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Halloween is Season 2 Episode 6 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Principal Snyder asks Buffy, Willow, and Xander to go trick-or-treating with the local children. However, the night doesn't go as they had hoped because Buffy's costume takes away her ability to slay vampires and the other children change into their own costume characters.
Air Date: October 27th 1997
Written by: Joss Whedon, Carl Ellsworth and Rob DesHotel
Directed by: Bruce Seth Green
Despite speaking to him regularly since the Season 1 finale, “Prophecy Girl”, Cordelia doesn’t believe Buffy when she tells her that Angel is a vampire in this episode. Buffy sees the pair of them talking at The Bronze and she worries that Angel may be interested in Cordelia instead of her. Willow remarks that Angel would never fall for someone like Cordelia - which doesn’t turn out to be the case. Cordelia and Angel would go on to have a ‘will they wont they’ relationship in Angel.
Buffy: 18th Century Woman
Willow: Ghost Costume/Mini-Skirt and Crop Top Oz: Playing in his band
Xander: A Soldier
Cordelia: A Leopard Skin Cat
This episode is responsible for Xander’s military acumen which stays with him throughout the rest of the series. It is used most notably in “Innocence” (S2 E14), “Graduation Day, Part Two” (S3 E22) and then later in the comic “Revelations” (S11 V11).
Gile’s teenage friend and adulthood enemy Ethan Rayne is first introduced in this episode, “Halloween”. He then becomes a serial antagonist throughout the series in episodes, “The Dark Age” (S2 E8), “Band Candy” (S3 E6), “A New Man” (S4 E12).
One of the most prolific Buffy The Vampire Slayer Writers has stated in an interview with Storyteller than Rupert Giles and Ethan Rayne have had some sexual experiences together in their youth due to attending private school together.
“Halloween” marks the first mention of Giles’ past and passion for magic in his youth. This would then be explored as the main storyline two episodes later in Season 2 Episode 8, “The Dark Age”. We find out that his nicknamed was Ripper as a young man.
Ethan chants to Janus, a two faced statue at Ethan’s Costume Shop. This same statue can be seen in The Magic Box during the episodes “Tabula Rasa” (S6 E8) and “Dead Things” (S6 E13).
Interestingly Janus is from Roman Mythology and is a two faced God. He was teh God of Gates, Doors, Beginnings, Endings and was worshipped at Marriages, Births and other beginnings. Janus also represented the beginning of Adulthood which ties in nicely with Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Season 2 theme of losing innocence. The month of January is named after him.
Ethan Rayne performed the “Ritual of Janus” in order to curse everyone on Halloween 1997. It would transform anyone who brought a costume at his shop into whatever their costume was of. It only effected those who had purchased from his store and the spell could only be broken when the statue itself was broken. Rupert Giles smashed the statue and broke the spell at the end of the episode.
Robin Sachs, who played Ethan Rayne throughout Buffy The Vampire Slayer sadly died of a heart attack in February 2013 just before his 62nd birthday. Sachs voiced Ethan Ryane in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer PS2 video game Chaos Bleeds. He also starred in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Spongebob Squarepants, Majin and The Forsaken Kingdom.
The character of Larry Blaisdell first appears in this episode, “Halloween”. He is played by and he is the school bully. He threatens Xander before she intervenes and pushes him into a vending machine. Xander is embarrassed by the situation and Larry continues to taunt him for being “rescued” by a girl. Later on when Ethan’s spell is in full force, Larry is turned into a real pirate complete with rotten teeth and unwashed hair. He went after Buffy who was unable to defend herself due to her 18th Century Woman costume so in a parallel situation from earlier in the episode, Xander steps in as a soldier to save her. Interestingly in the Season 6 Halloween episode “All The Way”, Xander himself is dressed up as a pirate.
Oz sees Willow for the second time at the end of “Halloween” when she confidently wears her crop top and mini skirt outfit once the spell had worn off. She walks infront of his van in the road and he remarks, “Who is that girl?” Which is what he said the first time too in the episode, “Inca Mummy Girl” (S2 E4) - two episodes previous. The pair officially meet in, “What’s My Line? Part One” (S2 E9). Willow’s mini skirt and crop top combination costume was described as “Hot Rocker Chick” in the shooting script.
During “Halloween”, we learn from Giles that Halloween is usually quite quiet for demon activity. Buffy jokes it’s how commercial the holiday has become!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer costume designer Cynthia Bergstrom chose Buffy’s 18th Century Woman costume from the episode, “Halloween” the one she is most proud of from the show. She told the BBC in an interview that when she showed her sketch to Sarah [Michelle Geller], she fell in love with the dress. It was Bergstrom’s first design on Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
In this episode Oz drives the first of his two vans, this one being a Vertical Zebra striped 1980 Volkswagen Transporter Type 2 (T3) Kombi. It has the Californian number/ license plate 2COM654.
We only ever get to see inside Sunnydale’s nightclub The Bronze but in this episode, “Halloween”, Oz says that his band (Dingoes Ate My Baby) are going to be playing another club called the Shelter Club.
The episode, “Halloween” had an audience of 3.7 million households during for it’s original airing on 27th October 1997. When “Halloween” was shown to UK audiences on the BBC, one of Willow’s lines had to be cut due to it containing an offensive slur for someone with a disability in the UK.
When Buffy and Willow are looking through Giles’ collection of Watcher Diaries to find out more about Angel, the pair of them discover an image of a young woman dressed in sophisticated 18th century attire. They both say that the book doesn’t give any more information on her even her name, but the image is clearly labelled with “Sarah Goodfriend 1775”. Willow remarks that at this time Angel would have been 18 and still a human which throws off continuity about Angel’s age and siring. On many occasions after this, Angel is discussed as being born in 1727 and was sired by Darla in 1753 at the age of 26.
Two Buffy The Vampire Slayer Action Figures were made of Willow and Xander in their outfits from this episode, “Halloween”. There was also a Deluxe Action Figure of Willow in her “Hot Rocker Chick” outfit. There are 21 Deluxe Action Figures all together and 5 of Willow Rosenberg.
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