Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 2, Episode 13

Surprise (19 Jan. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Action | Drama | Fantasy
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,281 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

To give Buffy a surprise on her 17th birthday, Drusilla and Spike bring together the body parts of a dismembered demon who cannot be killed.



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Episode cast overview:
Rupert Giles (as Anthony Stewart Head)
The Judge


While the gang is encouraged by Giles to prepare a surprise party for Buffy's 17th birthday, she has nightmares about Angel, who tries to reassure her, being vanished by Drusilla, who has indeed survived the fire with Spike and is preparing a revenge 'party'. They find out the hard way, by finding one of the severed armored body parts of the Judge, a terrible demon who can not be killed by any weapon,designed to destroy all righteous people, no evil creatures, which the Hell-mouth side is reassembling... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Action | Drama | Fantasy


TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

19 January 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Brian Thompson plays "The Judge". In the first two episodes of the series, he played the vampire "Luke". See more »


When Buffy awakes from her nightmare from falling asleep on the desk, you see she is wearing the Claddagh ring on her left ring finger with the heart tip pointed down. Wearing the ring this way would symbolize that she and Angel are married. She should be wearing the ring on her right ring finger. See more »


Rupert Giles: If Drusilla is alive, then i-i-it could be a fairly cataclysmic state of affairs.
Xander: Again, so many words. Couldn't you just say we'd be in trouble?
Rupert Giles: Go to class, Xander.
Xander: Gone. Notice the economy of phrasing. "Gone." Simple. Direct.
See more »


Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Band Candy (1998) See more »


Transylvanian Concubine
Performed by Rasputina
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most important episodes of the entire series
20 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Okay, I know I hit the spoiler button at the top of this review. And I'm sure that most of the people reading this have already seen the show, anyway. But, if you don't know what happens in this episode, and in it's conclusion "Innocence," PLEASE stop reading. "Suprise" sets up the biggest storyline of the season and, arguably, of the entire Buffyverse. Without "Suprise" and "Innocence" the next five seasons of the show would be completely different. And I doubt that there would even be an "Angel" spin off. Watch these episodes BEFORE you read any spoilers, if you can. Trust me.

"Suprise" revolves around two parties: Buffy's 17th birthday bash and Dru's "Let's End the World" celebration. Yes, Drusilla's recovered from that vampire-illness thing and is back on her feet. Spike, sadly, is not. Thanks to that fight with Buffy at the end of "What's My Line? Part 2," Spike is confined to a wheelchair. His recovery is slow going and he'd really rather leave Sunnydale for greener, not-so-populated-by-Buffy-and-Angel, pastures. Dru, however, is determined to have the party to ends all parties. Literally. She's reassembling all the dismembered pieces of the Judge, a big, blue demon guy who can incinerate people with a wave of his hand. The Judge is going to end humanity... With a little help from Drusilla. (Spike's going along with the plan, too, of course. But, he's mainly in it to amuse Dru. Destoying the world plots tend to bore him.) No weapon forged can hurt the Judge and he hates human feelings. Even Spike and Dru's affection for each other disgusts him. He's eager to start wiping out Sunnydale.

Meanwhile, Buffy's having nightmares about Dru killing Angel. Worried, she goes to his apartment to check on him and they share yet another passionate kiss. They're relationship is moving to a more intimate level and they're both feeling in love and (relitively) happy. With Buffy's 17th birthday approaching, the Scoobies are planning a surprise party. No one wants to let a few prophetic dreams and the threat of the Judge being assembled spoil the celebration, but they're all pretty concerned. And they'd be REALLY worried if they knew that Jenny was actually a gypsy and part of the clan who cursed Angel with a soul. She's been spying on Angel this whole time, monitoring his behavior and moods. It seems Angels' curse comes with a loophole. If he experiences a moment of total happiness, Angel looses his soul and reverts to his evil former self, Angelus. Well, after a long night of fighting monsters and hiding in the sewers, Buffy and Angel return to his apartment and finally sleep together. Angel, having no idea that his curse can be removed, has that moment of pure happiness and suddenly he's not feel so well...

I don't know where to start with the great things about this episode. From Angel giving Buffy that ring for her birthday, to Oz's reaction at seeing a vampire get dusted for the first time, to discovering the secret of Jenny's past, to the cool, moody music playing at Dru's party... it's just all brilliant. And who doesn't smile when Willow comes bouncing into the library and hugs Buffy, squealing, "It's happy birthday Buffy!" Also, I love how Spike keeps Dru's mood swings under control with such indulgent ease. Dru starts freaking out about her floral arrangements, ripping them apart with her bare hands as she shrieks. Spike, calm in the face of her frenzy, simply murmurers, "Let's try something different with the flowers." Most of all, though, I love that Angel goes bad. What a great twist! The hero of the show is now a villain. And it was sleeping with Buffy that made him turn evil. I love a lot of things about BTVS, both before and after this episode, but no other storyline will match the drama of this one.

There aren't really a lot of problems in this episode. The only I can come up with is Buffy's mom. I mean Joyce doesn't even buy presents and get cake for Buffy. She did offer to take Buffy on a shopping trip, but that hardly seems the same. She also wasn't at the party at the Bronze. (Was she even invited?) Anyway, I think Joyce should have made more of an effort. It's sort of nit-picky, but it's the only thing I can think of.

My favorite part of the episode: Oz asking Willow out on a date. "See, I like that you're unpredictable."

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