Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 2, Episode 1
B2x01 Angel Buffy
Air date September 15, 1997
Written by Joss Whedon
Directed by Joss Whedon
Episode Guide
"Prophecy Girl"
"Some Assembly Required"
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
David Boreanaz Angel
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
Robia LaMorte Jenny
Andrew J. Ferchland Collin
Dean Butler Hank
Brent Jennings Absalom
Armin Shimerman Principal Snyder
Co Starring
Tamara Braun Tara
Band (Cibo Matto)
Timo Ellis Drummer
Miho Hatori Singer
Yuka Honda Keyboard Player
Sean Lennon Bass Player

"When She Was Bad" is the season premiere of the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show, and the thirteenth episode in the series. It was written and directed by Joss Whedon. It was originally broadcast for September 15, 1997.

Having spent the summer away from Sunnydale with her father, Buffy returns to town showing textbook signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. She blows off Angel, flirts with/teases Xander, is nastier than usual to Cordelia, and continues to have nightmares that the Master might come back to life and kill her... fears which may soon be realized.


Xander and Willow are quizzing each other on film quotes on the outskirts of a cemetery. Willow is doing poorly. The pair comment on the quiet summer in Sunnydale since they buried the Master in the graveyard, and Xander remarks that he is actually looking forward to school starting up again. A tender moment ensues when Xander playfully puts ice cream on Willow's nose, but just as it looks as if the two are going to kiss, a vampire appears behind Willow. Xander intervenes, and is barely holding out when Buffy shows up. She dusts the vampire, and then turns to her friends, grinning, and asks: "Miss me?"

Then she informs her friends about spending the summer in Los Angeles with her father. At home, her mother is a bit uneasy about Buffy's shopping spree. Her father, Hank explains that he felt guilty when Buffy appeared distant.

At school, Principal Snyder expresses again his disgust with students while talking to Giles. Giles spots Jenny Calendar and slips away; an oblivious Snyder babbles on. Giles finds the gang and explains that although they have closed the Hellmouth, the mystical energy still attracts evil forces to the town. He asks Buffy to resume her training after school.

Whilst practicing, Buffy has a vision of the Master and begins wailing on a dummy. At night, she dreams of being killed by him when Angel appears in her room to warn her that the Anointed One has been gathering forces. Buffy coldly brushes him off. He tells her he missed her and leaves before she can reply.

The next day, the Scoobies run into Cordelia, who is oblivious to the idea of keeping Buffy's Slayer identity a secret. Buffy heaps a harsh insult on Cordy that her friends find "too good." Meanwhile, the Anointed One and his preacher pal are forcing their vampires to dig up the Master's bones barehanded through consecrated earth.


At the Bronze, Xander and Willow wonder about Buffy's behavior. Willow tries in vain to recreate the ice-cream moment. Xander does not do what she had hoped. He instead says, "You've got something on your nose." Buffy then arrives in a very revealing dress and mocks Angel. She begins a slow, sensual dance with Xander that makes everyone squirm. Even Xander seems a but uneasy, though excited. Buffy leaves Xander hanging mid-dance after sexually teasing him. Cordelia confronts her outside and tells her to get over her problems. Buffy leaves and Cordy is kidnapped by two dark figures. They throw her into a basement with an unconscious Ms. Calendar. Buffy walks to the grave that holds the bones of the Master, and finds it dug up.

At lunch the next day, Giles shares Xander and Willow's concerns about Buffy, who shows up to tell them about her discovery. Giles remembers some revivification spells and Buffy is angered that he never told her. Snyder shoos away the students, and tells Giles he would like to expel Buffy, as he "smells" numerous bad things about her. Giles tells him to give her a chance, and Snyder thinks his faith in her is "weird."

File:201 WhenSheWasBad.jpg

That night, the Scoobies learn that a revivification spell needs the blood of the "closest" person to the deceased. Cordelia's watch, wrapped around a large rock, sails through the library window. Buffy leaves for the obvious trap, saying she cannot look out for them while slaying.

Outside the basement where Cordelia was held, Buffy tries to pick a fight with Angel, who ignores her. Inside, they find one female vampire. Buffy realizes that the trap is not for her. At the same time, Giles realizes that the foreign text actually said that the ritual requires the blood of those physically nearest to the Master when he died – in other words, Giles, Willow, Cordelia, and Ms. Calendar.


Buffy demolishing the Master's bones

Buffy returns to the library to find a bloody Xander, who angrily warns that if anything happens to Willow, he will kill Buffy. They go back to the female vampire, whom Buffy tortures into confession. Buffy then interrupts the ritual, while Angel and Xander rescue the others. After slaying the vampires there, Buffy utterly destroys the Master's skeleton with a sledgehammer, and is overwhelmed by her emotions and comforted by Angel.

The next day, Buffy apologizes for her behavior and is pleasantly surprised to find herself forgiven. Meanwhile, the Anointed One gazes at the scene of destruction and exclaims: "I hate that girl!"


