All Episodes, Season 1

1.06 The Pack

Willow: “Why couldn’t Xander be possessed by a puppy? Or some ducks?”

It’s episode 6! The Pack!

Where John doesn’t know his Gifts from his Crafts. Where Xander is, again, chastised most severely. Where the Malleus Maleficarum is compared to the Daily Mail. And where Noah (the bible fella) is called a fictional prick.

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These people are not high school students
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Woah, that’s some outfit, Buffy!
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It’s ok. Xander will handle it (badly)
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Willow eating raisins again!

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Reused shot from Teacher’s Pet – there’s Willow sitting on the bench.
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Heart eyes for Training Giles
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Why is only Buffy wearing spaghetti straps?
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Coach loving the brutality of dodgeball
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Remember this dude from The Harvest?
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Xander listening – this is a great shot
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Ew
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Principal Flutie RIP. Also this reminds me to get a framed photo of myself for my desk
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There’s the Research PC back on the desk in the library. This time playing loops of hyena videos.
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Your face when students cannibalise a colleague.
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Giles KO’d for the THIRD time in SIX episodes
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Erm to Buffy’s outfit

This guy is pure Scooby-Doo villain

RIP Herbert. Your life was short but delicious.

NOBODY HURTS OUR WILLOW

Xander’s attempted sexual assault of Buffy is never mentioned again.

Love how the kids’ clothes are more muted post-possession

Trivia

From The Buffy Trivia Guide, a website Jess created back in the heady early 2000s.

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar told Jay Leno an on-set story when she appeared on his chat show. She was going to pull down Nicholas Brendan’s pants one day, as he was acting dumbly. At the last moment, she chickened out, so Alyson Hannigan said she’d do it instead. She got a little “overzealous” as Sarah put it and pulled down his underwear as well. From the way Sarah described, it seems this incident happened during the filming of the dodgeball scene in The Pack in front of lots of extras.
  • The Scoobies go on a school trip to the zoo in The Pack. All the zoo scenes in that episode were filmed at the Santa Ana Zoo in California. All the signs are in the same font as that in Jurassic Park. The zoo is seen again in season five’s Shadow.
  • We see Jeffrey Steven Smith again in this episode. He previously appeared in The Harvest (in Cordelia’s computer class).
  • The band Dashboard Prophets song “All I Want” can be heard in the Bronze in The Pack near the beginning of the episode.
  • We hear Far’s ‘Job’s Eyes’ from the album Tin Can With Strings To You as the hyena gang do their slow-motion walk.
  • In the episode The Pack, a group of Sunnydale High students (Xander, Kyle, Tor, Rhonda and Heidi) accidentally became possessed by hyenas whilst on a school trip to the zoo. Giles says of the possession, “Apparently there’s a sect of animal worshippers known as primals. They believe that humanity, consciousness, the soul, is a perversion, a dilution of spirit. To them the animal state is holy. They’re able, through trans-possession, to draw the spirits of certain animals into themselves.” Primals are completely fictional.
  • Giles mentions the book Malleus Maleficarum in The Pack, saying it deals with demonic possession. The book is real. It was written by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, in the late 15th century and acted as a kind of manual for witch hunters. It contained information on how to recognise witches, and the ways ’suspected’ witches should be tortured and put to death.
  • In the dodge ball scene, why is Buffy the only student wearing a strappy top when all the others are wearing t-shirts?

Goofs

  • Seen at 00.14 minutes: If you look closely at the shot from outside the school early on in the episode, you can see that the shot was actually taken from Teacher’s Pet. Willow can be seen sitting on a bench wearing a red t. shirt and checked trousers, the same clothes she wore in the scene when the gang first see Natalie French in that episode. The same shot can also be seen in Nightmares.
  • Seen at 29.46 minutes: Some of the video clips of hyenas that Willow watches on her computer monitor are actually of African wild dogs.
  • Seen at 40.24 minutes: When Buffy fights the Zookeeper at the end of the episode, her stunt double’s hair is noticeably different to Buffy’s own.

Continuity (beware: spoilers ahead!)

  • Buffy wears Angel’s jacket again – he gave it to her in Teacher’s Pet.
  • Xander discovers he has a better sense of smell after being a hyena in The Pack, when he tried to sniff out a werewolf in Phases. In Phases, Xander brings up the time he spent possessed by a hyena in The Pack, but when the girls remind him that he said he didn’t remember anything about his possession, he shuts up pretty quickly.
  • Willow watches over Xander while he’s in the library cage as a hyena in The Pack. This was a practice run as she did the same sort of thing on the nights that Oz turns into a werewolf.
  • In Bargaining (Part 2), Tara says of Willow, “Nobody messes with my girl”. This could be a reference to this episode, where Xander says, “Hey! Nobody messes with my Willow”.
  • Buffy refers to the hyena-possessed bullies in The Pack as the “winged monkeys”. The phrase comes from the scene in The Wizard of Oz in which the Wicked Witch of the West sends her loyal winged monkeys to collect Dorothy and the ruby slippers.

Quotes
Wilow: Why couldn’t Xander be possessed by a puppy? Or some ducks?

Giles: It’s devastating. He’s turned into a sixteen-year-old boy. Course, you’ll have to kill him.

Xander: We just saw the zebras mating! Thank you, very exciting…
Willow: It was like the Heimlich, with stripes!

Buffy: What is it with those guys?
Willow: They’re obnoxious. Professionally.

Xander: Well, every school has ’em. So, you start a new school, you get your desks, some blackboards and some mean kids.

Willow: You remember, you fail math, you flunk out of school, you end up being the guy at the pizza place that sweeps the floor and says, ‘Hey, kids, where’s the cool parties this weekend?’ We’ve been through this.

Giles: It’s devastating. He’s turned into a sixteen-year-old boy. Course, you’ll have to kill him.

Buffy: I cannot believe that you, of all people, are trying to Scully me. There is something supernatural at work here. Get your books! Look stuff up!

Giles: I’ve been reading up on my, uh, animal possession, and I cannot find anything anywhere about memory loss afterwards.
Xander: Did you tell them that?
Giles: Your secret dies with me.
Xander: Shoot me, stuff me, mount me.

Links

Hush: is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer podcast, where we’re watching every Buffy episode, one at a time. Hush is presented by long-time Buffy fans Jess Beeley and John Byrne, who live in Limerick, Ireland.

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