I review the fifth episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s first season, Never Kill A Boy on the First Date.
S1x05: Never Kill A Boy on the First Date
With this episode, Buffy heads into romance territory, and explores the dilemma of Buffy trying to keep her life as a Slayer hidden from her normal one, and brings a date along. It’s not a weak episode of the Series, but neither is it a particularly strong one – allowing for a particularly interesting episode that suffers from some flaws, but is nonetheless a welcome break from the appalling Teacher’s Pet. Owen is Buffy’s love interest in this episode, and it’s handled actually pretty well as a self-contained story. And any episode that has Cordelia being made fun of – in this case, being rejected twice, not only by Owen, but also Angel, who she meets for the first time, was quite fun to watch.
Character development is pretty strong here, Giles and Buffy are starting to become slowly detached from their original roles as standard librarian and hardcore Slayer, allowing for several interesting scenes in this episode. Anthony Head once again knocks it out of the park with his performance as Giles, delivering some great one-liners. This episode is also fairly important as it introduces The Anointed, a creepy child character who plays a sinister, but not major role in Season 1, working with the main Season’s big bad, the Master. However, once again – this episode is marred by some weak production issues, particularly in the opening fight scene and the vampires in question, and with a lot of heavy-handed exposition runs throughout this episode.
This episode’s main function is to point out just how isolated Buffy is as the Slayer, when it comes to relationships – yet also reminds her that she still has a steadfast group of friends in the form of Giles, Xander, Willow and to a certain extent Angel. Whilst on the subject of Buffy’s friends, Xander (despite the fact that he’s still annoying) actually gets a good line this episode, in the following:
Xander: So Buffy, how’d the slaying go last night?
Xander: I mean…how’d the laying go?…no I don’t mean that either.
Personality wise, I pretty much enjoyed the newcomer, Owen. He was a welcome change from the popular crowds that we’ve seen from previous episodes (Cordelia and friends, I’m looking at you), and his inclusion allows us to get a fresh face at Sunnydale, however – his appearance only seems to be a one-off as he doesn’t crop up for the rest of Season One. Whilst I wasn’t a fan of the romance angle of the show, the writer handled the episode well enough and I was kept entertained all the way through. To bring up my earlier point, whilst Never Kill a Boy on the First Date may not be the best Buffy episode ever, it’s far from the worst, and I think that’s pretty much the case with most of Season One. There’s some good episodes (mostly the Whedon written ones), and there’s some bad ones.
Action wise, there’s some fairly standard sequences going on here, as it doesn’t suffer from poor direction or a large amount of cheese like the previous episode, Never Kill A Boy on the First Date allows for some a nice watching, even if the main plot didn’t have my attention fixed to the screen all the way through – with the secondary string focusing on the finding of the Anointed not as interesting as it should have been.
There’s Never Kill A Boy on the First Date covered. Make sure to come back tomorrow (hopefully), for The Pack.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 1 (1997): S1x01: Welcome to the Hellmouth, S1x02: The Harvest, S1x03: Witch, S1x04: Teacher’s Pet, S1x05: Never Kill A Boy on the First Date, S1x06: The Pack, S1x07: Angel, S1x08: I Robot… You, Jane, S1x09: The Puppet Show, S1x10: Nightmares, S1x011: Out of Mind, Out of Sight, S1x012: Prophecy Girl