Buffy the Vampire Slayer/When She Was Bad

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When She Was Bad
When She Was Bad
Season 2, Episode 1
Airdate September 15, 1997
Production Number 5V01
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
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Some Assembly Required
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeason Two

When She Was Bad is the first episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the thirteenth episode overall. The Anointed One and a new group of vampires attempt to resurrect The Master using the bones Giles, Xander and Willow buried over the summer.

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 La Morte (Jenny Calendar), Andrew J. Ferchland (The Anointed One), Dean Butler (Hank Summers), Brent Jennings (Absalom)

and Armin Shimerman (Principal Snyder)

Co-Starring: Tamara Braun (Tara)


Plot Overview

Buffy returns from L.A. to begin the new school year. It soon becomes evident that Buffy's behaviour has changed for the worse, and everyone suspects that it's linked to her fateful encounter with the Master. Unbeknown to the gang, the Anointed One and his followers plot to resurrect the vampire, forcing Buffy to stop them or face the Master again.


Monster of the Week

The "Monster of the Week" carries over from the previous season with a group of vampires, headed up by Absalom and The Anointed One, attempting to resurrect the master. Because his bones were (mysteriously) left behind, the vampires are apparently able to use them as part of a spell to bring him back to the mortal coil. The finer points of the ritual are not discussed, although it does require an incantation and the blood of the people who were around the victim when he died. All of the vampires are killed and the Master's bones crushed, but The Anointed One remains.

Body Count

# Whom By Whom How Where
1 Vampire Buffy Staked Cemetery
2–3 Vampires Buffy Staked Warehouse
4 Vampire Angel Staked Warehouse
5 Vampire Buffy Staked Warehouse
6 Absolom Buffy Immolated Warehouse


  • "It Doesn't Matter" by Alison Krauss and Union Station: The song that plays after Angel dispenses his cryptic warning, which continues into the scene where Joyce drives Buffy to school, is "It Doesn't Matter" by Alison Krauss with Union Station. The song originally appears on So Long, So Wrong, Krauss' sixth album. The 1997 album was her breakthrough record and is her first album to be certified as gold. The song was also released on the first Buffy soundtrack.
  • "Spoon" performed by Cibo Matto: The band performing on stage at The Bronze is Cibo Matto, a trip-hop group formed by two Japanese-Americans in 1994. The first song performed at the club is "Spoon," released in 1997 on the band's Super Relax EP.
  • "Sugar Water" performed by Cibo Matto: The second song performed by Cibo Matto at The Bronze—beginning when Buffy leads Xander to dance—is "Sugar Water," the lead single from the band's debut album, Viva! La Woman. The song was a minor college radio and dance hit in 1996 when the album was released.

Arc Advancement





The Show

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

Memorable Moments

  • Buffy's sexy dance with Xander to make Angel jealous.
  • Buffy smashing the Master's bones.


  • Xander: Well, what else do you wanna do? We already played rock, paper, scissors. My hands cramped up.
Willow: Well, yes, if you're always scissors, of course your tendons are gonna strain.
  • Giles: Have you ever considered, given you abhorrence of children, that school principal was not perhaps your true vocation?
Snyder: Somebody's got to keep an eye on them.
  • Xander: Yo! G-man! What's up?
Giles: Nice to see you. And don't ever call me that.
  • Willow: What did you do last night?
Buffy: Mm. Slept. I had weird dreams.
Xander: Dreams are meaningful.
Willow: Tsh! Tell me about it. The other night I dreamt that Xander... Uh, I-it wasn't Xander. I-in fact it wasn't me. It was a friend's dream, and she doesn't remember it.
Buffy: I bet she doesn't.
  • Buffy: (to Angel) So is this a social call? It is kinda late... or, well, it is for me, anyway. What is it for you, lunch hour?
  • Cordelia: Well, I just meant that you guys always hang out together. So, did you guys fight any demons this summer?
Willow: Uh, yes! Our own personal demons.
Xander: Uh, such as - as - as lust and, um, thrift!
  • Buffy: Cordelia, your mouth is open; sound is coming from it. This is never good.
  • Xander: It's, see, we can't mention that stuff in front of other people, Buffy being the Slayer and all.
Willow: You haven't been talking about our little adventure all summer, have you?
Cordelia: Are you nuts? Do you think I would tell people that I spent the whole evening with you? Besides, it was all so creepy. That Master guy? And all the screaming? I don't even like to think about it. So your secret's safe with me.
Buffy: Well, that works out great. You won't tell anyone that I'm the Slayer, and I won't tell anyone you're a moron.
Xander: Now, that was a good insult.
Willow: A little too good.
  • Willow: Buffy's never acted like this before. Ever since she got back she's... different.
Xander: Buffy's always been different.
Willow: She's never been mean.
  • Buffy: Xander, did I ever thank you for saving my life?
Xander: No.
Buffy: Don't you wish I would?
  • Cordelia: Buffy. You're really campaigning for bitch-of-the-year, aren't you?
Buffy: As defending champion, you nervous?
Cordelia: I can hold my own. You know, we've never really been close, which is nice, 'cause I don't really like you that much, but... you have on occasion saved the world and stuff, so I'm gonna do you a favor.
Buffy: And this great favor is?
Cordelia: I'm gonna give you some advice. Get over it.
Buffy: Excuse me?
Cordelia: Whatever is causing the Joan Collins 'tude, deal with it. Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it. 'Cause pretty soon you're not even gonna have the loser friends you've got now.
  • Willow: I mean, why else would she be acting like such a b-i-t-c-h?
Giles: Willow, I think we're all a little too old to be spelling things out.
Xander: A "bitca"?
  • Snyder: There're some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense.
Giles: No, actually that would be one of the five.
Snyder: That Summers girl. I smell trouble, I smell expulsion, and just the faintest aroma of jail.
  • Buffy: (about The Master) We were close. We killed each other. It really promotes togetherness.
  • Buffy: This is Cordelia's. (reads) "Come to the Bronze before it opens, or we make her a meal."
Xander: They're gonna cook her dinner? (pauses) I'll pretend I didn't say that.
  • Willow: Well, what about the rest of the note?
Buffy: What rest of the note?
Willow: The part that says, "P.S., this is a trap."
  • Buffy: (to Angel) You're a vampire. Oh, I'm sorry, was that an offensive term? Should I say "Undead American"?
  • Angel: You're not as strong as you think.
Buffy: Think you can take me?
  • Angel: We need you to distract the vampires.
Buffy: Right.
Angel: What are you gonna do?
Buffy: I'm gonna kill them all. That oughta distract 'em.
  • Cordelia: What an ordeal. And you know what the worst part is?
Ms Calendar: What?
Cordelia: It stays with you forever. No matter what they tell you, none of that rust and blood and grime comes out. I mean, you can dry clean till Judgement Day, you are living with those stains.
Ms Calendar: Yeah, that's the worst part of being hung upside down by a vampire who wants to slit your throat: the stains.
Cordelia: I hear ya.
  • Giles: Punishing yourself like this is pointless.
Buffy: It's entirely pointy. I was a moron. I put my best friends in mortal danger on the second day of school.
Giles: What are you gonna do? Crawl inside a cave for the rest of your life?
Buffy: Would it have cable?
Giles: Buffy, you acted wrongly, I admit that. But believe me, that was hardly the - the worst mistake you'll ever make. Uh, that wasn't quite as comforting as it was meant to be.
  • Xander: So we Bronzin' it tonight?
Willow: Wednesday is kinda beat.
Xander: Well, we could grind our enemies into talcum powder with a sledgehammer, but, gosh, we did that last night.