Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an amazing series, but even the best television shows have their duds. Here are 10 of the worst episodes of Joss Whedon’s best show:
10. The Killer in Me- The biggest problem with this episode is that what was interesting about it (Willow’s guilt) gets completely negated by the fact that Amy is the one that performed that titular spell that turned Willow into Warren after kissing Kennedy. Also…Kennedy is in it.
9. First Date- In the final season, Xander and Buffy both take the time from fighting the first evil to go on some dates. And while I understand the characters may want to blow off some steam, both the dates felt forced. Xander’s was clearly a last dig at the running joke of Xander being attracted to demons–which make for pretty crappy episodes. Buffy’s just felt like a reason for her to have a bit of a love interest, and to build tension between Wood and Spike that is already there.
8. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered- The biggest problem with this episode is that Xander comes off as very icky, and entitled to this type of female attention. Also there’s the implications that women in love are hysterical, something that the show resorts to quite a few times without ever giving us a male example. In a show with a young blonde girl who subverts the idea that she should die like many do in horror films, Xander’s silly man problems aren’t really welcome or interesting.
7. Out of Mind, Out of Sight- This episode succumbs to a lot of the issues that season one has. Cheese factor, cliched tropes about high school and vengeance, and about popularity and beauty. Then it leaves us off with a strange cliffhanger about government programs that train invisible people to become assassins. “Out of Mind, Out of Sight” is executed relatively poorly, and the interesting ideas aren’t explored or brought up again in any interesting or meaningful ways.
6. Teacher’s Pet- Xander is attracted to demons. In the first episode to have that theme, we see Xander falling for his seductive teacher who turns out to be a virgin-eating preying mantis. Cheesy and weird and creepy, this episode doesn’t amount to much other than being the beginning of the running joke about Xander’s demon lady problems.
5. Go Fish- This episode’s biggest problem, aside from the stupid plot that the swim team is doing well because the coach is infusing them with some type of magic that turns them into fish monsters if they are exposed to it too much, is its placement. “Go Fish” happens after a lot of really important stuff, and before the finale of season two. The season has been building to the two-part “Becoming,” and “Go Fish” sticks right in the middle of that, stopping the action of one of the best arcs of the series.
4. Him- Another love spell making women crazy. This time, again, it is all of our female leads, including the lesbian Willow. Although parts of this episode are funny, other parts are grating and immature compared to where the series has gone. It is also implausible that the jacket that is the source of the spell has been around for generations and yet Buffy and co. are only noticing its damaging effect on the female population of Sunnydale High in the final season? Even though the previous owner went to high school with them? It’s just dumb.
3. Some Assembly Required- This season two episode holds the record for the grossest and most tasteless episode of Buffy. There really is nothing more to say about it other than that you could skip it and not miss anything of substance.
2. Inca Mummy Girl- Again with the Xander is attracted to demons thing. The joke has been played well (“Something Blue”), but “Inca Mummy Girl” is the same episode as “Teacher’s Pet” only instead of a preying mantis, it’s a…well an Inca mummy girl. The title tells you everything you need to know about how badly written and silly the episode is.
1. Normal Again- There is no excuse for this episode. What initially seemed deep upon first watching, feels mostly like a betrayal of the trust and devotion of fans. To pull an “it’s all in her mind” trope might be done well, but “Normal Again” just messes with continuity and ends on a cheesy moment that might as well be saying “The End. Or is it….?”