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'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' recap: When Giles was young

Season 2 | Episode 8 | “The Dark Age” | Aired Nov 10, 1997 on The WB

Buffy discovers Giles’ hidden past when old demons come back to haunt him—literally—and possess his new girlfriend.

A frantic man is searching for Giles at school after dark. He almost makes it to the library when he’s attacked by a decaying woman he seems to recognize—some type of zombie? Giles can’t hear him over Buffy’s loud club music, the soundtrack to her step aerobics routine (so ’90s.) The dead lady strangles the man, then melts into a puddle of blue goo.

Giles wakes from a bad hair-metal music-video nightmare—all chanting and tattoos and culty stuff.

Buffy and Willow speculate whether Giles was always so stuffy as they play the “Anywhere but Here” game. (Willow’s fantasy? Eating ziti with John Cusack at a restaurant in Italy. Of course.)

Giles interrupts with a request to guard a shipment of blood to the hospital. Ms. Jenny Calendar reminds Xander to be at school early Saturday to catch up on computer science class, along with Cordelia, and Willow, who is tutoring for extra credit. Jenny flirts with Giles (“Did anyone ever tell you you’re kind of a sexy fuddy-duddy?”) and invites him to stay in with her Saturday night.

Giddy, Giles returns to the library, only to find the police asking questions about the dead body on campus. They ask Giles to identify the body: It’s a friend from London named Philip Henry, whom Giles hasn’t seen in decades.

Giles misses meeting Buffy at the hospital. Buffy and Angel fight off the doctors, who are actually vampires trying to steal the blood.

Worried, Buffy heads to Giles’ house, and he answers the door visibly shaken. After he shoos her away, he phones someone in London to track down a woman named Deidre, only to find out she’s dead. (Wait, wasn’t that the name of the decaying woman in the first scene who killed Philip?) Giles crosses her name off a list, leaving only himself and Ethan Rayne. (Remember Ethan, owner of the costume shop that caused all the Halloween chaos a few episodes back?) Giles reveals he has matchy tattoo with the dead guy in the morgue. “So,” he says to his surly reflection in the mirror, “you’re back.”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2 Episode 8Speaking of the morgue … someone uncovers the body of Philip Henry and he’s no longer dead. His eyes glow just like Deidre’s when she killed him at the school.

Cordelia and Xander aren’t happy to be in class on a weekend. They’re all surprised when Buffy shows up to ask Jenny what’s up with Giles. She describes their encounter last night and polls the group. No one has noticed anything strange, except Cordelia, who reports running into Giles with the police the day before.

Buffy nabs a stranger in the library. It’s Ethan, and she slugs him for his whole Halloween trick. He reveals he knows Giles, or “Ripper,” from way back. She calls Giles to ask him about the tattoo, the Mark of Eyghon, and he warns her she’s in great danger—but it’s too late, as Zombie Philip Henry bursts through a window. She fights him off and locks him in the book cage.

Giles arrives and quarrels with Ethan, who’s been having the same nightmares. Philip breaks free, then collapses and dissolves. Some of the ooze leaks onto Jenny, who was knocked out in the fight, and she wakes up with a strange glow in her eyes. The demon is in her body!

Giles demands that Buffy mind her own beeswax about this Eyghon businesses, and takes Jenny home to recuperate.

She ignores his orders and sets the Scooby Gang to work. Willow cracks the mystery: Some cults used to induce possession to feel a little groovy. But the demon wants permanent residence … in someone like Jenny.

Jenny/Eyghon shows its true self to Giles and beats him up, then flees through the window.

Buffy tries to snap Giles out of his stupor. “Don’t be sorry, be Giles,” she says. “This is what we do. They show up, they scare us, I beat them up, and they go away. This isn’t any different.”Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2 Episode 8

But it is different, he insists, because he created the problem. Well, he and his friends. After dropping out of Oxford, he did what every rebelious twentysomething does: play in a band, and practice magic. They’d take turns falling into a deep sleep while the other summoned the demon. But they couldn’t control it, and it killed one of them. Giles doesn’t know how to stop the demon without killing Jenny, but Buffy vows to save her.

Buffy tracks Ethan down at his shop and offers to protect him. Instead, he knocks her out and tattoos her with something more regrettable than a spring-break tramp stamp: the Mark of Eyghon. He burns his own tattoo off with acid, hoping the demon will go after her, not him.

The rest of the gang isn’t having much luck, so when Xander and Cordelia start to (adorably) fight, Willow lays down the law: Stop bickering and find a solution, or get the hell out of her library. Light bulb! Willow has an idea.

“I hate to mutilate and run,” Ethan says, but can’t escape before Jenny/Eyghon finds them. (Ms. Calendar needs a spa day to touch up those horns and rotting skin!)

Giles offers himself up in Buffy’s place, but Angel, of all (undead) people, shows up. That’s Willow’s brilliant plan! The demon jumps into his body, and his own inner demon fights it off. Poof! Eyghon is no more.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2 Episode 8Jenny is coping okay, but she’s having second thoughts about their blossoming romance. Which is understandable, what with him putting her in grave danger and all, but still such a shame. Buffy tries to comfort Giles in a touching teacher-student bonding moment.

Big Bad of the Week: The demon Eyghon; Ethan Rayne again.

Quote of the Week: Buffy to Giles: “I’m not gonna lie to you. It was scary. I’m so used to you being a grown-up, and then I find out you’re a person.”

TV Families | EW.com

TV Families -- We compare various television clans through the years to see how they stack up, from ''The Brady Bunch'' to ''The Flintstones''

By Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 at 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons