Connect with us

Published

on

What will happen when a new teacher comes in and shakes up the chemistry/biology hybrid class at Sunnydale? (Stay tuned) Will anyone use the library for anything other than monster hunting? (Not Yet) Will Xander stop being a creep to his friends? (No) How we go from ants in class to learning about the mantis with no heads up? Find out this and more as we discuss the S1E4 episode “Teacher’s Pet”.

Dreams that Freddy Kruger would steer away from

Remember in the episode 2 review where I said that Xander had improved and grown as a person. Man, was I wrong in that assessment of him. We open in what looks to be The Bronze and vampires having interrupted yet another concert on a school night. Buffy came in to do what she usually does but is quickly overcome by a vampire and pinned down onto a pool table. Just when it seems we are shooting for a mini-series, she was surprisingly saved by none other than Xander. Xander quickly took care of the vampire, while weirdly giving off Angel vibes. Even weirder than Xander having given off these dark, broody vibes, Buffy came across as meek and damsel-like. After all of this, he still managed to kill the vampire and still jump onstage to play with the band. Yikes.

Of course, this was only a daydream as we snap back to reality (Sorry, Eminem) to the trope of all the main characters all in the same class, this one being the chemistry/biology hybrid we saw in the last episode. So we can see Xander’s lack of emotional growth as he is having weird daydreams of Buffy and being the hero after he has been rebuffed quite openly. After waking him up, Buffy was asked a question about ants by returning teacher, Dr. Gregory. Buffy can answer with help from Willow, which Dr. Gregory notices.

Kombating Education with Science

After class is over, he stops Buffy as she leaves. Dr. Gregory shows actual concern about her and her work, mentioning that Buffy does show potential and he was her to succeed. After she leaves, Dr. Gregory gets to his sciency science stuff, complete with slides and microscopes. A large bug-like appendage grabs him by the shoulder. The poor man looks back and screams. Fade to black, cue classic guitar riff.

Advertisement

Cut back to the Bronze, where we meet the ‘oft-mentioned’ character, football star Blayne sitting with his friends talking about all his ‘conquests’. They stop Xander as he weaves through the crowd asking how many of his own ‘conquests’ he had of his own. Instead of making up excuses of ‘she goes to another school’ or just leaving awkwardly like a lot of us did, he said that he not only had one, he had two. He decides to show this by somewhat creepily putting his arms around both Buffy and Willow, which Buffy quickly rebuffs.

Everyone is sitting outside the school the next day weirdly talking about Dr. Gregory. Not about him not being there or him being sick, specifically that he is missing. As the gang discusses this, a beautiful woman walks up and introduces herself as Natalie French, the new substitute for bio/chem. As she simply asked for help finding the room, both Xander and Blayne fall all over themselves to show her to the room, in a way that would make normal people ask for someone else.

Your Buffy Fun Fact of the Episode

Miss French is played by an actress named Musetta Vander, who has a strange connection to the first two episodes of Buffy. She played Sindel in the awful movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Luke the Vampire was played by Brian Thompson. He played Shao Kahn in the same movie.

At least she was not teaching music, IYKYK (Courtesy: pastemagazine.com)

These eggs ain’t for eatin’

Well, what do you know? Not only is the Scooby Gang in the same class, so is Blayne. Miss French introduces herself and instead of continuing the lesson on ants, she begins talking of praying mantises (I wonder why?). She then gets the bright idea of making bug eggs for the science fair. Um, don’t think that is how science fairs work. I took place in one myself in high school, quite horribly mind you. While we were tested about our experiments by the science faculty, the idea for experiments was all our own. Anyway, after Miss French asks for volunteers, all the boys of course raise their hands, including our Doofus Duo.

Walking through the lunch line, Xander cannot shut up about how Willow and Buffy could not understand how Miss French could pick such a ‘stud’ like him. Buffy showed she understood in a somewhat humorous way, but Xander was too busy being his usual creepy self to notice. Of course, Blayne had to butt in and mention he is going over to Miss French’s house first. Wait, what?! We are working on projects, alone, at a teacher’s house? How many red flags do we need to raise?

