Reptile Boy

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"Reptile Boy"
Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode
Reptile Boy.jpg
Buffy and Cordelia chained up as sacrifices to Machida
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 5
Directed by David Greenwalt
Written by David Greenwalt
Production code 5V05
Original air date October 13, 1997
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (season 2)
List of Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes

"Reptile Boy" is episode five of season two of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The episode was written and directed by co-executive producer David Greenwalt. The narrative follows Buffy Summers, the Slayer, who is tired of being responsible and goes to a frat party where she's nearly devoured by a giant snake named Machida, whom the fraternity worship.


A girl jumps out of a second-floor window of a frat house and flees into a cemetery, where she is caught. Meanwhile, The Scooby Gang are happy with the apparent lack of activity on the Hellmouth. Giles presses Buffy to train harder, but she just wants to be a teenager. The next day at school, Cordelia introduces her to two college guys, one of whom invites Buffy to a party. She turns him down, claiming she is involved with someone. Buffy goes on patrol at the cemetery and meets Angel, who smells blood on a bracelet on the ground. He says that their age difference is a problem and that she does not know what she wants in life. She runs off, upset.

Buffy decides to go to the frat party with Cordelia. She chooses not to tell Giles or Angel about her date. Later that night, Giles and Willow discover that the bracelet is from Kent Preparatory School, just outside Sunnydale and where Buffy is partying. Angel appears and asks about Buffy. Willow tells the two men why Buffy lied to them. They then rush off to save Buffy and Cordelia.

At the party, Buffy tries to avoid drunken frat guys. Xander has sneaked in to protect Buffy, but other drunken party-goers recognize him for a crasher and dress him up like a girl. Meanwhile, Buffy relents and decides to accept a drink. Drugged, she stumbles her way up to the bedroom where Cordelia is lying unconscious. When they wake up, they find themselves chained in a basement with the girl caught in the beginning as an offering for a reptile demon named Machida, who the fraternity - calling themselves the Delta-Zeta-Kappas - worship. Cordelia is chosen as the first victim, but Buffy distracts the demon and breaks out of her chains.

Willow, Angel and Giles head to the frat party and meet up with Xander. They enter the house and beat up the frat guys. Buffy kills the demon, the frat guys are arrested, and Giles promises to stop pushing Buffy so hard. Afterwards, everyone gathers at The Bronze. Xander reads from a newspaper that the frat guys were given life sentences and their family's businesses - and others set up by previous Delta-Zeta-Kappas -have gone bankrupt due to the demon's death. Angel appears and asks to have coffee with Buffy sometime. She plays it cool.

Production details

  • In his DVD commentary for this episode, writer/director David Greenwalt says that when he wrote the episode he thought that he had invented a great demon name, Machida. He later realized that he had been inspired by the word Makita, which he had seen written on the drills carried by the show's grips.
  • The episode ends with the main villain frat-boy being led away by Angel while Cordelia upbraids him. In the original script, however, Machida emerges from the pit and eats him. This proved impossible for the production crew to do with the CGI of the time. David Greenwalt mentions in the DVD commentary that the CGI problems also ended plans for Machida to be a recurring villain.
  • Although Cordelia tells Buffy "Don't wear black, silk, Chiffon or spandex: these are my trademarks," Buffy shows up in a little black dress.
  • The fraternity house featured in this episode was filmed at the Wattles Mansion at 1824 North Curson Avenue in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California.

Cultural references

  • The opening scene of this episode is reminiscent of an early episode of the sitcom Friends, in which the characters watch a show in another language and make up the words themselves.
  • "You could join a fraternity of rich and powerful men—in Bizarro World," a fictional world in the DC Universe where everything is opposite to Earth; for example, Bizarro bonds lose money, which is considered a good thing there.
  • Tom refers to the 'drunken lout' who charges Buffy as "The Hulk".


  • The term "patrolling" is first used in this episode. Prior to this episode her graveyard exploits are referred to as hunting. Furthermore, this episode marks the first time that Buffy patrols with no specific purpose. From this point on she will patrol nightly.
  • Cordelia's preference for older boys, first mentioned in "The Harvest", is reiterated here, though by the end of the episode, Cordelia appears to have, at least temporarily, changed her mind.
  • Angel is able to enter the fraternity house without an invitation as the fraternity brothers are only temporary residents.
  • Cordelia intimidates Xander by saying that the only way he'll ever go to college is to deliver a pizza, foreshadowing his choice not to enroll in college in Season Four. Coincidentally, Cordelia will never go to college either after her parents are convicted for tax fraud and she is reduced to poverty.

Arc significance

  • At the end of the episode, Buffy agrees to have coffee with Angel, which marks the beginning of their formal dating relationship.
  • This episode marks the first of several fraternity-related supernatural incidents, most of which occur from Season Four to the end of the series - the last being season seven's "Selfless."
  • This episode also marks the first incident of students using magic to better their situation in life, which often occurs in later seasons and comes to the front in season six.
  • Last time Buffy and Cordelia are chained up in this environment is the same thing that happened when Buffy and Cordelia were tied to a chair where Cordelia was about to be victimized by Marcie Ross in "Out of Mind, Out of Sight"

External links

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