BtvS 2.04


Promotional CD tracks

06. What's that do? (1'07) 64kbps / 192kbps
13. Moment of happiness (2'15) 64kbps / 192kbps

These tracks are referred to in the cue-by-cue, as is part of 01. Resurrection (2'06") 64kbps / 192kbps. This is because of some of its music (officially a track from the premiere of the season) comes from this episode.

The episode

The double episode of Surprise/Innocence allowed creator/writer/director Whedon the opportunity to push through a huge storyline, in which Buffy's relationship is consumated, and, because this is the point that most shows become stale, immediately crushed. The focus of each episode is therefore very different: the first a drawing together, the second a blowing appart, and Whedon's master-stroke is to place the love scene bang in the middle of "Innocence", at a point when the relationship has already been doomed, thus multiplying its dramatic intensity beyond the merely sensuous.

Fun quotations:
Angelus on Buffy: "She made me feel like a human being. That's not the kind of thing you just forgive."

Cordelia: "Does looking at guns make you want to have sex?"
Xander: "I'm seventeen - looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex!"

The music

Ironically Chris Beck's music plays a counter role. In "Surprise" we have heard snippets and glimpses of the B&A love theme gradually coalesce into the quietly melancoly piano beauty of 2.13 0:27'36" where Angel declares his devotion to Buffy. The consumation isn't shown, however, and when it does it happens just as Buffy's world is coming appart in "Innocence". At this point the tragic grounding of the theme, perhaps strange previously during the beauty-and-the-beast pairing, immediately gains force: the love scene is drenched in its own atmosphere of dramatic irony, the theme and plotting complementing each other in that scene, and leaving echoing traces right through to the season's finale and the famous cue "Close your eyes" which finally transfigures the theme to closure.

Some running features here are the drooping semitone and parallel 6ths, normally reflecting different angles (bitter and sweet) to the melancholy that follows many of the characters through this episode. The Judge theme also returns to add menace where required, and some spiffing action music, mostly represented by the promo tracks. Other than this, the music remains flexible and only hints at melody. We have yet to hear fully-fledged themes for Jenny or Willow/Oz, for example.

Cue notes

Counter-readings are approximate.


Scene opens on Spike and Drusilla with the Judge, reflecting on their options. Synth hiss, low bass notes (C-Eb-D - variant of the Judge theme, emphasizing a falling semitone here), synth whine.


Drusilla's vision. Synth atmospherics, and just a hint of chorus. Are they singing "Agnus Dei"? This is a running text (taken from the 'Latin' mass, and translated as 'Lamb of God'), heard in both seasons, which perhaps relates to Angel's pennance or his soul. It appears to return even at the end of this episode.


Over to Angel... rising: C-G-Ab-Eb repeated softly through the storm. This motif is a dark development of the first three notes of the B&A theme. Dissonant low brass crescendo stings, like stabbing pains (and interestingly enough re-used when Angel returns in episode 3.03 >42'02") as we find Angel in a back alley. A piano line eerily develops this variant in another repeated motif [Ex.1] (a horn enters as part of underscore only). As Angelus is revealed to dissonant high brass stings, and a completely incongrous major key chord ending the scene.


Nerf, will we ever tire of you?]


Sitar music, giving way to strings when the scene shifts to Spike and Drusilla.


Bass drum, atmospheric synths and trilling strings: the Judge grabs Angelus. Low bass and a metallic upward gliss sting for the news we suspected: "Yeah baby, I'm back."


The Judge's theme (to end Angel's plea for a night to torture Buffy before Drusilla destroys the world), extended a little for the link back to Buffy and Willow's discussing his unreasoned absence.


Violins moving in 6ths [Ex.2], darkened by solo cello (dropping semi-tone line) and low bass as Xander/Cordelia's tender moment is interrupted by a horrified willow (cue Bambi-eyes).


Buffy alone. A rhythmically altered rendition of the B&A love theme for oboe over a piano accompaniment (string accompaniment bridges the phrases to..). The piano carries on the theme, but low strings and bass cut in as Angel appears onscreen: their first encounter since sleeping together, and at this point the music is reflecting our apprehension, not hers, because her reaction is relief.


Almost static upper-string notes as a pittiful piano line sketches the B&A love theme: Angel leaves a stunned Buffy. This cue is deliberately underplayed, allowing the scene to focus on Gellar's aloneness.


The beginning of this scene was unscored, revealing to the audience (and to Jenny) the cunning plot twist: Angel's one true moment of happiness lifts the curse that gave him back his soul. Jenny's reaction is scored at this point by horns playing the Judge theme [2.13 Ex.2], answered by the sitar of Jenny's uncle [2.13 Ex.1].


The vaguest outline of a theme here as Willow and Xander mend their friendship. Perhaps this theme will grow later, but for now it echoes some of the characteristics of the B&A theme, and deepens the affinity by the use of piano.


Synth/bass drum beat is timed with the lights going out. Synth atmospherics ensue as Angel approaches in the gloom, a hint of his vampire face visible to the keen-sighted. A crescendoing horn notefollows Willows approach to the beckoning Angel before hissing synth/cymbal tension is released by Jenny's interruption, cross-in-hand. Orchestral chaos held at piannissimo beneath high tremolo strings, with brass/drum punctuations following each step the chess pieces make. Bass drum pounding beneath trombones accentuating a rising semi-tone as Angel and Buffy face-off. As Angel sweeps off we are left with a low bass hum, with an assortment of indistinguishable clutter, including what sounds like someone fighting to get out of a piano.