After all this mess, Cordelia pushes back Buffy so she can get her ‘medically prescribed lunch’ that her doctor drops off every day? What doctor has time to drop off a vegan, cage-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, organic lunch every day? Cordelia opens one of the refrigerators in the kitchen and screams…bloody murder. Inside it, next to her special lunch is the headless body of Dr. Gregory. No head, just the body.

Advertisement

If Not the Vampire, Then Who?

Giles is in the ‘oft-used’ library comforting the Gang after rightfully being rattled by the sight of Dr. Gregory’s body. With none able to come up with an idea of who or what could do this, they somehow come upon a vampire (of course). This vampire has some sort of metal blade on what used to be his hand after cutting it up for penance. After not going out after him, Buffy does as expected…and goes after him. Buffy quickly finds him and has a quick tussle that is almost as quickly broken up by the police, causing the vamp to hop a fence, running into a new possible victim, who happens to be poor Miss French. However, she gives him one look that causes him to hiss and dive into the sewer, in full view of Buffy.

Rushing to make the chem/bio class before she is late, Buffy is stopped by Principal Flutie. He is requiring her to attend counseling as she was one of those who found Dr. Gregory’s body. After losing the argument with him, she sits outside the room and waits for the psychiatrist, who is speaking to Cordelia. What follows is a funny scene where Cordelia talks about she has lost weight since the incident. She says that they shouldn’t kill a teacher every day, but she did lose 7 1/2 ounces. Buffy finally makes it back to class but grumbles at the sight of a pop quiz. Before she can open the door, she sees Miss French turn her head a full 180 degrees and look at the door.

WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!

Buffy heads back to the Scooby Shack to tell Giles and the rest what she saw ala ‘The Exorcist’. They determine that while she is obviously not human, there are some bugs that can turn their heads around like that. Xander walks into Miss French’s room to talk about the project, as overeager as usual. Xander seems ready to go to work on the project, but alas. Miss French accidentally left the supplies at home and invites him over to do the project there. Once again, how many red flags do we need? Once he leaves she makes herself a sandwich of mayonnaise and live bugs.

The remaining members of the Gang are in the library and figure out that the only bug that can turn their head like that is the praying mantis. They are trying to figure out just how Miss French can be a giant mantis yet human. Giles remembers a colleague from Oxford who studied both entomology and mythology (of course he did). Before he could explain further, Willow finds out that Blayne’s mom had just put in a 911 call. Wait a minute. Now, I am not a parent, so I cannot speak from experience, but this seems off. Your son did not come home from school at all, was gone all night, and was not in bed in the morning. Yet you wait until lunch to call authorities?!

My Sacrifice, more than just a Creed song

Buffy goes to try to catch up to Xander and warn him about what Miss French really is. Does he listen to reason and not go to the meeting? Of course not. What show did you think we were talking about? So of course, he goes over to Miss French’s house. Since they are working on a science fair project, of course, she changed into a very tight and short dress and is pouring martinis for her and a minor. She instantly starts to try to seduce Xander and he starts to get all tongue-tied and ‘hyuk’. She is sitting with him on the couch waaaay too close and offers him one of the martinis. He instantly chugs it because you never sip a martini. Of course, something is wrong as he collapses on the floor, his drink being drugged.

Advertisement

Xander wakes up in a cage adjoining the other half of the Doofus Duo, Blayne. He looks over and sees Miss French in full-on She-Mantis mode. Fun fact #2: The model for the She-Mantis was used previously in the popular 90’s Sci-Fi show Babylon 5. Back at the Shack, we see Giles on the phone speaking to someone trying to be stern and forward, kinda cute actually. Willow is able to find color pictures of the autopsy of Dr. Gregory. This actually bothers Willow as she still genuinely cares for Xander, minus his flaws. Cutting back to the basement, the previously full of bravado Blayne is scared after telling Xander what Miss French does. After talking to his colleague, Giles finds out that the Mantis specifically targets virgins to breed with.

Raid and Swords. Best way to kill giants bugs.

The gang then hurries after getting the address of Miss French from the personnel records in the office. They quickly go to the house on record and ARE met by a Natalie French, but not the one they wanted. This one was a sweet older lady who retired in the 1970’s from teaching. Yet another Buffy Fun Fact: The lady who plays the real Miss French is played by an actress named Jean Speegle Howard. If the last name seems familiar, she is the mother of Ron and Clint Howard. Seemingly stuck with where to go, Buffy runs off with an idea to find the She-Mantis.

