Beauty and the Beasts

Beauty and the Beasts

Infobox Television episode
Title=Beauty and the Beasts


Series=Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season=3
Episode=4
Airdate=October 20, 1998
Production=3ABB04
Writer=Marti Noxon
Director=James Whitmore, Jr.
Episode list=List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes
Prev=Faith, Hope & Trick
Next=Homecoming

"Beauty and the Beasts" is the fourth episode of Season 3 of the television show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".

Plot synopsis

The night before a full moon, Willow reads from "Call of the Wild" to an agitated Oz, who is in his werewolf form and has been locked up in the library cage. Xander shows up for the second shift -- or rather, snoozing. Meanwhile, Faith and Buffy are making a sweep around Sunnydale. Faith displays a cynical view of males, while Buffy dodges her questions. They talk about Scott and how much Buffy likes him, but is still planning to take it slow on account of her previous history with men. A boy is attacked brutally in the woods.

The next day, Buffy talks to Scott and his friends, Debbie and Pete, who are a couple. Buffy reveals that she has to see Mr. Platt, the school psychologist. Debbie sees him, too, for "success issues". Buffy kisses Scott goodbye and leaves for her appointment.

Xander and Giles find out about the murder the night before. They discover that Xander slept through his watch and that the window in the pen is open. Everyone is horrified that Oz may have escaped and killed someone.

Buffy talks to Mr. Platt about her life as vaguely as she can. She finds in him an understanding figure -- unlike Debbie's description -- and begins to open up. She seems to be on her way to resolving her issues, but on patrol that night, Angel tackles her in the woods. Animalistic, he is no match for Buffy, who chains him up in the mansion. He growls at her like an animal. She discovers the spot on the floor where she left his ring; it was scorched by Angel's body on his return.

At the same time, Willow, Xander and Cordy enter the morgue to inspect the mauled body. Willow seems the only one unfazed, but she faints after collecting hair samples.

With everyone else unavailable, Faith stays in the library with Oz. Buffy comes in and receives a hard punch for startling her. Buffy sends Faith away and spends the night searching for answers about Angel's return. The next morning, Giles finds her asleep around books about demon dimensions and Acathla. She tells him she had a vivid dream that Angel came back. Giles explains that time passes differently in Hell (as Buffy found out in "Anne"), so any being who manages to return would most likely become a monster, if it can be done at all. It would take extraordinary character to retain any semblance of self. Willow arrives to inform them that her investigation was not conclusive. Buffy is anxious as she wonders if Angel was responsible.

In the cafeteria, Buffy sits with Scott, whose mother is insulted by Pete along with the school counselor. Buffy decides to leave for the mansion, where she finds Angel huddled in a ball. She tries to touch him, but he jumps at her. She rushes out, scared.

Pete and Debbie sneak into a room to make out. Pete discovers that one of his jars has been emptied and accuses Debbie of drinking its contents. Buffy returns to Mr. Platt's office and pours her heart out, then realizes that he has been mauled to death.

Pete yells at Debbie, then turns into a monster with very noticeable veins. He tells her that he needed the substance to turn into the monster, but now only needs to get mad. Acting in a manner similar to 'roid rage, he begins beating Debbie, then apologizes, turning back into his human face. She forgives him.

In the library, Oz and Angel (who Buffy has not informed the gang of) are cleared. The Scoobies must look for a murderer who kills during the day.

Oz meets up with Debbie and gives her his study notes as promised. He notices her black eye, but she lies to Oz, telling him she fell on a doorknob. He lets her know he will listen if she decides to talk, intuiting the true nature of events. Meanwhile, Pete is watching and seething.

The gang have discovered the killer, and they leave Oz in the library to look for Pete and Debbie. Buffy and Willow find Debbie in the locker room and try in vain to talk sense into her, but Debbie foolishly tries to defend Pete and his actions. Meanwhile, Angel breaks free from his shackles, and Pete finds Oz in the library. He turns into a monster and beats up Oz. Then the sun sets, and Oz becomes a werewolf. Buffy and the rest of the gang arrive to stop the fight, but when Buffy tries to tranquilize Oz, Debbie deliberately pushes her gun away and Buffy ends up shooting Giles. Buffy chases after Pete while Willow and Faith follow Oz.

