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BuffyGuide.com — The Complete Buffy Episode Guide
Triangle
January 09, 2001
5ABB11

 
Credits

Writer:
Jane Espenson


Director:
Christopher Hibler


Regulars:
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Emma Caulfield as Anya
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn
James Marsters as Spike
Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles
Guest Stars:
Amber Benson as Tara
Kristine Sutherland as Joyce Summers
Abraham Benrubi as Olaf
Cast:
Ranjani Brow as Young Nun

 
Synopsis

While a highly emotional Buffy struggles to deal with Riley's departure, Giles goes to England to inquire of the Watchers Council for information on Glory. In his absence, Willow and Anya — at each other's throats — accidentally summon a troll, Olaf, who happens to be an ex-boyfriend of Anya's. As Olaf tears about town, the girls work out their issues while trying to find a spell to get rid of him. After Olaf tries to force Xander to choose which girl will die, Buffy — maddened by his claim that Xander and Anya will never last — knocks him unconscious, allowing Willow to send him back to the land of trolls.

For the full, detailed synopsis, click here.

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Monstervision

Olaf Trolls originate in Scandinavian folklore, where they are typically either small forest-dwelling creatures or large Neanderthal-like monsters. Olaf is clearly based on the latter kind. (For more information on trolls, see here.) Trolls are a popular literary monster, featuring in many books and movies. There is actually a series of books based on an Olaf the Troll (details here), though apparently much friendlier than our Olaf.

Olaf was originally human, until he cheated on Anya, who then turned him into a troll as retribution.

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Body Count

Anonymous Vampire
Staked by Buffy at a convent.
Total: One
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Dialogue to Die For

Spike (holding a box of chocolates, talking to a mannequin intended to represent Buffy): "Um... there's something I got to tell you. About showing you Riley in that place. I didn't mean to... (long pause) Anyway, I know you're feeling all betrayed — by him, not me. I was trying to help, you know. Not like I made him be there, after all. Actually trying to help you. Best intentions. I mean, you know, pretty state you'd be in, thinking things are all right while he's toddling halfway round the bend. (He stares at the mannequin and starts to get increasingly angry.) Oh, I'll insult him if I want to! I'm the one who's on your side! Me! Doing you a favor! And you, being dead petty about it — me, getting nothing but your hatred and your venom and— you ungrateful bitch! Fuc— bitch!"
(He loses control and smashes the box of chocolates over the mannequin's head. He then sighs, picks up the mannequin and replaces it. He rearranges the wig, picks up the box of chocolate, and tries to stuff the chocolates back in. He composes himself and faces the mannequin again. )
Spike: "Buffy... there's something I want to tell you."

Willow (imitating Anya): "I like money better than people. People can so rarely be exchanged for goods and/or services!"
Anya (very perturbed): "Xander, she's pretending to be me!"

Olaf (upon bashing a dumpster with his hammer): "Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha! Puny receptacle!"

Xander: "I'm gonna run get Buffy. Or maybe you could fight him."
Spike: "Yeah, I could do that, but I'm paralyzed with not caring very much."

Olaf (to Xander): "Ha ha! You fight well, although you are a tiny man."

More quotes from this episode...

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Dialogue to Bury

Willow: "It'll be ship-shape! Better — it'll be shop-shape!"

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References

  • Buffy: "Oh! But I met a nun, and she let me try on her wimple!"
  • Part of the nun's uniform, which is known as a habit. The wimple is like a close fitting hood/veil combination that covers the entire head except the nun's face.

  • Buffy appears to be reading Allure magazine.
  • Allure is a women's beauty magazine published by Condé Nast.

    The Cat in the Hat
  • Willow (to Anya): "The fish in the bowl, in The Cat in the Hat."
  • The Cat in the Hat was published in 1957 by Theodore Geisel under his famous pen-name, Dr. Seuss. The rhymed tale was originally intended as an entertaining primer to help children learn to read, as the vocabulary of the book is basic and contains only around 200 words. In the story, the fish was the voice of conscience who told the visiting Cat to go away because he shouldn't be there while the children's mother was away.

  • Buffy: (about her professor's spitting problem): "It's like being at SeaWorld — 'the first five rows will get wet.'"
  • SeaWorld is a chain of amusement parks based around marine animals, located in Florida, Texas, and California. They are probably most famous for their shows featuring performing dolphins and whales, where the first few rows of spectators are normally assured of getting wet.

