“A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn’t in the brochure.”
It’s the character we’ve all been waiting for.
She’s here, she’s porcelain, and she’s not invited to the party (naughty girl).
Oh, and there are some other new vamps who are kinda cool, I guess.
Plus Joyce finally gets (non-boring) stuff to do. And John cries. And Jess cries. And Spike laughs.
So strap your ears in. School is about to get hard.
From The Buffy Trivia Guide, a website Jess created back in the heady early 2000s.
- Juliet Landau didn’t audition for the part of Drusilla. Joss Whedon had seen her in Ed Wood, and asked her to meet him, the casting director (Marcia Shulman) and two executive producers (Gail Berman and David Greenwalt). At the meeting, they discussed the character and then Juliet was asked within the hour to play Drusilla. Source: The Watcher’s Guide by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
- Juliet Landau has said that after she had been cast, she went to the audition for Spike to read with potential actors for that character. She and James immediately clicked. They were reading a scene and they went to kiss then turned away towards the camera instead. The producers loved it and this scene was included in the two’s first episode, School Hard, and in a promotion for their characters. Source: The Watcher’s Guide by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
- The following exchange between Buffy and Giles was deleted from School Hard:
Buffy: “I don’t suppose this is something about happy squirrels?”
Buffy: “That was my next guess.”
- This line of Spike’s to another vampire was deleted from School Hard: “Would it kill ya, a little mouthwash every couple hundred years?”
- Spike’s trademark is his old long black leather coat. To get the look, costume designers took a brand new $2000 coat and ran it over with a truck to make it look old and dirty.
- This line of Xander’s was cut from the episode:
“The important thing in punch is the ratio of vodka to schnapps…That was obviously far too sophisticated a joke for this crowd.”
- Show creators have stated in interviews included on the DVDs that Spike kills The Anointed One in this episode because Andrew J. Ferchland, who played The Anointed One, had grown significantly over the summer hiatus, which contradicted the established doctrine that vampires do not age. Because of Ferchland’s growth spurt, he remains seated for most of his scenes in season two.
- Willow is wearing a Scooby-Doo shirt at the PTA night – she and friends will later become known as the Scooby Gang.
- We see for the first time that Sunnydale Police are very aware of the vampire problem in Sunnydale, as is Principal Snyder.
- Buffy’s mother’s name – Joyce – is mentioned for the first time in School Hard.
- Spike drives a black Desoto Sportsman, with blacked out windows. The license plate is a Californian one – HIA 873.
- In School Hard, the band Nickel play in The Bronze. We hear ‘1000 Nights’ as Xander dances and Willow helps Buffy study French and ‘Stupid Thing’ as Spike watches Buffy, Xander and Willow dance. Both songs are from their album Stupid Thing.
- St. Vigeous led a crusade of vampires. The crusade “swept through Edessa, Harran, and points east”, according to Giles in School Hard. The Night of St. Vigeous is a time when vampires’ powers are at their greatest, though no reason is given. We never hear of St Vigeous after this episode.
Spike: “A Slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn’t in the brochure.”
Xander on Angel: “Okay, that’s it. I’m puttin’ a collar with a little bell on that guy.”
Snyder: “Your parents, assuming you have any, will meet your teachers, assuming you have any left.”
Xander: “You’re bad to the bone.
Willow: I’m a rebel.”
Spike: “If every vampire who said he was at the crucifixion was actually there, it would have been like Woodstock.”
Xander: “And while I’m whittling, I plan to whistle a jaunty tune.”
Xander: “I knew you were lying. Undead liar guy.”
Spike: “You think you can fool me?! You were my sire, man! You were my… Yoda!”
- Seen at 07.00 minutes: Drusilla runs her finger down Spike’s cheek, drawing blood with her fingernail. If you look closely, Dru’s fingernail doesn’t actually touch Spike’s skin.
- Seen at 13.39 minutes: When Willow and Buffy are studying in the Bronze, there are books on the table. Then when Xander goes to get a stake from Buffy’s purse, there are no longer any books there.
- Seen at 15.28 minutes: Buffy and Spike first meet when he goes to the Bronze claiming a girl is being attacked outside. After Buffy has saved the girl, Spike emerges from the shadows and Buffy realises she’s been set up. A shot of Buffy turning round is used twice in this scene – first when the vampire asks Spike for help, and secondly, when Spike starts clapping.
