Teacher’s Pet S1 E4

Buffy and the Art of Story Podcast CoverThis week on Buffy and the Art of Story: Teacher’s Pet, Season 1, Episode 4 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The episode focuses on point-of-view, tone, and all the major plot points from opening conflict to the climax. 

As always, the discussion is spoiler-free, except at the end (with plenty of warning).

Story Elements in Teacher’s Pet

In this podcast episode we’ll look at how Buffy handles:

  • Viewpoint Characters in a Xander-centric episode
  • Opening Conflict
  • Story Spark (a/k/a Inciting Incident)
  • The first major plot turn
  • The story mid-point
  • The three-quarter twist
  • The climax
  • Falling Action

Highlights from the Buffy Season 1 DVD commentaries by Joss Whedon are also discussed.

For more on the 5-point story structure the podcast covers, you can check out Super Simple Story Structure: A Quick Guide To Plotting And Writing Your Novel.

The 7 Season Plan

Buffy and the Art of Story plans to cover every episode of Buffy in order and spoiler-free — except at the end so I can talk about foreshadowing, but I’ll give you plenty of warning.

Down the road there’ll be a Patreon account where you’ll be able to get a free story structure template. As a patron, you’ll also get access to bonus episodes.

Those episodes will include Buffy-adjacent stories (such as key Angel episodes). Also films or TV episodes that are intriguing from a story, theme, or character perspective.

Requests will be welcome.

Next Up: Never Kill A Boy On The First Date, S1 E5

Episode Transcript for Teacher’s Pet

Hello, and welcome, or welcome back, to Buffy and the Art of Story. I am Lisa M. Lilly, author of suspense, mysteries, and supernatural thrillers and founder of WritingAsASecondCareer.com. If you love Buffy the Vampire Slayer and you love creating stories or just taking them apart to see how they work, you’re in the right place.

This week we’re talking about Episode Four of Season One: Teacher’s Pet.

Teacher’s Pet is a standalone episode, so we’ll cover all the plot points and turns. Plus, we’ll talk about point of view, and prologue.

The discussion will be spoiler-free, except at the very end, and I’ll give you plenty of warning.

Okay, let’s dive into the Hellmouth.

The Prologue of Teacher’s Pet 

We start with a prologue — a woman is screaming, a vampire’s attacking, Buffy seems really nervous. Already this scene just doesn’t feel right. And I love that about it. Because although all those things could be happening in Buffy — and this is only Episode 4 — we already have a sense that the way Buffy is acting just doesn’t feel like her.

Then we have that confirmed when Xander says, “May I cut in?” and he slays the vampires.

So we are in Xander’s fantasy — could be a dream — but we find out it’s a daydream. Because it ends with Buffy saying, “You’re drooling.” We cut to the science class where she is really saying, “You’re drooling.”

What Is A Prologue?

This is a prologue because it could be lifted out from the main plot without hurting anything because it really is giving us backstory.

But it does something key, which is to tell us that at least some of this episode will be from Xander’s point of view. And that is — it’s not that we haven’t seen scenes before that Buffy is not in. Sometimes we’ve seen scenes with side characters or with the villain, particularly the Master. But they haven’t been specifically from the emotional point of view of another key character who is on Buffy’s side, at least not to this extent.

Is Xander the Protagonist of Teacher’s Pet?

So I can see a reason to have this prologue. It is setting up Xander’s internal conflict, which was hinted at earlier. There are his feelings for Buffy, and his feelings that he is not quite a man.

Earlier, he linked that to not being able to fight vampires. But we’re going to see — well, I shouldn’t say ‘but’ — we see that in this fantasy his feeling that impressing Buffy, being a man, is being able to fight not just as well as she does, but better.

This prologue also points to something that I struggle with in the episode. Which is: Who is the protagonist? Because next we get to what is, I think, the real Opening Conflict of the story. It’s the conflict that hints at our main plot, and it is certainly the Opening Conflict for Buffy, who, though I struggle with it, I think is the protagonist in this episode.

