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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Band Candy
November 10, 1998
3ABB06

 
Credits

Writer:
Jane Espenson


Director:
Michael Lange


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
K. Todd Freeman as Mr. Trick
Robin Sachs as Ethan Rayne
Harry Groener as Mayor Richard Wilkins III
Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
Cast:
Jason Hall as Devon
Peg Stewart as Ms. Barton

 
Synopsis

Snyder pressures the gang into selling bars of chocolate to raise funds for the school marching band. Meanwhile, the Mayor and Mr Trick are planning to give tribute to a demon. The sweets are a raging success, and soon Giles and Joyce, along with the rest of the adult population of Sunnydale, are chowing them down like fat pigs at a gluttony contest. Soon after, the gang notices that the adults are suspiciously frisky, and we discover Ethan Rayne is back in town. It turns out that the candy is cursed, bringing on teenage exuberance, and the total lack of responsibility that entails. Joyce is hit hard, and spends the time in Giles' arms, while he has reverted to the Ripper of old. Willow and Xander find themselves drawn to each other, but resist. Buffy and the gang discover the source is a factory downtown, and that the tribute is a bunch of infants for a baby-eating sewer-dwelling demon called Larconis (the candy was cursed to distract the adults). Buffy finds the demon in the nick of time, and burns it to death with a handy gas main. — Short synopsis by Bruce.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Two time-honored concepts are given new life in the vital world of Buffy. We've got a "food affects people's brains" storyline again, a variation on the time-honored "poison food" idea that's been around for centuries (like "Snow White" for instance), and then a twist on the "people regress to childhood" theme that has also been around seemingly forever. Giles says "Larconis" means "glutton."

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Body Count

Anonymous Vampire
Stake with a No. 2 pencil in a graveyard.
Candy Bar Packager
Neck broken in the candy bar factory by Mr. Trick.
Anonymous Vampire
Staked by Buffy in Larconis' lair.
Anonymous Vampire
Staked by Buffy in Larconis' lair.
Anonymous Vampire
Eaten by Larconis in his lair.
Larconis
Set on fire by Buffy in his lair.
Total: Six
Compiled by Eric B.

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Dialogue to Die For

Cordelia: "Actually, I'm looking forward to it. I do well on standardized tests. (Everyone gives her a look) What? I can't have layers?"

Xander, making guilty conversation while playing footsie with Willow: "The band! Yeah. They're great. They march."
Willow: "Like an army. Except... with music instead of bullets, and... usually no one dies."

Willow's attempt to explain the adults' behavior: "Maybe there's a reunion in town, or a Billy Joel tour or something."

Oz: "Teenagers. It's a sobering mirror to look into, huh?"

Buffy: "Giles at sixteen? Less 'together guy,' more 'bad-magic hates-the-world ticking-time-bomb guy.'"

Buffy: "Something's weird."
Oz: "Something's not?"

More quotes from this episode...

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References

  • "It's like being in the Real World house... only real."  The Real World is a series on MTV in which a group of strangers are selected to live in a house and have their real, unscripted lives videotaped (although it has been revealed that many of the situations are set up). There have been eight seasons, each taking place in a different city (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Miami, Boston, Seattle, and Honolulu).

  • "You weren't visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, by any chance?"  The Ghost of Christmas Past was one of three spirits (the other two being the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) who visited the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens' 1843 short novel "A Christmas Carol," teaching him the true meaning of Christmas and turning his nasty and money-hoarding personality into generosity and compassion.

  • "I'm sure we love the idea of going all Willy Loman, but we're not in the band."  Willy Loman was the title character of Arthur Miller's 1949 Pulitzer Prize-winning play

    Death of a Salesman, which tells of how salesman Willy Loman must struggle against his own failures and the pressures exerted on him by his family and by society.

  • "Do you like Seals & Crofts?"  Seals & Crofts was a popular soft-rock duo consisting of Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts, who had a string of top-ten hits from 1972 to 1976, including "Summer Breeze" and "We May Never Pass This Way (Again)."

  • "Let's do the Time Warp again."  This is a line from the chorus of the song "The Time Warp" from the comedy-horror-musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is something of an in-joke, as Anthony Stewart Head played Dr. Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, the stage musical that led to RHPS.

  • "Just the last name, like... Barbarino."  Vinnie Barbarino was the stereotypically cool character played by John Travolta from 1975 to 1979 on the ABC sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.

