I Hate Xander: A Buffy The Vampire Slayer Retrospective, Episodes 5-6

Episode 5

This episode starts off and makes me angry right angry. Every time Buffy kills a vamp, they disintegrate, right? I mean, one the one hand, I get that, but it doesn’t ALWAYS make sense. Like… why would freshly turned vampires turn to dust? Their bodies are’t old and rotted. Whatever, that’s not the point.

This vampire leaves behind a ring when he dies. But… when vamps disintegrate, their clothes and personal effects go with them. But… why not this ring? Come on, show. Give me something to work with here.

Anyway, the ring stays behind so that Buffy and Giles work out that The Master is working on ANOTHER once-in-a-lifetime prophecy. Boy, it’s sure convenient that all these prophecies can happen right now. This time, he’s going to make a legendary evil guy called The Anointed!

Meanwhile at school, there is a 26 year old student named Owen with whom Buffy is infatuated. Buffy, no. This guy looks like this in high school? He’s peaked! He’s going to be wrinkled and gray when he’s 35! Owen is a sweet, sensitive soul who reads Emily Dickinson. Giles’ entire secret identity is working in a library, and then he is entirely confused why this middle-aged student comes to him asking for a book.

It turns out that Cordelia wants Owen, too. Bitch, Buffy JUST came to this school. You had how many years to get with this guy until now? Don’t tell me you didn’t notice this grown-ass man in your school until now.

Giles has determined that The Order Of Aurelius is coming! But Buffy has a date and barely cares. Giles gives her the secret identity talk–protect people by keeping them in the dark, blah blah blah–but Buffy is a modern 90’s woman who wants to have it all! Dating and slaying, Giles! Get with the times.

I fail to see the problem anyway. Everybody in this town ignores everything they see.

We cut to a bus entering Sunnydale where a crazy guy is spouting religious nonsense. He is screaming at a mother and her child until the bus is attacked by vampires who go after everyone inside.

At school, Buffy is losing her shit in the hallways because she caught Owen dancing with Cordelia at The Bronze. Owen approaches her, however, and asks for a second shot at a date. To ensure that Buffy isn’t late this time, HE GIVES HER HIS POCKET WATCH. Jesus Christ, Owen. You are a 60 year old man in a 30 old man’s body in a 15 year old’s high school classes.

This of course leads to Xander being a jealous schmuck. OH MY GOD. All he has to do is murder an adorable animal, and he’ll be entirely beyond saving!


Crazy religious guy is back as a vampire, and apparently he is The Anointed. Oh no!

Giles finds out Buffy has another attempted date scheduled with Owen and gives the best line of the episode (and series so far): “Another date? Don’t you do anything else?”. Because he wasted Buffy’s time by misreading the prophecy on Buffy’s first date with Owen, he decides she can have the night off because he still isn’t EXACTLY sure when The Anointed is coming.

Buffy and Owen have their date, complete dancing and other frivolity, though Buffy is constantly distracted by her beeper. Cordelia shows up, and her hair frightens me more than any monster in the show, so my wife has to explain how a hair crimper worked in the 1990’s.

During the date, Angel shows up. Shortly thereafter, Xander and Willow show up to try to let Buffy know Giles is being attacked by two vampires in the funeral home. I’m… not sure why Angel was there. Does he go with them to the funeral home? No. Why are you here, guy? Owen thinks going to the funeral home on their date sounds like a boss idea! Buffy tries to dissuade him, but he ends up stalking them there so he can officially be this episode’s anchor. Congrats, Xander! You’re not the worst part of an episode!

The Anointed jumps Owen, Xander, and Willow in the funeral home before Buffy comes to their rescue. They fight for bit, but Buffy easily dumps him in the cremation furnace. Owen does not know what to think and runs off…

Until the next day when he tells Buffy he still wants to see her! Oh, it turns out Mr. Emily Dickinson reader is an adrenaline junkie. He just wants to have more near-death experiences. You know what that means, right?

Owen, after surviving the previous night’s encounter, went home afraid and confused. And he discovered being afraid and confused made him horny as fuck, so he beat it off to the thought of The Anointed guy getting cremated. Then he sought Buffy out to see if she will help him get more kicks. Hey, no kink-shaming here, guy. Well, maybe a little kink-shaming here. You discovered how to get your rocks off, and it was in the presence of Xander.

Anyway, Buffy is put off by this and tells him no, but we already knows he will just follow her to the peril. Buffy has learned she can’t have her normal life because she has to be the Slayer, and I give my wife dirty looks because she keeps saying “Buffy’s story isn’t just Spider-Man’s” every time I’ve pointed out it is.

OH HEY, the crazy guy WASN’T The Anointed! The little kid on the bus was. Okay, good pull, show. I did not see that coming.