Opening Conflict

So she’s in science class and the teacher, Dr. Gregory, asks her questions, Willow is pantomiming the answers. Buffy does a pretty good job, but it becomes obvious what’s happening.

We expect Dr. Gregory to be angry at her when he has her stay after class. But instead he tells her she’s smart. She thinks on her feet. And she should not let anyone else’s negative opinions about her influence her.

He encourages her, or basically tells her, “Hey, imagine if you did the work, how good you could do here.” She says sorry for not doing the homework. And he says, “Don’t be sorry. Be smart.” Buffy is very energized by this.

This is, as I think Xander will comment later, the only teacher who has really formed a positive opinion of her, or at least who has expressed it.

So we have that Opening Conflict in the sense that it is Buffy’s internal conflict. Not just living a normal life, but with how people see her. And the way that being a Slayer interferes with her being able to really take part in school and excel in other ways.

Teacher’s Pet and the Story Spark

Immediately after that, in what is typical Joss Whedon fashion, we have something wonderfulfor one of our characters we love, and it is immediately taken away. A claw grabs Dr. Gregory, and then we have credits.

Back to Xander’s Point of View

We are once again in Xander’s point of view after the credits.

We’re at The Bronze. One of the musicians on stage kind of scoffs at Xander when Xander gives a little wave as if he knows him. And this reflects back that part of his fantasy in the beginning. was being a great musician and being on stage himself. Getting all the attention.

Then Blaine and another guy are bragging about women and putting Xander on the spot. Making fun of him because they think that he’s a virgin, and they are acting like they have all this experience.

So he pretends that he does, too. He puts his arms around Buffy and Willow and wants to make it seem like they’re both his girlfriends.

This further suggests this is Xander’s story.

Buffy and Angel

We do switch to Buffy because she sees Angel and she leaves. They have a conversation, he says something cryptic about a cut that he has, and he gives Buffy his leather jacket and disappears.

This is more of Angel showing up, looking good, giving some information (usually about something ominous) and leaving.

The show kind of calls that out because we have Buffy referring to him as “Cryptic Guy” to Giles. Also, she calls — I forget how Angel describes the vampire that attacked him — but Buffy calls him “Fork Guy.”

I like this for a couple of reasons. It does call out the fact that this is all that Angel is really doing to this point, but it’s also a nice use of the language of the show.

On Writing Dialogue

One of the things Buffy is known for, as I’m sure all of you know because you’re listening to this, is the character’s language and the dialogue. It’s very specific to the world of Buffy. Which — side note — is a good way to create dialogue if you’re trying to get a certain age or a certain community. Create your own dialogue.

When Buffy came out, Joss Whedon used to get a lot of questions about how did he capture how teenagers talk. He basically said he didn’t, he just created his own — their own — slang.

He created the slang.

And I guess that’s more what I’m getting at. Slang is difficult to use in fiction because it quickly becomes dated. For the most part the language in Buffy doesn’t, because Joss created their own slang.

Some of it is a little clunky. In the pilot episode, we see a few times Buffy or other people saying, “What’s the sitch?” instead of “What’s the situation?” And that doesn’t survive, I think with good reason.

But this idea of Cryptic Guy, Fork Guy, we will see that type of language throughout this series.

Xander Admires Angel

This is also the first time that Willow and Xander see Angel. Xander comments on him being very attractive.

And I like that there’s a couple of layers there. One is the jealousy of Angel. Xander apparently hadn’t realized this guy Buffy was talking about was good looking. But I also like that you get the feeling Xander really just appreciates that Angel is a very attractive man.

Building from the Story Spark

At school we find out, or our characters find out, Dr. Gregory is missing. They’re talking about it. Mid-sentence Xander stops talking, loses the ability to speak coherently, when he sees Ms. French, the very attractive substitute teacher. Xander is unable to explain to her where the classroom is. Blaine’s swoops in, takes her to class.

So we are building from our Opening Conflict and our Story Spark or Inciting Incident — which I think I skipped right over. It would be that claw grabbing Dr. Gregory. That’s our Inciting Incident, our Story Spark.

