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'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' season 2 finale fan recap: Nothing to lose

Season 2 | Episode 22 | “Becoming (Part 2)” | Aired May 19, 1998 on The WB

Previously on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Drusilla and Angel have big plans to resurrect a demon that will swallow the world. We get a glimpse of Angel’s origin story, from Darla turning him in 1753, to regaining his soul, to seeing Buffy for the first time and deciding to become a better man. Willow tries to perform the restoration spell. Drusilla kills Kendra.

The Sunnydale police arrive and find the library in shambles, with Buffy standing over Kendra’s body. Principal Snyder is more than happy to blame Buffy. “You stupid little troll,” she spits. “You have no idea.” Seeing escape as her only option, she flees.

The fugitive Slayer sneaks into the hospital, camouflaged in a black beanie (great disguise). They tally the casualties: Xander is all right, save for a broken arm. Willow is still unconscious and they aren’t sure how severe her head trauma is. Angelus has kidnapped Giles, and threatens to torture our favorite librarian until he can help wake Acathla.

The police interrogate Joyce. She’s torn: Buffy’s her daughter … who also has a history of violence.

Buffy meets Whistler at Giles’ apartment. He tells her it wasn’t supposed to go down like this: Angel was supposed to stop Acathla, not set the demon free. He also warns Buffy that the sword won’t be enough, but she’s already out the door.

The cops track her down, but she gets help from an unexpected ally: Spike. (Knowing what the future holds for Spike and the Slayer makes this scene—one of the first real exchanges between the two—even more delicious to watch. )

“Hello, cutie,” he says with a grin. He’s throwing up the white flag, a time out. They’re on the same side, he explains. Spike wants Angelus dead as much as she does, partly because he enjoys terrorizing the world as is, and partly to get his girlfriend back. But neither can do it alone.

“I hate you,” she says.

“And I’m all you’ve got,” he counters.

Xander refuses to leave Willow’s side. Choked up, he tells her how much he needs her and confesses he loves her. She wakes up and, in a blow to Xander, calls for Oz, who arrives just then and plants a tender kiss on her bruised forehead.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Becoming Part 2 - Spike and JoyceBuffy and Spike run into Joyce at the Summers’ house, and Joyce demands to know what’s going on. Buffy tries to tell yet another lie—that she and Spike are in a band (which actually would be awesome). But one of Angelus’ vampires attacks, and Buffy stakes him on the front lawn; now it’s time to come clean and admit who she really is.

Buffy calls Willow and is happy to hear that she’s not permanently injured. She tells Xander to sit tight.

While Buffy is on the phone, Joyce and Spike sit together in awkward silence in the living room. Buffy and Spike settle on a deal: he and Drusilla can leave town together, in exchange for helping kill Angelus and protecting Giles.

Joyce is understandably upset and confused. She demands Buffy stay put and explain everything, young lady. What more proof do you need, Buffy asks her mom, after years of late nights, bizarre happenings, and washing blood out of her daughter’s clothes? Joyce issues an ultimatum: Stay home, or never come back. But Buffy has to save the world. Again.

At the hospital, Willow wants to try the spell again, and sends the others out to run errands.

Angelus tortures Giles. He offers to end the pain if Giles helps him free the demon, but Giles keeps up his resistance with dry British wit. Spike steps in (or rather, wheels in) to stop him. “Keep out of it, Sit ‘N Spin,” Angelus retorts. Spike suggests Drusilla use mind control to get answers instead. She convinces Giles he’s talking to Jenny Calendar, and he delivers the answer: It’s Angelus’ own blood that will release Acathla.

Buffy picks up the knight’s sword at the library. Snyder finds her at the crime scene. They both know she didn’t do it, but it doesn’t matter. He takes incredible pleasure officially expelling her, then phones the mayor with the good news.

Buffy returns to Giles’ to get more info from Whistler, and he tells her the same thing Giles just revealed: that Angelus’ blood will unlock the door to hell, and close it back up. Whistler warns her this won’t be easy, but she’s confident because she’s got nothing left to lose. Wrong, Whistler says. There’s one more thing … but again, she doesn’t hear him.

As sunrise nears, Xander joins Buffy to storm the mansion. He’s supposed to tell her that Willow is trying the spell again, but doesn’t. (Naughty Xander.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Becoming Part 2 - Willow magicWillow prepares her spell from her hospital bed as Angelus prepares to awake Acathla. Buffy interrupts and takes on the vampire henchmen. Xander rescues a woozy Giles. Spike attacks Angelus, but is stopped momentarily by Drusilla.

While they fight, Angelus comes to, completes his spell, and pulls the sword out of the demon. Buffy grabs her own weapon, and the former lovers face off in an epic sword fight.

Spike drags Drusilla out of the mansion and speeds away, leaving Buffy and Angel alone. It looks like the Slayer might be down for the count, but she regains her strength and puts up a good fight.

Willow, seemingly possessed, gains strength and finishes the spell.

(Better you watch this than me try to recount it. Besides, I’ve got something in my eye.)

“In the end, you’re always by yourself,” Whistler said earlier in the episode. “You’re all you’ve got. That’s the point.”

You know what, Mutant Enemy vampire? I need a hug too.

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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