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'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' recap: Who's the new girl?

Season 2 | Episode 9 | “What’s My Line (Part 1)” | Aired Nov 17, 1997 on The WB

This is an important episode in the Buffy-verse: Willow and Oz finally meet, Buffy suffers an existential crisis triggered by the school’s career fair, she kisses Angel with his “real” face on, and her death in last season’s finale has consequences when another slayer arrives in Sunnydale.

Buffy refuses to ponder what life would be like if she weren’t fated to be the slayer, as she, Xander, and Willow fill out career aptitude tests. Unless vampires take a permanent bloodsucking hiatus, she’s destined to a life with Mr. Pointy.

Spike is working with a scholarly vampire to find a cure for Drusilla’s madness. The translator can’t decipher the text until Drusilla discovers the answer in her tarot cards: They need a key, and they’ll find it at the cemetery.

On patrol, Buffy sees Spike breaking into the mausoleum, but he runs away as she’s fighting another vampire. Puzzling.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, Episode 9 - Buffy and AngelBuffy crawls through her bedroom window and is surprised to find Angel. (Joyce is out of town, but sneaking in has become a habit.) She gets snippy, and Angel guesses it’s about career week at school. “How did you know?” she asks. “I lurk,” he answers, overprotective lurking being part of what makes him such a sweet boyfriend.

She just wants to be a normal teenager, Buffy explains. Which at one point in her life included being her Dorothy Hamill, a onetime obsession she explains after Angel finds a photo of young Buffy ice skating. He promises to take her on a date at a nearby rink.

Xander and Buffy are bummed by their career test results—prison guard and police officer, respectively. (Does anyone else find it very UNsurprising that the girl whose destiny it is to slay vampires, who are pure evil by nature, falls into the law-enforcement category?) Willow is alarmed she’s not even on the list.

Buffy meets Giles at the library. He’s in hyper-watcher mode, probably trying to make up for that demon business. They fight after he gripes she didn’t investigate what the vampire stole from the cemetery, and she fires back with more “I don’t wanna be the chosen one” angst.

So what was taken? A gold cross that Spike and Drusilla now have. They fantasize about what fun they’ll have draining the town once she’s healed, but Spike gets mad when he’s reminded that Buffy is still in their way. He has a solution: Hire bounty hunters called the Order of Takara.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, Episode 9 - Willow and OzPrincipal Snyder hunts for Buffy, who’s missing the career fair. Xander and Willow try, and fail, to cover for her.

Willow’s anxiety was unfounded when she is taken to a private reception. Her big brain caught the attention of a major software company that wants to recruit her, and only one other SHS student met their criteria: Oz. He finally answers his own question, “Who is that girl?” The first thing he says is, “Canapés?”

Buffy ditches the fair to check out the mausoleum. Giles, panting, explains he was only offering constructive criticism, but Buffy is too busy ranting. (Maybe Giles should work some cardio into his routine if he’s going to keep joining Buffy in the field.)

They discover the looted tomb belongs to the same guy who wrote the same book that a vampire stole from the library a few weeks ago. Giles isn’t sure of the connection, but something is coming, and it’s not good.

The Order of Taraka seems to be gathering. A brawny Sons of Anarchy extra with nasty scars gets off the bus; a nebbishy makeup salesman attacks the Summers’ neighbor; and a mysterious girl karate kicks her way out of the cargo hold of a plane.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, Episode 9 - Kendra

Giles determines the missing cross is essentially a decoder ring. To stop the big evil, they’ll need to figure out what’s in that book before the bad guys do.

Buffy leaves them to a long night of research because she’s got a romantic date with Angel at the skating rink. Too bad the fun ends before it begins. The biker assassin shows up to murder the Slayer, but Angel knocks the guy down and Buffy slices his throat with a high kick of her skate. (Sounds gory, but you never see even one drop of blood. Way to keep it network-TV-friendly, Joss Whedon!)

Angel recognizes the ring the dead guy is wearing and warns Buffy that she’s in danger.

He feels self-conscious about his vampire face, but she assures him she didn’t even notice, and they kiss as the mysterious girl from the plane looks on. (Pause for a moment: Why does she watch them make out? And even though you love the guy, and he looks like David Boreanaz, can you really get past the bony monster face and pointy teeth?)

Everyone is testy at the library. Giles identifies the ring and agrees with Angel that Buffy is in danger. These assassins are bad news: They care only about collecting their bounty, and more will keep coming until their target is dead. Some are human, some aren’t. And you’ll never know who they are until they strike.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, Episode 9 - Order of TarakaThis includes the makeup salesman—a man made out of worms who is on a stakeout near Buffy’s house.

The news makes our Slayer paranoid. She jumps at loud noises in the hallway, questions whether people are staring and carrying weapons, even slams Oz up against a wall.

Totally wigged, she doesn’t head home, but instead to Angel’s basement bachelor pad. He’s not home, so she breaks in and curls up into the fetal position on his bed.

Where is Angel? At Willy’s bar, looking for information. After some “friendly persuasion,” Willy reveals Spike sent the assassins, but their heart-to-heart is interrupted by the girl from the plane, who tries to dust Angel. She locks Angel in a cage and leaves him to face the approaching sunrise while she searches for Buffy.

After pulling an all-nighter, Giles figures out the missing book contains a spell to cure an ailing vampire … like, say, Drusilla. Cut to Spike celebrating the same, now-translated text. The answer was in front of them the whole time, he says, as Drusilla points to a tarot card with an angel on it. Oh no! Angel is in danger, too!

Part one cliffhangers: Can Xander and Cordelia escape the clutches of the worm man at Buffy’s house? Can Angel escape the sun? Will Drusilla get her strength back? And why is this Kendra girl with trying to claim she’s the vampire slayer?

Big Bad of the Week: Spike and Drusilla, and their assassins.

Quote of the Week:

Xander: Come on, Cordelia—if you wanna be a member of the Scooby Gang*, you gotta be willing to be inconvenienced every now and then.
Cordelia: Right, because I lie awake at night hoping you tweakos will be my best friends. And that my first husband will be a balding, demented homeless man.

*Also important: the first on-camera mention of the Scooby Gang!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, Episode 9 - Buffy, Willow, and XanderHeinous ’90s Fashion of the Week: The whole Scooby Gang at once: Xander is wearing an oversize button-up with striped pajama pants; Willow is in a primary-colored floral button-up over pastel top, pastel miniskirt, and pastel tights; and Buffy is accessorizing her striped Maurice’s V-neck sweater and miniskirt/boots combo with a thick velvet choker.

TV Families | EW.com
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

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