Episode 6

Episode six starts off with the zoo, Buffy getting picked on by the EXTRA popular kids (like, not Cordelia, but four ne’er-do-wells we have not seen before), and my wife going “Oh, I definitely remember THIS episode”. Uh-oh!

The bullies wander off and pick on a dweebie kid, but when the principal shows up, the kid DOES NOT SNITCH. Which I feel like is a lesson society wants us all to know, but I’d snitch. I’d snitch so fast in any situation. My ass is more important than yours! I’ll take my stitches!

Anyway, because he doesn’t snitch, the popular kids accept him.

Oh wait, no they don’t. They take him to the MyStErIoUsLy closed off hyena exhibit and try to bully him in there instead. THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULD ALWAYS SNITCH. Xander follows them in and tries to break it up before he and the popular kids GET HYPNOTIZED BY THE HYENAS ARE YOU FOR FUCKING REAL, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER?

Willow still has a crush on Xander, though since the zoo incident, he has been quiet and distant. Come the hell on, Willow. Watching the best character on this show pine after the worst is unwatchable.

Apparently Buffy and Giles just have full-on sparring sessions in the library during school hours. Is it weird that classes in my high school actually USED the library? It was seldom, if ever, just empty so the librarian could practice their martial arts.

Buffy encounters a stray piglet in the halls of the school; the principal is chasing it down and lets her know it is the school’s new mascot. It has a cute little Razorbacks costume and everything. Xander walks past Buffy while she is holding the piglet, and it’s clearly scared of him. The piglet was not even aware of the hyena thing, he was just like “Oh, not this character again”.

STILL IN SCHOOL, as we eventually get to gym class for dodgeball. Because if you can dodge a vampire, you can dodge a ball! More tribal jungle music plays and Jesus Christ, show; I GET IT. High School is a jungle. Be LESS subtle for two friggin’ seconds, why don’t you? The popular kids, Xander, and the dweebie kid are all on one time. Xander BEANS Willow in the face with a ball (I want to make a joke here about this being half of what Willow wanted, but clueless beat me to it by, like, 30 years). Then the popular kids and Xander turn on the dweeb and PUMMEL him with dodgeballs. The gym teacher does nothing. Because… jungle, remember?

THIS EPISODE NEVER LEAVES THE SCHOOL NOW, and we move on to Xander making fun of Willow. After giving her some sick Xander burns, he and the popular kids head off to try to eat the piglet.

Wait, does no one stop them?!


THEY ATE THE PIG! Fuck this episode!

The principal knows that the popular kids ate the pig, but somehow his sources did not list Xander as part of the barbaric act. So he pulls them into his office to talk about the serious repercussions, but the kids have other ideas and begin swarming around him and stopping his attempted to call for help.

Buffy locks Xander up is the customary School Library Prison Cell. I’m sure you remember the School Library Prison Cell from your time in high school. It’s where you put the books that behaved poorly, as well as the students who ate the mascots. While they figure out what to do with him, we find out that THE PRINCIPAL HAS BEEN EATEN HOLY LIVING SHIT, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS EPISODE?!

Buffy and Giles head to the zoo to get more info, leaving Willow to guard Xander in his cage. He tries to act like he’s into her now, but it’s just a ploy. That she… acts like she saw through, but she came pretty damn close to letting him snatch the School Library Prison Cell key. So I think it was just her trying to save face.

The Zookeeper talking to Buffy and Giles basically goes, “You know what? Those hyenas were very rare and aggressive, so it makes sense that they would hypnotize people. We better try to fix this”.

Also: wait.

Was this ANOTHER Freaky Friday plot already? Did the hyenas body-swap with the kids? And if so, does that mean, the hyenas currently have the souls of Xander and some bullies? What is going on with the actual hyenas? This episode has no interest in telling me.

Buffy saves a child from being eaten by the hyena kids after they free Xander, and then she gets them to chase her back to the zoo… where it turns out the zookeeper is the true big bad! He wanted the hyena powers for himself. He ends up absorbing the hyena’s souls from Xander and the bullies, but then he is knocked into the hyena pen and eaten by the dogs.

So here’s the score as I see it:

There are now five (5) hyenas at the zoo. They have the souls of Xander and some high school bullies. They also ate a dude.

There is one (1) dead zookeeper who had the souls of five (5) hyenas inside him.

So I guess that means that Xander and the bullies now each have one-fifth (1/5) of the zookeeper’s soul in them? Which, you know, I’m here for. Xander was an abhorrent character for six episodes, so let’s see how he does going forward as 20% of an evil zookeeper, I guess.

(I mean, technically, Giles and the others could have performed one more swap we don’t see, but that means the kids are all right, but we have 5 hyenas each with a fraction of an evil zookeeper’s soul at the wheel, and… I suppose that’s justice? But it also means Xander still ate the zookeeper because he was in the hyena’s body when it happened)

Lotta eating folks this episode! And a piglet, which is the worst crime.

Until next time… take care!

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