Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 7, Episode 14

First Date (11 Feb. 2003)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
7.5
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Buffy accepts an invitation to dinner from Principal Wood, and the secrets of his past are revealed. Xander impresses a beautiful girl with his knowledge of knots, and she seems to be ... See full summary »

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Title: First Date (11 Feb 2003)

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Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
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Kristy Wu ...
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Principal Robin Wood (as DB Woodside)
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Buffy accepts an invitation to dinner from Principal Wood, and the secrets of his past are revealed. Xander impresses a beautiful girl with his knowledge of knots, and she seems to be interested in tying him up. Meanwhile the First contacts Andrew in another attempt to destroy the Potentials, and Giles finds himself tongue-tied with the new Potential, Chao-Ahn. Written by Alex

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Action | Drama | Fantasy

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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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11 February 2003 (USA)  »

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Trivia

At the very beginning of the episode when Giles and the Scoobies are walking in the graveyard, there's a gravestone clearly marked "Snyder", a reference to Principal Snyder, played by Armin Shimerman, who was a major character in the high school years. See more »

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In the graveyard scene when Cho-Anne says, in Cantonese, "I don't understand what any of you are saying," she starts to mouth part of the line early, but we don't hear it. See more »

Quotes

Xander Harris: I'm going gay. I've decided I'm turning gay. Willow, gay me up. Come on. Let's gay... Let's get this gay show on the gay road.
Buffy Summers: ...What if you just start attracting male demons?
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References Joe Millionaire (2003) See more »

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theme
Written by Nerf Herder
Performed by Brandon K. Verrett
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User Reviews

 
Mr. Wood's past is revealed
8 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Without seeing "First Date" first, the next few episodes would be kind of confusing. It establishes some very important facts. (1) Spike isn't fighting full out anymore. Since he got his soul, he's been holding back. (2) Buffy and Spike are growing closer and Giles doesn't like it. (3) The First still has a plan for Spike. (4) Andrew really is committed to being good now. (5) Principal Wood is a demon hunter and the son of a Slayer. (6) His mother is the Slayer that Spike killed in New York. (see season five's "Fool for Love.") Basically, you shouldn't skip "First Date," since it sets up some of the better episodes to come, in particular, "Lies My Parents Told Me."

"First Date" revolves around Xander and Buffy both going out on dates. Xander's got a date with a girl he met at the hardware store. And Buffy agrees to go to dinner with Principal Wood. (I always think of him as "Principal Wood" or "Mr. Wood," and not Robin. I guess because the Scoobies usually refer to him by his title. Or maybe it's some weird subconscious thing left over from my school days.) Anyway, Buffy is half convinced that Principal Wood is evil. Giles is pressuring her about keeping her distance from Spike, though, and he isn't pleased that Buffy had Spike's chip removed. Buffy agrees to the date. Meanwhile, the First appears as Jonathan and tries to get Andrew to shoot the Potentials. But, Andrew is determined to be "good" now and he tells the others. Willow, Dawn and Amanda decide to wire Andrew and have him record the First so they can study him. When the First figures out the plan, it vows to make Andrew pay.

Meanwhile, Xander's date isn't going so well. It turns out that the woman is a demon and she wants to use his blood to open the Hellmouth. Buffy and Mr. Wood are attacked by vampires. She's amazed when he fights them off right along side of her. It seems that his mother was once a Slayer and he's known who Buffy really is this whole time. When Willow gets an emergency call from Xander, Spike goes to look for Buffy. Buffy, Spike and Mr. Wood head over to the school and save Xander. Spike is knocked to the ground in the fight and Buffy worriedly checks on him. Mr. Wood realizes that Spike is a vampire. Later, the First appears to Mr. Woods as his mother and tells him that Spike was the one who killed her. Spike volunteers to leave town, scared that the First will use him to kill again. But, Buffy won't let him.

There are some good parts to this episode. I love Andrew trying to set the microwave clock when the First shows up as Jonathan. Andrew whips out a cross. "Take that the First!" "Jonathan" really thought that he could get Andrew to join the Black Hats. Honestly, the first time I saw this episode, I though Andrew would go evil again, too. But he's really trying to seek redemption with the Buffy. "Confidentially, a lot of her people are murders." And for some reason, I always smile when Spike calls him "the little boy." Xander might be "the boy" a lot in Spike-ese, but he clearly ranks above Andrew, who Spike apparently sees as a child. It's kinna cute. Also, I enjoy Anya ranting about Xander's date. She paces around restlessly, worrying that something might have happened to him, then when he finally shows up safe and sound, she mutters, "D*nm him" and stalks off. Also, I really like Spike and Giles trying to figure out why Willow came up with a plan to wire Andrew. "You tried to tape record the ultimate evil?!" Finally, I'm glad that Xander gets one last demon girlfriend before the end of the show. It's just hilarious that evil women are always trying to pick him up.

"First Date" is contrasting Buffy and Spike's relationship with Anya and Xander's. Both couples swear that they are over each other. Xander and Buffy both accept dates in this episode, mostly to prove their single-ness. But, by the end, it's pretty clear that none of them are ready to move on. Anya is jealous and worried when Xander goes out. Xander sits at the coffee bar and talks about Anya with his date. Spike desperately wants to track Buffy down at the first opportunity. Buffy refuses to let Spike leave Sunnydale, even when he tries to go. Anya and Xander are most comfortable dealing with their residual feelings in physical terms. They're both to hurt and wary to admit their love. But Buffy and Spike are moving towards an emotional connection for the first time. Buffy even tells Willow that she's "not in love with Spike anymore." Since she was NEVER in love with Spike before, I can only assume that that's some sort of Freudian slip. She's developing a real emotional tie to Spike. They're relying on each other more and more. Giles sees it and it's making him nervous about Buffy's decision making. Spike and Buffy's relationship will drive Giles' owns actions over the rest of the season.

On the down side, why did Giles have to be such a downer at the end of the episode? The Scoobies were finally having a fun conversation about Xander's demon loves and Giles has to go and yell at them. What's his deal? He's knows that they're always joking around in tense situations. It's how they cope. Also, why would Anya tell Spike that Giles was the First? She knows that he's not, because of that trip to the desert. Did she just want Spike to tackle Giles for fun or something?

My favorite part of the episode: Willow and Buffy deciding that working on the Hellmouth is like a shower of evil... Only from underneath. "A bidet. A bidet of evil."


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