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18 June 2014
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Episode Guide
The Zeppo


Somewhere in Sunnydale something very important is happening; something that may even bring about the end of the world. The Hellmouth is opening again, and this time Xander isn't invited. Instead of focusing on this seemingly pivotal event, (one which would form the backbone for any standard episode), we are treated to a parallel story, and granted a significant insight into Xander's character. The Hellmouth story is almost entirely incidental, and the episode may have been more powerful if Xander was the only person having an unusual evening.

As Cordelia, ever watchful for a back to stick a knife into, is quick to point out, Xander has been neglected of late, and lacks the special talents granted to his colleagues. (Note, though, that Cordelia conveniently forgets to include herself in her vindictive outburst!) It's interesting to note that it's not merely Xander's ability to handle Jack O'Toole and his zombie pals that's being tested: it's his ability to handle them on his own.

Several times during the night Xander encounters friends who would be able to help him, (Giles at the Restfield Cemetery, Willow outside the magic store and Faith after her battle with one of the Jhe demons). He has plenty of opportunity to ask for assistance, but he doesn't, and his character grows stronger because of it. Of course, during his hot and sweaty tussle with Faith he probably had other things on his mind...

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