We are building from that, the fact that Dr. Gregory has something terrible happen to him, building up to the One-Quarter Point in the story. And on the way there we see Buffy noticing that Dr. Gregory’s glasses are on the floor and cracked. She questions why, if he’s just taking the day off, why would his glasses be here?

Praying or Preying?

And we have Ms. French talking about the preying mantis and its mating habits.

As I look at my notes, I have to note that probably until I saw this show, I was always thinking the preying mantis was P. R. A. Y. I. N. G. like, pray, like say your prayers. Who knows why, because that makes absolutely no sense. And in this episode that I was like, “Oh, preying mantis, like it preys on other insects, okay.”

I mentioned that because I spelled it wrong again in my notes for this.

The One-Quarter Turn in Teacher’s Pet 

So now we get to — after we had seen Ms. French talking about the insects, which is a little foreshadowing and also something Buffy draws on later — we get our One-Quarter Turn. Fourteen minutes through the episode, Cordelia finds Dr. Gregory in the refrigerator. Minus his head.

She’s going there to get her medically approved lunch. I thought when I saw this scene that that was just Cordelia’s way of not having to eat the terrible food in the lunchroom. Which I think it is partly that. But we later find out it’s a specific eating plan or diet that she is on, trying to lose weight.

This Turn, as it should, spins the story in a new direction. And it comes from outside our protagonist, who as I said, I think is Buffy here. Because she is the one who is ultimately going to figure out and defeat our villain. It spins the story to finding out who killed Dr. Gregory —  who or what — because the missing head points to something evil. I guess more evil than killing alone, so potentially not human.

Buffy Disagrees With Giles

In the library, they’re talking about what it could be. Giles mentions the Master, so we get a nod to our overarching season plot and villain.

Buffy mentions Fork Guy. Giles doesn’t want her to go back and look for him. But she’s thinking because Angel warned her about him that maybe he is the reason, that he is the one behind this.

It’s really sort of that we don’t have a lead, so let’s check out this.

Buffy goes to the park, despite Giles’ warning. She fights with Fork Guy, and the police scare him off. Which is one of the rare times that we see the police in Sunnydale.

And it’s sort of interesting that that scares the vampire off. But you know, maybe also Buffy’s fighting, maybe he doesn’t want to fight anymore.

She runs after him and sees Ms. French frighten him.

Plot Structure: Alternate One-Quarter Turn

This could also be a One-Quarter Turn in the story. Because it really does take us in a new direction to focus on Ms. French. It’s too late for the One-Quarter Twist, so I do see that as the finding of Dr. Gregory. I think that is fairly clear.

The reason I’m commenting on this point where we see Ms. French is that I don’t find a clear Midpoint in this episode.

I mean, there is literal Midpoint — we get to halfway through — but I don’t see a clear commitment or that much of a reversal. I feel like this is part of why this episode falters. There’s a number of reasons.

Now, if you love this episode, please tell me why. I’m okay with it, I pretty much enjoy all Buffy episodes with maybe one exception. I like them all. They’re fun. But this one, I don’t know, just overall doesn’t work for me. And I think that’s one of the reasons, because unlike most episodes, the structure is just not that clear.

So we have Buffy seeing Ms. French frighten him off.

Principal Flutie Puts an Obstacle in Buffy’s Way

We have this cameo with Principal Flutie, which I enjoy. I always like seeing him. He’s insisting that Buffy goes to see the grief counselor or trauma counselor.

This is a nice example of how you should always have obstacles in your protagonist’s way. Sometimes they can be fun obstacles like Principal Flutie. And they can be ones that you really want the protagonists to power past.

Buffy does still have to be a student here. She can’t get kicked out again. So she does what Principal Flutie says.

We hear Cordelia joking about the upside of Dr. Gregory being dead is that she lost a little weight. Because she couldn’t eat, so maybe that’s good. And then saying, “Oh, I’m not saying we should kill teachers, so I should lose weight.”

Does Teacher’s Pet Have A Midpoint Reversal?