  • This episode marks the start of the tradition of all Buffy season premiers beginning in, or close to, a cemetery. 
  • This season also marks the first appearance of David Boreanaz in the opening credits.
  • The Master is well and truly dead after this episode. However he will appear several times in flashback on Angel.
  • Cordelia is reluctantly adopted into the Scooby Gang, though her participation will be lighter than other characters.
  • Principal Snyder "smelling" expulsion about Buffy turns out to be true in the coming series.
  • This marks the first appearance of the high school lounge room which will make more appearances in the second and third seasons.
  • Cordelia tells Buffy to "get over it" in response to Buffy's appalling behavior in this episode. Cordelia would again use this line, to Angel, in Angel.
  • Joyce says she hopes Buffy can make it through the school year without getting kicked out, which happens in "Becoming, Part Two".
  • This is the second and final "real" appearance of Buffy's father Hank Summers in the series. All subsequent appearances would be in the form of flashbacks, dreams or hallucinations, until his return in Freaky Giles Day.
  • Joyce and Hank Summers make references to the shoes of Los Angeles, while the bags apart. The LA shoes were also the subject of conversations between Cordelia and Buffy, both in the Unaired Buffy pilot and in "Welcome to the Hellmouth."
  • Buffy calls Angel like an undead American. Angel actually originates from Ireland.
  • In the beginning of the episode, Principal Snyder calls girls "hormonal time bombs." In the season 5 episode "Blood Ties," Spike calls Dawn Summers that after she finds out she's the Key.
  • Xander suggests minature golf, and Willow replies that there is no golf course there. However, Ted takes them and Joyce to play miniature golf on a Sunday drive in "Ted." It may be the golf course simply wasn't built yet.
  • This is the first attempt to raise a vampire from the dead during the series; the first time it actually happens is in the Angel episode "To Shanshu in L.A.," when Wolfram & Hart bring back Darla. It is also the first time one of the Scooby Gang tortures a vampire for information.
  • This is one of two times in the series that Buffy breaks the fourth wall (also in "Once More, with Feeling") and the first of three in the overall Buffyverse that a character does it (Lorne in "Spin the Bottle").
  • Buffy propose Angel to have a duel between the two and asks if he is interested in how it can be. At the end of the season they will actually try it ("Becoming, Part Two").



Organizations and Titles



Weapons and Objects

Death Count

  • An unidentified vampire, dusted by Buffy Summers at the graveyard.
  • Tara, staked and dusted by Buffy
  • Walt, staked by Buffy at the Factory.
  • Jane, staked and dusted by Buffy also at The Factory.
  • Ned, staked and dusted by Angel.
  • Bob, impaled by Buffy with the pointy end of a torch.
  • Absalom, set on fire by Buffy at the Factory.

Behind the Scenes


  • David Boreanaz played The Master in the non-flashback footage of this episode.
  • Christophe Beck replaces Walter Murphy in Score by since now.
  • Xander makes a comment about Buffy's new shorter, blonder hair. This is because Sarah Michelle Gellar had had her hair restyled for Scream 2, which she filmed during the hiatus between seasons 1 and 2 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.   


  • "When She Was Bad" pulled in an audience of 2.9 million households. When the episode was aired as a repeat in November 1997, it actually scored a higher 3.1 million household rating.

Deleted Scenes

  • The following exchange was cut because of length:[1]
Hank: "Oh, I'm spoiling her. Did I forget to mention that?"
Joyce: "What you forgot is that I'm gonna have to deal with another year of 'Daddy would let me buy that'."

Pop Culture References

  • When Willow and Xander play a cinema quiz, they referenced The Terminator with the line "In the few hours that we had together, we loved a lifetime's worth," Planet of the Apes with "It's a madhouse! A madhouse!" and Star Wars with "Use the force, Luke."
  • Willow and Xander reference Witness in their movie quote trivia game.
  • Soup to Nuts: Xander quotes: "I would have gone with Stooges."


International Titles

  • Finnish: Pahan Kosketus (The Touch of Evil)
  • French: La Métamorphose de Buffy (The Metamorphosis of Buffy)
  • German: Im Banne des Bösen (Under the Spell of Evil)
  • Portuguese (Brazil): A Volta (The Comeback)
  • Spanish (Latin America): Buffy Se Vuelve Mala (Buffy Turns Bad)
  • Spanish (Spain): Cuando Ella Fue Mala (When She Was Bad)




Cordelia: [to her friends on how her summer vacation turned out] "It was a nightmare, a total nightmare. I mean, they promised me they’d take me to St. Croix, and then they just decide to go to Tuscany. Art and buildings? I was totally beach-less for a month and a half. No one has suffered like I have. Of course I think that that kind of adversity builds character. Well, then I thought, I already have a lot of character. Is it possible to have too much character?"
Giles: "Punishing yourself like this is pointless."
Buffy: "It's entirely pointy. I was a moron. I put my best friends in mortal danger on the second day of school."
Giles: "What are you gonna do? Crawl inside a cave for the rest of your life?"
Buffy: "Would it have cable?"
Giles: "Buffy, you acted wrongly, I admit that. But believe me, that was hardly the, the worst mistake you'll ever make. Uh, that wasn't quite as comforting as it was meant to be."
Buffy: "Well, points for effort." [bell rings] "See ya."
Cordelia: "You're really campaigning for bitch of the year, aren't you?"
Buffy: "As defending champion, are you nervous?"
Cordelia: "I can hold my own."
Xander: "I don't know what your problem is, what your issues are... but as of now, I officially don't care. If you had worked with us for five seconds, you could have stopped this."
Cordelia: "You know, we've never really been that close, which is nice, cause I don't really like you that much."
Willow: "I mean, why else would she be acting like a B-I-T-C-H?
Giles: "Umm, Willow, we're a little too old to be spelling things out."
Xander: "A bitca?"
Snyder: "There are some things I can just smell. It's like a sixth sense."
Giles: "No, actually, that would be one of the five."
Buffy: [reading the vampires' note] "'Come to the Bronze before it opens or we make her a meal.'"
Xander: "They're gonna cook her dinner? [everyone stares at him] Oh, pretend I didn't just say that."
  1. "The Watcher's Guide, Volume One"
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