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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Amends
December 15, 1998
3ABB10

 
Credits

Writer:
Joss Whedon


Director:
Joss Whedon


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
David Boreanaz as Angel
Seth Green as Oz
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Robia LaMorte as Jenny Calendar
Saverio Guerra as Willy
Eliza Dushku as Faith
Cast:
Shane Barach as Daniel
Edward Edwards as Male Ghost
Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy as Margaret
Mark Kriski as Weatherman
Tom Michael Bailey as Tree Seller

 
Synopsis

As Buffy and the gang each prepare to spend Christmas vacation alone, Angel's dreams are haunted by images of people he's killed during his 240-odd years as a vampire. A mysterious force called the First Evil takes on the form of Jenny Calendar and tries to convince Angel to kill Buffy. Believing that he isn't strong enough to fight his evil nature, Angel waits outside for the sun to rise and kill him. Buffy finds him and tries to convince him not to die, but just as she is giving up, it starts to snow — a first in Sunnydale — thus preventing Angel from being burned by the sunlight. — Short synopsis by Fluff.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Bringer The First seems to be another creation of Joss Whedon. The First is the spirit of absolute evil, which has no physical shape. The Bringers (or Harbringers) are priests that worship and do the bidding of The First. These priests have no eyes, and no life can grow above or below them. We also have the various ghosts of Angel's victims. These are not quite ghosts as we know them, but rather a manifestation of The First. They, especially Jenny, are tormenting Angel to unleash the evil that is destined within him. Having a character be haunted by the past, through ghosts and/or visions, is a fairly common storytelling device, an old example being Shakespeare's "MacBeth;" a new example being the Toni Morrison novel/Oprah Winfrey movie "Beloved."


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Body Count

Daniel (in a flashback)
Drained in an alley in Dublin.
Margaret (in a flashback)
Drained by Angelus at a dinner party.
A Bringer
Axed by Buffy in their underground ritual area.
A Bringer
Axed by Buffy in their underground ritual area.
Total: Four (plus two more alluded to in flashbacks)
Compiled by Eric B.

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Dialogue to Die For

Buffy: "You're weak, everybody is. Everybody fails ... Angel, you have the power to do real good, to make amends. But if you die now, then all that you ever were was a monster."

Angel: "What do you want?"
Jenny: "I want to die in bed surrounded by fat grandchildren, but guess that's off the menu."

Willow (to Oz): "Well, you know, we're alone. We're both mature younger people. And so... we could... I'm ready to... with you. We can do that thing."

Buffy: "What are you doing for Christmas?"
Willow: "Being Jewish. Remember people? Not everybody worships Santa."
Later in the episode:
Xander: "That's the Christmas spirit."
Willow: "Hello? Still Jewish. Hanukkah spirit, I believe that was."

More quotes from this episode...

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References

    Grinch
  • "Tree. Nog. Roast Beast."   Roast beast is a reference to the Dr. Suess story How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Roast beast is the traditional Christmas dinner for the Whos, and has become a playful way of referring to roast beef. (For Jeremy's family, anyway. :-))

  • "And you got the Barry working for you."   Barry White, a singer by whose songs many people have done "that thing."

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Continuity

  • "Lovers Walk" — There are numerous references to this episode, in which Oz and Cordelia found Willow and Xander kissing, and both couples broke up. This is why Willow assumes that her plans with Oz are off, why Willow thinks they should cut Cordelia some slack for being mean, and why Oz broke up with Willow (allowing for the get-back-together scene in this episode).

  • "Becoming, Part Two" — Giles says that Buffy may have to kill Angel, "again," referring to when she had to shove a sword through him and send him to hell in order to save the world from Acathla.

  • "Revelations" — Buffy tells Joyce that she and Faith aren't really talking or even making eye contact, meaning since "Revelations," in which they had one heck of a brawl, and in which Faith rejected Buffy's attempt at friendship, saying she didn't need anyone on her side but herself.

