A somewhat doom-laden episode is spiced up with some interesting contrasts. A number of very amusing scenes compensate for the absence of an involving plot.
The episode takes an age to get started: nothing of note happens in the first half apart from some insights into into the sorry state of Buffy's love life. It's hard to form any sort of relationship when you're likely to be called away at any moment to tackle the forces of evil. It seems that only people who are privy to Buffy's double life can get close to her.
The siege situation, where the team are defending the funeral home against hordes of the undead, is reminiscent of Assault on Precinct 13 and, more pertinently, the classic 1968 horror movie Night of the Living Dead. Sadly, director David Semel doesn't manage to fully exploit the full dramatic potential of the situation. Better staged is the vampire attack on the crashed bus which is very atmospheric.
This is an episode that concentrates on underlining Buffy's responsibilities as the Slayer. Giles explains that he too has had to make sacrifices. In following the family tradition as a Watcher, he had to abandon his cherished plans to become either a fighter pilot or, rather bizarrely, a grocer.