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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Passion
February 24, 1998
5V17

 
Credits

Writer:
Ty King


Director:
Michael E. Gershman


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:
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Robia LaMorte as Ms. Calendar
James Marsters as Spike
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Cast:
Richard Assad as Shop owner
Danny Strong as Student
Richard Hoyt Miller as Policeman

 
Synopsis

Angelus continues to torment Buffy, leaving drawings of her sleeping on her bed at night. Giles promises to find a spell to revoke Angelus' invitation to her house. Jenny and Giles are still awkward from Jenny's betrayal of trust. At Spike's lair, Angelus taunts the paralyzed Spike by flirting outrageously with Dru. Jenny has found a spell to restore Angelus' soul, but Drusilla is warned of this by her clairvoyant powers. Angelus tells Joyce that he and Buffy slept together, but he cannot enter their home, since Buffy has cast the uninvitation ritual. Drusilla finds out Jenny's plan, and Angelus goes to Sunnydale High, where Jenny is translating the spell onto a floppy disk, and kills her. Giles returns to his apartment to find Jenny's body laid out on his bed. The gang goes to Giles place, since Buffy knows he will try to kill Angelus in revenge. They are too late, and Giles savagely beats Angelus with a flaming baseball bat, but Angelus is too strong for him, and almost kills Giles before Buffy saves him. The disk with the spell falls down the side of Jenny's desk... — Short synopsis by Bruce.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Dialogue to Die For

Xander, to the students who just entered the library: "Excuse me, but have you ever heard of knocking?"
Jonathan: "We're supposed to get some books. On Stalin."
Xander: "Does this look like a Barnes & Noble?"
Giles: "This is a school library, Xander."
Xander: "Since when?"
     A nice example of the show poking fun at itself.

Giles: "Since Angel lost his soul, he's regained his sense of whimsy."

Willow: "We had kind of a pajama party sleepover with weapons thing."
Xander: "Oh. And I don't suppose either of you had the presence of mind to locate a camera to capture the moment."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Jenny: "I'm working on a computer program to translate the Rumanian liturgy to English based on a random sampling of the text."  What?!

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References

    Snoopy DanceA Charlie Brown Xmas

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas was the very first animated prime-time special to feature Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the characters from Charles Schultz's comic strip Peanuts. First broadcast on December 9, 1965, it has become a perennial favorite, shown every year on television around Christmas time. It also featured the debut of "the Snoopy dance."

  • The opera playing in that fateful scene when Giles returns home is La Bohème, the perennial favorite by Giacomo Puccini which was first performed in 1896. The part we hear is "O soave fanciulla," from the end of Act One, when the hero, Rodolfo, and the heroine, Mimì, first declare their love to each other. As Giles walks up the stairs, Rodolfo sings:

    O soave fanciulla, o dolce viso Oh! lovely girl! Oh, sweet face
    Di mite circonfuso alba lunar, bathed in the soft moonlight.
    In te ravviso il sogno I see in you the dream
    Ch'io vorrei sempre sognar! I'd dream forever!

    Then, as Giles finds Ms. Calendar's body and drops the glass and bottle, Mimì passionately sings:

    Ah, tu sol comandi, amor! Ah! Love, you rule alone!

    while Rodolfo sings:

    Fremon già nell'anima Already I taste in spirit
    Le dolcezze estreme. The heights of tenderness!

    In our opinion, the music selection is perfect, making an already heartrending scene that much more intense.

  • "...I say, 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'"  In the 1960's, the king of scandalous (at least for that time), trashy, decadent movies filled with violence and scantily-clad, large-breasted women was Russ Meyer. One of the most famous Russ Meyer movies was the 1962 opus Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
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Notes

  • Cordelia says that she invited Angel into her car once. That probably happened when they left the library after Cordelia found the arm in the dumpster in "Some Assembly Required."

  • The owner of the occult shop says that Jenny's uncle Enjos was a good customer. That implies that either Uncle Enjos lived in Sunnydale for some time before "Surprise" or that the shopkeeper runs a heck of a mail order business.

  • Willow's father is named Ira. He is apparently a very religious Jew.

  • The last words of the incantation which revokes an invitation to the undead (read by Willow at Buffy's house) are "His verbis consensus rescissus est," which translates into English roughly as "With these words permission is rescinded." (Thanks to Tuomo Sipola for correction of the latin.)

  • On the piece of music that starts as Buffy hugs Giles in front of the burning factory and carries over into the scene at Ms. Calendar's grave, the vocals are provided by Anthony Stewart Head.
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Music

  • Morcheeba - "Never an Easy Way" (From Who Can You Trust?, Discovery Records, 1996)
      This is the song playing in the Bronze at the beginning of the episode.

  • Giacomo Puccini - "O soave fanciulla" (From La Bohème)
      This is the opera playing on the stereo in Giles's apartment when he finds Jenny's body. (See References.) The specific recording used in the scene in which Giles finds Jenny's body is from the 1990 recording produced by the Naxos label and featuring tenor Jonathan Welch and soprano Luba Orgonasova; Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; conducted by Will Humburg. This exact recording can be had on several different compilations from Naxos, on the original recording of the opera from Naxos, or as an individual MP3 from Amazon. (Thanks to Rebecca Welch, daughter of the late Jonathan Welch, for the information about the specific recording.)
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Comments

Brian:
It's all too much. Just when I think they can't ratchet the emotional intensity of this show up any more, they go and find a way. And it's not just the brutal murder of a well-liked semi-regular that did it, either. It's the amazingly focused reactions of the rest of the characters that were the heart and soul of this almost too-intense episode. SMG, Alyson Hannigan, ASH, and even Kristine Sutherland gave wonderful, heartwrenching performances, and the end result was a landmark episode, not just of Buffy, but of dramatic television in general. I look back to the introduction of Ms. Calendar in "I, Robot — You Jane" and I see how much Buffy has changed since then. When the show began, it was a light-hearted romp through Horror High. Now the characters have grown and taken on lives of their own, and since these are the most unique characters on television, the writers are regularly turning out some of the most unique stories on television, and this one was no exception. "Passion" was, if not the best episode yet, at least the most intense and visceral. I can't think of any other series which has dwelt this heavily on the effect of a beloved good guy gone bad; the exploration of betrayal, guilt, and the absolutely remorseless evil of the literally soulless Angel is not just an example of breathtakingly courageous storytelling, but also a relentlessly engrossing saga that I'm finding more compelling than anything else I've ever seen anywhere. I don't think a story like this one has ever been told in an episodic series before, and I don't know if it ever will again. And all I can say is to echo the sentiments I stated in my review of the series pilot a year ago: If Buffy gets much better than this, I'm afraid it might get too good to be endured. (10/10)
Will:
I feel a bit emotionally drained. I found this episode to be packed with quality drama. Joss and company have spent the past months creating characters that we could easily come to love and care about. He then heaps large amounts of pain and suffering on them. How mean!!!! Well, regardless of that, this weeks offering lacked much of the usual dry wit, sarcasm and humor that is usually present. Instead, we received a brilliantly painful and emotional gem. It is unfortunate that Jenny’s death was the driving force but it raises the emotion level of the whole show by killing off a character that they all care about. Angel is a brilliant villain and I am looking forward to what stunts he will come up with next to abuse Buffy and her friends. Color me impressed. (9/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
February 24, 1998 4.3 82 of 105 (tie)
May 26, 1998 2.7 98 of 114 (tie)
August 25, 1998 1.9 105 of 114 (tie)

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