So we get to the Midpoint of the story in terms of timing. What happens around here is, it’s about 22 minutes in, so it does fit our Midpoint, is Buffy looks through the window and sees the “Full-on Exorcist Twist” as she calls it.

When she’s late to class, she looks through the window. Ms. French turns her head completely 180 and looks at Buffy. So she has twisted her neck in a way that humans cannot do.

Maybe this is a Midpoint Reversal because Ms. French reveals herself to Buffy. Which puts Buffy in danger. And perhaps she did that because she sensed that Buffy was a predator or an enemy because Buffy already has fastened on Ms. French.

So we could argue Buffy kind of reveals herself or commits in full to the quest. But all she really is doing is looking through the window here.

Buffy Thowing All In

An earlier point that could be Buffy throwing all in, throwing caution to the wind, could be when she goes to the park against Giles’ warning. But, one, it happens before the Midpoint. And, two, it just doesn’t seem like that big a deal.

In fact, she even says to Giles, “Yes, I didn’t listen to you. Get over it.” It doesn’t seem big enough.

So we move on from there.

This does definitely change and drive the story forward because now Buffy knows there’s something wrong with Ms. French. And she is the one, Buffy is the one, drawing on what she learned in science class and researching in books. She figures out that Ms. French is like a giant insect, a shape shifter.

Giles puts it into the terms of shape shifting, or she can shift into an insect.

Midpoint of Teacher’s Pet From Xander’s Point of View

We also have this continuing plot with Xander. Ms. French has invited different boys to meet her on different days after school and help construct paper mache egg sacks.

Blaine was the first day. We don’t immediately see what happened to him, but we do find out later that he’s missing.

Xander goes after school and Ms. French has, of course, left her things at home and invites him to come to her house. When Buffy tries to tell Xander about Ms. French and warn him, it’s after he has met with her at school. He thinks she’s jealous.

So here is where we are seeing it mostly from Buffy’s point of view, but it is key for Xander as well. Because he first is saying, “Oh, I get it.” You know, “of course you’re jealous because now someone else wants me and you can’t have me and now you want me.”

Then we see the shift where he realizes, no, Buffy really isn’t jealous.

And then he’s mad because he says, “Fine. You know, you just can’t believe this woman’s interested in me when you’re not.”

Dramatic Irony: What Buffy Doesn’t Know

From Buffy’s point of view, this interaction is key because it is what convinces her that Xander’s okay. He’s already gone to see Ms. French and he’s still alive. So they aren’t too worried about Xander. Buffy and Willow aren’t too worried about Xander at first.

Now we have a lot in Xander’s point of view.

He’s at Ms. French’s home. She is seducing him. She drugs him. We hear someone yelling in the basement.

This whole scene is mostly played for laughs. We do see that Xander’s flashing back to his daydream about Buffy. So we know that even though he is so attracted to Ms. French, he is also still thinking about who he really wants to be with is Buffy.

Xander wakes up in a cage next to Blaine.

We then have Giles revealing Ms. French will only prey on boys or men who are virgins. And there was a funny line from Buffy. Not on the virgin part, on Giles, who is going on and on about the backstory (we can call it backstory) or the history and the details.

And Buffy says “Giles, while we’re young!” I just really like that line.

The Three-Quarter Twist

So now we are roughly at the Three-Quarter Point of the story, which is about 34 minutes. And again, I’m having a little bit of trouble figuring out what the plot turn specifically is here. I mean, things are happening and changing, but I’m not sure anything really spins the story in a new way.

It could be that reveal that Ms. French only preys on virgins.

That doesn’t really change anything that happens. She’s already captured Xander and Blaine. They’ve already figured out she’s a shape shifter. It’s not as if Buffy’s not going to go after her if she’s just preying on anybody who’s a virgin or not a virgin.

So it doesn’t really change anything.

Buffy finds out she can kill Ms. French by dismembering her. And that, I mean, it doesn’t change that much. Okay, so she can’t just use a stake. But again, you know, she still has to find Ms. French.