Somehow, Buffy is able to find the metal-handed vampire who was run off by Miss French earlier. She uses him as a sort of tracking device to find out where she really lived. Once he recoils at the right house, Buffy does the kind thing to him for helping and stakes him. They are able to get to the basement just as the She-Mantis is about to breed with Xander. The final battle is on! Do we use lasers? Incantations? Some super cool reverse spinning 720 kick? Nope. Bug Spray. Well, more than that. They used a recording of bat sonar to scramble the nervous system, hit it with a double blast of bug spray, before Buffy finds a machete and goes full-on ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ on it. The team can finally relax now that they are free of the Mantis. Ever the grateful one, Blayne threatens to sue if it gets out he is a virgin.

But wait! There’s more! No…no there isn’t.

Back at the Bronze, Buffy is having coffee of some sort when Angel shows up. To be honest, I forgot to mention he was also at the beginning of the episode to help her with the vampire problem mentioned. He also gave her the leather jacket that she wore for a long time after, ever the gentleman. We close the episode with the new chem/bio teacher who comes across as very strict and grade heavy. As class ends, Buffy finds a pair of Dr. Gregory’s glasses on a desk and thoughtfully puts them in a closet as we pan down to some bug eggs under the desk that looks like they are about to hatch. Wait? More bugs? Are we getting a recurring villain who is gonna terrorize for many seasons? Nah, they never get mentioned again.

The only opinion that matters. Mine.

Did I like the episode overall? I did, I really did. I did prefer episode two a bit more, but still enjoyed this. It was great to get an episode centered on another member of the Scooby Gang so we can see more of who they are. It was also nice to get something else besides witches and vampires to expand the lore of the show. Xander comes across as real skeezy at points and sadly this is not the worst this season. But if you wanted a fun episode with a somewhat original villain check it out.

Advertisement
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

Remember, if you buy anything from the links provided, we will get some money back.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Movies n TV

Fallout, The Head

Published

on

Episode three of Amazon Prime’s Fallout continued the themes we’ve seen so far, with an added twist. With comedy and gore already blending, the story has added an air of tragic history for one of its least cuddly characters.

Let’s discuss.

The story

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

Our story starts with a flashback to before the bombs dropped. We see Coop, filming a movie. His wife is on set as well, and their adorable daughter. Coop has a comfortable life with a family he loves.

Isn’t that just a knife in the heart?

Back in the present, Lucy is traveling through the wastelands with the head of Wilzig. And she’s doing so with the same fear and joy that we’ve seen from her so far. Until that is, she runs into a Gulper. And after eating a defenseless deer, it swallowed up the head.

Advertisement

Eventually, The Ghoul catches up with Lucy and decides to capture her. After using her as bait, he decides to drag her along with him.

Meanwhile, Maximus gets a message from the Brotherhood of Steel. Rather than coming clean, he claims to be Knight Titus and is accidentally sent a new Squire. That squire is Thaddeus, one of Maximus’s bullies from the base. And Maximus wastes no time in taking some sweet, sweet revenge.

Finally, we return to Vault 33. The vault is healing from the Raider attack and the loss of Lucy. Norm and Chet are being punished for letting Lucy leave, by being fired from their jobs. This throws Chet because he had a cool job.

Norm, on the other hand, didn’t like his job. He didn’t like any job. So, since this is the only way anyone gets punishments in the vault, he’s given the task of feeding the Raiders.

And talking to the Raiders was maybe not a healthy thing for Norm to be doing. He might learn something he didn’t want to know.

Advertisement

What worked

The first thing I have to talk about is the massive creature called The Gulper.

This thing was fascinating. It was voracious, fast, and horrifying to look like. It was like a giant axolotl from Hell, with human fingers lining its whole mouth and throat. Why did it need fingers lining its mouth and throat? The better to drag someone down its throat and into its stomach. And the better to drag itself into my nightmares. This creature was well done.

The Gulper from Fallout.

On the flip side of this, I love the fact that the people of Vault 33 are so kind. They’re so willing to forgive, willing to care for their fellow man even when their fellow man is trying to kill them.

I don’t trust it, to be clear. But the perceived kindness from these people is uplifting. And I’m sure it will make whatever is going to eventually happen to them all the worse.

