Buffy the Vampire Slayer Rewatch: Passion

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Grab your tissues, Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. The emotions are going to be strong today.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17 killed off a member of the Scoobies in a shocking and heartbreaking way. Twenty years later and it still hurts. (RIP Jenny Calendar!)

Alright, I've had a minute to compose myself. Let's rewatch "Passion."

His Soul - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

"Passion" was one of the few times where someone served as the looming narrator throughout the episode. It didn't serve the purpose of the plot, but it more so helped to set the tone and get us closer into the mind of one character. In this case, it was Angelus.

Angelus's narration won't be the last time this style comes up. We'll see it pop up yet again near the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2.

I enjoyed the choice of having Angelus as the narrator. We heard his inner thoughts and learned more about his obsession with Buffy from his point-of-view. If there was any episode that proved that Angelus was still in love with Buffy, it would be Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17.

Angelus could've killed Buffy at any moment. He didn't. He still loved her.

Sleep Tight - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

The realization that Angelus was breaking into Buffy's room while she slept was a terrifying thought.

Though, why didn't the Scoobies do anything about it right from the get-go? During Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 16, Angelus showed that he could get into the room anytime when he pulled Xander out of the window. They should've done something then.

Not removing Angelus's free will was reckless on their part. They could've been killed at any moment if Angelus had not been a procrastinator.

Cordelia had the right level of panic. Sure, she was more worried about her car, but that's how you should react when you find out the Big Bad psychopath, who had been killing half of the class, had been sneaking into your room without restriction. The fear alone is all in the wording right here.

Though, I can't deny, that drawing of Buffy was gorgeous. Angelus has some serious talent.

I wouldn't mind getting a drawing like that. But, not in a creepy stalker way where my vampire ex-boyfriend breaks into my room. (Let's not get silly here.)

Buffy: It's so weird. Every time something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can't believe it's the same person. He's completely different from the guy that I knew.
Willow: Well, sort of, except...
Buffy: Except what?
Willow: You're still the only thing he thinks about.

Willow looked so ecstatic at the chance to teach. Just have a look at her expression below; it's like she just won the lottery!

I know I should be excited for her, but I couldn't help but notice her sweater during Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17. What was with the outfit choices for character?

During Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 1, Willow was outfitted as an innocent wallflower in preppy and doll-like clothing. As the character progressed into Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, she started wearing colourful outfits and these weird, large oversized sweaters. I mean, she's wearing a fuzzy butterfly sweater in bright yellow and blue. Did no one else notice this. It's a terrible look.

I can't wait for Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 4 when her style becomes more profound and cool. Willow felt more natural in the later seasons.

Teacher For A Day - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

Couldn't the Scoobies have forgiven Jenny at this point? People make mistakes, things happen. Jenny made a terrible one. And Giles looked sad every time he had a conversation with her.

You could cut the awkwardness with a knife when Buffy and Giles interrupted Jenny's chat with Willow. Buffy was being petty in her attitude to Jenny. Say what you will about Buffy, she may be a beacon for good, but she can get catty and mean with the rest of them.

No wonder she ruled as the original Cordelia at her old school.

My heart broke when Jenny said she loved Giles. She had real feelings for him, and she felt conflicted over her duty to her people and her love for him. It's a tough spot to be in.

Feeling Betrayed - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

If Jenny had not been stopped by Angelus later on in "Passions," I think she could've reversed the curse. She had all of the ingredients to perform the ritual, and she had an easier connection to channel the same magic that set the spell in the first place.

It's a shame that it never came to fruition.

The visual of her holding the orb and it glowing is one of my favorite effects from Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2. It's memorable because for one shiny moment, you thought that Angelus would be cured and returned back to Angel. And that Jenny could fix the mistake she caused in the first place.

Plus, the line delivery by Robia LaMorta was flawless. She was definitely an underrated character on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Library Guests - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

Who else laughed when Jonathan and the random student came into the library? It's the perfect comedic moment.

Since the Scoobies were so heavily situated in the Sunnydale High library, you forget that it is actually a school library. No one ever seemed to use it or picked up any books. This might have been the first time in a while that students actually showed up.

I loved the expression on Buffy's, Xander's, Cordelia's and Giles's faces when they didn't know what to do or how to react. It was completely new to them. Students? Books?! Madness...

Dead Fish - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

Let's take a moment to mourn the loss of Willow's fish. They were innocent casualties in Angelus's torment against Buffy. Gone but definitely not forgotten.

Killing the fish was one thing, but tying each one of them together to a single string was seriously psychotic.

Think about the time it would've taken to make this happen. Angelus had to scoop out every fish until they died and then tied each one individually to the same string so that they would all be connected together. I don't know about you, but nobody has time for that.

Angelus got things done. This evil side of him was a productive and efficient madman. 

Willow: I'm gonna have a hard time explaining this to my dad.
Buffy: You really think it'll bother him?
Willow: Ira Rosenberg's only daughter nailing crucifixes to her bedroom wall? I have to go over to Xander's house just to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year.
Buffy: I see your point.
Willow: Although it is worthwhile to see him do the Snoopy dance.

