Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 14: First Date
Written by Jane Espenson; Directed by David Grossman
The first time I saw this episode was when it aired on BBC2. Back then, I was suffering from a bad case of food poisoning, or some sort of infection, and I ended up falling asleep half-way through it. Watching it again for the first time today, it looks like I didn’t miss much.
This episode begins the character assassination of Giles. Specifically, his treatment of the Chinese slayer Chao-An, which is so ignorant that it borders on racism and is completely out of character for someone who is supposed to be a well-travelled and intelligent person with a solid grasp of at least six languages. Not that Cantonese is necessarily one of these languages, but his “You - new - here, you - no - speak - English” (okay, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s about the level of it) routine is insulting. Once again they sacrifice character for a one-shot joke.
Otherwise, this episode is as throwaway as they come. Xander goes out on a date with a girl… who turns out to be a demon! How unusual! That’s never happened to him before! If this is what passes for character development I’m not surprised Nicholas Brendon said he only stayed on the show because he needed the money. Worse still, the demon in question is played by some pop star called Ashanti, who can’t act to save her life.
Also, I’ve said it before, why in the hell is the murderer Andrew allowed to live in Buffy’s house and not be held accountable for his actions? Then again, I suppose he’s right at home with Willow, Spike and Anya.
Overall rating: 2/10.
Next time: Get it Done.