2. Halloween (Season 2, Episode 6) — Words by Brianna Reeves
Halloween works on several levels it probably shouldn’t and succeeds. It’s an episode where nearly everything in it comes full circle. It’s funny, tense in moments, and the actors stretch their wings, becoming whichever character they’d dressed up as for the holiday. We see a stern and serious Xander as a soldier, a ghostly Willow, a prim and proper 18th Century lady in Buffy, and Cordy being Cordy. Of course, this is all a recipe for hilarity, as it’s one of the funniest episodes of Buffy. However, the storytelling takes precedent, as well, especially since beats from it reappear in later seasons.
Also of note is Buffy and Angel’s progression as a couple. This part of the series comes at a time when they’re still struggling to navigate through their love. The two are figuring each other out and exploring their potential future together. Admittedly, the progress is incremental, but it works to build up the Angel narrative that comes later in the season, helping make those episodes all the more heartbreaking.
Halloween additionally marks the first solid, yet continuously vague, details about Giles’ darker past before becoming a Watcher. In short, this early hour in the show’s second season embodies everything there is to love about the series overall.