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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Innocence
January 20, 1998
5V14

 
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
Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar
James Marsters as Spike
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Cast:
Brian Thompson as The Judge
Ryan Francis as Soldier
Vincent Schiavelli as Jenny's uncle
James Lurie as Teacher
Carla Madden as Woman
Parry Shen as Student

 
Synopsis

The Judge is recovering his full powers, making Spike impatient to get with the killing. Outside Angel's mansion, Angel's pain stops, but his first act is to kill his first human victim for 100 years. The Demon With the Angelic Face is back: Angelus. The gang continues their research of the Judge, and the news is not good. When his full power returns, he can kill with a glance. Angelus returns to Spike's lair, where the Judge attempts to kill him, but since Angelus is now completely inhuman, he cannot harm him. Spike and Dru are overjoyed, and decide to unleash the Judge, but Angelus persuades them to let him kill Buffy himself. Willow is distraught to see Xander and Cordy kissing, but Xander comes up with a plan to kill the Judge. Angelus' attempt to kill Buffy fails, since Jenny knows that he has turned and warns her, but in doing so she reveals her secret Gypsy identity, much to the gang's displeasure. The Judge attacks the mall, but Buffy kills him with a rocket launcher that Xander acquired with his army knowledge from Halloween. — Short synopsis by Bruce.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

See "Surprise."

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Dialogue to Die For

Xander: "Let's go."
Cordelia: "And do what? Besides be afraid and die?"

Buffy: "I—I don't understand. Was it me? Was I not good?"
Angel, laughing: "You were great. Really. I thought you were a pro."
     We actually worry about Joss, that he has such hurtfulness inside him at all. But that's what makes good writing, right? Uh... right?

Uncle Enjos: "To the modern man vengeance is a verb, an idea. Payback. One thing for another. Like commerce. Not with us. Vengeance is a living thing. It passes through generations. It commands. It kills."

Cordelia: "This is great. There's an unkillable demon in town, Angel's joined his team, the Slayer is a basket case... I'd say we've hit bottom."
Xander: "I have a plan."
Cordelia: "Oh, no, here's a lower place."

Cordelia: "Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?"
Xander: "I'm seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."

Oz: "Sometimes when I'm sitting in class... You know, I'm not thinking about class, 'cause that would never happen. I think about kissing you. And it's like everything stops. It's like freeze frame. Willow kissage. Oh, I'm not gonna kiss you."

Joyce: "So what'd you do for your birthday? Did you have fun?"
Buffy: "I got older."

More quotes from this episode...

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References

  • At the end, the movie Buffy and her mom are watching is Stowaway, a 1936 musical starring Shirley Temple, Alice Faye and Robert Young. The song "Goodnight, My Love" is being sung by Faye and Young.
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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Xander tells Cordelia to meet him at Willow's house in thirty minutes, wearing something trashier. Then it's the next day, when Buffy accosts Ms. Calendar in her class, demanding answers. The next thing you know, it's night again and Xander, Willow, Cordelia and Oz are at the army base. Joss himself has spoken on this: "I was watching the final mix of 'Innocence' when I noticed this huge mistake. Let's just think of it as them going to Willow's the night before to practice and go over what they were going to do."
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Notes

  • Unlike the characters on the show, many fans refer to the soulless Angel exclusively as "Angelus," to differentiate him from the good "Angel."

  • Willow tells Xander that in her search for Angel, Buffy "even beat up Willy the snitch a couple of times." Willy the snitch was the vampire-friendly bartender from "What's My Line," and, despite Spike's threats to kill him, is apparently still alive and operating in Sunnydale.

  • Willow and Xander had a "We Hate Cordelia" club at one point, and Xander was the treasurer.

  • A large part of this episode turns on Xander's recollection of the events of "Halloween," when he became a soldier for a short time.

  • Sunnydale has an army base which is home to at least the 33rd (although it is not mentioned whether this is the 33rd Battalion, the 33rd Brigade, the 33rd Division, or what), and is under the command of a Colonel Newsome.

  • Xander is older than Buffy.

  • The climactic fight between Buffy and Angel takes place in a movie theater lobby which is lined with posters for the then-upcoming Quest for Camelot, an animated movie which was released in May 1998 by Warner Bros., Buffy's distribution company.

  • In the flashback scenes of Buffy and Angel making love, the heavy breathing wasn't voiced by David and Sarah, but rather by series creator Joss Whedon and supervising sound editor Cindy Rabideau. (Joss was too embarrassed to ask the stars to record it.)
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Comments

Brian:
It's only a TV show... it's only a TV show. That's what I have to keep telling myself, because Joss really punched me in the gut with this one. Between Angel's immensely entertaining return to evil (who knew David Boreanaz had that in him?), the resulting struggle of guilt and remorse and pain for Buffy (portrayed with heartbreaking excellence by SMG), and the perceptively-depicted rift between Willow and Xander, the world of Buffy has exploded in a big way, and the result can be quite overwhelming for a passionate fan like myself. There were so many memorable moments: Buffy weeping on her bed (I was pretty close to joining her), yet another perfect scene between Willow and Oz (the show has yet to disappoint me even a little with that storyline), the subtle but powerful way Alyson Hannigan portrayed Willow's realization of the truth about Angel and Buffy ("Shut up, Giles."), and another touching speech from Giles to Buffy at the end (just like in "Lie to Me," also written and directed by Joss). The resolution of the Judge storyline was a slight letdown for me — I found Xander's military recollection, while logical, a little too convenient, and Buffy with a bazooka was an image that just didn't sit right for me in conjunction with the rest of this remarkable episode. But, overall, a massively powerful, moving, and memorable redefinition of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's universe. (9/10)
Will:
Wow!!!! That sums up my thoughts on this episode. I had heard that Joss had huge plans for this season, but I never expected to almost cry while watching an episode of Buffy. My world feels like it has been turned upside-down. Angel moved over the dark side, Buffy is an emotional wreck after sleeping with him, and Willow found out about Xander and Cordy. I must say that this was possibly the most emotionally draining hour of television I have ever spent watching. Willow and Buffy had Emmy-caliber performances in my opinion. Willow's line, "You would rather be with someone you hate than be with me," was such a powerful line. Unfortunately, Willow's performance was outdone by SMG's tragic sequence of events. I have known many guys who are cruel to women, but Angel takes the cake. When he called Buffy a "pro" I really wanted to punch him. This episode opened a whole new can of worms for future episodes, and I can't wait to see it. The existence and eventual destruction of the Judge was, in my opinion, secondary to the episode. It was nice to have him there as an evil flavor of the week, but the rest of the drama overshadowed it. I must say that this is the best Buffy I have seen yet, and I am tempted (don't worry, I won't) to go back and change all my past tens to nines so that this could stand alone. Instead, I have chosen to break the rules and take a risk, like Joss did. Two HUGE thumbs up to everyone. (11/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
January 20, 1998 5.2 85 of 118 (tie)
April 21, 1998 2.9 94 of 108
August 18, 1998 2.1 105 of 117 (tie)

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