All 22 episodes from the second season of the supernatural telefantasy starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers, the last surviving vampire slayer. The episodes are: ‘When She Was Bad’, ‘Some Assembly Required’, ‘School Hard’, ‘Inca Mummy Girl’, ‘Reptile Boy’, ‘Halloween’, ‘Lie to Me’, ‘The Dark Age’, ‘What’s My Line: Part 1’, ‘What’s My Line: Part 2’, ‘Ted’, ‘Bad Eggs’, ‘Surprise’, ‘Innocence’, ‘Phases’, ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered’, ‘Passion’, ‘Killed By Death’, ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’, ‘Go Fish’, ‘Becoming: Part 1’ and ‘Becoming: Part 2’.
At the heart of the first years of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the romance between Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), slayer of all things evil, and hunky Angel (David Boreanaz), the tortured vampire destined to walk the earth with a soul. The second season of Buffy took the Buffy-Angel pas de deux from ecstasy to agony in a now-classic plot arc that catapulted the show from WB teen drama to true TV greatness. You see, if the cursed Angel ever experiences true happiness for a moment, he’ll revert to being an evil vampire again. And guess what happens after Buffy and Angel finally declare their love for one another and consummate their relationship… Buffy found its true momentum during the second season, as geeky Xander (Nicholas Brendon) fell in love with popular girl Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Willow (Alyson Hannigan) gave up her crush on Xander in favour of werewolf boy Oz (Seth Green), and watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) began a sweetly tentative relationship with computer teacher (and witch) Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte). Mayhem came to Sunnydale, though, in the form of evil vampires Drusilla (Juliet Landau) and Spike (drolly wicked James Marsters), who were more than ready to aid and abet Angel as he turned bad. It all sounds like horror-action mayhem (and there are great fight scenes), but Buffy took on its plotlines with amazing depth, intelligence, and humour. And oh, man, the love story! Buffy and Angel’s tragic relationship is one of the most heartbreaking you’ll ever find. Buffy’s final dilemma finds her having to save the world at Angel’s expense, and Gellar (who deserves a passel of Emmys for her work) is phenomenal at telegraphing Buffy’s swirling conflicts between love and duty. This is some of the best TV ever made, period. –Mark Englehart