"Some Assembly Required" is the second episode of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and the fourteenth episode in the series. Written by Ty King and directed by Bruce Seth Green, it was originally broadcast on September 22, 1997 on The WB network.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

When the body parts of dead girls are discovered missing from their graves, Buffy and her posse discover that the parts are being used to create the perfect woman, with the final touch being Cordelia's head. Meanwhile, Giles finally musters the nerve to ask fellow teacher Ms. Calendar out on a date and Angel admits his jealousy over the amount of time Buffy spends with Xander.[1]

Summary[edit | edit source]

Buffy is waiting for Stephan Korshak to rise as a vampire when Angel appears. They end up arguing over their relationship, or lack thereof, and Angel decides to leave. When Buffy tries to follow him, she falls into an open grave. Apparently, a body was dragged out from it.

The next day, Buffy and Xander catch Giles practicing to ask Ms. Calendar out on a date. Giles hears Buffy's findings at the cemetery and fears someone was raising an army of zombies. Buffy finds Willow signing up for the science fair and talking to Chris, the reigning champ. As Buffy approaches, Chris's friend Eric is taking pictures of girls passing by.

Willow finds that the girl whose body was taken from the grave, Meredith Todd, died in a car accident along with two other girls, Jane Atkins and Cathy Ryan. The Scoobies head to the cemetery to investigate. Buffy tells them not to tell Angel because they were having problems. That night, Cordelia is walking to her car after cheerleading practice when she senses that someone is following her. She eventually hides in a dumpster and, when she thinks it's safe to get out, she encounters Angel. He starts to help her out, when they find an arm and other body parts inside the dumpster.

The Scoobies return to the library to find a frightened Cordelia clinging to Angel. They decide to abandon Giles's zombie theory and search the lockers of science students. They find medical books and an article on Meredith Todd in Chris's locker, as well as a jigsaw of female body parts in Eric's locker. They conclude that Chris and Eric are building some sort of dream girl.

In a secret lab, the two boys are finishing their creation, but still need a head. Eric line up three candidates: Buffy, Willow, and Cordelia. Daryl, Chris's brother, comes out from the shadows, showing a grotesque appearance, and choses Cordelia's picture. Daryl was a popular athlete who died in an accident years before, but was revived by his brother and promised a stay-at-home companion.

The next day, Giles stumbles as he tries to ask Ms. Calendar out, but she ends up asking him to the football game instead, where she continues to tease him. Meanwhile, Buffy and her friends discover that Chris and Eric are still missing a head; brain tissue decays at such a rate that they couldn't simply go grave-robbing to get a head, so they need to actually kill a girl to gain the head.

Buffy finds a lab in the Epps residence and discover their target. As she runs off to warn Cordelia, Daryl walks out of the shadows. Cordelia is getting ready in the school's locker room, when Chris comes up behind her. Eric places a bag over her head, but is beat up by Buffy. After Cordelia leaves, Chris tells Buffy about Daryl. They head back to his house, only to find Daryl gone.

Buffy and Chris head to the school. Daryl watch Cordy under the bleachers. As Cordy goes to a water fountain, Daryl drags her away. He and Eric head to an abandoned building, where Eric plans to behead her. Cordy sees Daryl and screams. At the game, Buffy and Chris realize they arrived too late, but Chris tells her where to find Eric.

Meanwhile, Willow and Xander crash Giles's date. Chris tells them what happened, while Buffy rushes to the old science lab. In the ensuing fight, a burner is knocked over and starts a fire. Xander arrives with the rest of the gang and helps Cordelia out. Giles and Willow drag out an unconscious Eric. As Daryl is about to kill Buffy, Chris stops him. Daryl decides to die beside the unfinished work, while everyone else escapes.

Afterwards, Jenny promises Giles a second date. While Buffy talks to Chris, agonizing about the decision he made when he first resurrected his brother, Angel arrives. Xander talks to Willow, brushing off Cordelia as she tries to thank him for saving her life. Buffy and Angel leave together through the graveyard. Angel admits to jealousy and Buffy reassures him that she doesn't love Xander.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • Angel says that, when someone is first awakened in their grave, it tends to be disorienting, his own awakening as a vampire to be shown in "The Prodigal."
  • Angel acts jealous of Buffy because of the way she danced with Xander in the previous episode, "When She Was Bad."
  • Angel exceptionally wears a tan/white combination to emulate Xander, which he saw Xander wearing in "Prophecy Girl."
  • Cordelia shows interest in Angel clinging to him, as she first complimented him in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date" and will approach him again in "Halloween."
  • Cordelia invites Angel to her car; she'll mention wanting to perform a revoke invitation ritual against it in "Passion."
  • This episode marks the beginning of Giles and Jenny's relationship, which will endure until their break up in "Innocence."
  • This episode marks the first of three instances in the series of "making girls," the other two being the more successful April and the Buffybot, both made by Warren Mears ("I Was Made to Love You," "Intervention").

