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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Becoming, Part Two
May 19, 1998
5V22

 
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
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Seth Green as Oz
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
James Marsters as Spike
Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Armin Shimerman as Principal Snyder
Cast:
Max Perlich as Whistler
James G. MacDonald as Detective Stein
Susan Leslie as First cop
Thomas G. Waites as Second cop

 
Synopsis

Buffy is taken into custody, but she escapes from the police and runs to the hospital to check on the others. Giles is still missing, kidnapped by Dru and Angelus. She is stopped on the way home by another policeman, who is knocked unconscious by Spike. Spike is jealous of the way Dru acts around Angelus, and wants Buffy help kill him in exchange for Spike leaving town forever. An uneasy alliance develops, and they work together to kill a vampire at Buffy's house, which Joyce sees. Buffy finally tells Joyce she is the Slayer, and has to leave. Joyce tells her she won't let her back if she does. Buffy, with no choice, runs to the school to find Kendra's sword, much to Snyder's pleasure, who finds her there and expels her. She takes the sword and goes to kill Angelus. Angelus attempts to torture Giles into telling him the secret of Acathla, but in the end, only Dru's hypnotic powers can break him. Willow attempts the spell to curse Angelus with his soul again, while Buffy and Angelus fight. Spike takes Dru and leaves. The curse works, but only after Acathla is awakened. The only thing that can save the world is Angel's blood. Only seconds after his soul is returned, Buffy drives the sword through his heart, and sends him to Hell; closing Acathla's vortex. The season ends with Buffy on a bus out of Sunnydale, with no one knowing where she is. — Short synopsis by Bruce.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

See Part 1 of "Becoming" for the scoop on Acathla.

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Body Count

Anonymous Vampire
Staked by Buffy outside of her house.
Anonymous Vampire
Decapitated by Buffy at the mansion.
Anonymous Vampire
Staked by Buffy at the mansion.
Total: Three (we're not counting Angel because he wasn't technically killed)
Compiled by Eric B.

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Dialogue to Die For

Spike: "We like to talk big, vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' It's just tough guy talk. Strut round with your friends over a pint of blood... the truth is I like this world. You've got dog racing. Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here."

Joyce: "Well, it stops now!"
Buffy: "No, it doesn't stop. It never stops. Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or, god, even studying! But I have to save the world. Again."

Giles: "It's a trick. They get inside my head... make me see things I want."
Xander: "Then why would they make you see me?"

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Buffy: "Don't worry about me."
Whistler: "But it's all on the line here, kid."
Buffy: "I can deal. I got nothing left to lose."
Whistler: "Wrong, kid. You got one more thing."
      Not only is this rather vague, but it's also a string of tired clichés.

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References

  • Manchester United (see Dialogue To Die For) is a British soccer team. In the late 90's they have been perennial challengers for the Premier League championship, and were the home of a slew of international soccer stars like French scoring machine Eric Cantona (who retired in his prime in May 1997 to pursue an acting career) and Mr. Posh Spice himself, David Beckham.

  • "Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs."  "Happy Meal" is the name given by the fast food chain McDonald's to their pre-packaged children's meals, usually consisting of a burger, a small order of french fries and small soft drink.

  • "Goodbye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. "   This is a paraphrase of a line from It's a Long Way to Tipperary, a British World War I marching song. Lyrics (and the melody) can be found here.

  • "Keep out of it, Sit-N-Spin."  A Sit-N-Spin is a toy (especially popular back in the 70's) consisting of a rotating base around a stationary central column. Children sit on the base and spin themselves around until they get dizzy.
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Goofs and Gaffes

  • The hairline on Angel's stand-in during the climactic swordfight scene makes it way obvious that it's not David Boreanaz.
  • It's been established that vampires don't breathe, at least not in the "real" way that humans do. That is, they obviously can and do inhale and exhale air — it's necessary in order to talk (or smoke). But they don't actually need to, and they probably don't process the gases in the same way humans do. Thus, without that need for oxygen, the choke hold Spike puts on Drusilla should not make her lose consciousness. (Remember, the whole reason that restricted blood flow renders one unconscious is because the blood carries the necessary oxygen to the brain.)
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Notes

  • James G. MacDonald reprises the role of Detective Stein, who questioned Buffy in "Ted". He will question her once again in "Consequences."

