The Bronze is under attack by vampires…again (must be Tuesday). The Bronze is lucky it has a monopoly on nighttime hotspots, because if that wasn’t the case I can’t imagine anyone would want to go there twice.
Linda: Let’s go to the Bronze!
Marge: Oooh, had a bad experience there last time.
Linda: Hot wings too hot?
Marge: No, a vampire gang trapped us inside and ate a bunch of people.
Buffy seems a little off her game…until Xander sweeps in and punches out the vampire currently menacing our blonde heroine. Wait, what? Oh right, this is a Xander fantasy where he’s able to save a breathily grateful Buffy from a vampire and still have time to finish his super awesome guitar solo. Because he’s just that cool.
Alas, that he has to wake up to find they’re just in biology class talking about ants. He really should be paying more attention, says my inner Willow. This will all probably be on the test.
And now we learn two things about Buffy: one, she hasn’t done the homework, and two, she’s really bad at charades. When the teacher asks Buffy how ants communicate, Willow tries to mime the answers to her. Buffy gets “touch,” but fails to understand “smell.” She’s sorta close with “B.O.”…which is even more frustrating because why wouldn’t you say the simpler answer that actually makes sense? Dammit, Buffy! Seriously, if we’re playing charades, I don’t want her on my team.
The teacher asks to see Buffy after class, and encourages her in her studies. Shockingly. Of course this just means that he is doomed. Bye, Mr….uh, whatever your name was (Dr. Gregory, I later notice). You seemed really nice and like you had a great rapport with the students!
Back at the Bronze with Xander, for real this time…and…I can’t concentrate on anything else because the lead singer in this band is wearing a shirt that is so shiny and his hair is so late 90s that I don’t even know what to do with myself. Xander gives him a nod but the guy totally blows him off, and I’m like, no one with that hair should be sneering at anyone else.
Xander gets into a dick-measuring contest with two jocks from biology class, Blaine and some other douche. Poor Xander is embarrassed that he is a virgin and tries to pretend like he’s getting it all over town. You know, how when you feel a woman’s boob it’s like a bag of sand? He makes his exit over to Buffy and Willow and asks them to play along that they are part of the huge harem of women that he is definitely having the sex with. Willow is into it, but Buffy’s like, oh, there’s Angel. Byeee.
Angel gives her his jacket, and I roll my eyes so hard I injure myself. Unfortunately, Buffy is charmed. He warns her about some vampire with a fork-hand, and then disappears into the night like a mysterious tall, dark and handsome type. Not making much effort to keep it professional, are we Angel?
The next day, Dr. Gregory is missing and Xander’s psyched because that means the choice not to do his homework was the right one. Buffy points out that missing is not a good thing and Xander is momentarily chastened. But then he’s distracted by the arrival of the substitute teacher, who is a super hot lady in a skirt that’s probably a bit too short for a real teacher…which is fine because she’s not so much a teacher as a giant bug creature looking to find teenage boys to mate with. You know, as you do.
Bug lady, or Miss French, gives a lesson on the praying mantis and asks for volunteers to make egg sacs for the science fair after school. It’s immediately a no from me, because while I’m cool to make egg sacs on class time, there’s no way I’m staying after school for that. Plus, it sounds like a pretty lame project for the science fair. I mean, what does it do or demonstrate? It’s no baking soda volcano or potato clock. But, all the guys in class are up for it.
At lunch, Buffy and Willow are (rightfully) worried about the hotdog surprise being forced upon them by a school district clearly uninterested in providing healthy food to its students, while Xander waxes poetic about his delusion that Miss French has the hots for him. (Hots seems like a stretch – sure, she wants him to sperminate her egg sac, but frankly, I think she’ll take any teen peen she can get. I just grossed myself out with the phrase “teen peen.”) Buffy hits the nail on the head by informing him that she understands exactly what an older woman might see in a teen boy: “a younger man is too dumb to wonder why an older woman can’t find someone her own age.”
Cordelia waltzes into the cafeteria rambling about some special diet she’s on and heads for the freezer…where she finds poor Dr. Gregory’s headless body. If I didn’t know about the whole vampire/monster deal, I might think Cordelia is a serial killer. She’s always “accidentally” finding bodies. “Oh no, here’s one in my locker! And one in the freezer where I put my lunch! I don’t know why this keeps happening to me.”
