"The Freshman"
Written and directed by Joss Whedon

Buffy and Willow are in a cemetery, going through a course catalogue so that Buffy can register for her first semester of college. The two have already decided to take psychology with a renowned professor and are excited by the different courses offered. They don’t notice a vampire coming out of his grave behind them. The vamp is excited to see fresh meat, but when he sees their weapons, he decides it’s not worth it to attack them. On her first day, Buffy finds herself in a quad surrounded by people who seem to know what they’re doing. She wanders for awhile, passing protestors, proselytizers, and a frat guy with fliers. She finally runs into Willow, who is excited, and Buffy admits that she’s a little overwhelmed. Oz appears, also very at ease with being there.

Buffy and Willow head to the library, discussing Giles, who is now a “gentleman of leisure” (aka a slacker) and Xander, who wants to drive to all 50 states. They discover that the library is a lot bigger than Sunnydale High’s and Buffy again finds herself overwhelmed. They then head to the bookstore to gather textbooks, and Buffy accidentally knocks books off a shelf, hitting a guy named Riley Finn (Marc Blucas). He learns that they’re taking Intro to Psychology and mentions that he’s the TA for the class. He and Willow start talking about the professor while Buffy lamely tries to interject comments. She meets her roommate, Kathy (Dagney Kerr), who is incredibly hyper and likes Celine Dion.

The next day, Buffy sits in on a popular culture class but is kicked out for talking and for not being enrolled. She heads to Psychology, which she’s taking with Willow and Oz, and which is taut by Maggie Walsh (Lindsey Crouse), aka the “Evil B$&@# Monster of Death.” That night, Buffy runs into a guy named Eddie, who is also lost and trying to find his dorm. They note that they’re both taking Psychology and talk about their adjustments to college. Eddie mentions that his security blanket is W. Somerset Maughm’s Of Human Bondage, which he takes everywhere with him. She muses that Mr. Pointy (see “Becoming, Part 1”) could be her security blanket. They find their ways, and as Eddie heads off on his own, he runs into a gang of vampires, headed by a girl named Sunday. Later, the vamps go into a dorm room and take everything, leaving a note behind.

The next day, Buffy sees that Eddie isn’t in class and wonders if he’s all right. She goes to talk to Eddie’s RA, who says that Eddie left school, unable to take the pressure. She looks around his room and finds Of Human Bondage in a dresser drawer. Elsewhere, the vamps look through Eddie’s things, finding a Klimt poster, which contributes to their Klimt vs. Monet poster contest. Buffy heads to Giles’ apartment and meets Olivia (Phina Oruche), Giles’ “friend” from England. Buffy tells Giles that she needs help and explains that Eddie is missing. He replies that she can take care of things on her own - he’s technically no longer her Watcher, and she’s capable of solving her own problems.

Out patrolling, Buffy spots Eddie and is relieved to see that he’s all right. She soon realizes that he isn’t all right - he’s a vampire. She stakes him as Sunday and her minions approach. Sunday introduces herself, insults Buffy’s outfit, and starts fighting her. She proves a worthy adversary, almost breaking Buffy’s arm. Instead of continuing the fight, Buffy runs off. The next day, she avoids Willow and Oz after class. In the vampires’ lair, they recall the highlights of Sunday and Buffy’s fight and Sunday sends her minions into the tunnels. Buffy stops by her house, discovering that her bedroom is now being used as a storage space. The phone rings, and when she answers it, no one says anything. (See the Angel episode “City Of” to fill in the blanks.) Back in her dorm room, Buffy discovers that all of her things are gone and the vamps have left a fake goodbye note in her name.

Rather than worry about her things, Buffy goes to the Bronze, where she thinks she sees Angel. Xander arrives, having just returned from his road trip, and tells her about his summer - his car broke down and he worked at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club. She lies that college is great, then tells him about Sunday and her worries that she won’t be able to survive in college. He gives her a pep talk and tells her he’ll help her defeat Sunday. They do some research and determine that the vamps are living in an abandoned frat house. They go over and spy on the vamps through a skylight in the roof, seeing them messing with Buffy’s things (including her Class Protector award from “The Prom”). Buffy sends Xander to look for her weapons chest, and after he’s gone, she falls through the skylight.

Sunday taunts Buffy and they begin to fight again. In Buffy’s dorm room, Kathy shows Willow and Oz the fake goodbye note. Xander arrives and tells them that it’s part of a prank played by Buffy’s “friends who sleep all day and have no tans.” Sunday breaks the Class Protector award, and now things are personal. The fight continues, and the Scoobies arrive to fight the minions, only one of which escapes. Buffy stakes Sunday and she and the Scoobies start to take her stuff back to her dorm. Giles catches up to them, carrying weapons, and apologizes for blowing Buffy off. He tells her he’s ready to back her up, and she cheerfully accepts his offer. Xander notes that college isn’t as scary as Buffy thought it was, and she says it’s turning out to be a lot like high school, so she knows what to expect. In the woods, the last minion is hit with darts and captured by three figures in commando gear.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: You learn more outside of class than you do in it.

