With lines like, “My body is your instrument” and “Luke is the vessel. Every soul he takes will feed me!” I feel almost dizzy with sexual imagery filling my head – and my heart, of course.
When Luke begins feeding at The Bronze, first on the black bouncer (multiple cliché alert) and next on an anonymous blonde, The Master experiences what on the surface appears to be small scale orgasms. Not literally, with some hideous, surprisingly hued Master jizz, but more of a visceral rush and heightening sense of overall being. It’s murder or sex by proxy, and whether your taste runs to massive musclemen or comely blonde teenage girls, Luke has got you covered!
- The vampire growling goes way over limits of acceptability and into laughability. The vamps sound more like werewolves when they’re chasing Buffy and Xander through the electrical tunnels. Thankfully they toned that shit down in subsequent episodes.
- The ending, when Cordelia explains away the catastrophic Bronze evening, which featured at least two onstage murders via neckbiting as well as a horde of vampires all with their game faces, stating that it was “rival gangs,” felt lazy. I wished that they had come up with something more plausible – maybe a crazed cult or masked maniacs on a meth binge. I have a wait yet before Mayor Wilkins brings some municipal order and an organized cover-up to the Hellmouth!
- Harmony! She was visible in the first episode and speaks in this one. I did not remember her from the first season at all, but there’s Harm! Her character is one of Whedon’s more mischievous surprises in the latter years, stretching across both Buffy and Angel, and I enjoyed seeing her before anyone knew the wild turns the character would take.
- Holy water: why don’t they use this more often? Willow douses Darla with it to impressive smoking effect during the battle at The Bronze.
- Here I discover the first Sunnydale High fatality: Jesse, Xander’s friend played by Eric Balfour, who is bitten (just as a snack!) by Darla, then sired, presumably by the Master, and staked (passively) by Xander at the Bronze. Jesse is also our first character to see as both human and then vampire. The vamp conversions would make another good tally.
- What interests me here is Vampire Jesse’s complete contempt for his human, soul-bound form. He snarls at Xander about the human Jesse being pathetic, heavily suggesting Xander’s similar state by association. Jesse, not Angel, shows us our first transformation and loss of soul, and how that loss affects his being. We’ll see it later and in greater depth with Angel, Spike, Drusilla, and, in a fashion, Darla. (Harmony, well, there’s not that much difference. I’m not sure she had a tremendous soul to begin with.) Of course Angel’s soul status has the greatest impact on Buffy – and on Angel. Jesse’s transformation into cruelty and disdain just provides a peek at what’s to come.