In the wake of his success with The Avengers, the highest grossing film ever, cable channel Logo has conscripted Joss Whedon to hand pick his ten favorite Buffy The Vampire Slayer episodes which they will air in marathon form on May 19th, starting at 10 A.M.
This list is now out, and there’s not a lot of surprises in it for long time Buffy fans.
Joss’s chosen episodes are mostly made up of the outliers, the episodes that broke from the established patterns of the series, along with a few pivotal moments in the characters’ development.
The top ten episodes, in chronological order, are:
112 – ‘Prophesy Girl’ – This is the first season finale. This episode brought the first season storyline to a close, thus establishing the seasonal ‘big bad’ format that would carry through the rest of the series.
214 – ‘Innocence’ – The second season episode in which Buffy slept with Angel, and he paid the ultimate price. It was also a major dramatic and mature turn for a series which until that time had been fairly light and immature.
222 – ‘Becoming, Part 2’ – The second season finale. Buffy has her final confrontation with the evil Angel and must suffer a personal sacrifice to save the world.
309 – ‘The Wish’ – Anya’s first appearance. Cordelia wishes for a world without Buffy, and soon regrets the result. It’s a neat ‘what if’ story that casts the protagonists in different roles, one notable one as a vampire.
316 – ‘Dopplegangland’ – A follow-up to ‘The Wish,’ written by Whedon himself. The vampire version of one of our heroes comes to this world from the alternate ‘world-without-Buffy’ to wreak havoc.
410 – ‘Hush’ – A somewhat experimental episode in which demons called The Gentlemen steal everyone’s ability to speak, and the scoobies must save the day through pantomime. Watch out for Giles’ attempted Pictionary.
422 – ‘Restless’ – The fourth season episode broke from by dispensation with the big bad in the second-to-last episode, leaving room for this episode in which we peer into the dreams of the scoobies, learning a little more about them, and Slayer lore in the process.
516 – ‘The Body’ – Buffy deals with a ‘real’ death. A low-key, quiet, and disturbing episode that which represents the dramatic high of the series.
607 – “Once More With Feeling’ – The musical episode, done in old-fashioned Hollywood musical style. Fun and funny, with surprisingly catchy tunes. Yes, I bought the soundtrack.
707 – ‘Conversations With Dead People’ – Willow, Dawn, and Buffy are visited by the ghosts of dead people, maybe. This is a very introspective and psychological story, shot in real time. It’s another low-key episode, though unlike ‘The Body,’ this one is dialog-heavy. It’s also notable that this episode is absent Xander.