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'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' fan recap: Unfinished business

Season 2 | Episode 19 | “I Only Have Eyes for You” | Aired Apr 28, 1998

It’s lonely being Buffy the Vampire Slayer, especially when your boyfriend loses his soul and wants to kill your friends. At the Bronze, a cute classmate asks Buffy to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance. She says she’s not seeing anyone. Like, ever.

Willow calls Buffy out for being all slay and no play. She reminds Buffy that dating doesn’t always have to be dramatic.

Cut to a couple arguing in the halls of Sunnydale High. She doesn’t love him; he doesn’t buy it and pulls a gun. Luckily for them, Buffy left the Bronze and stops the domestic violence just in time.

The couple snaps out of it, but they aren’t sure why they were arguing—let alone how it got so heated. And the gun’s disappeared.

Willow shines while teaching Ms. Calendar’s computer class. Giles checks in, and Willow tells him she discovered info on magic and paganism on Jenny’s computer. (Angelus must have just destroyed the monitor?) Willow gives Giles a rose quartz necklace she found, thinking Jenny would want him to have it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I Only Have Eyes for You - Poltergeist James with Miss Newman in 1955Buffy, daydreaming in class, is transported back to the 1950s and sees a boy flirting with his teacher. She wakes up in 1998, where her teacher has absentmindedly written, “Don’t walk away from me, BITCH!” on the chalkboard.

“Something weird is going on … isn’t that our school motto?” Xander asks. He brushes it off, until a moldy skeleton arm assaults him from his locker.

Giles theorizes it’s a poltergeist. The longer a ghost is around, the angrier and more violent it gets, he explains. They’ll have to discover the ghost’s identity, and what’s keeping it around.

A janitor and teacher replay the lovers’ quarrel that night. Giles hears the argument, but can’t save the teacher. The janitor remembers everything, but has no idea why he shot her.

Giles is sure Jenny, who died at school under tragic circumstances, is their poltergeist. The others argue it doesn’t fit, but Giles misses her so badly, he won’t hear it.

Willow IDs the more likely ghosts: in 1955, a student, James Stanley, murdered his teacher, Grace Newman, on the night of the dance. Rumor was they were having an affair, she broke it off, and he killed her, then shot himself in the music room.

Buffy sees the violence of her own love life reflected in the story. Willow offers to learn how to communicate with James and determine what he wants. Buffy doesn’t care what he wants; she wants him gone.

The poltergeist infests the cafeteria with snakes. MAJOR PLOT DEVELOPMENT: In a conversation between the police chief and Principal Snyder, we discover Snyder knows all about the Hellmouth, the city council hired him to maintain order, and he’s terrified of the mayor!

Willow concedes exorcism might be their only option. They’ll form a triangle, with Buffy on the balcony where the teachers died, in case there is trouble; they’ll chant, and bind the spirit from doing more evil. Willow gives them hex bags for protection.

Drusilla, who loves the new mansion Angelus has found for them, has a vision and tells Angelus it’s time to finally kill Buffy. He’s tired of toying with the Slayer anyway. He’d rather keep Dru company, if you know what I mean (wink). Spike’s tired of this crap, but what can he do? Again: Why’s it taking him so long to heal?

James locks them in. Cordelia, checking her snake bite in the mirror, sees her skin melt off. Xander’s locker monster tries to suck Willow into the floor. Giles rescues her, finally convinced the violent ghost isn’t Jenny.

Buffy hears a song—”I Only Have Eyes for You,” also the episode’s title—coming from the music room and sees Miss Newman and James, with a rotting face, dancing.

Buffy has one more vision, of James and Grace’s final moments.

The spell it doesn’t work. A swarm of bees chases them out and defends the building.

They regroup at Buffy’s. James needs forgiveness, but it’s impossible if he keeps reliving his final moments.

“To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy,” Giles explains, talking about James and to Buffy.

“James destroyed the one person he loved the most in a moment of blind passion,” Buffy retorts. “And that’s not something you forgive, no matter why he did what he did, and no matter if he knows now that it was wrong and selfish and stupid. It’s just something he’s gonna have to live with.”

Now we understand. She doesn’t identify with Miss Newman. She identifies with James, and blames herself for destroying Angel’s soul.

She storms away, and James pulls her back toward the school.

Giles worries the spirit is too angry and powerful to defeat. They realize Buffy’s inside the school, but assume she’ll be safe without a man inside for James to possess.

They don’t know Angelus followed her there.

And, in an absolutely genius twist, James possesses Buffy, while Angelus assumes the role of Grace. The drama plays out as scripted 40 years ago, allowing Buffy, enraged and tearful, and Angelus, vulnerable and in love, to have the conversation we’ve waited weeks to see.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - I Only Have Eyes for You - Buffy shoots Angel

Predictably, Buffy shoots Angelus on the balcony and retreats to the music room. Angelus, being immortal, survives the gunshot and the fall. He then not only stops her from shooting herself but, as Grace Newman, forgives James. Buffy/James and Angelus/Grace kiss, setting James’ spirit free.

For a split second, Buffy and Angelus, themselves once again, pause in an embrace, until Angelus, furious, runs away.

The coast is clear, but Buffy is a wreck.

Angelus is worse: He scrubs himself clean, disgusted at being violated by the worst thing he could imagine: love. He and Drusilla take off for a quick kill before sunrise.

Spike stays behind, and, grinning, reveals he’s healed after all, and raring to take Angelus down.

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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