"The Pack"
Written by Matt Kiene and Joe Reinkmeyer; directed by Bruce Seth Green

A group of bullies attempts to torment Buffy on a field trip to the zoo, then moves on to a nerd named Lance. After Lance chooses not to rat them out to Flutie, they take him with them to the forbidden Hyena House. Xander goes after them but Buffy and Willow are warned away by a zookeeper who claims that the hyenas are under quarantine. The hyenas’ and the humans’ eyes all flash green, indicating that Something Supernatural has Happened.

Xander begins acting strangely around Buffy and Willow, then starts hanging out with the bullies. Flutie introduces the students to their new mascot, a live pig dressed up as a Sunnydale Razorback. Xander grows frustrated while Willow tries to help him with his math; she is hurt that he doesn’t seem to want to spend time with her. While playing dodgeball in gym class he targets her, and later insults her. In a search for food, Xander and the bullies encounter Flutie’s pig and make him an impromptu snack. Buffy and Willow decide that something is wrong with Xander and go to Giles for help. Giles, however, believes that Xander is simply acting like a normal teenage boy. Buffy tells him that she thinks Xander and the bullies are possessed by the hyenas from the zoo and the discovery of the missing pig adds credence to her theory.

Flutie brings the bullies into his office to punish them for their pig eating but they turn on him. Buffy finds Xander and has to fight him. As he moves to attack her, the bullies devour the principal. Buffy knocks out Xander (with a desk) and takes him to the library. Giles informs them that Flutie has been eaten and that they need to figure out how to reverse the possession. Willow stays behind to watch Xander while Giles and Buffy head back to the zoo. Xander awakens and tries to get Willow to free him from his cage but she refuses. Buffy and Giles explain the situation to the zookeeper, who seems familiar with what’s going on. He tells them that the bullies will track down Xander, which will put Willow in danger.

Indeed, the bullies find Willow and give chase. Giles and Buffy find her in time and plan to lead Xander and the bullies back to the zoo. When they arrive, the zookeeper knocks Giles out and captures Willow, planning to lure the hyenas to him so he can take their power for himself. Xander and the bullies are unpossessed (repossessed?) and Buffy fights the zookeeper, who winds up in the hyena pit. In the end, everything is back to normal, though Buffy and Willow are led to believe that Xander doesn’t remember a minute of his possession.

MORAL, or CRAMMING COMPLEX ISSUES INTO A NUTSHELL: Don’t go to the zoo.

R.I.P.: Flutie

GRADE: B- For a first brush with the dark side, Xander's is pretty boring.

MEMORABLE QUOTES - "It’s devastating. He’s turned into a sixteen-year-old boy. Course, you’ll have to kill him." - Giles


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