Buffy 7.1 FAQ
What’s it called?
Teleplay is credited to series creator Joss Whedon. This is Whedon’s first “Buffy” script since last November’s musical “Once More With Feeling,” and the first season-opener he’s written since season four.
What does TV Guide say?
Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) battles the ghosts of Sunnydale High's past in a lively seventh-season opener punctuated by droll dialogue. Veteran Slayer-watchers will recall that Buffy's alma mater was razed at the end of the third season during a fight with a snake-demon mayor. Now revamped and restored, the school has a new crop of students, which includes awkward freshman Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg). It also has a visitor, Buffy, who can't resist a chance to tour the facility. But her curiosity soon turns to dread when spirits from the old school materialize to harass her. Elsewhere, Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) consoles a guilt-ridden Willow (Alyson Hannigan).
The big news?
Xander’s all fancy! He wears a suit and drives a big car as his many underlings complete work on Sunnydale High. But Herc suspects the young construction mogul will, like the Murray Hamilton character in “Poltergeist” before him, grow troubled over planting the seeds of certain mayhem. How many good guys, after all, knowingly profit from building a facility for children over a hellmouth?
Does the episode feature, as reported in Coax’s 9/11/02 post, a hooded figure in Istanbul attacking a slayer-in-training?
How does Will end up “elsewhere”? Does Giles teleport her? Do they take the Hogwarts Express?
We’re thinking British Air. (By the way, Whedon is said to have ghost-directed all the footage shot in England, and Anthony Stewart Head’s real-life estate served as the shoot’s primary location.)
Between 6.22 and 7.1, did Willow apologize to everyone for nearly destroying the planet?
One suspects not.
Is Willow now drained of all magic?
Can’t Willow just check into a Swiss clinic and have her blood replaced with eight pints of midichlorian-free type-O?
Yeah, Frodo, she’ll get right on that. During her layover on the Klingon homeworld. Cough*nerd*cough.
What’s up with Anya?
Halfrek says Anyanka’s heart is no longer in retribution, and warns that the bunny-fearing entity has picked an inopportune time to stop being the most wicked vengeance demon in the trade. Something big is in the air, and the side of good may not be the place to be. Willow will confirm this “big something” a few minutes later (from 6,000 miles away).
The hellmouth is reopening, right?
Um. Not necessar…
See. Hellmouth. Knew it.
When did Spike get back to Sunnydale?
This is unclear. It may have been a while ago.
When do we first see the resouled Spike?
Late. (But it’s worth the wait.)
Was Spike, as we’ve heard, so busy with self-mutilation over the summer that he neglected his dye-job?
Is it true Spike now dwells beneath the new Sunnydale High?
This is what he tells Buffy, and we have no reason to disbelieve.
Say, this is Buffy’s first encounter with Spike since the almost-rape! Is the slayer all “grrr” and fist-shaky?
There’s a lot going on, but Buffy seems mostly concerned for her troubled ex.
Does the slayer start her new job as high school counselor this week?
No, but she’s offered the position by hour’s end. Turns out the new principal has some awareness of Buffy’s history, and sees an upside to having her hanging around.
Is it true the episode ends with Spike watching as something that looks like Warren morphs into Glory, Adam, Mayor Wilkins, Drusilla, The Master and, finally, Buffy Summers?
Is Morphy a product of Spike’s tortured psyche?
Clearly we’re meant to suspect this. But Herc is reasonably certain Spike won’t be the only regular encountering this shapeshifter.
Will Herc continue keeping an eye out for M.K. Fantastico?
Only – and this is a big only – if the more sensitive talkbackers can handle it.
This is the funniest episode of “Buffy” in eons; the slayer, Xander and Dawn all get million-dollar jokes. It’s also a well-paced affair, with a lot of scope. It teems with intrigue and revelation and pathos. Plus? Some nice homages to George Romero.
What’s not so great?
Nothing. "Buffy's" back, baby yeah!
How does it end, spoiler-boy?
“It’s about power.”
Herc’s rating for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 7.1?
The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:
8 p.m. Tuesday. UPN.