Buffy the Vampire Slayer, episode 6, season 1.
I know, I'm WAYY behind on my shownotes! I was supposed to be doing one a day and I haven't even done one since the weekend! I'm lame. I'm going to make up for it today by watching several.
This is the one with the hyena pack unfortunately, not about a cool wolf pack or anything. Xander gets involved...there's a lot of creepy hyena-laughing. Several of the high school episodes from the beginning like this are very formulaic and cringeworthy in their plots. This is one I might normally be inclined to skip, but for the purposes of being thorough with this blog, I will not skip ANY Buffy episodes. Not even "Bad Eggs". Gawd, I hate "Bad Eggs".
Oh, no, Buffy looks like a schoolteacher again.
So, this one is about the group of bullies as hyenas metaphor. Classic? So Xander goes after this group of bullies to keep them from picking on a lesser-kid and the group of four bullies and Xander look into the eyes of a hyena in the forbidden quarantined hyena house. And of course their eyes get all glowy and they become possessed with the spirit of the hyena. Possessions happen to Xander from time to time, but I don't think he's ever been evil or had a major moral meltdown like most of the other characters on the show. Yuck! Ok, now I remember the real reason I don't watch this episode: I can't stand watching Xander be mean. It's terrible. No matter what is possessing him, he's never lost his Xander-integrity. He's so MEAN to Willow in this ep! And they eat that poor poor pig! He's so cute!
Wow, there's even one of those slow-motion walking over a hill things with music that Xander does with the pack. I don't get why Buffy and Willow don't try to investigate what's up with Xander: wait, Buffy is going to Giles right now (20 minutes in). Giles is poo-pooing it. He said it was "natural teen behavior patterns." Ok, now Buffy is catching on.
This episode is creepy. I can't imagine seeing someone you love who is generally the sweetest guy ever act like a hyena, though I know why they did it. If they hadn't shown Xander get possessed, you would have just thought the others in the pack were really mean people in general and wouldn't have gotten the emotional gravity of the whole thing.
Hyenas ate principal Flutie! Yikes.
Why is there a locked cagey bookdrop INSIDE the school library? Why lock up only the books coming back into the library and not the entire library? I never noticed that before. I have before questioned why there was a cage in the library, but never noticed it definitely has a slot for books.
The "hyena pack" sure do rip through that cage pretty easily, though. A little too easily, since later in the series all manner of beasties are trapped in that cage. Maybe they reinforce it super-serious after this hyena incident...
Oops, I spaced out during the final fight scene. Giles was knocked out again! That's twice.
The clincher at the end? Xander remembers everything. Poor Xander. They don't make him wallow in remorse as long as they would if he were Angel or Spike, though. Probably because Xander is supposed to be the fictional representation of Joss himself.