  • Spike (about the food available at the Bronze): "Also a sort of a flower-shaped thing they make from an onion. Brilliant."
  • Spike is referring to an American appetizer, which is basically a big fried onion. Many restaurants sell it, each with a different name (Bloomin' Onion, Wild Wild West Onion, Texas Tumbleweed, etc.). In my neck of the woods, Chili's is most known for it (they call it the Awesome Blossom). It is indeed yummy.

  • Willow (to Anya): "And by the way, you weren't a demon when you turned Olaf into Lord of the Hammers, and you managed that."
  • This is probably a reference to the Lord of the Dance show, based around the supposedly traditional Irish dancing of Michael Flatley, the titular Lord. Since opening in Dublin on 2nd July 1996, the show has been immensely successful, usually selling out at it's venues around the world. Flatley started out on the similar show Riverdance, which debuted in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, before branching out on his own.

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Continuity

  • Into the Woods

    References to the previous episode abound, in which Spike took Buffy to show her Riley getting sucked by a vampire whore, Riley left Buffy and went on a secretive military mission, and Joyce survived surgery to remove her brain tumor.

  • Seasons One through Three

    Xander alludes to Buffy's previous relationship with Angel, who's now in Los Angeles. He mentions that Buffy has been left "again" — Angel broke up with her in "The Prom," and left Sunnydale in "Graduation Day Part Two." (If you're new to the show, you'll want to read up on much of the previous seasons to get the full scoop on the Buffy / Angel relationship. You may also want to rent or buy The Buffy and Angel Chronicles video set.)

  • Seasons One through Three, especially Helpless and Who Are You

    The Watchers Council is mentioned, specifically their strained relationship with Buffy and Giles. The brunt of that can safely be blamed on their actions in "Helpless" (when they put Buffy through a cruel test and then fired Giles as her Watcher) and "Who Are You" (when they tried to kill Buffy-in-Faith's-body).

  • Season Four

    Giles mentions the Initiative, the military unit Riley used to work for. Key episodes: "The Initiative," "The I in Team," "Goodbye Iowa," "New Moon Rising," and "Primeval."

  • The Replacement

    Spike originally created his Buffy mannequin in "The Replacement" to use basically as a punching bag. He's obviously discovered more uses for her since then.

  • Gingerbread

    Willow refers to her latest attempt to de-rat Amy — Amy was a high school acquaintance of Willow's (and fellow witch), who turned herself into a rat in "Gingerbread." Willow has kept her, but has been unable to reverse the spell.

  • Doppelgängland and Choices

    Willow offers to teach Anya to float a pencil, something she practiced in "Doppelgängland" and had perfected by "Choices," when she used the trick to stake a vampire.

  • Real Me

    We see Giles' "red and sporty" car, which he bought in "Real Me," claiming it seduced him.

  • School Hard through Becoming Part Two

    Spike mentions Dru, referring to Drusilla, his nutcase sire and lover. She first arrived in Sunnydale with Spike in "School Hard," and left town with him in "Becoming Part Two." (She later left him for a Chaos demon.)

  • The Wish

    There are many references to Anya having been a vengeance demon, which she was (she granted wishes of women to gain revenge on men) when she was first introduced in "The Wish." Her escapades in that episode resulted in her being trapped in the human body of a teenage girl.

  • Homecoming through Lovers Walk

    Anya declares that it was Willow and her lips that broke up Xander and Cordelia — Willow and Xander shared an unplanned kiss in "Homecoming," and were unable to stop themselves from sharing more of them until they got caught in "Lovers Walk."

  • Something Blue

    Anya reminds Willow that D'Hoffryn (the demon who originally gave Anya her powers) offered to make Willow a vengeance demon. D'Hoffryn was first seen in "Doppelgängland," refusing Anya's request to have her powers back.

  • Superstar

    Anya mentions a world without shrimp, an alternate universe she first mentioned in "Superstar."

  • Listening to Fear

    Joyce confirmed with Buffy her feeling that Dawn was not her daughter, but was nonetheless something precious and important to the world. Buffy presumably gave her more details later, offscreen.

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Goofs and Gaffes

  • How does Buffy (and, thus, the gang) know so much about Riley's "secretive" mission? He certainly didn't tell her where he was going — not even a hint such as "the jungle" — and Giles clearly points out that they have no contact in or to the Initiative.

