Joss Whedon has mainly directed only the best episodes of the series. Lie to me is one of his best
Great cold open as Angel meets Drusilla in the park and saves a young boy. Drusilla is very creepy and effective. Juliet Landau is so great in the role. David Borenaz has significantly improved as Angel shows his shame over what he has done. Buffy passes on patrol and sees them. It does seem overly convenient that they meet there.
The next scene is at school and has some great Whedon school tracking shots. The camera follows Giles and Jenny (as they discuss there plans for the night) and the trio exiting class (As they discuss Angel and the strange girl). There is some good Comic relief from Cordelia, as she misunderstands the history.
Buffy and her friends meet Ford, an old friend of Buffy’s from LA. There is some classic Whedon Dialogue in this scene. (“Only in the Literal sense”) (“Oh that’s what the song meant”). Whedon episodes always have the best lines, and this episode in particular is filed with quotable lines.They go to the bronze and see Angel. Angel lies about the previous night and does not mention Drusilla. I love petty Angel , and Xander makes some great comments. In response to Angel’s lies, Buffy takes a walk with Ford sees he slay a vampire. He reveals that he has known the whole time.
The club scene shows his possible betrayal. There is a great scene with Angel in Willows room, as he reveals his suspicions of Ford. There are some great lines (“Really honed my Brooding skills”). They notice Ford is not enrolled at Sunnydale High, but decide to keep quiet until they can prove more.
The next scene is hilarious as Willows is terrible at lying. Giles meets Ford, and seems somewhat suspicious of him, but goes with Jenny last night. When Buffy and Ford are walking, they see vampires. Buffy kills one and Ford questions the other. When Buffy finds him, it is gone. The night scenes are much better filmed this. I love the scene where where Xander Willow and Angel visit the vampire worshiping club. The gag where , Angel sees someone wearing the same outfit.
Buffy calls Giles and tells him and Jenny about the vampire at the school. We find out where Giles and Jenny had been: A monster truck show. When the vampire Ford supposedly killed, she is finally suspicious
Back at the vampire house, Drusila is talking to a dead bird as Spike questions her going out. As always Spike has great lines. The camera pans to Ford (“Its called security people”) . Ford asks to be turned into a vampire (I’ve known you for 2 minutes and I cant stand you). He offers up Buffy as a trade
There is a great scene with Buffy and Angel. The directing and acting is very good, and there are some interesting framing choices, such as scene from outside the house. Angel tells her what he knows about Ford. Buffy then asks about Drusilla. Angel tells her everything, about how he tortured her into insanity. This scene is very well shot.
The next day at school there is a sort of odd scene as Buffy meets Ford and he invites her. The camera rotates around them and it almost feels like a dream scene.
At the Vampire club, Buffy is already there. She interrogates Ford about his motives, but it turns out he wanted her there. He locks her in, and only the vampires can get in. They wait for sunset
The best scene of the episode is the great philosophical discussion between Buffy and Ford. Ford reveals he is dying and wants to live forever. However he is willing to kill innocent people to gain his wish
The vampires come in. The one scene I don’t buy Ford can knock her out, as she tries to warn the others. The vampires start feeding, but Buffy gets to Drusilla. Spike frees everyone to save Drusilla. Buffy locks the vampires in, and Spike kills Ford.
Later Buffy and Giles meet at the graveyard. Buffy asks Giles if life gets easier, and asks him to lie to her. This scene may be obvious, but it does a great job displaying the Buffy-Giles relationship. This explains very clearly that things are not going to end well.
Overall this is a great episode, that lays the philosophical blueprint for the series. Although it rarely makes top ten lists of Buffy episodes, it deserves to, as it is one of the most entertaining and complex of the series. In terms of character this seems like an important episode. Joss is an existentialist, which means he believes the universe is indifferent. This philosphy is all over Buffy and Angel,
When re watching this I was astonished at just how many quotable lines there are.
Angel lies to Buffy about seeing Drusilla. Buffy’s friends do not tell her that they are investigating Ford. Jenny does not tell Giles where she is taking him, and is hiding a much bigger secret from everyone. Ford of course is lying to kill Buffy, and tells the cultists they will become immortal. Giles lies at Buffy’s request. Interesting the only charecter who never lies is actually lies is spike. He keeps his word, and turns Ford into a vampire. There are a few reasons he might have done this: He had no real reason not to. He might of just did it to mess with Buffy. But I don’t think so. In season seven’s Lies My Parents Told Me, we find out more about Spike’s backstory. Spike’s mother had cancer, and was dying. When he became a vampire, the first thing he did was sire her so she could live forever. However, as a vampire she became extremely cruel and came on to Spike, causing him to stake her. It is possible that Ford’s situation reminded Spike of his mother, and he actually kept his word because of sympathy.
Scenic Routes-You have a choice
After Ford locks in Buffy and the cultists they have a conversation on the top floor. Ford tells Buffy about his cancer. He claims that he has no choice, and that the people bellow are sheep. He puts his own life over everyone else’s, whereas Buffy sacrificed herself for others in Prophecy Girl.
Buffy always has a choice, and she constantly chooses to do the selfless thing. Ford is willing to commit mass murder to help himself. Buffy admits she does feel sorry for him, but that does not excuse his behavior.
The Passion of the Nerd does a great analysis of this scene from an existential point of view. He says when Ford puts one choice over all others he is acting in bad faith.