|Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
|Season 2, Episode 8|
|Air date||November 10, 1997|
|Written by|| Dean Batali|
Rob Des Hotel
|Directed by||Bruce Seth Green|
"Lie to Me"
"What's My Line, Part One"
|Sarah Michelle Gellar||Buffy|
|Anthony Stewart Head|| Giles |
|Stuart McLean|| Phillip |
|Michael Earl Reid||Custodian|
|Daniel Henry Murray||Creepy Cult Guy|
|Carlease Burke||Detective Winslow|
|Tony Sears||Morgue Attendant|
|John Bellucci|| Man |
"The Dark Age" is the eighth episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the twentieth episode altogether. It was written by Joss Whedon, Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel and directed by Bruce Seth Green. It was originally brodacast on November 10, 1997.
A man tries to get into the library to see Giles but a demonic woman shows up and strangles him to death. He falls to the floor, and she turns into a puddle of green slime.
At school, we see Buffy and Willow playing the game 'Anywhere But Here', in which they recount their some of their fantasies; Buffy is on a beach before sunset having her feet rubbed by Gavin Rossdale; Willow is in Florence at a restaurant eating ziti when she is joined by John Cusack. Giles tells Buffy to meet him later at the hospital where there will be a blood delivery, which attracts vampires. Giles runs into Jenny Calendar, who invites him for a date that weekend, a date that will involve them "staying in". When a cheerful Giles gets back to the library, a detective is waiting for him--the dead man had Giles' address on him. Giles identifies the body as that of an old friend from London. The body has a tattoo on it, which Giles claims he can't identify.
Shaken, Giles forgets to meet Buffy at the hospital, and she battles the vampires, who are disguised as doctors, alone until Angel shows up. She asks Angel to see that the blood gets to the hospital and goes to check on Giles. When Buffy goes to Giles' house to see what happened, he looks terribly drunk and sends her away. He calls a friend in London and finds out that she's dead, too. He crosses her name off of a list, and we see that several other names have also been crossed off. As he rolls up his sleeves, we see he has the same tattoo as his friend. Meanwhile, the dead friend, Phillip, comes back to life in the morgue, his eyes flashing, and escapes.
On Saturday, Willow, Xander, and Cordelia meet with Jenny Calendar for a computer class. Buffy shows up to express her concern about Giles' behavior. Cordelia mentions the police visit to the library, which slipped her Cordelia-centered mind. In the library, Buffy finds Ethan, the costume shop owner and Giles's former friend, who had almost gotten her killed on Halloween. As she calls Giles, Ethan mentions the "Mark of Eyghon". Giles says she's in danger, and the dead Phillip enters.
A panicked Giles shows up and, after a scuffle which leaves Jenny unconscious, Phillip turns into the green goo. Some of it gets on Jenny and when she comes to, she seems normal but we see her eyes flash. Willow then discovers the "Mark of Eyghon" in a book: Eyghon possesses the body of a dead or unconscious host. They figure out that he's jumped from Phillip's body to Jenny's. Jenny then tries to seduce Giles at his apartment. When he rebuffs her due to her recent trauma, the demon changes her appearance and voice so that it is clear it is no longer Jenny, and attacks. When Buffy comes to the rescue, Jenny/Demon jumps out the window. Giles explains to Buffy that he ran with a bad crowd when he was young, and they used being possessed by Eyghon as a temporary high -- directing the demon into and out of each others' bodies. It was fun until Eyghon killed the friend he was possessing. At that point, Giles left the group. More recently, Eygon killed the woman who killed Phillip, and now it seems Eyghon is seeking out the rest of the group to kill, too. Buffy goes to the deserted costume shop to try to help Ethan but he knocks her out, ties her up and puts the mark of Eyghon on her. He then pours acid on his own tattoo so that Eyghon will take Buffy instead of him. Jenny enters, now looking completely demonic, and approaches Buffy. But Buffy breaks free and starts fighting. Angel enters suddenly and chokes Jenny: Eyhgon's spirit then leaves her body and enters Angel's, since he's really dead (which happened to be Willow's plan all along). Eyghon fights Angel's demon, and is beaten. Jenny returns back to normal, but Ethan escapes.
Back at school, Jenny is cool to Rupert, who thinks she'll never forgive him.
- This is the first episode to establish details about Giles' more "wild" youth, though it was foreshadowed in "Halloween". His wild past will occasionally return to haunt him throughout the series.
- Due to the events that take place in this episode, Giles' and Jenny's relationship becomes strained.
- In this episode, Giles slams a door in Buffy's face. Buffy does the same thing six years later at the end of the episode "Lies My Parents Told Me".
- Buffy and Willow later play the "Anywhere But Here" game in the season 8 comic of the same name. This time in Buffy's fantasy she is approached by Daniel Craig whilst lying on the beach then being the object of affection for 2 different Christian Bale characters. Willow's fantasy has changed to herself and Tina Fey being trapped in a cabin during a snowstorm.
- Xander's comment, "nobody can be wound as straight and narrow as Giles without a dark side erupting," is also interesting if applied to Willow Rosenberg, regarding later episodes such as "Grave".
- This episode marks one of the first instances of Willow demonstrating leadership in the Scooby Gang in place of Buffy or Giles, something which will come into greater significance later in the series.