Xander’s Plot Turns

If we go back to Xander’s story, there is a significant plot turn. Which is Ms. French — the switch from her being there to seduce Xander, to drugging him and throwing him in a cage.

So that is a plot turn.

And I feel like this is part of why it’s fuzzy here. Who is the protagonist? Is it Buffy or is it Xander?

Because we could argue here that Xander threw caution to the wind by agreeing to meet Ms. French at her home. So his story has more clear structure to it than the story about Buffy.

Fork Guy Becomes Less Scary

So now Buffy has to find Ms. French . We should be racing from the Three-Quarter Turn to the Climax. But since she doesn’t know where Ms. French is, we have her going to the address that is in the school records.

We find out this is a retired substitute teacher named Ms. French, so the shapeshifter has stolen her identity.

Buffy goes back to find Fork Guy because she thinks he can probably track Ms. French. This also feels like a bit of a let-down because he has been built up to be very dangerous. He fought Angel and survived. He fought Buffy and survived.

Granted, he ran away when the police came, but still we don’t usually see Buffy fighting vampires and they get away.

So we think that he’s pretty powerful. Yet she subdues him seemingly pretty easily and gets him to take her to Ms. French’s house.

Now perhaps it’s because Xander’s in trouble. But we don’t really see that. So we just have this supposedly super dangerous vampire that Buffy is able to control.

We do see Xander prying a bar out of the cage so he can fight Ms. French, so he is certainly being active.

The Climax

Then we have Buffy breaking in.

And there is probably my favorite thing in this episode. Buffy has figured out that bat sonar will affect Ms. French’s nervous system and partially disable her. So she sent Giles off to record it. And she’s got this little mini recorder with her. She goes to play the bat sonar very dramatically, and it’s a lecture, or talk, that Giles is giving.

The tape is on the wrong side.

So for those of you haven’t seen them, there used to be these little mini tapes. People would dictate, sometimes at work, would dictate something onto them. Their secretary would type it or people would take notes that way.

So she flips the tape and — I realize you understand what a tape is — It just, I just thought that’s kind of interesting because I used to have one of those.

Anyway she struggles, she has to flip the tape. She fights. She eventually gets that sonar to work, disables Ms. French, and chops her up and kills her.

So that is our Climax between Buffy and the villain.

Falling Action in Teacher’s Pet

So now we’re in the Falling Action. Xander admits that he was an idiot. He should’ve listened to Buffy.

Willow comments on how terrible it is that Ms. French preyed only on virgins. Xander and Blaine are very embarrassed, and Giles confirms it. And Blaine says, “My dad’s a lawyer, no one better say anything about this.”

And Xander, seemingly out of anger over the virgin aspect, but maybe he was going to do this anyway, now destroys all these eggs in these egg sacks.

So that could be the Climax of Xander’s story, but it happens after our actual Climax. So it’s kind of the definition of anticlimactic.

We also have Angel and Buffy flirting a little bit in The Bronze.

We have the new science teacher, who is kind of generic. Buffy is bored.

And we see her find Dr. Gregory’s glasses and tuck them into the lab coat hanging on the door. So we get that feeling of Buffy still remembering Dr. Gregory. And we hope that she will take with her the encouragement he gave her and what he told her he saw in her.

Challenges with Plot Structure

So let’s go to the big picture on this episode.

I’ve already commented that the plot structure here isn’t all that clear. Now you can certainly argue that there’s no reason a writer has to use the plot structure that I like to follow. But I will say you see it in almost every movie, book, certainly any genre book. But even literary fiction, I will see sometimes these plot points. Maybe it’s because I like well-structured stories, so that’s what I gravitate toward. But generally, if you have a very powerful story, it follows that structure.

At the very least, your protagonist should be clear. Here, it’s not.

Maybe there’s just too much of a split between Buffy as the protagonist and Xander’s own story arc and plot.

You can certainly have stories for more than one character, but I think this is an example of where maybe the balance didn’t quite work as well as it could have.

Challenges with Point of View and Character Growth

We also have this point of view split.

