Mr Chase cuts to the chase with "Killed by Death":
30. Killed by Death
After the great emotional upheaval of "Passion" there just had to be a more downplayed episode if only because we could all use the time to take our breaths. In that regard "Killed by Death" is a good episode. It is really much more interesting as a character piece than that of a monster-of-the-week thing. Come to think of it, most of "Buffy" is more about characters than monsters. The monsters are just there so that our guys and gals have something to play against, be it a Smurf Demon, a Kindestod or whatever. And mind you, I think that is a strength for the show.
Anyway, Buffy is committed to a hospital after fighting both the flu and Angelus. There she discovers a demon with a Freddy Krueger complex sucking the life out of little kids so naturally she wants to do something about that, and she does, with a little help from her fellow Scoobies.
This episode is more about the Scoobies than you might think. It is actually a very good Xander/Cordelia story, with a dose of Giles thrown in the mix. The Scoobies shows great strength right from the start when they chase Angelus away from sick Buffy by beating the crap out of him. Xander: "Take a walk, overbite." You go, Scoobies!
And at the hospital, who wouldn't be proud of Xander facing up to Angelus (who incidentally and rather creepily whistles "An die Freude/Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's ninth symphony when he tries to see Buffy).
Xander: "Visiting hours are over."
Angel: "Well, I'm pretty much family."
Xander: "Yeah. Why don't you come back during the day? Oh, gee, no, I guess you can't."
Angel: "If I decide to walk into Buffy's room, do you think for one microsecond that you could stop me?"
Xander: "Maybe not. Maybe that security guard couldn't either. Or those cops... or the orderlies... But I'm kinda curious to find out. You game?"
Angel: "Buffy's white knight! You still love her. It must just eat you up that I got there first."
Xander: "You're gonna die. And I'm gonna be there."
Angel: "Tell her I stopped by."
That Xander does love Buffy is certainly true as he does with Willow, but I think that he's not *in love* with her. That's were Cordy comes in even if the odd pair probably doesn't realize it just yet. Hence, their occasional jealous fits against each other, as witnessed in this episode.
Spoiler Becoming, pt 2:
And Xander is rather prophetic about him being present at Angelus's death as "Becoming, part 2" shows. You go, Xander!
Cordelia is now a fully functional member of the Scooby squad even if she still keeps her usual self-absorbed manner, which is a mask that has begun to slip anyway, not to mention her "homerical insensitivity". I guess she doesn't have an elsewhere to be since she faced down the Cordettes, but for all her ewws and owws I think she is somewhat enjoying herself as a Slayerette. And she gets to be around Xander, even though she can be quite mad at him from time to time. Ah, what we do for love!
Cordy is also something of a reality check on the others, with her infuriating lack of tact she often cuts to the chase (pun very much intended).
Cordelia (to Buffy): "So this isn't about you being afraid of hospitals 'cause your friend died and you want to conjure up a monster that you can fight so you can save everybody and not feel so helpless?"
Giles: "Cordelia, have you actually ever heard of tact?"
Cordelia: "Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass."
Ok, she wasn't right about that one, but still, a devil's advocate is never wrong to keep around (especially if they're wearing short skirts like that
) and who better to play that part than our beloved queen C herself.
Giles and Cordelia play of each other well in this episode. Just the two of them have hardly had any screen time together so it is fun to watch. First she gets a chance to get back at Giles for his tact comment.
Xander: "Cordy, you should go with Giles."
Giles: "Why do I have to have...? Good thinking, I could do with a research assistant."
Cordelia: "Let's go, Tact-Guy."
This one is also good.
Cordelia: "Nobody told me I was supposed to bring a gift. I was out of the loop on gifts."
Giles: "It's, it's tradition among, um... people."
But my favourite is the following one.
Cordelia: "What does this demon do?"
Giles: "Uh, it, uh extracts vital organs to replenish its own mutating cells."
Cordelia: "Wow! What does this one do?"
Giles: "Um, it elongates its mouth to, uh, engulf its victim's head with its incisors."
Cordelia: "Ouch. Wait, what does this one do?"
Giles: "It asks endless questions of those with whom it's supposed to be working so that nothing is getting done."
Cordelia: "Boy, there's a demon for everything."
Giles should be pleased that she actually wants to help with research and stuff. For now I think that the librarian more or less feels that she's a necessary evil because she's in on it -- and she comes with Xander.
There is still much tension between the cheerleader and the geek but they do feel for each other. Cordelia understandably has a hard time adjusting to her boyfriend's protectiveness of the slayer. And it was nice to see Xander squirm in silence as Cordelia shamelessly flirted with the security guard, even if it was in the line of Slayerette duty.
Cordelia: "Oh, right. Your obsession with protecting Buffy. Have I told you how attractive that's not?"
Xander: "Cordelia, someone's gotta watch her back."
Cordelia: "Yeah, I've seen you 'watch her back'."
Xander: "What's that suppose to mean."
Cordelia: "Well, I was using the phrase 'watch her back' as a euphemism for 'looking at her butt'. You know, as sort of a pun?"
Xander: "Oh... Hey!"
Cordelia: "Well, you do."
Cordelia: "Fine. Watch *my* back."
(Xander watches her butt as she walks away and which testosterone driven male in his right mind wouldn't
Later she returns to the hospital, still very mad at him, but she has nevertheless brought him a caffeinated beverage and some food so he won't get hungry. That's just *so* sweet and thoughtful for a self-absorbed bitca.
Lastly I sometimes feel like Xander after I've spent too much time writing these reviews:
"Man, Buffy! My whole life just flashed before my eyes! I gotta get me a life!"