Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thirty Days of Buffy, Day 22: Favorite Xander-Centric Episode

This picture = me
I really DON'T want to do this one, mainly out of spite. Near the tail-end of the seventh season, he shows signs of growth, but I place a lot of that on the fact that he lost his damned eye, so of course his perspective is going to be a little skewed. Plus, there really wasn't an entire episode dedicated solely to him in that season, and that limits my choices to this: "The Pack," "Teacher's Pet," "Inca Mummy Girl," "The Zeppo," and "Hell's Bells." Naturally, I am going with "The Zeppo," mainly because at the end of the episode, I don't want to throttle Xander with a four-hundred-pound mallet.
Queen C tells it like it is.
The episode sums up exactly what Xander struggles with through the whole series: having a purpose. He's surrounded by people who have enormous talents: Willow is incredibly smart and is a powerful witch; Buffy is the Slayer; Giles has almost encyclopedic knowledge of everything; Oz is a werewolf; both Angel and Spike are vampires. The list just goes on. And Xander is just ... there, sometimes getting in the way and almost getting killed, like in the opening scene of this episode. Or he just tries too hard and ends up looking like a tool.
I rest my case. Although his car IS pretty jazzy.
A big part of what's wonderful - and completely out of character for Xander at this point in the series because hahaha he goes back to being a douche post haste - is that he doesn't tell anyone about his experiences with the three zombie dudes, even if he did ultimately save everyone in the library from a bomby demise. I don't necessarily buy that he only needs the knowledge that he can do things in order to be secure in his manhood, but if taken without the rest of the series in context, it was a pretty big moment in the character, even if he didn't ultimately figure it out for another four, nearly five, seasons.
Arrested development much?
Ugh, can I move on now? I mean, I'm having nice feelings about Xander, and it's making me feel uncomfortable.
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