  • The mansion in which Spike, Drusilla and Angel have been living since "I Only Have Eyes For You" is on Crawford Street, outside of Sunnydale.

  • The "Grr...argh" thing at the end of each episode was altered for this one... instead, it said, "Oooh, I need a hug." However, most of the US did not get this version after the original airing (due, apparently, to a mistake made by the WB). The altered version can be seen in syndication and on the official video release.
    Listen (11K) or Quicktime (846K)
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Music

  • Sarah McLachlan - "Full of Grace" (From Surfacing, Arista Records, 1997)
      This song plays after Buffy sends Angel to Hell, continuing over the scenes of Buffy leaving Sunnydale.
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Comments

Brian:
A line from one of my favorite movies, Clerks, succinctly summarizes my opinion of this second season finale: "I must say, this is the ballsiest move I have ever been privy to." This is courageous storytelling by Joss Whedon; it's not easy to so thoroughly revise and undermine the premise of a series the way he has here. It's interesting that in "Prophecy Girl," the first season finale, Buffy lost her life in the literal sense, and tonight she lost her life in a more emotional and metaphysical sense. It's even more interesting that it's even more intense this time around. In my review of the first part of "Becoming," I said that Joss was finally knocking over the dominoes he'd been lining up all season, that he was finally pulling all the triggers. Well, he didn't knock them over, he scattered them all across a bombed-out dramatic landscape! He didn't pull any triggers — he blew them up!! Ever since Angel lost his soul in "Innocence," I have been saying over and over, in every online forum I've been a part of, that I would not want the return of Angel's soul; that, considering everything he's done in the last four months, there was no way for the writers to give Angel back his soul and to make it dramatically plausible short of having him instantly stake himself. That's the absolute last time I ever underestimate Joss Whedon. He did it... he actually did it. He gave Angel back his soul and made it work, by making the hard choice I honestly didn't think he could make. I would never, in a million years, have anticipated Buffy killing Angel after getting him back. And now, with Buffy's mother in the not-quite-accepting know, Angel seemingly out of the picture for good, and Buffy expelled from school and appearing to have skipped town, I am left to wonder how Joss is planning to put these scattered, shattered pieces back together at the beginning of next season. Will we see Dru and Spike again? What will Buffy's friends do now? What will Buffy do now? Alas, it now begins... three months or more of Buffy Withdrawal Syndrome as we wait to see what happens next. (10/10)
Will:
As a general rule, I usually wait a little while to write my weekly review, in order to absorb the episode and formulate my thoughts. As it stands, the episode ended two minutes ago. I need to write this while the emotions that I experienced still exist. I have at many points in my life seen television shows that depressed me and caused me to experience a good number of emotions. I can truly say that at this very moment I am heartbroken for Buffy. She killed her boyfriend, has been kicked out by her mom, and has been expelled from school. She feels like she lost her life and is running away. I truly wish that I could jump into the TV and give her a hug. The look on her face when her mom told her not to come back, as she was about to kill Angel, and as she sat alone on the bus... it all tore me apart. I have always fancied other characters in this show more than Buffy herself, but in this episode she pulled at the heartstrings in a big way. I can actually say that towards the end of the episode I felt the tears welling up a bit. Joss deserves huge (biggest adjective I can think of at the moment) praises for the route he chose to take in this episode. The manner in which he destroyed Buffy emotionally was mean, but truly perfect. He allowed Spike and Drusilla to leave alive (which means that they could return), and he managed to return Angel's soul without Buffy being able to have him. I feel that I could go on raving about how great this episode was, but I don't know that I currently have the ability to. I truly feel like a member of my family just died. I am now going to go drown my sorrows in a bag of potato chips. We love you Buffy... please don't run too far away. We will see you in September. (10/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
May 19, 1998 4.2 74 of 102 (tie)
September 22, 1998 2.7 91 of 122 (tie)
December 29, 1998 3.1 91 of 125

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