  • "Band Candy" — Joyce's quick refusal to invite Giles over for Christmas Eve is due to her discomfort because of their sexual encounter in "Band Candy" (the full extent of which Buffy does not yet know).

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Despite the numerous mentions of how hot it was, many characters were wearing coats and warm clothes. Ironically, Southern California was having a heat wave around that time (trust us, we were not wearing coats).

  • One of the movies playing at the theater was "Abilene," which, according to IMDb, was not released until March 13, 1999 — three months after this episode was aired (and probably five months after it was filmed, which is interesting).

  • This one is a bit nit-picky, but the snow seemed to accumulate on the ground awfully quickly for what looked like only flurries. Also, with the numerous mentions of how hot it was, the ground would have been too warm for any snow to accumulate. However, since the snow itself can be attributed to Christmas Magic (or something of the kind), we suppose these details can, too.

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Notes

  • The weatherman, Mark Kriski, is the weatherman for KTLA's morning news (KTLA being the Los Angeles WB affiliate).

  • This was the first time it has ever snowed in Sunnydale.

  • This is the second time we have seen Jenny since Angel killed her in "Passion." The first time was when Drusilla cast a spell on Giles, manifesting herself as Jenny in "Becoming Part Two."

  • One of the movies playing at the theater in downtown Sunnydale was "Abilene" (see Goofs above). The other must have been either "Pray For Death" or possibly "Priez Pour Nous" (in English: "Pray For Us").

  • As with "Becoming, Part Two," there was an altered "Grr...argh" thing for this episode, which for the original airing was (again) not aired in the US. They did air it for the rebroadcast the next week. In this one, the monster guy wears a Santa cap, and there are bells jingling in the background. Very cute. Quicktime (614K)

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Music

  • Barry White - "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" (From Can't Get Enough and others, Polygram, 1974)
      Willow has this song playing when Oz comes over to watch movies and continues to play as Willow offers herself to Oz.
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Comments

Jeremy:
Excellent episode. See what you can do when you actually get to spend some money on an episode. Granted, Angel's Irish accent is really bad, but that is the only thing this episode has going against it. Willow and Oz's relationship was able to continue and not be put back by Willow's indiscretion. It was great to see Robia LaMorte back in action, it's a shame that she died so soon. Actually having a monster that Buffy can't fight because it's not physical was a good story development by Joss. It almost seems like Joss wants to keep "The First" up his sleeve for some other time, as well. Of course, Buffy and Angel are always teetering back and forth together and not together, but this time it was good. This seems like it would be a great episode to have a friend watch to get them into Buffy. Outstanding episode. (9.5/10)
Jamie Marie:
During part of my childhood, I lived in Michigan, where it snowed plenty. Then I moved back to Southern California, my birthplace. In junior high, we were sitting in class one winter (in a school whose classroom windows are either nonexistant or at the very top of the wall) when the principal announced over the loud-speaker system that it was snowing outside — for the first time in, like, twenty years or something (in this city, at least). We all rushed outside, most of the kids much more excited than I was, because I had seen snow before. In fact, I was quite disappointed. "This isn't even real," I said, because the stuff melted immediately upon hitting the ground. The funny part is that there was one classroom, with no windows, in which the loud-speaker was broken, and all the kids in that class missed the whole thing. Why am I regaling you with this anecdote? To stall, because I'm not sure what I think of this episode. Oh sure, it aired eight months ago ... but that might be why I'm unsure, actually. It bordered on being cheesy, but luckily I don't think it crossed the line. In fact, I liked the B/A scene on the hilltop. Lots of unanswered questions, though, which are still unanswered eight months later, which is disturbing to me. Everyone thought the First would come into play later, but it didn't. Still time, I guess. And who or what caused the snow? Santa Claus? Is he even more powerful than the First? Oh well, at least we got to see Xander get snowed on, and Faith wearing a skirt. (8.5/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
December 15, 1998 4.3 88 of 133 (tie)
December 21, 1998 2.2 98 of 127 (tie)

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