I like getting Xander’s point of view. Yet I feel like that’s part of what is not quite working here. We get a lot of Xander, but he doesn’t really grow as a character. Like, yes, he says to Buffy, “I was an idiot.” Essentially says, “I should’ve listened to you.”

But he still is super embarrassed that it’s revealed that he’s a virgin.

He’s kind of in that same place that he was in the beginning, other than now he knows Blaine also is. So he has learned that he’s feeling inadequate compared to what they say about their lives. And their life may be just like his, but he doesn’t know it.

We don’t really get a sense that he has some character growth. While he fights, he’s not the one who defeats Ms. French.

Buffy’s Character Arc and Motivation

When we go to Buffy’s story, she certainly is the protagonist of our external conflict in the sense of she figures out and defeats the monster. Her emotional story, which I think could be really engaging, is that she finally has a teacher who doesn’t see her as a delinquent. Who doesn’t care about her past. And who sees her as smart and capable, wants her to excel, and believes that she can.

This gives her a great reason to want to find out what happened to Dr. Gregory.

But the story pretty much drops that. Yes, it certainly gives Buffy an extra reason to care. But it’s not like she wasn’t going to try to find out what happened, even if this was a teacher who didn’t like her.

You know, if any teacher ended up beheaded in a locker, she would be looking into it.

And because we spent a lot of time on Xander’s story, we don’t really get that much on how key this is to Buffy. It is there, because we have her tucking the glasses in at the end. But even that moment doesn’t have quite the resonance it could if we had followed more of Buffy’s emotional journey.

So I’m not saying that you had to do that, or it should have been written differently. But I feel like there is this tension here between these two stories, neither of which is really fully developed.

For an episode that goes into Xander’s point of view and still has another story, listen to the spoiler section. There I’ll talk a little bit about that.

Challenges with Tone

There’re two other things that I think are a little challenging in this episode. One is the tone.

Buffy crosses drama and humor and it was made to do that. It’s one of the first shows that did it so very well. And it really was groundbreaking. I think is partly responsible for how much humor you now see within dramas and action movies and TV shows.

Here, somehow it undercuts the danger. The fact that so much of Ms. French and Xander’s seduction and interaction is played for laughs makes the threat less real.

We also get Ms. French as a preying mantis. I’m not sure, maybe she would look creepy, but we see her do this eeny-meeny-miney-mo thing to choose between Xander and Blaine. And again, yes, those kinds of things usually work great for me in Buffy. Ror whatever reason, in this one, to me, just makes the preying mantis look a little too silly.

Is Teacher’s Pet An Episode-Long Joke?

Plus, the whole episode more or less just seems to be 45 minutes of the joke about Blaine’s a virgin. Even though he’s giving, you know, pretending so much to Xander.

And there’s also this implication Dr. Gregory was a virgin also. And I think well, does that matter? Like why? Why is that there?

I don’t know. Which leads me into, maybe what I’m struggling with is less the tone and more the metaphor.

Using Metaphor in Story

For me, Buffy is strongest when the metaphor works. The big-picture metaphor of our seasons in high school is “High school is hell,” right? And that makes it so emotionally compelling.

Here, what is the metaphor we’re working with?

It could be we have this teacher who is a preying mantis, so she preys on students. So it could be a metaphor for a teacher inappropriately preying on her high school students sexually.

The Teacher’s Pet Metaphor Falters

And the difficulty with that, I think, is that it’s played for laughs. So we don’t have the fear factor there. Some of this is because the dynamic is a woman teacher and boy students. And particularly, decades ago, I think there was a very real sense of, “Oh, if a male teacher preys on girl students, that is problematic, that is dangerous. But an attractive young-ish female teacher ‘preying’ on her boy students is a gift to them.”

In today’s world, we seem more concerned about this.

So maybe I’m doing that thing that I generally don’t like doing, which is trying to critique Buffy from 20-some years later and holding it to, um, looking at it in the context of today.

But even if you set that aside, the fact that now we might have more concern for a woman teacher who goes after her male students, it still, because it’s played mainly for the joke, we still don’t get that sense of menace.

