Here is the Hellmouth Podcast for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series, Season 3 Episode 13 – The Zeppo. This week marks the beginning of a change for the podcast, the podcast will only be released in .mp3 versions for a number of reasons discussed in the forums.
A special thank you to my guest co-host Angie, it was a lot of fun recording the podcast.
Be sure to check out Digivangelist on the Reelz channel this weekend for the segment on Juliet Landau‘s – Take Flight. More info to follow on a separate post on the website.
HMPC 0313 “The Zeppo” – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
- Hello Sunnydale and welcome to the Hellmouth Podcast for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Series, Season 3 Episode 13 titled “The Zeppo”
- 2-Minute Buffy
o The Scoobies along with Faith are battling some pretty nasty demon warriors in a cave.
o While they manage to defeat them, it is not before Giles takes a bit of a beating.
o Once the dust settles we see that Xander was beaten extensively and is having a hard time getting his bearings.
o Buffy and Giles both suggest that perhaps he should not be so quick to jump into the middle of the action. He is going to get himself hurt or killed.
o At school, Xander wants to participate in the game of catch going on in the yard.
o When he finally gets the ball thrown his way, it is overthrown and hits Jack O’Toole
o Jack is a bad seed, a troublemaker, and informs Xander that he is going to get his boys together and take care of Xander.
o After a brief Michael Jackson interlude, Xander retreats only to find himself face to face with Cordelia who gives him another beating, verbally.
o Xander decides that he wants to be ‘cool’ and needs to find his gimmick.
o In the library, Buffy finds out that the nasty demon warriors are in town to bring about the end of the world.
o Xander finally finds his gimmick, he is ‘car guy’
o He gets brought up to speed on the badness happening in Sunnydale and Is sent to get doughnuts.
o He meets up with Cordelia once again who ridicules him for being the doughnut gopher when there is trouble afoot.
o Then Xander meets a girl who is bedazzled by his car. Being ‘car guy’ looks to be paying off.
o At the bronze that night, Xander has another run-in with Jack O’Toole and when Xander doesn’t narc on him to the cops, Jack decides to bring Xander along for the nights adventures.
o Jack takes Xander to the cemetery where he performs a spell that raises his friend Bob from the dead.
o They proceed to round up the rest of Jack’s undead friends to make a night of it.
o Xander’ plays chaufer for the undead who have decided to bake a cake which at first sounds like a rather anticlimactic past-time until he finds out that they actually mean make a bomb.
o Willow stumbles across Willow in downtown Sunnydale and tries to get up to speed on the big evil they are fighting.
o She seems really worried about the impending doom tonight and tells Xander she loves him.
o Xander wants to go with her but Jack won’t let him go.
o Wants him to be part of the gang but to do that, he has to die.
o Xander takes off in his car and comes across Faith who is fighting some of the demon warriors, he rescues her and they speed off together.
o When they get back to Faith’s apartment, the two of them have a spontaneous moment of the carnal nature.
o Xander gets dismissed and kicked out.
o Xander realizes this bomb thing is up to him and grabs one of the undead buddies. He finds out the bomb is in the school and that is his next stop.
o The Scoobies battle the monster that has emerged from the newly opened hellmouth while Xander battles the undead guys planning to blow up the school.
o Xander’s battle comes down to who has less fear.
o A battle which surprisingly, he wins.
o The Scoobies are recounting the next day about how awful it was and how lucky Xander was to have been safe last night.
o Xander smiles and leaves when he runs into Cordelia who is there to try and torment him some more. Only this time, Xander isn’t concerned with what Cordelia has to say and he just smiles and walks away leaving her wondering what has changed.
o End Episode
- Missy’s Fun Facts from Down Under
o The structure and concept of this episode (which for the most part follows Xander on what in another episode would be his subplot, while the series’ more conventionally main characters are relegated to the background) is an homage to Tom Stoppard’s 1967 existentialist play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, which follows the action of two relatively minor characters from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” while using the actual main plot and characters from Hamlet as occasional background and diversion.
o “Zeppo” (Herbert Manfred) Marx was the fifth and youngest of the Marx Brothers, after Chico, Harpo, Groucho, and Gummo. Although he was a performer (unlike Gummo), he was rarely given much comedic material, usually playing the “straight man” in the Marx’s plays and movies instead – hence Cordelia’s insult to Xander that he is inessential to Buffy and the gang and therefore “The Zeppo” of the group. Zeppo Marx stopped appearing in films after Duck Soup (1933), and formed a theatrical agency with Gummo
- So let’s get to the episode recap finally, shall we
o Introduce Angie –
- Episode Discussion
- Xander the Hero, saving the world without the scoobies…
o While the rest of the Scoobies are facing an apocalypse, Xander is facing some demons of his own. Not only literally but metaphorically as well.
o Xander seems to take to addressing this bomb issue kind of like he does the demons and vampires. He is terrified but he doesn’t turn away or shy away from trying to stop them.
- Why is Xander willing to fight demons and monsters but is afraid of bullies?
o Cordelia’s comment about how the bullies are the only ones who notice he exists.
o One of the things that makes Xander feel confident in fighting all of these other monsters is that he always has the support of Buffy and the Scoobies. But when faced with Bullies at school, he is left to deal with them on his own. When having to deal with them on his own, it is much more intimidating.
- Cordelia is back to prime form and taking pleasure in tormenting Xander…
o Now that Cordelia and Xander have broken up, she has kind of withdrawn from the Scoobies. She still helps occasionally but doesn’t really directly involve herself in the daily fight of the Scoobies.
o She is also back to the Cordelia that we saw in season 1 who constantly torments Xander. I think here we also see a little more satisfaction and it’s a little more personal right now when she takes jabs at him.
- What is Xander’s role in the Scoobies? Is he expendable?
o If Giles didn’t have all of his watcher knowledge, wouldn’t Giles be in about the same boat as Xander?
- Does this episode change Xander at all? Do we see a difference in Xander after the zeppo episode?
o I think the change in Xander is kind of subtle. I think it is a change in resolve, and in his need for acceptance from the rest of the high school
o I think that Xander realizes where his place is.
o I think that Xander understands now that he can still contribute even without super powers. Maybe his contribution isn’t always going to be brute force, maybe there are other ways that he can contribute, and when called upon, he can be a decoy punching bag if needed.
- Discuss the events between Xander and Faith. What did it mean for each of them individually?
o I think that for Faith this was simply an itch to scratch. I don’t think that faith has any feelings or connection with Xander. I don’t think that she likes him but pushes him away to prevent getting involved. I really think that this was just Faith using Xander.
o I think that Xander who is dealing with some real self confidence issues is excited by the fact that maybe faith does have feelings for him. Faith isn’t Buffy, but she is a slayer and a powerful fantastic woman so if she has feelings for Xander then maybe he isn’t such a loser.
- Rate the episode
o Bonus point for Xander being the hero
o Bonus point for the name Jack O’Toole
o Bonus point for the conversation between Oz and Xander about being cool.
o Episode starts at a 7 for me.
o Total 11.5 for this episode.
- Listener Emails – none
- Juliett Landau Update – Thought I’d let you know that the dvd release party for TAKE FLIGHT is on December 12th in Los Angeles. It’s only been available for streaming prior…
- Christopher Coppola’s Digivangelist Reelz Channel segment about TAKE FLIGHT is airing November 20 and 21st. There will be 3 showings. TF will be available both on julietlandau.com and julietlandaustakeflight.com as of Nov 20th.
- Thanks to everyone for tuning into another episode of the Hellmouth Podcast.
o See you guys next time for the episode titled “Bad Girls”, Stay Classy Sunnydale.