Buffy the Vampire Slayer/School Hard
School Hard is the third episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the fifteenth episode overall.
Guest Starring: Kristine Sutherland (Joyce Summers), Robia La Morte (Jenny Calendar), Andrew J. Ferchland (The Anointed One), James Marsters (Spike), Alexandra Johnes (Sheila Martini), Gregory Scott Cummins (Big Ugly), Andrew Palmer (Lean Boy), Brian Reddy (Police Chief Bob), Juliet Landau (Drusilla)
Between Snyder and her mother, Buffy dreads Parent-Teacher night. However, it might be moot given the upcoming Night of Saint Vigeous where the Anointed One and his followers plan to attack in full force. Things are made even worse by the arrival a vampire named Spike who has killed two Slayers in the past and promises to make Buffy his hat trick.
Monster of the Week
There is no "monster of the week" in this episode because it focuses on the Big Bad — The Anointed One. More importantly, however, the chief antagonist in this episode is a vampire new to town named William the Bloody, better known as Spike. In Giles' research, he discovers that William got his moniker from torturing people with railroad spikes and is barely 200 years old. He also learns that Spike has killed two slayers in the past, including one during the Boxer Rebellion in China.
Spike and Drusilla, his weak and very delusional companion, arrive in Sunnydale in time for the Night of Saint Vigeous, a night named for a crusade of vampires which washed across Mesopotamia (specifically Edessa and Harran), likely between 1099 and 1144 when the Crusaders held Edessa. Allegedly, vampires are at their strongest on that night. However, Spike doesn't wait until the Night of Saint Vigeous to start causing mayhem, indicating that his arrival at that time was coincidence. He also makes the point that he doesn't appreciate ritual by killing The Anointed One.
Also of note is Spike's connection to Angel, who he calls Angelus during his "buddy buddy" act when they first meet in the episode. Angel sired Spike and taught him everything he knew when the two ran together along with Drusilla and Darla, terrorizing Europe during Angel's pre-curse days.
|1||Vampire||Buffy||Staked||Outside The Bronze|
|2–3||Dwayne & Dell||Spike||Necks Snapped||Outside The Bronze|
|4||Sheila||Drusilla||Blood Drained||Drusilla's Room|
|5||Parent||Spike||Neck Snapped||Sunnydale High School|
|6||Man||Vampire||Blood Drained||Sunnydale High School|
|7–8||Vampire||Buffy||Staked||Sunnydale High School|
|9||The Anointed One||Spike||Direct Sunlight||Warehouse|
- "1000 Things" performed by Nickel: When Buffy and Willow are trying to study French at the Bronze, Nickel is performing on stage. The first song that they play is "1000 Things", a song from their album Stupid Thing released independently in 1997.
- "Stupid Thing" performed by Nickel: The second song performed by Nickel at the Bronze is "Stupid Thing", the title track from their album Stupid Thing.
- Conspiracy: Although it has been hinted in previous episodes that Principal Snyder knows more about Sunnydale's supernatural elements than he lets on, it is made very clear that he is at the school because it is on the Hellmouth and not for the students. Not only does he know about the existence of vampires and other monsters in the city, but so does a select group of other adults, including the police chief. The two are apparently part of a larger conspiracy which foreshadows the rise of Mayor Wilkins next season.
- First Appearance: Two major recurring characters, both vampires, make their first appearances in this episode: Spike and Drusilla.
Behind the Scenes
- Killed Off: The reason why Spike killed off The Anointed One in this episode is because actor Andrew J. Ferchland had a major growth spurt over the summer and would have defied the mythology stating that vampires do not age. For this reason, it became difficult to film scenes with him in episodes and necessitated him sitting down for most of his appearances.
- Technicality: On January 2, 1998, about four months after this episode aired, Joss Whedon explained that Angel was not Spike's direct sire, saying "Angel was Dru's sire — he made her — and she made Spike. But SIRE doesn't just mean [the] guy who made you, it means you come from their line. Angel is like a grandfather to Spike."
Allusions and References
- Joyce Summers hitting Spike on the back of the head with a fire axe.
- When Buffy races outside to fight the big ugly vampire, she evidently found the time and necessity to grab her jacket, but not a stake.
- Willow: She was already smoking in fifth grade. Once I was lookout for her.
- Xander: You're bad to the bone.
- Willow: I'm a rebel.
- Spike: If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.
- Spike: Nice work, love.
- Buffy: Who are you?
- Spike: You'll find out on Saturday.
- Buffy: What happens on Saturday?
- Spike: I kill you.
- Parent: Who are those people? What do they want?
- Joyce Summers: I didn't get much of a look, but was there something wrong with their faces?
- Principal Snyder: Yes! PCP. It's a gang on PCP!
- Xander: So, when you gave him my neck to chew on, why didn't you clock him before he had a chance to clock you?
- Angel: I told you. I couldn't make the first move. I had to see if he was buying it or not.
- Xander: And if he bit me, what then?
- Angel: We would've known he bought it.
- Xander: Hey, what's the deal with you being Spike's sire? What's a sire?
- Spike: A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.
- Spike: From now on, we're gonna have a little less ritual... and a little more fun around here.