- Seen at 22.46 minutes: When Cordelia and Buffy are talking near the punch table, Cordelia’s arms are crossed across her chest and on her hips in alternate shots.
- Seen at 28.12 minutes: When Spike is walking down the school hallway, you can briefly see his reflection on the lockers to the right.
- Seen at 37.13 minutes: Spike’s stunt double can clearly be seen when he fights Buffy in the school. When he punches his hand through a wall, you can see that the stunt double has much bigger hair than Spike’s.
- Seen at 38.19 minutes: Why do Xander, Buffy and Giles leave the school without trying to find Willow? They don’t seem at all concerned that she’s missing.
Continuity (Warning: Spoilers ahead)
- In Season 5’s Fool For Love we see that Spike stole his leather coat from a Slayer herkilled, Nicki Wood.
- Sunnydale’s Police Chief aided Principal Snyder to cover up Spike’s vampire attack in School Hard (blaming the event on gangs on PCP). He also helped to cover up the incident in the school when cafeteria spaghetti turned into snakes in I Only Have Eyes For You.
- In Season 6’s All the Way, Buffy is startled when she runs into Spike in the Magic Shop basement. She says, “Bell. Neck. Look into it.” In School Hard, Xander says the same thing about Angel, “Okay, that’s it. I’m puttin’ a collar with a little bell on that guy.” In Phases, Larry says to Xander, “Harris. Sheesh. Next time wear a bell.”
- Buffy struggled with French in school – in School Hard, she and Willow study together and Buffy says, “La vache… doit me… touche… de la… jeudi. Was it wrong? Should I use the plural?” to which Willow replies, “No. But you said, ‘The cow should touch me from Thursday.’” In No Place Like Home, Buffy translates the French phrase “Tirer la Couture” (”Draw back the curtain”) as “Rotate many foodstuffs”.
- Joyce Summers saves her daughter in School Hard by hitting Spike over the head with a fire axe. She reminds him of this in a hilarious scene when she meets him again in Becoming (Part 2).
- The scene in School Hard where Buffy talks to Joyce through a hole in the wall was probably the influence for the scene in the dream episode Restless, where Buffy discovers her mother has decided to live in a wall.
- Drusilla’s favourite doll is called Miss Edith. In School Hard, Miss Edith was punished by Dru who said, “Miss Edith speaks out of turn. She’s a bad example, and will have no cakes today.” In Halloween, Dru says, “Miss Edith needs her tea” and in What’s My Line? (Part 1), she tells Spike, “I need to change Miss Edith”.
- According to the sign Spike passed on the way into Sunnydale in School Hard, the town’s population was 38,500. Interestingly, the population was the same in season three’s Lover’s Walk. Either nobody had changed the sign or people have babies rapidly in the town because people sure have been dying.
- Spike mirrors his first entrance to Sunnydale from School Hard in Lover’s Walk when he crashes through the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign.
- Mr. Platt’s smoking in Beauty and the Beasts reinforces the shows clear bias against smoking, as every character in the show who has smoked has been either evil (Spike and the evil Angel) or doomed (Laura in Nightmares; the prostitute who was Angel’s first kill after re-losing his soul; and Sheila in School Hard). The same theory applies to alcohol too.
- Giles says Spike is “barely two hundred”, according to his books, in School Hard. His books must be a little out, because later episodes (such as The Initiative) make it clear that Spike is actually around 120 at this time.
- All Watchers who are assigned to Slayers must keep a journal of activities, as a reference for future Watchers. It is from these that Giles and Buffy learnt about the histories of Angel (in Halloween) and Spike (in School Hard).
- There’s some discussion in Go Fish that Angel can’t drink the blood of the swim team as it’s contaminated. This is first shown in School Hard when Spike talks about being at Woodstock and drinking from a drugged hippy there.
- Spike shouts at Angel, “You were my sire, man!” It later turns out that actually Angelus sired Drusilla, who then sired Spike. To clear up the confusion, Joss Whedon has gone on record to say that both come to the same thing, and he always intended that Drusilla be Spike’s sire. He also says he’s bad at maths, if that helps.
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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.