Season Two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is, for some, considered the best season. While I would go with season five on that front, two is a close second. It’s tough to choose, season two of Buffy has some of the best episodes of the entire series.
5. Killed by Death- One of the scariest demons of the entire series (and the entire Buffyverse) lurks in this episode, giving everyone who watched it the willies. The demon kills children by sucking their life force out through their eyeballs, and only those close to death can see him. While the episode has its problems, the creepy demon Der Kinderstod makes it memorable as hell (maybe too memorable, if you catch my nightmarish drift), and watching a weakened slayer try to do battle with it feels very unnerving.
4. Innocence- This episode is important because of the way that it deftly handles the metaphor of Angel becoming Angelus and how he represents every jerk boyfriend every teenage girl has ever had. Buffy is awesome in this episode (and the one immediately before it), as she grapples with being emotionally vulnerable, and being angry about it. Also…the bazooka.
3. Passion- The moment when Buffy changed forever and became a show where even characters you love could die. Jenny Calendar was an interesting and endearing character, and watching Angelus dispatch of her in such a brutal way, not even drinking her blood, hammers home the fact that Angelus is not at all redeemable. Angel may just deserve to die because of Angelus. For being so early in the series, it’s pretty rough.
2. Becoming Parts 1 and 2- Buffy catches the sword between her palms and in response to Angelus’ question of, “What do you have left?” says, “Me.” That one word encapsulates what is so awesome about this season finale: Buffy. She comes into her own more and more each season of the show, but the finale of season two is the first time we see a glimpse of that harder edge–and her tendency to isolate which will become so important later in the series. Were it not for the following episode, the two part finale of season two would be at the top of this list.
1. I Only Have Eyes For You- This episode is cheesy and weird. But it is also kind of brilliant in its own small way. Take Buffy and Angel’s troubled romance/antagonism, and filtering the supernatural relationship of two ghosts through them. The catharsis experienced by the spirits allows the viewers to see a glimpse of Buffy and Angel in simpler times, when they still kissed instead of kicked, and it makes the final moments of the episode (and the overall arc of Buffy and Angel’s relationship), all the more heartbreaking.