The 25 Best Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes, part 3: 15-11

I hope you’re enjoying this walk down Buffy Memory lane as much as I am, gentle readers. Here’s the next installment of my list. If you need to catch up, you can read the first two installments of this list here and here. As always, screen caps are from Screencap Paradise, unless otherwise noted.

15. Halloween (02×06)

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Giles: “Break the spell, Ethan. Then leave this place and never come back.”
Ethan: “Why should I? What’s in the bargain for me?”
Giles: “You get to live.”

I believe my everlasting love of Ethan Rayne has already been documented, but I’ll reiterate: he is a wonderful villain, who brings with him the gifts of wacky mischief  and homoerotic undertones. I wish the show had used him in more than four episodes, but instead of dreaming of what might have been, I’ll just appreciate the times Ethan and I had together. In this episode, Ethan, making his first appearance, sells costumes to the kids that turn them into whatever they’re dressed as. Hence, the world goes topsy-turvy on us as Buffy becomes a simpering noblewoman who mistakes cars for demons and Xander becomes a living G.I. Joe. More importantly, this is the first episode to hint that back in his day, Giles was a total badass, and when the situation calls for it he’ll revert to that badassery in a heartbeat. The perfect man? You be the judge.
14. Earshot (03×18)
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I am my thoughts. If they exist in her, Buffy contains everything that is me and she becomes me. I cease to exist. Huh.” – Oz
 This episode makes fantastic use of Buffy having temporary mind-reading powers. We get Oz, the human incarnation of the phrase “still waters run deep,”;  Cordelia, who says everything she thinks; and poor Xander, who simply cannot stop thinking about sex for two seconds. I think we can all relate. “Earshot” also has one of the greatest comedic moments of the series when Xander and the lunch lady simultaneously catch each other doing bad things- and it takes them both a moment to realize that pouring rat poision into kids’ lunches trumps pilfering a piece of Jell-O. This also has an important lesson for teenagers, and, indeed, people of all ages: Nobody else notices you’re miserable because we’re all distracted by our own misery. Don’t kill anyone.
13. Living Conditions (04×02)
image from Buffyworld
Buffy: “So then she’s like, ‘It’s share-time.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh yeah? Share this!'”
Oz: “So either you hit her or you did your wacky mime routine for her.”
Buffy: “Well, I didn’t do either, actually. But she deserved it, don’t ya think?”
Oz: “Nobody deserves mime, Buffy.”

In this episode, Buffy starts to act more like me then ever! Then, everyone comments on what a bitch she’s being and it’s revealed that it’s because a monster is stealing her soul. Well, you win some, you lose some. At least this has the valuable lesson that no one should ever accuse Buffy of being crazy. Even when she only has half a soul, that girl has her shit together.

12. Band Candy (03×06)

Buffy: “Listen to me–”
Giles: “No, you listen to me. I’m your Watcher so you do what I tell you. Now sod off!”

This episode does a great job o drawing attention to how dumb teenagers act by showing the show’s adults acting like teenagers. We get to see Principal Snyder as a lame teenage nerd, Joyce Summers as a ditzy teenage girl who loves bad boys, and Giles as a badass Cockney teenager who goes around smashing shop windows for fun and gets so excited at the thought of Buffy beating up Ethan Rayne that he has to hop up and down to get it out of his system.

11. Storyteller (07×16)

“Oh, hello, there, gentle viewers. You caught me catching up on an old favorite. It’s wonderful to get lost in a story, isn’t it? Adventure and heroics and discovery: don’t they just take you away? Come with me now, if you will, gentle viewers. Join me on a new voyage of the mind. A little tale I like to call: Buffy, Slayer of the Vampyrs. ” – Andrew Wells

Season seven, as a whole, was not bringing it, but this episode, as an individual episode, almost makes up for that. This episode shows the adorable Andrew’s attempts to make a documentary about Buffy and the end of the world that makes him look like less of a best friend-murderer than he is, intercut with footage of Andrew’s fantasy sequences. Tom Lenk is unbelievable in this episode, giving both hilariously bizarre line deliveries and a heartbreakingly real emotional performance. We are as gods!

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