After a struggle, Faith manages to hit and knock out Oz with a dart. Buffy follows Pete's blood trail, but he finds Debbie first and despite her pleas and her attempts to appease him, he kills her. Buffy finds Pete, but he knocks her to the ground and advances threateningly on her. Angel arrives on time and he and Pete begin fighting; after knocking Angel aside, Pete turns his attention back to Buffy, but Angel gets back up and, using the chains still binding his wrists, snaps Pete's neck, killing him. Then he reverts to his human face and calls out Buffy's name. They cry as Buffy becomes more confused than ever.

The next day, it is revealed that Pete had concocted a chemical potion that turned him "super-más macho" when he became afraid of losing Debbie, but eventually he became monstrous himself. Buffy tries to console Scott, who has lost two of his best friends. Buffy visits the mansion, where Angel sleeps through an apparent nightmare unshackled. The episode ends with Buffy reading from "Call of the Wild".

Acting

tarring

*Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers
*Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
*Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
*Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase
*David Boreanaz as Angel
*Seth Green as Oz
*and Anthony Stewart Head as Rupert Giles

Guest starring

*Fab Filippo as Scott Hope
*John Patrick White as Pete Clarner
*Danielle Weeks as Debbie
*Phill Lewis as Mr. Platt
*Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane

Writing

This episode deals with abusive relationships, particularly the types that involve teenagers, and how they sometimes end. The episode clearly reflects Battered Woman Syndrome, through cycles of violence, apologies, forgiveness, and repeated spirals of the behavior, leading to greater and greater physical harm.

References to the Incredible Hulk are also apparent.

Production details

Willow is seen with a Scooby-Doo lunchbox, calling to mind the Scooby Gang's name, as the gang was named after Scooby.

Music

* Marc Ferrari - "Teenage Hate Machine"

Bestiary

Pete Clarner

Pete Clarner is a jealous, violent and insecure young man who feels threatened by anyone who talks to Debbie, for which he concocts a potion that mutates him, causing his veins and skin to thicken and his eyes to turn solid black. The potion also gives him talons and superhuman strength, which is superior to that of a werewolf and the hyena-possessed Xander, who were unable to break the door of the library cage. At first, Pete needed the potion to transform, but now his own anger triggers the transformation. It is not mentioned if he has any knowledge of the dark arts, so it is much more likely that he merely created a mix of hormones and steroids to grow stronger, and it was the Hellmouth's energies that made the potion into a mutagenic.

Werewolves

Oz's werewolf form, last seen in "Phases", is radically changed. In "Phases", the werewolf is portrayed as a gray bipedal creature with a wolf-like head. Beginning in this episode, its fur is a darker brown, it moves largely on four legs, and it has a human-like, hairless face with no muzzle.

Demon dimensions

Giles explains that demon dimensions are places of brutal torment for those who have human souls, in which time moves extremely fast. Over the time between being sent to hell and brought back, Angel has experienced 100 years of torment.

Quotes and trivia

Translations

* Italian title: "La bella e le bestie" ("The beauty and the beasts")
* German title: "Dr. Jekyll und Mr. Hyde" ("Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde")
* French title: "Les belles et les bêtes" ("Beauties and the Beasts")
* Japanese title: "美女と野獣" ("Bijo to Yajuu" - "Beauty and the Beast")
* Spanish title: "La bella y las bestias" ("The beauty and the beasts")

Continuity

Arc significance

*Buffy will keep Angel's return hidden from others as she struggles to understand his return.
*We see the first attempt of Oz to control being a werewolf and his doubts of whether the wolf is a part of him or a separate being.
*Angel's return from Hell will also be one of the premises for his own show.
*Buffy now has had two teachers that were nice to her and tried to understand her predicament die tragically on their first appearance.

Timing

* Stories that take place around the same time in the Buffyverse:

External links

*
*

Reviews

* [http://www3.sympatico.ca/jenoff/btvs304.htm Peripheral Visions Review]
* [http://www.section31.com/guideextras.php?id=189 Section 31 Review]
* [http://tv.swingthesickle.com/ststv/Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer/Season_3/04.review Swing the Sickle Review]


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