So I feel like the metaphor sort of falls apart. Because we even textually have Buffy and Willow joking about boys being too dumb to see what’s happening when older women are coming on to them.

And Xander, as I mentioned, destroys these egg sacks after that comment, after learning about the virgin aspect of it. Suggesting that that’s what’s driving it, his embarrassment.

Overall Series Tone

Probably overall, it’s that the show as a whole hadn’t quite found its tone yet. So it could have done this as a very dark metaphor and maybe initially that was the thought. Or maybe that was an option on the table and it veered campier instead.

Normally the camp in Buffy I think works pretty well. And here is one that just didn’t work for me.

And maybe it worked better for other viewers, or perhaps work better at the time. It’s hard for me to recall my first viewing of it.

I just know that anytime I have rewatched the series, when this one comes up, I’m like, “Okay, you know, I’ll watch this cause I like to watch them all in order. But I’ll probably just have it play while I’m washing dishes or doing laundry or something like that.”

And unlike some other episodes that I feel that way about and then get drawn in anyway, this one, I’m always like, “Yeah, okay.”

DVD and Early Internet Nostalgia

Switching to the DVD set. There isn’t any interview about this one. I think I mistakenly said last episode that the interview about The Witch was also about this.

It was about The Witch and our next episode, Never Kill A Boy On The First Date.

So there isn’t an interview on the DVD about this episode or any commentary. So I went looking around at the other features on the DVD. And this was just such a retro thing. There was a menu item for DVD-rom.

When I clicked it — and I don’t think that I ever clicked on it before, but maybe I did — it said, “Put the DVD into a DVD-rom drive.” And it specifically said “Not a CD-rom drive,” which is what most computers had at the time. Put it in a DVD rom drive to access the official Buffy website and a screen saver.

And I thought, wow, could you not just go on the Internet to the official Buffy website?

I’m sure you must have been able to by then. But maybe most people just didn’t know how to find it. Then it has a note, must run Windows 95 or up.

So that is it for the DVD. It is also it for this discussion of our preying mantis episode.

Next Week

Next week I’ll talk about Never Kill A Boy On The First Date, when Buffy tries to go out with Owen, who in Xander’s words, “has a certain Owenocity.”

It picks up our Master storyline again. I will talk once more about two intertwined plots. Or maybe it’s more intertwining of plot and theme, which I think was done really well in that episode. And I’ll also talk a little bit about the difference between game changers and cliffhangers.

In the meantime, you can tweet me @LisaMLilly on Twitter. You can visit WritingAsASecondCareer.com for articles on writing and marketing and books on writing craft. Or you can email me your thoughts Lisa at LisaLilly.com.

Now we’ll have a very short spoilers section, so if you don’t want to hear spoilers, I hope I will see you next week.

Spoilers From Teacher’s Pet

So the only real spoiler here is I did want to mention the Season 3 episode in Xander’s point of view. That is the episode, one, it includes Faith, who I always enjoy, and it is where there are zombies who — I guess not exactly zombies. This is the gang that killed themselves and come back to life. I guess that does make them zombies. But they’re pretty intelligent. And Xander gets mixed up with them.

So while there’s another plot going on with Buffy saving the world (yet again from an apocalypse), we have Xander trying to save himself and stop a plot to detonate a bomb.

A Better Point of View Mix

There, I feel like the point of view, the Xander point of view, works much better. Or I should say I am more engaged by it. And there is a clear protagonist. It is clearly Xander’s episode. The other plot is still there, and we get pieces of it mainly from Xander’s point of view.

So I feel like that is a really good example of perhaps what they were, maybe not trying to do in Teacher’s Pet, but weere maybe experimenting with point of view and then nailed it later on.

So if you haven’t watched that one and you want to juxtapose the two, you could watch the Season 3 episode. I apologize, I’m forgetting the name of it. So I’m sending you on a hunting mission to figure out which one that is.

That is it for today, and I hope you will come back next week for Never Kill A Boy On The First Date.

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