At Scooby HQ, the Scoobs go through who might have killed Dr. Gregory. Buffy asserts that he must have been killed on the day they last saw him. When Giles, surprised at this assertion, questions how she came to that conclusion, she tells him it’s because Dr. Gregory was wearing the same clothes. Buffy is a smart cookie, people! I feel like I can’t stress that enough. Bad at charades, but good at detective-ing.
The Scoobies settle on Fork Hand Vampire as a likely suspect, although the MOs are different. Buffy sets out to find ole Fork Hand, because even if he didn’t kill Dr. Gregory, he probably did kill a homeless guy, and that’s no good. I can’t imagine there’s a large homeless population in Sunnydale. They would likely be eaten almost immediately.
Buffy finds Fork Hand, and they fight for a bit before hightailing it out of there when the police blunder into the vicinity. Buffy follows Fork Hand long enough to witness a strange encounter between him and Miss French. At first it looks like he’s going to attack her, but then she gives him a stern look and he runs away terrified.
The next day, Buffy tells Giles what she saw, and they agree that someone needs to keep an eye on Miss French. That eye is Buffy’s and it observes Miss French turn her head all the way around Exorcist-style (which seems like a very poor decision to do that in the middle of a classroom where so many people could see you). This leads Buffy, Giles, and Willow to conclude there’s something insect-y about their monster of the week.
Meanwhile, Xander’s super gung-ho about making egg sacs, and agrees to go to Miss French’s house after school to help. Oh, Xander, how do you not see how inappropriate that is? I know she’s putting out bug pheromones that make him dumber, but c’mon. When Buffy tries to warn him about Miss French, Xander gets all huffy and thinks she’s jealous that he’s not puppy-dogging after her anymore.
So, he goes to Miss French’s where she plies him with drugged alcohol and drags him off to her lair for the raping. He wakes in a cage to find Blaine the jock in a cage beside him. Poor Blaine has apparently had to watch another dude get raped and his head eaten by Miss French. Blaine is kind of a douchebag, but no one should have to see that. Not to worry though, because Buffy is on the case. She has Giles record some bat sonar to interrupt Miss French’s bug nervous system, and then, after a brief mix-up over Miss French’s address, captures Fork Hand to sniff out Miss French’s real house.
Buffy arrives just in time to save Xander from forced egg fertilization. Willow lets slip that Miss French only went after virgins. Blaine threatens legal action if anyone spills the beans and Xander speaks for all of us when he says, “Blaine, shut up.”
Back at the Bronze, Angel shows up to congratulate Buffy on taking out Fork Hand. He does the whole cutesy, flirting thing, and Buffy’s like, uh oh. And I’m like, god dammit. Because I totally see the attraction and can’t blame Buffy. After all, she has no idea what she’s getting into. Angel, on the other hand, SHOULD KNOW BETTER. Argh. Stupid, Angel.
The episode ends as Buffy takes a sad moment to remember Dr. Gregory…and we pan below a desk in the biology lab to show some egg sacs! Dunh dunh duuuuunh! These X-Files-type endings were all the rage in the 90s.
The Big Bad Report:
I find Miss French both admirable and disgusting. On the one hand, she’s a free-wheeling independent gal in charge of her own sexuality. On the other hand, she’s a predator who rapes and eats teen boys. There’s some unfortunate implications that could possibly be drawn about an older woman’s sexuality from what the show gives us, but mainly, I think, they were just trying to present the idea that both boys and girls can be abused, and it’s not some type of high-five situation when a hot teacher rapes her male student.
The Eric Balfour RIP Jesse In Memoriam Award:
Alas, Dr. Gregory, you seemed like a decent guy who actually cared about his students.
Checking in with the Principal:
Because of his soon-to-be-departed status, I just want to check in with Principal Flutie and see what he’s up to.
He insists that Buffy speak with the counselor after discovering Dr. Gregory’s body, because, ya know, he’s just a nice guy trying to do the best he can. RIP, sir. #NeverForget
PRACTICAL LESSONS FOR REAL LIFE:
White picket fences provide a convenient weapon if you have find yourself without a stake.