Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Passion

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Season 2, Episode 17
Airdate February 24, 1998
Production Number 5V17
Written by Ty King
Directed by Michael E. Gershman
← 2x16
Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
2x18 →
Killed by Death
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Two

Passion is the seventeenth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the twenty-ninth episode overall. Angelus "regains his sense of whimsy" and starts to terrorize Buffy and the others. Meanwhile, Jenny Calendar does what she can to put an end to his reign of terror.

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy Summers), Nicholas Brendon (Xander Harris), Alyson Hannigan (Willow Rosenberg), Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), David Boreanaz (Angel)

and Anthony Stewart Head (Giles)

Guest Starring: Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia LaMorte (Jenny Calendar), Richard Assad (Shopkeeper) James Marsters (Spike), Juliet Landau (Drusilla)

Co-Starring: Danny Strong (Student), Richard Hoyt Miller (Policeman)


Plot Overview

At Buffy's urging, Giles and Jenny try to reconcile their relationship. As Jenny is on the verge of cracking a spell that could restore Angel's soul, Angel's emotional torture of Buffy is getting worse, eventually leading to an act that will haunt Buffy and friends for a long time to come.


Monster of the Week

This episode deals entirely with Jenny Calendar's struggle to curse Angelus with a soul once again, thereby winning back the respect of Giles, Buffy and the others. The details of the spell which originally cursed him with a soul are brought to light when she puts together the necessary ingredients: An Orb of Thesulah and a translated version of the Ritual of Restoration.

The orb acts like a spirit vault and would summon Angel's loose soul from the ether and hold it inside its bounds. These orbs apparently are not particularly rare, seeing as how the shopkeeper sold a couple to "New Agers" as paperweights. With the soul recovered, the invocation of the spell can be read so that the soul will be transported into the target's body. Jenny manages to translate the ritual into English from ancient Romanian liturgy using a computer program. That translation is:

As the orb is round in nature, as the earth, is round in nature, so is the soul. Return from whence you were banished, using this orb as your guide -- penetrate every ounce of the flesh, every sinew of the body and every tissue of the heart. Make what lays before you more than the empty vessel that is animal, that is beast -- make it man as God created when he separated the firmament of the heaves from the earth. Come forth now, return, return. As the orb burns, let life burn.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Girl Angelus Bitten Alleyway
2 Jenny Calendar Angelus Snapped Neck Sunnydale High


  • "Never an Easy Way" by Morcheeba: The song that Buffy and Xander are dancing to at The Bronze is "Never an Easy Way" by Morcheeba, a British trip-hop band. The song first appeared on the band's debut album, Who Can You Trust?, which was notable for being their most concretely trip-hop oriented record.

Arc Advancement


  • Vampire Lore: An addition to an already standing rule regarding vampires is made in this episode. When a vampire is invited into a private home, the invitation stands permanently until it is revoked. This can only be done through the casting of a particular spell. Jenny also seems surprised when Angel is in her classroom, although, considering Spike's siege on the school earlier in the season, there is no reason why Angel would be barred from entering the classroom.
  • Angelus: Jenny puts together the materials necessary to return Angel's soul to his body, although she is killed before she can put them to use or tell anyone about her plan. Angelus also destroyed her computer and her print-out of the Ritual of Restoration, but he did not destroy the back-up disk she made.
  • Spike & Drusilla: The factory that Spike and Drusilla have been using as a headquarters burns to the ground as a result of Giles' actions.


  • Joyce: Buffy finally comes clean to her mother about her relationship with Angel, although the part about them having sex was brought up by Angel, who apparently intended to kill Joyce in her home while she was caught off guard.
  • Jenny: After spending much of her time attempting to get back into the Scoobies' good graces with a plan to stop Angel, Jenny is murdered by Angelus.


  • 2x16 - Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: Fed up with Giles holding information to protect her, Buffy demanded that he come clean about all of the atrocities committed by Angelus so that she would be prepared for the future. Giles began to talk about something that Angelus did with a puppy before Buffy made him skip that particular entry.
Willow: Although, for the first time, I'm glad my parents wouldn't let me have a puppy.
  • 2x07 - Lie to Me: Willow invited Angel into her home when he came to her with the concern that Buffy's friend from Los Angeles, Ford, was up to something and he needed her to covertly aid him in digging up dirt.