- Xander refers to his Uncle Rory being a taxidermist. This is corroborated by Rory pointing out a poorly stuffed animal head at Xander and Anya's wedding.
- Later, it was demonstrated that Eyghon was never destroyedt and survived by possessing a dead rat. It was the first time that the fate of a character was retconed on the Buffyverse. Contrary to others characters who are returned in a living dead, astral form or ressurected.
- Randall, killed and possessed by Eyghon (in Giles'memory)
- Thomas Sutcliffe, killed and possessed by Eyghon (only mentionned)
- Diedre Page, killed and possessed earlier by Eyghon the Sleepwalker
- Philip Henry, killed and possessed by Eyghon outside of the Sunnydale High library
- Eyghon the Sleepwalker, destructed by the demon in Angel (however, his fate is retconed in the comic)
Behind the Scenes
- "The Dark Age" pulled in an audience of 3.7 million households on its original airing.
Pop Culture References
- Giles says, "And the rest is silence". This line is from Shakespeare's Hamlet, and is also spoken in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer film by Buffy's previous Watcher, Merrick, and at the end of the film by Buffy herself.
- Giles lends Jenny Calendar a first edition novel by British author E.M. Forster (1879-1970). Forster's most famous works are A Room With A View, Howard's End and A Passage To India.
- Giles mentions that he's a fan of The Bay City Rollers. They were a band in the 1970s. Their best-selling record was 'Saturday Night'.
- Buffy says to Giles in The Dark Age, "I care from you Lost Weekend-ing in your apartment!". The Lost Weekend (1945) is a movie about the effects of alcoholism on a man's life. The film was based on the novel by Charles R. Jackson. The movie won a number of Academy Awards: best picture, best actor (Ray Milland), best director (Billy Wilder) and best screenplay (Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett).
- In "Halloween", Ethan had left behind a note on the counter of the costume shop which had said, "Be seeing you." Eyghon leaves Giles' apartment after possessing Ms. Calendar and also leaves a note saying, "Be seeing you." The phrase is likely a reference to 1960s cult paranoia TV-drama, The Prisoner.
- After recovering from her possession, Jenny tells Giles "I mean, I'm not running around, wind in my hair, 'The hills are alive with the sound of music' fine, but... I'm coping." She is referencing the title song of The Sound of Music (1959) written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. The movie starred Julie Andrews in 1965.
- A Mimic poster can be seen in the movie theater.
- Buffy and Willow's game of "Anywhere But Here" results in mentions of Gavin Rossdale, the lead singer of the rock band Bush; John Cusack, the eternally youthful star of such great movies as Better Off Dead (1985), Say Anything (1989), and Grosse Pointe Blank (1997); and Xander's addition is Amy Yip, a sexy and often scantily-clad model and actress from Hong Kong.
Goofs, Bloopers & Continuity Errors
- After Buffy finds Ethan at the library and calls Giles, they are attacked by Philip Henry, who calls Ethan's name. The closed captioning erroneously refers to Philip as a vampire.
- Wendy Way's character is spelled "Diedre" on Giles' paper, but "Dierdre" in the credits.
- Cordelia mentions that one way to kill a demon is to cut off its head. However, some demons, like Lorne, can't be killed by decapitation.
- Cordelia says she knows Giles was being questioned for a homicide case. However, during Giles' interview with the detective, the only time the word homicide was mentioned was before Cordelia entered the library.
- Willow discovers the origin of the Mark of Eyghon, explaining that its "not Egyptian it's Etruscan, mistaken for Egyptian by the design pattern, but any fool can see it pre-dates their iconography". However, the Etruscan civilization's earliest records are dated to about 700 B.C.E. while the Ancient Egyptian civilization came together around 3000 B.C.E. In other words, the Etruscans did not pre-date the Egyptians.
- Christophe Beck - "Mark of Eyghon"
- This episode is Giles-centric.
|Buffy - "Have I ever let you down?"|
|Giles - "Do you want me to answer that, or shall I just glare?"|
|Xander - "I knew this would happen. Nobody can be wound as straight and narrow as Giles without a dark side erupting. My Uncle Rory was the stodgiest taxidermist you've ever met - by day. By night it was booze, whores and fur flying. Were there whores?"|
|Buffy - "He was alone."|
|Xander - "Give it time."|
|Xander - "Giles lived for school. He's actually still bitter that there were only twelve grades."|
|Buffy - "He probably sat in math class thinking, "There should be more math. This could be mathier"."|
|Willow - "Come on. You don't think he ever got restless as a kid?"|
|Buffy - "Are you kidding? His diapers were tweed."|
|Xander - "Ooo, gang, did you hear that? A bonus day of class plus Cordelia, mix in a little rectal surgery and it's my best day ever."|
|Buffy - "Xander, how do you feel about digging through some of Giles' personal files and seeing what you can find?"|
|Xander - "I feel pretty good about it. Does that make me a sociopath?"|
|Giles - "I know music. Music has notes. This is noise."|
|Buffy - "I'm aerobicising! I must have a beat!"|
|Giles - "Wonderful. You work on your muscle tone while my brain dribbles out of my ears."|
|Jenny - The first thing we're gonna do is ... Buffy!|
|Xander - Huh? Did I fall asleep already?|