only people in the Bronze. It's empty. No staff. Nothing. It's all very odd. Due to Buffy crashing through the window, as previously mentioned, I'm rather sure this sort of thing will never be allowed by the owner of the Bronze again. Jenny joins the party lugging in a box that the remaining not-dead dead vamps left behind. Buffy opens it, and gets choked by the disembodied arm. Oz takes this all in stride. Of course he does. He's Oz. We love him. We miss him. We think he should come back and date Tara, even if Tara's dead. Hasn't prevented anyone else on this show from getting any, so why should it hinder them?


The arm, right. The arm was not actually Buffy's birthday present, but rather Drusilla's. Actually, we're not sure if it's her birthday, but we think it might just be a sort of "give me presents" party. Anyway, Angel gets all drama queeny and is all "blah blah blah, Armageddon". How many Armageddon's have we had on this show? Does anyone really care anymore? Apparently so, because everyone gets all weepy, and by everyone I mean Angel and Buffy, and Jenny takes this moment to step in and be all ominous Gypsy on their asses, offering to take Angel to the docks. I'd just like to mention here that Angel says he'll be gone for months trekking to Nepal and whatnot. Perhaps he should speak to Spike. I mean, Spike made it to Africa on a motorcycle in a day. So shouldn't Angel be able to get to Nepal in, like, 10 minutes? Of course, I can see why he went for the dramatic approach. I wouldn't have relied on that cheap claddagh ring for good bye nookie either.


The aforementioned fight on the pier takes place, interrupting a tender moment that had me gagging on the floor [Really it did. I saw it happen. I sorta thought the scene was romantic and stuff, actually. Hey, I remember being 17 and having a 250 year old vampire boyfriend who had to go away with an evil disembodied arm too! Oh wait. Except for maybe that last part.] , and Angel and Buffy get a ride back from the mysteriously reappearing evil Gypsy after their swim. [Also, somehow, they're all dry and stuff. Must be a perk of being a vampire and a slayer, similar to those miraculous quick-healing perks.]



I mean, what kind of a future would she have really had with him? She's got two jobs: Denny's waitress by day, Slayer by night. And Angel's always in front of the TV with a big blood belly. And he's dreaming of the glory days when Buffy still thought this whole creature of the night routine was a big turn-on.

Research, nightmares, bad clothes, and nostalgia for the library ensue. [And stealthy kissage with Xander and Cordelia! Who get busted by Willow! Poor Willow. No wonder she went gay.] Buffy dreams where Dru and the gang are. She and Angel go alone. They do a truly horrible job of reconnaissance and get caught, which they totally deserved to get. She wore giraffe print pants to sneak into a bad guy's lair. We've seen Buffy change into less practical clothes for a fight before, but this is just bad judgment. Also, heels are not recommended for stealthiness. They're just not. I bet that's even written down somewhere in the CIA's field op manual. It's gotta be.


A few wussy vamps manage to get Buffy and Angel down to Dru, Spike and the Judge. It's ridiculous. But I digress. A fight that goes down in the annals of truly horrible escapes fame begins and ends within the span of .5 seconds. I suppose I should mention that Angel tries to be all "Take me. Leave Buffy alone.", but I won't. Well, I won't expound on it, anyway. Because he should be kicking ass and taking names, but he didn't think to do that on the balcony when he had the chance, did he? Nope.


Buffy and Angel escape to the sewers, and instead of running to the group they run through the rain to Angel's apartment, arriving wet and heaving. [Apparently, when it's romantic to be so, they don't have miraculous quick-drying perks.] Oh, we all just know where this is going, don't we? Anyone that's ever seen porn knows where this is going. Of course, generally only "specialized" porn involves an older man cuddling wetly with a girl who looks much, much younger, but we've always known that sex on Buffy is of the special variety. So the very young-looking Buffy seduces the very old looking Angel. It's just. Well, 'wrong' covers it.


To top it all off, Buffy wakes up alone because Angel got up in the middle of the night holding his gut, put on the Leather Pants of Evil [and don't forget the Dress Shirt of Doom and Blazer of Badness], then ran outside in the rain to call Buffy's name. Rather than doing it in the apartment. That man is such a drama queen. Not only is he a queen, he's now an EVIL drama queen. And damned if they're the worst kind.


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