TOLEDO (Daniel Álvarez de Toledo and Jordan Dunn-Pilz) just released a great new single called “FOMO“. Created in isolation while the pair were quarantining together in their hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts, it’s about the experience of the past few months, and the mental highs and lows of it all. Towards the beginning, many of us were trying to fill the time with TV; as the duo are big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans, they set themselves the personal challenge of determining the ten best episodes of the series that aren’t “Becoming Part 2” or “Graduation Part 2”. Check out the new track, and find their definitive Buffy picks shared with us below:
- The Pack (S1E6): While this episode isn’t technically “good”, it is so very 90’s and we love it for that reason. The slo-motion shot of “the pack” walking through the courtyard to grunge music? Cmon! That scene is weirdly like 3 minutes of just walking and posing. It’s clear in this episode that Joss and team are still testing the waters to see what sticks. 5 Stakes out of 10.
- I Only Have Eyes For You (S2E19): This episode is a high point in a season of high points. Buffy is finally working through the trauma of losing Angel to Angelus, there’s an awesome soundtrack, and the actor who plays the janitor manages to steal the whole damn episode. No ugly tears, but I well up every time. 7 stakes out of 10!
- Helpless (S3E12): The relationship between Giles and Buffy is one of the most heartwarming and nuanced in the show – which makes it all the more frustrating that they kind of just drop the whole thing towards the end…but lets not talk about that here. tInstead lets talk about how I DO ugly every time Buffy confronts Giles about lying to her/injecting her with muscle relaxant. 8 stakes out of 10 baby!
- The Zeppo (S3E13): Can’t cry all the time though! Sometimes you need a good laugh, and that’s what Xander’s for. Mostly. But here he also saves the day and drives a cool car and there’s donuts. Some people hate Xander and I get it but his dialogue writing is top notch and he’s trying his best. 8 stakes out of 10, minus 1 for the Xander detractors. 7 stakes out of 10!
- Superstar (S4E17): Here’s another example of a supporting character getting the spotlight. Of course in this episode, Jonathan only gets the spotlight through use of dark magic. This hilarious episode is a great example of Joss’s genre-bending prowess. Also, did you know the actor who played Jonathan is now an extremely successful writer/producer in Hollywood? 8 stakes out of 10 for Danny Strong!
- Restless (S4E22): What to say..this episode isn’t exactly “slept on”, but I believe it deserves to be up there in the top 4/5. If anyone dares to question the artistic merit of BTVS, text me, and then sit them down to watch this episode. Or The Body. Restless is a beautifully surrealist episode centered on the dreams of our four main characters. Sure this style is done all the time now, but you have to remember this is 2000 and it was the season finale and you’re watching THE WB! Groundbreaking television 10 stakes out of 10.
- No Place Like Home (S5E5): Every time I watch this episode, I remember that I actually DO like season 5 and I DO like Dawn! Towards the end of the episode, it is revealed that Dawn is a collection of mystical energy put into human form and sent to the Slayer for protection. Dawn is a great foil to Buffy’s character development thus far. With Joyce’s death later in the season, Buffy has become both a sister and a parent of sorts in just one season.
- Once More with Feeling (S6E7): Not slept on. I might know every words to this episode. Extremely well written. Changed television. 11 stakes out 10.
- Normal Again (S6E17): A bold episode that people could rightfully be upset about. It’s a fake out. Essentially it’s Dorothy waking up and realizing it was all a dream, except here it’s Buffy waking up in a mental ward. Joss Whedon has gone full postmodern here. It’s a fun and spooky concept…6 confused stakes out of 10.
- Dirty Girls (S7E18): Is Season 7 great? No. Do I have a Buffy tattoo? Yes! And so Xander getting his eye POKED OUT by Nathan Fillion is a big deal to me. 1 eyeball out of 2. I mean 7 stakes out of 10.
Photo by Ashley Plante