Of course, I can’t talk about the goodness of the vault dwellers without talking about the absolute horribleness of The Ghoul. The Ghoul is not a good person. He is cruel, and selfish, and clearly dislikes Lucy for some reason we do not yet know, and is probably not her fault.

Advertisement

But we kind of understand how he got that way, don’t we? During the flashbacks, we see that he’s lost his wife and daughter. We also see that he was used as a mascot for the very company that created the vaults. And, while we don’t have any concrete proof yet, we can probably guess that these are not the good guys. Even if we haven’t played the games, anyone who’s even slightly genre-savvy can already guess that.

Which is the last thing I want to bring up here.

We know something stinks with the vaults. Something beyond the obvious issues of wealth disparities and the people left outside to die while those who could afford a Vault spot were saved. Something is rotten with the vaults, we all know this. What we don’t know is what form this rot will take.

Not yet.

What didn’t work

Advertisement

Now, I wish I could say this was a perfect episode. But sadly, it wasn’t. And my biggest issue with the episode is with the character Maximus.

Now, I love Maximus. He wants to do good things in the world. He’s the underdog, and who doesn’t love that? He’s honorable and believes in the organization he belongs to.

I don’t love that he cannot do anything right. It feels like he wins fights by falling over and tripping into succeeding. And this character deserves so much more than that. Can we please, just once, see him be good at something or make a sound decision?

All that being said, this was still a fun episode. It was funny and bright, with an ominous feel and a horrific finger-ridden monster. I had a great time with it.

Advertisement
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Continue Reading

Movies n TV

American Horror Story Delicate, Little Gold Man

Published

on

Last night’s episode of American Horror Story Delicate was wild. From its star-studded start to its powerfully quiet finish, I was enthralled through every moment.

Let’s discuss.

The story

We begin this episode at the funeral of Dex’s mom. While he’s giving a eulogy, which was very nice, Ms. Preecher walks in. She shouts to the room that Virginia didn’t commit suicide, she was murdered. She also tells Dex to listen to his wife.

Advertisement

What a concept!

Touched by this, or maybe just curious, Anna goes to the hospital to check on Preecher. She falls asleep at the hospital. When she wakes up, Preecher is gone. A nurse says that she was discharged to a group of women.

While at the hospital, Anna also discovers that she’s been nominated for best actress.

Kim Kardashian in American Horror Story Delicate.

At a publicity event for the awards, Anna runs into Cora. And she sees the coat she remembers from her late-night visit near the start of her pregnancy.

With the slightest amount of pressure, Cora spills it all. She and Dex have been having an affair, and Cora was trying to sabotage Anna’s pregnancy. So Anna, channeling her inner Madison Montgomery, kicks him out and heads to the awards ceremony with Siobhan.

There, Siobhan asks her if she wants an Oscar more than anything. If she’d be willing to give up anything for it.

Advertisement

And Anna says yes.

The bargain is then sealed with a kiss.

Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts in American Horror Story Delicate.

What worked

I’d like to begin, paradoxically, at the end of the episode. We’ve seen Anna have some terrible, loud, frightening hallucinations in this season. At least, we assume they’re hallucinations. But this one wasn’t loud. It was, in fact, very quiet. Anna is led off stage, without a word, leaving nothing but a puddle of blood behind.

In horror, like in all art, the notes you don’t play are as important as the ones you do. And the notes that weren’t played her rang like a bell.

I also appreciated that this episode describes why being a celebrity would be a huge pain in the ass. Imagine going to an event where the whole purpose is for people to take pictures of you while holding their product. Imagine if they invaded your personal space, sprayed things on you, put things over your eyes, and you were expected to smile and pose.

Advertisement

I don’t know what it is about being a celebrity that makes others feel entitled to a person. To talk with them, take their time, and share in their moments. To touch them without consent. Yes, there are way worse things happening to people. But this isn’t a great way to live. It’s no wonder so many of them go nuts. This is most clearly shown in the scene when Anna is sitting next to Preecher’s bed. She wakes up to find the older woman gone. But all anyone wants to talk about is how she was just nominated for an Oscar. At that moment, she doesn’t give a damn. She cares about this kind woman, and where she’s gone. Just like any other person.

