The Harvest continues where Welcome to the Hellmouth left off. A little bit of action followed by a bunch more exposition in the library.
Fortunately, the exposition in The Harvest is a little less awkward, primarily because Xander and Willow are present, allowing for a question and answer exchange.
My favorite things about The Harvest:
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s hair is adorable.
Willow to Cordelia and Harmony: “Deliver.”
The Master to failure vampire: “You’ve got something in your eye.”
The irony in Buffy’s conversation with Joyce, who gives her the “I know what it’s like to be a 16-year-old-girl; everything is life or death,” speech.
Cordelia: “I have to have the most expensive thing, not because it’s the most expensive, but because it costs more.”
The Jesse twist. Rarely does a show give the audience a surprise like this. People expect the “main characters” in a pilot to last for a while. In fact, Joss originally wanted to include Eric Balfour in the opening credits to throw the audience off even more, but they didn’t have the budget to create a whole separate credit sequence for one episode.
Buffy demonstrates real creativity and intelligence when she tricks Luke into expecting sunlight to distract him long enough for her to slay him.
Other observations about The Harvest:
When Principal Flutie attempts to prevent Buffy from leaving school grounds, Buffy leaps over the fence. In subsequent episodes (throughout the seven seasons), situations arise in which this super-jumping ability would come in extremely handy, but Buffy does not always use it.
Having seen Angel’s backstory in Becoming, I’m not completely sure I understand why he has such a ‘tude when he interacts with Buffy.
My biggest issue with this episode is the scene in which Xander and Buffy are underground, trying to get away from Jesse and the vampires, and Buffy is unable to push a door closed without Xander’s help. I just couldn’t buy it. Buffy has super strength. That door should be no problem for her!
Fortunately, the “superhero can’t close a simple door” moment didn’t ruin it all. At the end of this episode, my friend was hooked. She said she couldn’t wait to watch the next episode. So far, so good!