GRADE: B+ The season is off to a terrific start, but they should’ve kept Sunday around (especially if doing so would have saved us from all of that Initiative stuff).

WELCOME TO THE HELLMOUTH: Riley, Kathy, Maggie, Olivia

MEMORABLE QUOTES - Willow: “She's, like, world-renowned.”
Buffy: “How do you get to be renowned? I mean, like, do you have to be ‘nowned’ first?”
Willow: “Yes, first there's the painful ‘nowning’ process.”

Girl: “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?”
Buffy: “Uh, you know, I meant to, and then I just got really busy.”

“It's just, in high school, knowledge was pretty much frowned upon. You really had to work to learn anything. But here, the energy, the collective intelligence, it's like this force, this penetrating force, and I can just feel my mind opening up - you know? - and letting this place thrust into and spurt knowledge into…. That sentence ended up in a different place than it started out in.” - Willow

Willow: (spotting Oz) “Ooh, boyfriend! My on-campus boyfriend.”
Buffy: “Oh, no, I forgot to pick mine up. Line's probably really long there, too.”

Buffy: “It's too bad Giles can't be librarian here. Be convenient.”
Willow: “Well, he says that he's enjoying being a gentleman of leisure.”
Buffy: “Gentleman of leisure? Isn't that just British for unemployed?”
Willow: “Uh-huh, he's a slacker now.”

Willow: (re: Xander) “He said he wasn't coming back until he had driven to all fifty states.”
Buffy: “Did you explain about Hawaii?”
Willow: “Oh, he seemed so determined.”

Buffy: “You know, this store discriminates against short people.”
Willow: “Oh, I think there's a protest next week.”

Riley: (after being hit by books) “I'm okay. It's okay. Well, that was bracing.”
Buffy: “I'm so…the books were just too high, and then everything was bad.”
Riley: “Let me give you a hand. Let's put a few of these down here. So, uh, are you girls taking Intro Psych, or do you just want me dead?”
Buffy: “Uh-huh. I mean, the first one.”

Riley: “It’s nice to meet you both.”
Buffy: “I’m nice to meet.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten my manners in all the concussion.” - Riley

Riley: “I don't meet that many freshmen that know that much about psychology.”
Willow: “Well, it's fascinating.”
Buffy: “Yeah, you know, 'cause everyone's got a brain. Or, almost everyone.”

Buffy: “I'm just going to Fischer Hall. Which I know is on the Earth planet. Recently voted ‘Most Pathetic,’ uh-huh.”
Eddie: “Hmm, well, I'm lost and I have a map. So….”
Buffy: “Ooh, I come in second.”

“Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, astonishingly boring…we…we have to kill some cooler people.” - Sunday

Giles: “I'm not supposed to have a private life?”
Buffy: “No! ‘Cause you're very, very old, and it's gross.”

“Okay, remember before you became Hugh Hefner, when you used to be a Watcher?” - Buffy to Giles

Buffy: “Why didn't you call me?”
Xander: “Well, I knew you guys were starting the whole college adventure and I didn't want to, um, you know…help you move.”

Xander: “Basically, I got as far as Oxnard and the engine fell out of my car, and that was literally. So, I ended up washing dishes at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club for about a month and a half while I tried to pay for the repairs. No one really bothered me or even spoke to me until one night when one of the male strippers called in sick and no power on this earth will make me tell you the rest of that story. Suffice to say I traded my car in for one that wasn't entirely made of rust, came trundling back home to the arms of my loving parents, where everything was exactly as it was except I sleep in the basement and I have to pay rent. How's college?”
Buffy: “Male strippers?”
Xander: “No power on this earth!”

Xander: “Buffy, this is all about fear. It's understandable, but you can't let it control you. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. No, wait, hold on. Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side. Hold on, no, umm, first you get the women, then you get the money, then you…. Okay, can we forget that?”
Buffy: “Thanks for the Dadaist pep talk, I feel much more abstract now.”
Xander: “The point is, you're Buffy.”
Buffy: “Yeah, maybe in high school I was Buffy.”
Xander: “And now in college, you're Betty Louise?”
Buffy: “Yeah, I'm Betty Louise Plotnick of East Cupcake, Illinois. Or I might as well be.”
Xander: “Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them the kitchen at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club. Let me tell you something - when it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, ‘What would Buffy do?’ You're my hero. Okay, sometimes when it's dark and I'm all alone, I think, ‘What is Buffy wearing?’”
Buffy: “Can that be one of those things you never, ever, tell me about?”

“And nothing says ‘thank you’ like dollars in the waistband.” - Xander

Xander: “You up for a little reconnaissance?”
Buffy: “You mean where we all sculpt and paint and stuff?”
Xander: “No, that was the Renaissance.”
Buffy: “Oh. I've had a really long week.”

Buffy: “You got a nice set-up here, but you made one mistake.”
Sunday: “Yeah? What was that?”
Buffy: “Well, I'm not actually positive, but statistically speaking people usually make at least….”

Willow: “How can you be so calm?”
Oz: “Long, arduous hours of practice.”

Giles: “Let's find the evil a-and fight it together.”
Buffy: “Great! Thanks! We'll get right on that.”
Giles: “The evil is this way?”


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