Finally, I appreciated that this season didn’t do what so many AHS seasons do. Which is to say that this episode didn’t feel like the last episode. It felt like the penultimate episode. It felt like there was still more story to tell, not just loose ends to be wrapped up. I appreciate that the writers have finally learned that lesson.

For this season, at least.

What didn’t work

The first thing that bothered me in this episode was Cora’s confession. I said something about this during our live-watch event on Threads. (Join us next week for the finale. Bring popcorn and wine.)

Advertisement

I don’t believe Cora’s confession. I further don’t believe that she just dumped all of this incriminating info on Anna with no more prompting than a wide-eyed look. There was just no reason for it. So, Anna saw her coat? Lots of people have similar coats. This feels fake, and she brought no receipts.

Tavi Gevinson in American Horror Story Delicate.

I also found Siobhan’s behavior confusing. At times she seems genuinely concerned for Anna’s wellbeing. At other times, she is more than willing to let her suffer and risk her pregnancy.

While this has been going on all season, it was happening every few minutes in this one. Either Siobhan cares about the welfare of that fetus, or she doesn’t. But she needs to pick a lane.

All in all, I don’t know what to expect from next week’s season finale. Anna has her Oscar, but now she might lose her baby. She might also get sucked into some horrible cult and experience a bad death. We won’t know until next week.

See you then.

Advertisement
4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Continue Reading

Movies n TV

Fallout, The Target

Published

on

Episode two of Amazon Prime’s Fallout was equal parts funny and bloody. This almost always leads to a good time.

The story

We begin this episode with the birth of some puppies that look like they’ve had a rough start to life. Each one is weighed, with the ones who fall short being incinerated.

One pup who is just below the correct weight gets a bit of a thumb on their scale. The scientist weighing them, Wilzig, writes down the proper weight. He later takes the puppy home to raise instead of putting them into what looks like an unforgiving training program.

Advertisement

Eventually, we see Wilzig put some blue glowing thing into his neck. When a soldier comes for him, Dog attacks the soldier, and the two escape.

Ella Purnell in Fallout.

We go from there to the wilderness, where Lucy is recovering from the last episode and enjoying a campfire at night. Wilzig and Dog come out of the shadows, saving Lucy from a bug monster. Wilzig tells Lucy she should go home. And if she’s not going to go home, she needs to evolve.

The next day Lucy finds her way to a town called Filly. As a Pennsylvanian, it hurts me to spell it that way. Lucy is entranced by this town, though clearly put off by the fact that no one is very nice here.

She eventually finds her way to a shop run by a delightful woman named Ma June. Ma doesn’t seem particularly interested in helping Lucy. Or, frankly, having Lucy in her shop.

Or in her town.

Eventually, Wilzig is tracked to this same shop, being tracked by The Ghoul. This is our final primary character. Lucy defends Wilzig, being aided at the last moment by Maximus.

Advertisement

Maximus, by the way, has been having a terrible time. After finally becoming a squire he’s disappointed to find that his knight, Knight Titus, is a terrible person.

Fortunately, Maximus doesn’t have to put up with Titus for long. After Titus gets the bright idea to go hunting, he’s attacked by a mutated bear. Maximus freezes, unable to save him. Then, well, he decides not to save him.

It was Titus’s idea to go hunt the bear, after all.

What worked

Walton Goggins in Fallout.

The first thing I want to draw attention to is the shootout scene at Filly. This scene checked every box a fight scene should check. It was fun to watch, with great effects. But it also gave us insight into the characters. Lucy is a decent fighter and has a strong moral compass. The Ghoul is callus and desensitized to death. And Maximus continues to be, well, sort of bad at this whole fighting thing. But with enough moral fortitude that we have a hard time blaming him.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dog. Who’s name, as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, is just Dog. Which is fine. He doesn’t need to have a name to be a very good boy. He’s sweet, loyal, and fearless.

Advertisement

Also, puppies. Puppies are always great.

Finally, I’d like to shine a spotlight on Lucy’s reaction to the world at large. She is both amazed and terrified by everything. And while she certainly doesn’t want to be rude, she also doesn’t want to be taken advantage of. The best example of this is when she stops to ask for directions with a bright smile and a gun.

Once again, I don’t have anything bad to say about this episode. It was funny, dark, and fun to watch. I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season. 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending