The ABCs of Sunnydale

Xander, the cross-armed slayerette Xander Harris:


Anne; Dead Man's Party; Faith, Hope, and Trick; All Men Are Beasts (aka Beauty & The Beasts); Homecoming; Band Candy; Revelations; Lovers Walk; The Wish; Amends; Gingerbread; Helpless; The Zeppo; Bad Girls; Consequences; Doppelgangland; Enemies; Earshot; Choices; The Prom; Graduation part I; Graduation part II

In Anne, Xander's spent the summer doing slay patrol with Willow and Oz, and he accidentally slips up and uses the past tense when referring to Buffy. Xander's also nervous about seeing Cordy for the first time since they spent the summer apart..but they soon share an awkward moment together. Later, Xander and Cordy fall back into their old ways of insults and smooches after Cordy falls on top of him when they're slaying.

In DMP, Xander assumes the role of Nighthawk. Just kidding. Sort of. Basically, Buffy's back in town and the gang is all awkward around her, except for Cordelia, pretty much. Xander smooches Cordy in front of Buffy, and later starts giving her the business about her leaving and what it did to everyone. The scene is pretty harsh, even more so since it's in front of everyone at the Welcome Home party for Buffy. Fortunately, zombies crash the party, they fall into slaying mode, and the tension seems to dissipate somewhat.

In FHT, Xander teases Buffy about getting a guy, when Willow pushes Buffy to get back into date mode. Xander also meets the new slayer Faith, and is of course all ga-ga over her and her tales of nudity, much to Cordy's dismay. No real character development here, I don't think.

In AMAB, Xander slips up during his Ozwolf-watch that's he doing for Willow. In this episode, he asks Willow how much of Oz's full monty she's seen. When the question comes up that WolfOz may be responsible for the death of student Jeff Orkin, Xander's quick to jump to Oz's defense saying that he didn't do it. Later Xander goes with Willow (and Cordy) to the morgue, and is impressed by Willow's ability to ugh...inspect the corpse and take samples. That's about it, Xander-wise, pretty much.

In Homecoming, Xander gets caught in the middle of the Cordy/Buffy Homecoming Queen rivalry, and is pretty much upset by it. Worse, when he and Willow are trying on clothes for the dance, they get caught up in the moment where he helps her dance in her dress, and they end up smooching. This is a landmark Xander episode because he tells Willow that it's like he's seeing her for the first time, and he realizes he's attracted to her, and possibly loves her in more than a friend way, I wonder... Xander doesn't tell Cordy about it, and later at the dance, he tells Willow and Faith that Oz is a great guy. Now, there's something I never thought I'd hear Xander say! Also significant, I think, is that Xander doesn't laugh at any of the G-man's lame-type jokes. He must really be reeling from smooching Willow.

In BC, Xander eats a bunch of chocolate, still casts his eye towards Willow, and shares a moment of footsie with her in class...even though his girlfriend Cordy is sitting at the table in front of him, with her back towards him. Pretty risky, there. Later, Xander wonders why he hasn't been affected by the candy that turned the adults into teenagers. For Xander's sake, I kind of thought it would have been neat for the class to sell Hurricane chocolate bars...y'know, the candy he saw during his nightmare in the ep. of the same name, and which he hadn't had since his sixth birthday party.

In Revelations, Xander makes a Namely..that Angel's alive and Buffy knows it. He catches them in a clinch and then spreads the news to the gang. Oh yeah, he's majorly miffed about it too. Of course, he had his forbidden stolen kisses with Willow in this ep, too, but that's beside the point right now. Anyhoo, Xander clues Faith in to Angel's existence and he tells her he wants to be there when she kills him. But actually Xander does the right thing in the end. When he sees that Giles is hurt, he stays behind to deal with that situation. And he finally tells Buffy what's up re: the Angel/Faith front, so she can get there in time to stop it. This is the ep. where Xander once again makes clear that he loathes Angel (and possibly can't forgive him?...he does keep bringing up that death/killer thing).

The chickens come home to roost for Xander in Lovers Walk. Basically the guy can't keep himself away from Willow, which sets her off to do a de-lusting spell. Spike pays a visit, Xander gets knocked out, locked in the basement of the factory with Willow..and..they do the smooch stuff. In front of Cordy and Oz, no less! Xander tries to keep Cordy from slipping away when she falls through the floor, and he's basically destroyed their relationship. So begins his grovel-time with Cordy..only she won't have any of it from him. Oh yeah. Apparently Xander screwed up his SATs, too.

The Wish shows Xander as boy without a country..or, a woman. Or, women. First Cordy won't return his millions of calls, then Willow won't let him even touch her digits.

When Cordy thrusts everyone into alter-land, Xander's a vamp. A good-lookin, dress-me-in-leather-and-make-me-a-favorite-of-The Master kind of vamp. Here, he's the eternal paramour of Willow, likes to play with matches, and drains an old crush of his..Cordelia Chase. He also dies by Buffy's hand. But back in the restored 'dale, he's just merely bemoaning his existence with his 2 gal pals. Such is life...

Amends kinda furthers Xander maturity-wise. Either that or he really didn't want to spend time at home...Xander offers to help Buffy and Giles do research so that they might find out what's up with his favorite vamp (not), Angel. Xander? Offering to help on this front? Let's say it's maturity, anyway. Anyhoo..later Xander tries his best to intimidate Willy (the snitch/bar-owner guy). Oh. And we also glimpse Xander's homelife a bit when Cordy spills that Xander's family usually engages in drunken fights, thereby necessitating his "Christmas Camp-Out on the Lawn." This is probably the first time he's ever been snowed on, too, during said camp-out.

In Gingerbread, Xander still feels guilty about moving in on Oz's chick, and the awkwardness shows. That, plus he tells Buffy that Oz's silence is unnerving him. Xander does guilt. So later of course he's got to team up with Oz to save the chicks from becoming chicks-on-sticks. Ooh. Also noteworthy is Xander's remark about "fairy tales are real" -- (gotta check the tape for wording, this'll do for now) -- because it reminded me of when he said, "Our dreams are coming true," back in Nightmares, Season 1. And hey! There were little kids in that episode too, one of whom caused all the heinousness...though the circumstances here are not exactly comparable!

Helpless is so NOT a Xander episode. He like, is pretty much scarce here. Most notable is his attempt to open a jar for the newly sapped of her strength Buffy. So "attempt" is now a synonym for "not successful."

The Zeppo is the first full-fledged Xander episode we've seen in quite some time. Or possibly anytime. Although Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered and The Pack come to mind, too. It's in this episode that Xander's entire character is kinda defined a little. He's put in situations that he has to defuse (literally..we are talking bomb here), while everyone else around him pretty much is too busy to deal with him. That was set up early on when they decided Xander's going to get himself killed if he helps out they tell him they can deal without him.

This episode pits Xander against everything he's wanted, it seems, and it's pretty hysterical. Cars, girls, being cool, etc. And it takes a while for him to start reacting to/fixing the messes he has sort of gotten himself into.

Admittedly I cringe when I see someone on tv do something embarrassing...I've seen The Brady Bunch enough times, you'd think I'd be desensitized by now..but no. So in the beginning when Xander's on the lawn of the high school screwing up the football tossing, I cringed.

Okay, once more with tension: anyway, Xander's quest for cool and to find out what he means to the Slayer and Slayerettes takes place one night in Sunnydale. All sorts of nutty things happen, in no particular order here: he wows a girl with a car, he's dragged to the graveyard by Jack O'Toole for a little hell raising, he sleeps with Faith, saves the school from being blown up, and recaptures his sense of self. Everyone else around him is too oblivious or caught up in "the hey we gotta save the world yet again" mode to know about any of it though. And I'm going to say I especially dug the early scenes Xander had with Oz. You know it's a pathetic sitch if Xander asks Oz about being cool. Maybe not pathetic..just kind of unexpected. Much like this entire Xanderiffic episode.

Bad Girls furthers Xander's character in that he's developed a tic as a result of his liaison with Faith in The Zeppo. If we believe Cordy, then we know that Xander's dad is jobless...and Xander's still thinking he's going to enter the fast lane (of a drive-thru) after graduation. It's interesting to note that Xander wants Buffy to be quiet during the chem exam. Amusing city. Other than that, no real development here.

In Consequences, Xander learns that Faith was responsible for killing Allan, and that she's kinda spiraling outta control, big time. During the gang's meeting, he offers to be the one to talk to Faith, because he thinks that maybe she'll listen to him since they have some kind of connection. Basically that kind of lets the gang in on the secret tryst he's had with Faith. When Buffy tries to tell him that that's not going to work with Faith, he seems a little upset, like maybe he doesn't want to believe Buffy, but says okay, he'll help Giles research. But really, Xander does go see Faith..he's allowed five minutes to speak with her, and she plays him kinda rough. She at first thinks he's there for more fun in the sack, but when he tries to say that he's not, she overpowers him anyway, and pretty much is choking him from her vantage position of being on top of him. Xander's rescued when Angel comes to subdue Faith. For maybe a sentence or two more, check out the Relationship Arc for Willow and Xander.

Doppelgangland is not a huge Xander outing, but what he does makes me laugh anyway. He's back in Xander form, if that means anything. First he appears to ask Will if she taped Biography -- I kind of wonder who the show featured, or if it's a show the gang always watches in place of those Middle Eastern flicks they were watching in Reptile Boy. Anyhoo, after Buffy calls Willow "Old Reliable," Xander tries to help by saying she's a geyser of fun that sometimes goes which Willow replies, "That's Old Faithful." Xander keeps the spiral going downward by asking isn't that the dog they had to shoot...Heh. Willow stalks off saying she might cut classes or change her look.

Xander's the first of the gang to notice "Willow" (okay, vamp Willow) at the Bronze. He gets in the middle of the scuffle she's got going on with Percy West, and he notices the leather get-up. "Will...change in [changing?] the look..not an idle threat with you." Xander's confused when vampWillow keeps hugging him and moving her hands..south, I would guess..and he's even more wigged when she mentions that he's alive. Twice.

Back at the library, the gang bemoans the Willow's dead sitch..Xander admits that Willow was way better than he is. Basically in this episode, Xander gets to give his eyes some candy when Willow tries on the leather outfit..he also is assigned to go to the back outside the Bronze with Giles to do the fighting vamps thing. Later he gets all pumped up when he asks vampWillow if people are afraid of him in her world. This kid just wants folks to be afraid of him...well, at least Willy said he was back in Amends.

Moping's Over, Xander Gets a Good One in:
Giles: "Well, uh, something -- something, uh, very strange is happening."
Xander: "Can you believe the Watchers' Council let this guy go?" --
Buffy asks Giles to jump in with an explanation to tell Willow what's up.

In Enemies, Xander's like odd-man-out, yet again. This time he has to deal with Cordy's advances towards Wesley. He also is the first one of the gang to buy into the Angel-is-Angelus-again charade. I mean, I guess I'd buy into it too if I'd been punched in the face. When Xander goes back to tell the gang about what's gone down, and to point some fingers of blame (fingers of blame??) at folks, he gets to do the big "I told you so" thing. It made me wonder if he'd later say, "I knew you were lying, undead..liar guy." But he didn't. Anyhoo, it also made me wonder how he felt about his liaison with Faith, too, knowing that she was evilchick. That's pretty much it for him this time out.

Earshot reveals the inner workings of Xander's mind...namely, sex. Sex. And more sex. Also really really bad math. Anyhoo, it's in this episode that an offhanded remark of Xander's -- "I've been saying for years that the lunch lady's gonna do us all in...." (sic?) turns out to be exactly right when it comes to finding out who's gonna off all the students at lunchtime. Also interesting is Xander's approach to the profiling of his fellow students...He makes sure to find out what some girls ' turn-ons and turn-offs are. This episode for sure reveals the jealousy Xander feels about the whole Wesley/Cordy thing. Tsk.

In Choices, Xander gets to work with Oz some. They're in charge of making the potion thing that will destroy the Box of Gavrok which will hopefully keep the Mayor from ascending. They've got Willow's drawing to aid them and all that. Ah, bonding. But when it's discovered that Willow's being held by The Mayor, the question becomes whether her life is more important than averting the Ascension. Guess what Xander wants to do? It's his bestest oldest pal, so..duh. I like how Xander seems pretty fearful during the whole showdown with the Mayor. It sort of reminded me of when he saw Angelus grab Willow back in Innocence. (Okay if he doesn't look fearful to you a little, that's why you and I are different folks. Or it could just be that it's been a while since I've seen this ep.) Also noteworthy is the Xander/Cordy sparring. Here he spies Cordy in April Fools dress shop, and goes in to rib her about colleges, etc. When he discovers that she got into some good ones, he attributes it to her father's money. Hey, money don't get you into Columbia. (Altho it does help foot the bill, no?)

In The Prom, Xander gets the honor (?) of being Anya's date for the prom. This is definitely an episode for good Xander dialogue and facial expressions. Also a big step forward in the relationship department where Cordy is concerned. Not only does he keep her secret about being flat broke and working to pay for a dress, he foots the rest of the dress bill for her. Probably used his road trip money, too. Aw. The only disappointment for him this time out? Losing out to Jack Mayhew for class clown. But come on...think about it, Xander. Do you really want to be a...clown? Heh. (Sure so he faced the Clown nightmare in Nightmares..that doesn't mean he should become one, right?)

To Be Continued for Grad 1 and 2!

Previous Xander Character Page (Seasons 1 and 2).

Story Arcs: Xander & Buffy, Xander & Willow, Xander & Cordelia

moon The ABCs of Sunnydale

The Episodes

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This page last updated on September 26, 1999.

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