  • "Louie Louie," sung by the drunken adults on stage at the Bronze, was originally made big by a band called the Kingsmen in the early 1960's, has been covered countless times since, and had its popularity renewed by its presence on the soundtrack of the hit 1978 movie Animal House.

  • "Very Juice Newton"  Judy Kay "Juice" Newton was a country singer whose fusion of country with folk, rock, and pop landed her a pair of enormous crossover hits, "Angel of the Morning" and "Queen of Hearts," both from her 1981 albums Juice.

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Why did all the spell-affected adults, regardless of their age, speak and act as though their teenage years were spent during the 1970's?

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Notes

  • The exercise Angel is doing in the courtyard of the mansion when Buffy comes to see him is T'ai Chi Ch'uan, a Chinese martial art which is also used as a form of Taoist yoga. Brian feels compelled to mention this because he's been studying T'ai Chi for several weeks (at the time of this episode's first airing), but hasn't yet gotten to the point in the sequence that Angel was doing.

  • Ethan Rayne returns for the first time since "The Dark Age."

  • Although she didn't hear his name in either "Faith, Hope & Trick" or "Homecoming," Buffy seems to know who Trick is when Ethan mentions him.

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Music

  • Mad Cow - "Blasé" (From Eureka EP, self-released, 1998)
      This song plays as Buffy tells Willow and Oz about her SAT nightmare.

  • Cream - "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (From Disraeli Gears, Polydor Records, 1967)
      This is the song Joyce and Giles are listening to on the record player.

  • Four Star Mary - "Violent" (From Thrown to the Wolves, MSG Records, 1999)
      The music of Oz's band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, is provided by the band Four Star Mary. Dingoes/FSM are playing this song on stage at the Bronze when Willow and Buffy show up to find all the adults acting like kids.

  • Every Bit of Nothing - "Slip Jimmy" (From Austamosta, 1998)
      This song plays at the Bronze as Oz talks with Willow and Buffy, just before the guys on stage break into "Louie Louie."
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Comments

Brian:
This episode marked the writing debut of new executive story editor Jane Espenson, and I must praise her to the heavens. This episode was hitting on all cylinders. In what I thought would be a goofy throwaway episode in the vein of "Bewitched, Bothered, & Bewildered" we instead got the return of a highly entertaining villain (Ethan), a plot that furthered the extremely creepy mayor storyline, and above all a hell of a lot of fun. The dialogue was sharper than it's been all season, with the excellent one-liners seamlessly integrated into the conversations and storyline. The embryonic and problematic passion between Willow and Xander was not forgotten, but was instead worked into the story effectively. And we got marvelous performances out of Anthony Stewart Head, Kristine Sutherland, and SMG, who is imbuing the character of Buffy with a strength that makes her a better and more appealing character than ever before. Robin Sachs was sheer delight, making me once again yearn for yet another return of the wonderfully weaselly Ethan Rayne. Finally, it was the little things that put this episode over, details like the mailman reading everyone's mail in the park, the way Buffy's training exercise with Giles comes into play in finding Ethan at the factory, Joyce coming up with a pair of handcuffs, and the mayor calling about sewer maintenance. All the elements combined to create an immensely entertaining whole that ranks among the best episodes of the series to date. (10/10)
Will:
I was thoroughly entertained. I felt like I was watching a really good cheesy 80's movie. Giles and Joyce acting like teenagers reminded me of movie moments from The Outsiders or My Bodyguard. Granted, those movies were sadly lacking vampires. Just when I think the writers are running out of storylines, they go and surprise me. On the topic of Xander and Willow... it is rather fun to watch, but I smell trouble in the near future. The "footsie" scene was priceless, and I am finding myself very happy that Joss and company decided to have them finally have smoochies. As I mentioned before, the concept for this episode was very cute, and I found myself glued to the television. Giles, Joyce, and Principal Snyder were all great. I nearly lost it when Joyce said "Screw you!" to Buffy. The only flaw I found in this episode concerns Angel. It seems like his mental and emotional recovery are a bit too rapid. In addition, when did he learn martial arts? On one final note, the relationship between Mr. Trick and the mayor is very cool. I think the mayor is... well... neat. Two thumbs up. (9/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
November 10, 1998 4.1 96 of 131
January 18, 1999 2.4 106 of 125
May 25, 1999 * 3.0 81 of 114 (tie)
* This episode aired in place of Part 2 of the season 3 finale.

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