  • In the scene where Buffy and Dawn are talking in Buffy's room, Buffy is reading a magazine. A bit later, Buffy is holding a teddy bear which was seen sitting on her bed earlier. Through there were some quick cuts away, it doesn't really seem that she ever put the magazine down and reached for the bear.
          Spotted by Becky.

  • Anya says that she's never driven, and thus didn't know if she knew how, but in "Graduation Day Part One," she told Xander she had a car outside, and suggested that they leave Sunnydale (and take turns driving). The car waiting outside was surely driven there by her, and it's presumably how she got out of Sunnydale herself.

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Notes

  • Anya got the job of vengeance demon after turning her boyfriend (Olaf) into a troll when he cheated on her.

  • Tara is allergic to shrimp.

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Music

Note: To cut down on bandwidth theft, sound files are password protected. After you click "Listen," just enter the username bg and the password 8rt at the prompt. If the password doesn't work, that probably means it's been changed; refresh/reload this page to get the new one.

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Comments

Soupytwist:
At the end of last season, I was getting sick of Willow being a mouth-breather. This season, it's her bouts of know-it-all-ness and saccharine sweet moments of goo-goo love talk with Tara. That being said, I liked this ep. I liked that there was the Best Friend v. Girlfriend tension and how it was resolved. If there was a moral to this episode, it was that conflict is good and confrontation can solve problems. That, or trolls suck. And I don't care if he was on ER since it premiered, Olaf the Troll will always be Larry from Parker Lewis Can't Lose to me. He and Emma Caulfield had good chemistry; he was an all around enjoyable guest star. I thought this ep also had some great moments: Buffy's over-the-top tears, the Spike and Xander interaction, Spike sucking up and, of course, Willow saying "Hello? Gay now." I smell large amounts of discussion wafting through the air in regards to that statement. grin But the king quote of this ep had to be from Olaf, "Ha ha! Puny receptacle!" (8/10)
Elliot:
What a fool I was, extolling the virtues of the vampire pimp last week, when this week along comes a character that should truly have his own spin off show — Olaf! That troll is fantastic — if I had my way, every line of his dialogue would be on the quotes page. "You fight well, although you are a tiny man" is up there for my all time favourite Buffy quotes. And Olaf was just the brilliant icing on an already brilliant episode. Willow and Anya's bitchiness (I particularly liked the evil look Willow gave to Anya when she learnt that Anya couldn't drive) was great; and by the way, I side with Anya — Willow was being far ruder than she was. Spike's obsession with Buffy grew increasingly funny as Xander got more and more bemused during their conversation in the Bronze. And I quite agree with Spike on the virtues of the onion flower thing — I had one in California and it was great. Spike's little temper tantrum whilst practising giving Buffy the chocolates was a minor classic. And bravo to Xander's "Admirable!" performance against Olaf. Oh sure, he got stomped all over, but he put up a good fight, and he refused to choose. And also bravo to Anya asking Olaf to kill her instead of Xander — I didn't see Willow making any such offer, did you? I wasn't that amused with Buffy's crying spells though, which were pretty much the only element of this episode to fall flat for me. Oh yeah, and Willow made her big proclamation about being gay, which a lot of people seem to care about. I find myself strangely apathetic towards the whole issue. It just took away precious Olaf time. grin (9/10)
Jamie Marie:
Does anyone else remember Parker Lewis Can't Lose? That's where I first saw Abraham Benrubi (Olaf). I liked him then, and I like him now. I'd love for him to appear again, or at least appear on Angel (come on, we all know that Los Angeles is an alternate universe). Anyway, Olaf was lurvely. The Willow/Anya stuff was also jolly good, especially for me, since I love both of them. And all of the Spike bits — wonderful. I think his scene with the Buffy mannequin will go down as one of my favorite scenes ever. Plus, his look after Buffy pretty much ignored his approach at the Bronze was classic, as was the copping-a-feel incident. As for the Slayer herself, I just can't decide if I'm amused or annoyed by her melodramatic crying scenes. I know I'm supposed to be amused, but... I just keep seesawing back and forth. And of course, we get just enough Glory-Dawn sprinklings to keep us from losing the Big Picture, and tip us off toward the future (Dawn is obviously going to find out what she is, and the Watchers Council is obviously going to come into play — probably to screw things up, idiots that they are.) (8.5/10)
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Nielsens
Air Date Rating Ranking
January 09, 2001 3.0 90 of 136 (tie)
April 10, 2001 1.8 96 of 136 (tie)

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