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Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season

The second season of the improbably good teen horror series Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered on Sept. 15, 1997 and kicked immediately into high gear with Willow and Xander (Alyson Hannigan, Nicholas Brendan) being attacked by the first vamps they've seen all summer — apparently the imminent return of Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) from a vacation to L.A. was enough to tip off all the demons that the time had come to swing back into action. During the course of the season opener (titled "When She was Bad") the Scoobies, save Xander, are kidnapped by a gang following The Anointed One, who mean to raise the Master by draining their blood over his bones. Buffy, Angel and Xander save the day and Buffy finally destroys the Master, Season One¹s ³Big Bad.² After a start like that, it's not surprising that Season Two turned out to be one of the most richly plotted, constantly surprising and consistently entertaining periods in Buffy's history — we met rock-and-roll vampire Spike (James Marsters) and his freaky gal-pal Drusilla (Juliet Landau) in "School Hard"; Xander fell in love with a foreign exchange student who turned out to be a life-sucking ancient princess in "Inca Mummy Girl"; Buffy and Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter) were tied up and menaced by snake-worshipping frat boys (how Freudian!) in "Reptile Boy"; we learned a little more about Giles' (Anthony Stewart Head) past when his old buddy Ethan Rayne (Robin Sachs) came to town (and turned everyone into their fantasy alter-egos) in "Halloween"; And in the two-parter "What's my Line?" Spike and Dru went after Buffy with an assassin made out of bugs, Oz (Seth Green) and Willow finally met, and another slayer, Kendra (Bianca Lawson), came to town and locked Angel (David Boreanaz) in a cage so he'd fry in the sunlight. Whew! Other memorable stand-alone episodes include "Bad Eggs," with the gang nurturing eggs for health class that (naturally) turn out to contain spine-clinging creatures that turn them in zombies; "Ted" with John Ritter as Joyce's (Kristine Sutherland) creepy robot-boyfriend; "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," where Xander's spell, meant for Cordelia, backfires and every woman in Sunnydale wants him; and "Go Fish," a steroid-use parable that had the school swim team turning into scary fish men. Oh, and Angel and Buffy finally made love and Dru and Spike reassembled an ancient evil guy named the Judge who wanted to kill all mankind. Busy, busy season! Fox's six-disc Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season offers commentary for selected episodes by either writer/director David Greenwalt, writer Marti Noxon or series creator Joss Whedon; the script for "What's My Line?" and "Innocence"; five interviews with Whedon; the 13-minute featurette, "Designing Buffy" on the show's set design; the 29-minute featurette, "A Buffy Bestiary" on the season's monsters and baddies; the 20-minute featurette, "Beauty and Beasts" on the show's makeup techniques; UK and domestic television spots (eight in all); a still gallery of set designs and monsters, cast bios, and 150 additional stills. Folding DVD digipak in paperboard slip-case.
—Dawn Taylor

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