Hesistant B&A theme on piano is this time extended into a slightly calming major key, with parallel 6ths as the Scoobies come to terms with their situation - at least now they know. But all is too much for Buffy as the questions about his turning become personal and the theme ends in the minor key.


Brief descending melodic line (F-E-C), sounding like strings doubled by low flute: Buffy is left alone. An echoe of this instrumentation pushes us back to Angel as he returns to Spike and Drusilla.


B&A theme with piano again. Low first, then higher with soft strings as Buffy returns home and breaks down crying. This is perhaps the first full and uninterrupted performance of the theme. Because the emotion is in the actor's performance, Beck's score is oddly calming, standing back and reflecting rather than following the character's emotions.


Out of a rattling jumble of white noise we see inside her head: a flashback to her lovemaking, a scene not previously shown, and now many times more powerful having been shocked by its aftermath. The music, from promo track 13, is sensuous and tragic, extending the theme in a totally different way to that of 20'34. The instrumentation is particularly impressive: a duduk-sounding voice is doubled by strings, lending an exotic air to the rich colour-tones; low drum heart-beat increasing the the intimacy of the camerawork; subtle ebb-and-flow of rattling percussion adds to that of the lighting, whilst complementing the sounds of the love-making (breathing, kissing..). The scene seems perfected by Angel saying "I love you" - at which point..


We flash straight into another dream. The promo track ends with a hint of the background: more heat-beats, high glass-harmonica sound. Here, though, we also have empassioned rising strings as the Buffy pieces the clues together, followed by bold low-string/percussion underscoring as she resolutely approaches Jenny teaching at school and demands answers. On reflection it is difficult to know which of these two scenes is the more controversial to the teenage audience, but in terms of Chris Beck's delivery, these few minutes of music from 23'41 to 26'11 run the gamut of raw emotional scoring.


Grim underscore to Buffy's plea for Jenny to re-curse Angel. Includes the Judge theme [2.13 Ex.2]. We switch to Angel taking care of the gypsy uncle - atmospherics, etc.


Xander and Cordelia (with Oz and Willow) arrive at the army base. War film scoring. Military percussion, bold brass melody, which (fleetingly) references the Judge theme. At 28'28 Xander and Cordelia are sneaking in - underscored by tense piano figurations with slowly rising high string line, which is succeeded by brass and even chorus. Scoring stops abruptly as they are stopped.


Willow falls in love with Oz (end of scene), underscored by a tiny piano fragment. Is this a new theme or just a bridge to.. Atmospherics and bass drum as Buffy and Giles find Angel's message 'Was it good for you too?' on the gypsy uncle's wall. String/brass minor chord crescendo finishes the scene: Buffy feels more ready to face her former lover in battle.


Falling bass line to accompany the opening of a new scene in the abandoned warehouse where Angel, Drusilla and the Judge are about to embark. Underscore includes another descending line, but the rest of the scene is reserved for atmospherics.


Drooping cello semi-tone as Jenny is excluded from the proceedings. Buffy and the gang work out where the Judge will strike, and we move to the supermarket. Much is underscore, but a dropping semi-tone is prominent all through. At 34'38 the score takes a higher profile: repeated string notes, dropping semi-tone for brass - the Judge arrives.


Promo track 6. Buffy vs The Judge. Hackle-raising super-heroic stand-off prior to Buffy firing her rocket launcher at the 'Smurf'.


A three-note descending line (Eb-D-C, in a shadowy Ab major key, which then drops to C minor (or equivalent transposition)). Buffy orders the Scoobies to pick up the pieces. But all is not over...


Buffy chases Angel through the mall. Here Beck reprises the determined brass/string underscore last heard at 25'57 when Buffy advanced on Jenny for answers. The difference is that the tessitura is higher, and accompanied by screaching synth atmospherics.


Tortured upper strings. At 37'22 where Buffy and Angel fight, we hear a cue (allegro and an aftermath emphasizing the semitone) which is represented in promo track 1 at 0'50, although edited slightly differently - officially 2.01 'When she was bad', we have already discovered that the central section of this track was not used in that episode. Beck spliced the music together subsequently for the promotional track). A very slight hint of choral 'Agnus dei' is heard as the music fades away.


Clarinet (with string and harp accompaniment; succeded by piano on its own, which fades off) plays the B&A love theme as Giles plays the perfect father figure, and shows he understands her feelings for Angel.


Old musical song, starting: 'Goodnight my love, my moment with you is now ending. It was so heavenly..'. Buffy and her mother have their night in. This song is 'Goodnight my love', by Macl Gordon and Harry Revel]


Upper strings, starting in parallel 6ths (and perhaps harking back to Buffy's thoughts on Angel during the 20'34-21'42 cue), lead to a very simple but affecting syncopated piano line [Ex.3] - a new theme, major key, but fragile. Buffy is still seen as her mother's (innocent?) little girl, and she takes comfort.


The song fades back in: 'Goodnight my love, goodnight my love, Remember that you're mine sweetheart.']


Nerf. Break the mood why don't you?]

Musical examples

Ex.1 [midi] Slow repeated piano motif. ca.2'00"

Ex.2 [midi] Xander and Cordelia having an intimate moment. 11'40"

Ex.3 [midi] Buffy and her mom. 41'00"