After her death at the hands of The Master and a much needed summer vacation, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) returns to Sunnydale strangely withdrawn and a little too eager to renew her Slayer training. She is also determined to break off her relationship with Angel. But when two new vampires, Spike and Drusilla, arrive in town, Buffy and Angel find themselves thrown even closer together as they battle this new and deadly threat. But in the end, it is a single night of passion between Angel and Buffy which proves to be even deadlier--unleashing an ancient curse that endangers not only vampire and Slayer but all of Buffy’s friends, her mother, and even her Watcher.
At the heart of the first years of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer
was the romance between Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), slayer of all things evil, and hunky Angel (David Boreanaz), the tortured vampire destined to walk the earth with a soul. The second season of Buffy
took the Buffy-Angel pas de deux from ecstasy to agony in a now-classic plot arc that catapulted the show from WB teen drama to true TV greatness. You see, if the cursed Angel ever experiences true happiness for a moment, he'll revert to being an evil vampire again. And guess what happens after Buffy and Angel finally declare their love for one another and consummate their relationship... Buffy found its true momentum during the second season, as geeky Xander (Nicholas Brendon) fell in love with popular girl Cordelia (Charisma Carpenter), Willow (Alyson Hannigan) gave up her crush on Xander in favour of werewolf boy Oz (Seth Green), and watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) began a sweetly tentative relationship with computer teacher (and witch) Jenny Calendar (Robia LaMorte). Mayhem came to Sunnydale, though, in the form of evil vampires Drusilla (Juliet Landau) and Spike (drolly wicked James Marsters), who were more than ready to aid and abet Angel as he turned bad. It all sounds like horror-action mayhem (and there are great fight scenes), but Buffy
took on its plotlines with amazing depth, intelligence, and humour. And oh, man, the love story! Buffy and Angel's tragic relationship is one of the most heartbreaking you'll ever find. Buffy's final dilemma finds her having to save the world at Angel's expense, and Gellar (who deserves a passel of Emmys for her work) is phenomenal at telegraphing Buffy's swirling conflicts between love and duty. This is some of the best TV ever made, period. --Mark Englehart