Mr Chase, Obscurate nos non diutius (Cloud us no longer):
47. The Zeppo
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'm not that fond of this episode. At least not as fond of it as perhaps I should be, considering that it is among one of the favourite episodes of fans. Had it taken place back in season one, or very early in season two at the latest, it would have been another story, but as this is in season three and as our characters have developed since then, there were things in "The Zeppo" that just didn't ring true to me.
But first things first. If you haven't seen "Buffy" before, this episode makes absolutely *no* sense whatsoever. You really have to know some stuff about the Buffyverse for it to work. And the end of the world is a B plot! It is Xander's tribulations that are the main focus here. For that it was a brave thing for Joss to pull off.
The idea of showing the awkward left out guy rising to the occasion is of course an excellent one and who better to fill that part than our favourite goofy guy Xander Harris. He has always struggled with coolness, what with being the perceived perpetual high school loser and everything. He doesn't really become cool because of anything he does in this episode. The events herein just make him realize that he'll be cool as long as he feels comfortable with who he is.
In the beginning he was this "loser" who hung out with other "losers". Enter Buffy, stage left, and everything changed. He became part of something much bigger than the petty high school pecking order. He became a Slayerette and eventually nailed Cordelia, the epitome of a high school popularity queen. You really can't get much cooler than that!
In "The Zeppo" however, he's deliberately left out of the loop -- for his own safety. He and Cordelia is no longer an item. All that defined him is no more and he feels like Zeppo Marx, the pretty much useless and forgotten youngest of the Marx brothers. So while the rest of the gang goes out and saves the world poor Xander is left to his own devices.
Still, the things that happen to Xander are pretty accidental. He's merely reacts to events when he finds himself in the midst of a gang of zombies intent on blowing up Sunnydale High. He realizes that he has to do something about it but is unsure of what. This is where it gets a bit silly. He neglects to inform Giles of the newly arisen zombies even as he has the opportunity to do so. He's never shunned to tell the watcher before when he had done something wrong, so why hesitate now? He barges into a tender Buffy and Angel moment but still doesn't spill the beans. Why? Out of concern for what they were doing? Please, the school was going to be blown up and he had no way of knowing of the impending apocalypse.
Though, it was with his confrontation with Zombie Jack in the end that Xander came to his own. The way he handled that was *way* cool. Xander echoing Dirty Harry's "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?'" was great and Jack knew that the X-man really meant business.
When asked about if he's ready to die Xander replies that he likes the quiet. The day after, when the gang tells him he was lucky not to have been there for the averting of doom, he says he likes the quiet life. And he is of course quiet when Cordelia throws yet another insult at him. He's cool because he knows better now. Being cool is all about how you feel about yourself, not about what others think of you. Know that and everything else will follow.
Okay, that being said, I think that this shunning of Xander felt a bit contrived. For the story to work there had to be something really major that he was excluded from. But if was as big as the end of the world I would think that prudence alone would call for the gang to utilize all available resources, Xander included. I mean he's been an active Slayerette for a long time now and proven his ability more than once. And where was G.I. Xander's ability, which he acquired from "Halloween"? At this point in time he's not the Zeppo of anything and even Cordelia should've realized that. His shunning was nothing more than a convenient plot device that would've worked a lot better in season one.
The bitchy Cordelia would also have worked a lot better in season one. She taking every opportunity to throw nasty remarks at Xander and I'd like to think that she's still in heavy denial about her true feelings, since she's too proud to forgive him. But she's more like the Queen bitca of season one than the Cordelia who dated Xander for a whole year, who's now mad at him for kissing Willow.
Oh, and Xander got laid for the first time, and with Faith no less! So he'll be safe the next time a praying mantis lady comes to town :-).
Xander (to Faith): "It's just... um... I've never been Up With People before."
I still find it a bit hard to swallow that he'd been dating Cordy for that long and that they hadn't gotten to it. I mean the way their hormones were all over the place I more or less took it for granted that they sure had done it, a number of times. But if Xander was a virgin up until this point I'd bet real money that Cordy is a virgin too. If she was going to lose it to anybody it would've been to Xander, the only guy she'd ever allowed herself to fall in love with.
As always, this episode too is full of witty remarks.
Willow: "Are you okay?"
Xander: "Tip-top, really. If anyone sees my spine laying around, just try not to step on it."
Buffy (about some dead demons): "Should I burn them?"
Willow: "I brought marshmallows. Occasionally I'm callous and strange."
Giles: "There's something different about this menace, something in the air... the stench of death."
Xander: "Yeah, I think it's Bob."
Some nit-picks includes why Zombie Jack tried to steal a Saab when he could've taken the cool car Xander had borrowed from his uncle Rory? And why did Xander leave Jack *with* the bomb after it was defused? He didn't know that Were-Oz would come and eat the zombie and thus stopping him from rearming it. And how come Willow didn't notice Jack's remains when she came to retrieve Oz? Of course Oz said that he felt "oddly full" the day after but no way could he have eaten all of Jack!
Oh, and Giles likes jelly donuts a bit too much -- and so does apparently Buffy.
Giles: "All we know is that the fate of the entire world rests on the… Did you eat all the jellies?"
Buffy: "Did you want a jelly?"
Giles: "I always have a jelly. I'm always the one that says 'Let's have a jelly in the mix.'"
Willow: "We're sorry. Buffy had three!"
Senast redigerad av Mr Chase
tor maj 20, 2004 2:16, redigerad totalt 1 gång.
Rupert Giles: "I'll be back in the Middle Ages."
Miss Calendar: "Did you ever leave?"