Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Freshman

Episode Report Card
Sep: D | 3 USERS: B-
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The Freshman

That night at the Bronze, a Mazzy Star-esque band plays. Buffy enters alone, looking lonely and glum. She walks through the club and stares morosely at couples slow-dancing. As she looks around, she's surprised to spot a man she thinks is Angel, but when she gets a better view she realizes it's not him. As she recovers from her surprise, we hear Xander's voice say, "The whole world in front of her, and she comes back to this dive." Buffy is happy to see Xander and gives him a hug. When he admits that he's been back in Sunnydale for a few days, she demands to know why he hasn't called her. He jokes that he didn't want to help her move into her dorm room. Buffy inquires about his summer road trip, and Xander perkily says, "Grand Canyon!" and then has to admit that he only saw the movie Grand Canyon on cable. In fact, Xander's car broke down in Oxnard, and he spent the summer washing dishes at the "fabulous 'Ladies Night' club." Xander says the job went fine until the night one of the male dancers called in sick, but refuses to finish the story. He tells Buffy he's back living at his parents' house, where he "sleep[s] in the basement and [has] to pay rent." He asks Buffy how college is, and she lies and says it's good, but Xander senses her gloomy mood and calls her on it. She tells him that Willow and Oz are doing fine, but she's upset because of the fight she lost with Sunday. "Then where's the gang?" demands Xander. "Avengers assemble! Let's get it going." Buffy The Martyr says she doesn't want to bother the others, and expresses worry that she won't be a success at college. Xander The Armchair Psychologist tells her that it's understandable that she's scared, but she can't let the fear get to her. Xander stumbles through three failed comedic references to Master Yoda's "fear leads to anger" monologue from The Phantom Menace, then mercifully removes himself (and us) from the Jedi quest for a funny bit. Buffy continues to throw herself a little pity party until Xander quite sweetly tells her that when he's scared or alone he thinks to himself, "What would Buffy do?" (I'm having visions of a whole "WWBD" line of merchandise. Somebody tell Joss!) Xander tells Buffy she's his hero, and Buffy looks touched until he admits that sometimes he thinks, "What is Buffy wearing?" Yeah, Xander -- you and ninety percent of the viewing audience. Then he suggests they go "put this bitch in the ground," and Buffy thanks him for his pep talk. "And nothing says 'thank you' like dollars in the waistband," quips Xander.

We see a broken window; inside a UC Sunnydale office, Buffy and Xander are doing research. Buffy, sitting at a computer terminal, notes that just a few students disappear the same way every year. Xander, who appears to be reviewing back issues of the campus paper, expresses disgust that the vampires stole her stuff; Buffy realizes that they must be keeping the looted possessions somewhere on or near campus. Buffy tells him the disappearances began in 1982, and Xander shows her a newspaper article from 1982, covering the closing of a campus fraternity house. After a bad reconnaissance/Renaissance joke, Buffy and Xander leave to check out the abandoned fraternity house.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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