Watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a daily ritual for me. Some people sleep to white noise but to unwind each day I prefer the riff of a guitar and the poof of vampires being dusted. Choosing the best episode was difficult because the episodes I watch the most are ones that I like to sleep to or for moments I need in my life.
There are some emotional days when I am angry at the world and need to watch episode 5 from season 6 titled “Family” just to get to the end and see Tara and Willow levitate as they embrace lovingly. Other days I feel so misunderstood I need to watch the twelfth episode of Buffy season four “A New Man” and watch Giles transformed into demon with magical boogers and huge horns that no one but one but Spike understands. And I know its coming but I still cry every time I see Giles face go from a smile to horror when he finds Jennie Calendars body in the episode “Passions.” But whether it is a moment or monster that draws me to episodes, I have a long list of episodes that keep me riveted to the screen even after dozens of views. Here are my top 6 with my favorite moment from the episodes explained.
Season 1 Episode 12
Fav Moments: Had to pick a few.
When Buffy walks in on Giles and Angel discussing her eminent death. She has an long monologue but halfway through she says “does it say how I will die?” and a takes this breathe to hold back a sob and says after that “will it hurt?” Those last 3 words “will it hurt” is an amazing moment for such a young actress.
The outfit: white dress, crossbow & leather jacket (nuff’ said).
The bloody handprint on the TV screen playing Saturday morning cartoons when Cordelia and Willlow find the vampires victims in the school recreation room.
Amends (almost my topic pick)
Season 3 Episode 10
Fav Moment: When Angel tries to commit suicide by waiting for the sun to rise. And then the sun never shows its face because instead in a southern California beach town it snows (uh I get a pang in my heart just typing about the moment)
Prom (almost my top pick)
Season 3 Episode 20
Season 3 Episode 20
Fav Moment: This episode restored my faith in humanity but that is not reflected by my favorite moment but is worth saying. Even after all Angelus’s murdering and torturing people, I remember being devastated that Angel was walking away from Buffy in season 3.
She is speaking to Giles about the wonderful surprise of her classmates honoring her with the sparkly umbrella/ class protector award and she says, “Sometimes people surprise you.” The music starts and Giles replies and directs her attention to Angel in a tux approaching and says, “sometimes they do.” And in the end she gets her perfect Angel and Buffy high school moment.
A New Man
Season 4 Episode 12
Fav Moment: Giles jumping out of his “perfectly serviceable car” to chase Professor Walsh up the street after declaring he was not going to behave like a monster (Maggie so had it coming).
Once More with Feeling
Season 6 Episode 7
Show writer producer Marti Noxon singing about a parking ticket. "I'm not wearing underwear"
Show writer & producer David Fury singing about getting out mustard.
Every part of the song “I have a theory” but in particular when Xander sings:
“It could be witches, some evil witches! Which is ridiculous 'cause witches they were persecuted. Wicca good and love the earth and women power and I'll be over here.”
I will Remember You
Angel Season 1 Episode 8
Fav Moments: Buffy and Angel eating ice cream like a normal couple in bed. Angel sacrifices the chance to be human and with Buffy. The moment when he reveals this to buffy and she weeps repeating the mantra, “I will never forget.”
**I know this is a crossover episode and not technically a Buffy episode but as a fan that was on team angel and this day that the show creators gave the couple was a major moment of closure for me.
It was a tough choice to make the season 3 episode "Revelations" my top pick overall. But ultimately it won because it was about the core group of Scoobies and Faith, not just the Bangel ship. Season 2 made me almost hate Angel and Season 3 made me feel like Buffy's life would always be: wake up, shop, save the word, go to sleep, repeat. Instead the episodes of "Amends" and "Prom" gave her high school moments that every person should get and as a fan I so wanted for her. I was a high school girl when I first saw these episodes and they so fully captured that heightened emotions of puberty/teenage years and how even though it seems like the end of the world everyday sometimes you get a beautiful moment.