Also, the moments where he jabbed back and forth with Spike and Drusilla was great comedic dialogue.They knew he was being reckless in his torment of the Scoobies, and his jokes were causing more trouble than they were worth.

But, let's not forget the superstar that was Drusilla. Her bringing out the puppy and the moment she was overcome with the premonotion...I loved every second of it.

The Talk - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

If I had to rank all of the cruelest things Angelus did during his time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2, I would say revealing he took Buffy's virginity to Joyce would be the second.

That was low! He knew it would cause a lot of drama and he enjoyed the look on Joyce's face when she was shocked by the news. Angelus loved acting like a sociopath here; he was reveling in it.

Luckily I never had "the chat" with my own parents, but if it ended up anything like the talk between Joyce and Buffy, I would be cowering in a corner, overcome with so much embarrassment. Tension could not even begin to describe the tone in that room. Joyce was upset and disappointed in her daughter; more so for the lies and secrets that her daughter kept from her.

Sometimes I wonder if Joyce simply goes through denial with Buffy. After everything in Los Angeles and now in Sunnydale, the signs were pretty much there that Buffy was going through a lot in her life.

She should've listened to her gut on Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 14.

Giles: In my years as...Watcher...I've buried too many people. But Jenny was the first I've loved.
Buffy: I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't kill him for you...for her...when I had the chance. I wasn't ready. But I think I finally am.

The scene where Buffy forgave Jenny enough to give her blessing to date Giles took a lot of growth for Buffy's character development. She was furious at Jenny and wanted nothing to do with her, but her thinking of Giles's feeling suited her character more so.

She would sacrifice anything to help the people in her life. It's a shame that it was too little too late in the end.

Jenny's Death - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

Jenny's death might be one of the most heartbreaking deaths on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was unexpected, it was shocking, and it was cruel.

When I was seven years old and watching "Passion," I never thought Jenny would die. A main/supporting character being killed off wasn't a concept I could even fathom. (To give a little background, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my first "adult" show. I tended to watch cartoons or Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers for my action.)

Seeing Jenny run away from Angelus, and then having her neck snapped, shook me. I hoped it was a joke and that she would come back. I learned then that human can get killed off TV shows too, not just demons.

Obviously it's been years since then and I've rewatched this scene multiple times; the shock has lost its power. It's a great scene in the Whendonverse and one that I think defines Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2.

The same goes with the aftermath editing shots of Buffy and Willow breaking down when they hear about her death. Powerful and moving.

Spike: Are you insane? We're supposed to kill the bitch, not leave gag gifts in her friends' beds.
Drusilla: But, Spike, the bad teacher was going to restore Angel's soul.
Spike: What if she did? If you ask me, I find myself preferring the old Buffy-whipped Angelus. This new, improved one is not playing with a full sack. I love a good slaughter as much as the next bloke, but his little pranks will only leave us with one incredibly brassed-off Slayer.
Angelus: Don't worry, roller boy. I've got everything under control.
[A Molotov cocktail hits the table and fire erupts]

How did Angelus not think Giles and the Scoobies wouldn't seek revenge? He left Jenny's dead body on Giles's bed to torment him! That move was spurring on the retaliation.

From a plot standpoint, I understand why Buffy didn't kill Angel. This was only Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17 and there were still more episodes to go. However, from a character development standpoint, she was ready to kill him.

If Giles wants to go after the, uh, fiend that murdered his girlfriend. I say, "Faster, pussycat, kill kill."

Xander

It's frustrating sometimes rewatching it now and knowing that she makes every excuse to not kill him then and there.

By the time she actually does it, he's already killed MANY people, and it nearly got all of her friends killed. Imagine if Buffy the Vampire Slayer only have 10-12 episodes to stretch out this plot, similar to an HBO or Netflix show, it could've been even stronger with plot.

Though, I much prefer having seven seasons of episodes. (Disregard my objection!)

Burn, Baby, Burn - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

Jenny's disk dropping between the desk was the biggest tease. You knew it was coming back. Angelus was going to be cured at some point.

You don't show that type of scene unless you're planning to bring it back at some point later on. The foreshadowing was strong here.

Angel's Cure - Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17

What did you think of "Passion"? Are you sad to see Jenny go? Why didn't Buffy kill Angelus this time around? Was it really the right time for Xander to gloat with an "I told you so!"?

Want to join us in rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer? We'll be posting new rewatch posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Come back here and let us know what you thought of the episode.

Passion Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (2 Votes)

Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 17 Quotes

Buffy: It's so weird. Every time something like this happens, my first instinct is still to run to Angel. I can't believe it's the same person. He's completely different from the guy that I knew.
Willow: Well, sort of, except...
Buffy: Except what?
Willow: You're still the only thing he thinks about.

Giles: In my years as...Watcher...I've buried too many people. But Jenny was the first I've loved.
Buffy: I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't kill him for you...for her...when I had the chance. I wasn't ready. But I think I finally am.