The Show

  • Running Joke: This episode establishes a recurring joke which pokes fun at the fact that very few people other than the core characters visit the school library and there are few "normal" books for those who make use of it.
  • Sunnydale High: The school's credo is said aloud by Angelus, "Formatia trans sicere educatorum." Translated from Latin, this roughly means "Enter all ye who seek knowledge."
  • Continuity: After Willow and Buffy revoke Angel's invitation into their homes, Giles comments that he too should mystically barricade his apartment. However, Angel has never been seen in Giles' apartment on camera. Considering that he was able to stage the elaborate scene which Giles came home to, it is assumed that Giles allowed Angel in at some point in the past. In the anthology novel How I Survived My Summer Vacation, which takes place between seasons one and two chronologically, Angel and Giles do meet at his apartment in the story "Absalom Rising." Like all of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels, this story is not considered to be canon.

Behind the Scenes

  • International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
    • French: "La Boule de Thesulah" ("The Thesulah Orb")
    • Italian: "Passioni" ("Passions")
    • German: "Das Jenseits Lässt Grüßen" ("Greetings from the Nether World")
    • Japanese: "受難" ("Junan" - "Agony")

Allusions and References

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas: Willow mentions that she watches A Charlie Brown Christmas every year at Xander's house. First broadcast in 1965, the special was the first Peanuts special to air on broadcast television. It originally aired on CBS and was broadcast annually until 2000 when ABC purchased the rights.
Willow: I have to go over to Xander's house just to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year.
  • Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!: Xander's approval of Giles going after Angelus is a reference to the 1965 exploitation film, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. The film revolves around three thrill-seeking go-go dancers who become involved in a violent series events including murder and kidnapping. The film was directed by Russ Meyer, who specialized in low-budget "sexploitation" films.
Xander: And if Giles wants to go after the fiend that murdered his girlfriend, I say, "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"

Memorable Moments


  • Angelus: Passion. It lies in all of us, sleeping, waiting. And though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open it's jaws, and howl. It speaks to us, guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have?
  • Cordelia: Wait, I thought vampires couldn't come in unless you invited them in.
Giles: Yes, but, uh, once you've invited them in, thereafter they're - they're always welcome.
Xander: Y'know, I think there may be a valuable lesson for you gals here about inviting strange men into your bedrooms.
Cordelia: (realises) Oh, God! I invited him in my car once. That means he can come into my car whenever he wants.
Xander: Yep, you're doomed to havin' to give him and his vamp pals a lift whenever they feel like it. And those guys never chip in for gas.
  • Xander: Excuse me, but have you ever heard of knocking?
Jonathan: We're supposed to get some books. On Stalin.
Xander: Does this look like a Barnes & Noble?
Giles: This is a school library, Xander.
Xander: Since when?
  • Buffy: Sorry about your fish.
Willow: It's okay. We hadn't really had time to bond yet. Although, for the first time, I'm glad my parents didn't let me have a puppy.
  • Buffy: It's so weird. Every time something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can't believe it's the same person. He's completely different from the guy that I knew.
Willow: Well, sort of, except ...
Buffy: Except what?
Willow: You're still the only thing he thinks about.
  • Jenny: Wait. That's your --
Angelus: (rips up print-out) My cure? No, thanks. Been there, done that. Déjà vu just isn't what it used to be.
  • Buffy: I can't tell you everything.
Joyce: How about anything? Buffy, you can shut me out of your life. I am pretty much used to that. But don't expect to ever stop caring about you because it's never gonna happen.
  • Angelus: Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief.
  • Spike: Are you insane? We're supposed to kill the bitch, not leave gag gifts in her friends' beds.
Drusilla: But, Spike, the bad teacher was going to restore Angel's soul.
Spike: What if she did? If you ask me, I find myself preferring the old Buffy-whipped Angelus. Because this new, improved one is not playing with a full sack. I love a good slaughter as much as the next bloke, but his little pranks will only leave us with one incredibly brassed-off Slayer!
  • Angelus: It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we'd know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow - empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we'd be truly dead.