Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Buffy Rewind Review - "The Pack"

Review by Paul Steven Brown

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
Season 1 – Episode 6
“The Pack”

Two steps forward, one step back. Alas, the growing pains of a new television series. “Never Kill the Boy on the First Date” was certainly a move into the right direction for ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. It dealt with series mythology. Buffy had some great character progression. Giles, Willow, and Xander all got to shine. It was really solid.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for “The Pack”. The mean kids come off more ridiculous than threatening. Also, the more tragic points in the script are simply ludicrous. I mean, they EAT the principal! I have to wonder, if Xander (who did not participate in the murder) could remember what happened when under the influence of the hyena spirits, didn’t the other kids? We get nothing of this in the epilogue. I would think that even these supposed tough kids would need years of counseling after this experience.

And remember as Chekov put it: if you introduce a little pig in the first or second act, it must get eaten later in the play.

The best scenes, as usual, involve Buffy’s interactions with Willow and/or Giles. These two continue to make ‘Buffy’ worth watching (or should I say ‘tolerable viewing’). Alyson Hannigan continues to play Buffy’s bookish pal with a great balance of humor and self-awareness. She doesn’t know how to really address her feelings for Xander, but she’s not a wilting flower. She’s ready to confront Xander for his behavior in gym class and she doesn’t fall for his tricks when he attempts to smooth talk the keys from library cage from her.

Once again, Giles gets into the thick of things. I like a proactive Giles. While the slayer has the power to fight all the evil powering out of the Hellmouth, this watcher isn’t above taking matters into his own hands. Unfortunately, this has usually resulted in him getting thrown around or knocked unconscious, but this is Buffy’s show.

With this episode we’ve had two already that involve Xander acting stupid due to mystical influences. I hope this doesn’t become a trend. I already don’t really care for the character and I don’t other excuses to dislike him.

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