S-E-X. Sex. The sex drive in the human animal is intense. How many of us have lost countless productive hours plagued by unwanted sexual thoughts and feelings?
I said a few weeks back that we were heading into a streak of really excellent Buffy episodes that comes to screeching halt at “Bad Eggs.” And here we are, at exit Dullsville.
I’ve discovered over the course of this rewatch that some of the episodes I remember as being fairly terrible have some redeeming qualities; they might lay the groundwork for future awesomeness or have some endearing banter between our beloved Scoobies – little gems hidden in the blandness. So I thought to myself, “Self,” I thought, “maybe ‘Bad Eggs’ won’t be that bad. Maybe there will be something funny about it. Self, give it a chance.” Well, it is just as terrible as I remember. It’s the filler episode to end all filler episodes. The dialog is clunky, the plot is bothersome if you stop to think about it, there are tentacles that shoot out of eggs for no reason, and it’s wasting time I could be spending watching “Surprise” or “Innocence.” Even the vampire cowboys are sort of a letdown, and I love me some vampire cowboys.
All right, let’s do this thing.
We get our first glimpse of the Sunnydale Mall where Buffy and her mother are finishing up some errands while arguing about an outfit that Buffy wanted to buy. Normal, everyday parent-child stuff. Joyce sends Buffy off to Mom Jeans Barn to pick up her tailoring. We’ve all seen this show, so we know Buffy doesn’t make it to Mom Jeans Barn because she runs into a vampire along the way. This one is Wild West flavored. Quips are exchanged, punches are thrown, the vampire gets away, and Buffy returns to the food court sans Joyce’s clothes. Joyce is notably irritated. Isn’t there anything Buffy thinks about besides boys and clothes?
TNMAS, we discover that Xander and Cordelia have been lip locking in every janitor’s closet from here to the Bronze, even though they can hardly stand each other. They take barely disguised digs at each other during Teen Health and throw off weird vibes around each other, which only Willow seems to notice. When their health teacher makes everyone pair up to care for an egg baby, Cordelia makes sure to grab a stranger for her partner before Xander can ask her.
My high school didn’t do the substitute baby thing, but I understand it’s fairly common across the country. The premise is that by giving teenagers an inanimate object to care for for a couple of days, they will realize that teen pregnancy is, like, so hard, and swear themselves into a lifetime of chastity belts and cold showers until they reach a socially acceptable child rearing age. Obviously, because this is Sunnydale, these are monster eggs. Let’s just get that out there, OK?
Because Buffy skipped class to research vampire cowboys in the library, she is consigned to single parenthood, a punishment Willow informs her of later that day. Buffy’s freakout about becoming her mother needs to be put on hold long enough for Buffy to chase down the Gorch Brothers, who were murderous psychopaths well before they became vampires.
Angel and Buffy “go hunting” together. Because she’s a teenager and he’s a 200-year-old cradle robber who acts like a teenager, they spend far more of their time making out than actually hunting. Make note of their hormonal reaction to each other, because it becomes important next week.
That night, while she’s sleeping, groddy tentacles creep out of Egbert’s shell and splay themselves all over Buffy’s face, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style. TNMAS she’s listless and mopy, as is Willow, so we know all the eggs are bad. Well, not Xander’s, since he hard-boiled it as a precaution against failing his assignment.
After another fruitless hunting-cum-make-out session with Angel, Buffy returns home in the middle of the night to see her egg starting to hatch. A miniature face hugger pops out and scuttles away, leading to one of those tense “Where the hell is it?!” sequences that ends with Buffy pinning the thing to the wall with a pair of sewing scissors. She immediately calls Willow to warn her about the monster eggs, but Willow says everything is fine at her house. Because she’s already been taken over by the monster, y’all! Also, Buffy makes way too much noise doing all of this, so Joyce comes in, catches Buffy dressed at 3 a.m., and grounds her until menopause.
TNMAS, Xander almost accidentally eats his hardboiled monster baby, which provides some evidence to Buffy’s tale, and points the gang to a Bezoar demon that is nearby, laying its eggs and, like, taking over high school health education teachers. Then Willow and Cordelia bash Buffy and Xander over the head and stick them in the janitor’s closet with a couple of live eggs. Buffy’s ability to withstand head blows is frustratingly inconsistent.
The face huggers – which, to be fair, are more spinal huggers – have taken over everyone in the school except Buffy and Xander. Even Joyce gets assimilated when she shows to pick Buffy up after school. Our heroes follow Jonathan down to the basement where the worker bees are digging the demon out from under the concrete and gathering baskets of eggs to be delivered or something somewhere for some reason because demons are evil or something.
Then the vampire cowboys show up and get attacked by the demon’s minions, who also attack Buffy, who must also fight the vampire cowboys, at least until one of them gets eaten by the demon. Then Buffy gets dragged into the demon pit too, but thanks to a handy pickaxe she grabs along the way, the demon is slain. The day is saved! Giles makes up a story about a gas leak to explain everyone’s confusion and possible hallucination about seeing a giant dead demon in the basement, and Buffy gets even more grounded because she was off saving everyone instead of waiting in the library like Joyce told her to. Heroism is a thankless line of work.