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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Teacher's Pet
March 25, 1997
4V04

 
Credits

Writer:
David Greenwalt


Director:
Bruce Seth Green


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
David Boreanaz as Angel
Ken Lerner as Principal Flutie
Cast:
Musetta Vander as Miss Natalie French
Jackson Price as Blayne
Jean Speegle Howard as Elderly Miss French
William Monaghan as Dr. Gregory
Jack Knight as Homeless Guy
Michael Ross Verona as Teacher
Karim Oliver as Bud #1

 
Synopsis

Buffy receives a warning from Angel about a dangerous new vampire in Sunnydale whose hand has been replaced by razor sharp blades. When her biology teacher turns up decapitated in the lunch room fridge, Buffy and the gang are quick to blame this new vamp. However, things aren't all they seem with the new substitute, Miss French, who is a little too good at raising the boys' temperatures and, it turns out, scaring evil vampires with razor sharp blades. When Xander and other male students who were helping Miss French begin disappearing, Giles remembers a story of a creature, not unlike a praying mantis, that preys on male virgins. Buffy, Giles and Willow rescue the guys from Miss French's basement, dusting the evil vamp and slicing and dicing Miss French in the process. — Short synopsis by angel_star.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Bigger-than-normal bugs are a staple of sci-fi and horror — witness the plethora of cheesy 1950's B-movies like The Deadly Mantis, Beginning of the End (featuring a swarm of giant locusts), and Them (with a bunch of giant ants). And man-size insects have been seen before, usually in sci-fi as aliens (like N'Grath on Babylon 5) but rarely, if ever, as a horror-type monster.

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Dialogue to Die For

Principal Flutie: "We all need help with our feelings. Otherwise, we bottle them up, and before you know it powerful laxatives are involved."

Cordelia: "Oh, I'm not saying that we should kill a teacher every day just so I can lose weight. I'm just saying, when tragedy strikes we have to look on the bright side, y'know? Like how even used Mercedes still have leather seats."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Angel with his Cryptic-Guy routine: "He's coming. Don't let him corner you. Don't give him a moment's mercy. He'll rip your throat out."
    Is there any logical reason Angel couldn't have taken an extra five seconds to say, "It's a vampire with a claw?"
Giles: "Well, now, half a mo... I had a chum at Oxford..."
    Just a little too British.
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References

  • The Exorcist "We're talking full-on Exorcist twist."  In The Exorcist, William Friedkin's classic 1973 film based on William Peter Blatty's novel, a 12-year-old girl (played by Linda Blair) is possessed by a demon that causes her body to engage in numerous unnatural acts, including projectile vomiting and rotating her head 360°.

  • "I'm exempting shwarma, of course. I mean, what's that all about? It's a big meat hive."  Shwarma is a meat dish of Middle Eastern origin, made with beef, chicken, or lamb, and sometimes served in a pita (variations may depend on region or personal taste).

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • Where does a substitute teacher come up with the familiarity and authority to even suggest afterschool science fair activities, especially on their first day?

  • Buffy says they don't have time to bang on doors in Miss French's neighborhood, but she thinks there's enough time to track down and subdue a vicious and recalcitrant vampire in Sunnydale's seemingly vast underground tunnel system, and then persuade the vampire to lead them to Miss French?

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Notes

  • In this episode, we find out that Xander's middle name is LaVelle.

  • We also learn that Willow's last name is Rosenberg.

  • Musetta Vander, who played Miss French, played Sindel in the movie Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, which also starred Brian Thompson (Luke in "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and the Judge in "Surprise" and "Innocence") as Shao Khan.

  • William Monaghan also appeared as Dr. Gregory in the previous episode, "The Witch."

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Music

  • Superfine - "Already Met You" (From the BtVS Soundtrack, TVT Records, 1999; and Stoner Love, Fish of Death Records, 1997)
      The band plays this on stage at The Bronze when the lead singer (Robert Grad) sneers at Xander.
  • Superfine - "Stoner Love" (From Stoner Love, Fish of Death Records, 1997)
      This song plays in The Bronze at the end of the episode.
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Comments

Brian:
Predictable but fun. It's pretty clear where this episode is going from relatively early on, but if one just sits back and enjoys the ride, getting there is most enjoyable. The regulars are clearly having fun with this goofy little story and they proceed with relish. The "Bill & Ted"-esque daydream flashbacks were an odd technique that turned out to be a bit distracting, but this early on the series is still trying to find its identity, so I'm willing to give it some latitude. (7/10)
Will:
Xander and his interest — or should I say lust? — for his substitute science teacher are the center of this episode. The manner in which Xander acted reminded me of all the feelings of discomfort talking to females and instances of puppy love that I experienced in high school. Joss Whedon has managed to create a TV show that deals with teen angst, teen love, and teen problems without being Beverly Hills, 90210. This was a wonderful episode, but I found the conclusion to be a bit rushed and a little disappointing. (6/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
March 25, 1997 2.0 NA
June 30, 1997 NA NA
August 11, 1997 2.2 105 of 108

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