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Individuals[edit | edit source]

Organizations and titles[edit | edit source]

Species[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Objects[edit | edit source]

Death count[edit | edit source]

  • Stephan Korshak, staked by Buffy Summers.
  • Daryl Epps, died in a fire.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

"Some_Assembly_Required"_promo

"Some Assembly Required" promo

Production[edit | edit source]

  • The opening prologue returns in this episode and is now narrated by Anthony Stewart Head.
  • The football stadium used in this episode is at the West High School, in Torrence.
  • When Cordelia is in the library talking about her "pain" and Giles halfheartedly pats her on the back and says "There, there," Cordelia can be seen mouthing the word "Thanks" although no audio accompanies it.
  • According to David Fury, when he questioned the amazing technological abilities of Sunnydale residents (reanimating the dead in this episode, making lifelike robots in "Ted" and "I Was Made to Love You"), Joss Whedon replied: "You're just way overthinking it. The Hellmouth should be able to provide us with anything we want to do; the energy that comes out of it makes mad scientists out of humans who then go ahead and create something evil."[2]

Broadcast[edit | edit source]

  • "Some Assembly Required" had an audience of 3.2 million households.

Pop culture references[edit | edit source]

  • Buffy critiques Giles referring to film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.
  • Giles sarcastically refers to Buffy as "Cyrano," the novelist, playwright, epistolarian, and duelist.
  • While going to talk to Jenny, Giles carries a book on CorelDRAW, the vector graphics editor.
  • Buffy mentions the Bat-Signal, a distress signal to summon the superhero Batman.
  • Willow asks "does it really count as an army if there are only three of them?" in reference to Plan 9 From Outer Space.
  • Willow finds Eric's issue of the science magazine Scientific American.
  • Chris has the anatomy textbook Gray's Anatomy in his locker.

Goofs[edit | edit source]

  • Even though the dead girls were cheerleaders for Fondren High School, the newspaper article about their death shows the three of them wearing cheerleading sweaters with a large letter "J."
  • When Eric cuts off Cordelia's head from the photograph, he clearly cuts off the end of her hair but when Buffy finds the picture with the head on it, her hair that was cut off is still on the head.

Music[edit | edit source]

International titles[edit | edit source]

  • Armenian: "Հավաք է պահանջվում" (Assembly Required)
  • Czech: "Vlastní montáž nutná" (Self Assembly Required)
  • Finnish: "Haudan takaa" (Beyond the Grave)
  • French: "Le Puzzle" (The Puzzle)
  • German: "Operation Cordelia"
  • Hungarian: "Részekből egészet" (From Parts to Whole)
  • Italian: "Pezzi di ricambio" (Spare Parts)
  • Japanese: "死体を蘇らせろ" (Revive the Corpse)
  • Polish: "Rozszerzony przegląd" (Extended Overview)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): "Precisa de Retoques" (It Needs Retouching)
  • Romanian: "Un pic de întrunire" (A Little Assembly)
  • Russian: "Требуется сборка" (Assembly Required)
  • Spanish (Latin America): "Alguien Ha Sido Requerido" (Someone Has Been Required)
  • Spanish (Spain): "Se Requiere de Ensamblaje" (Assembly Required)

Adaptations[edit | edit source]

Other[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Promotional stills[edit | edit source]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Angel: "I heard you were on the hunt."
Buffy: "I was supposed to be but... Lazybones does not want to come out and play."
Angel: "When you first wake up it's a little disorienting. He'll show."
Buffy: "It's weird, thinking of you going through that."
Angel: "It's weird to go through."
Buffy: "I'm an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up the corpses and women have the babies."
Cordelia: "It was horrible. Angel saved me from an arm. God, there were so many parts, they were everywhere. Why are these terrible things always happening to me?
Xander: (fake cough) "Karma!"
Giles: "Yes, really. What student here is gonna be that well versed in physiology?"
Willow: "Well, I can think of five or six guys in the science club. And me."
Xander: "So, Will, come clean. Promise to never do it again, and we'll call it a night. (off their looks) He joked!"
Giles: "I am sorry about all this."
Jenny: "That's okay. Although a good rule of thumb for a first date is don't do anything so exciting that it will be hard to top on the second date."
Giles: "Believe it or not, since I've moved here to live on top of the Hellmouth, the events of this evening actually qualify as a slow night. Did you say 'second date'?"
Jenny: "You noticed that, huh?"

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "The Mortuary". Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Archived from the original on June 9, 2001.
  2. Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman, Slayers & Vampires. Tor Books, September 2017.
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