BtvS 2.16

Promotional CD tracks

03. Remembering Jenny (2'03) 64kbps / 192kbps [uses Ex.2] Piano transcription by Bluntinstrument; midi
09. Angel waits (1'40) 64kbps / 192kbps [uses Ex.1]

The two promotional cues practically top and tail this episode: 'Angel Waits' reflects the creepy stalking and intimidation he sets out on through the episode, and 'Remembering Jenny' sadly reflects on the aftermath of his cruelest taunt. Where the first cue features thematic material using sly semitones and downward curves over a quietly maniacle rhythmic undertoe, the second is plaintive, rhythmically staid and upward-pointing despite the melancoly of its visual subject matter.

The episode

Jenny seeks to make amends for her previous deception (as spy for the gypsies who had cursed Angelus) by purchasing an orb of Thesola and making a translation of an incantation to restore Angel his soul. Meanwhile, Angelus is making Buffy's life a living hell, but worse is to come when Drusilla discovers Jenny's plans. Season 2 of Buffy featured some of the most shocking and violent episodes of its entire run. A main character is horrifically slaughtered, animals are killed, homes are not safe, and elements of stalking are introduced. 'Passion' is a nasty piece of work, and very little of it is played for laughs.

Fun quotations:
Xander: A visit from the pointed-tooth fairy.

Buffy: Hey, sorry about your fish.
Willow: It's okay, we hadn't really had time to bond yet... although for the first time, I'm glad my parents didn't let me have a puppy.

The music

Chris Beck employs the thematic material we can hear in the promotional cues into an intense moody score, balancing the creepy obsessive low chromatics of 'Angel waits' with the sombre introspection of 'Remembering Jenny'. A short spurt of action is featured at the end, but for the most part this episode feeds on its own atmosphere, as exhibited by the small number of extended cues listed in the notes below. Two themes dominate, illustrated as Exs1-2, with a third on marimba which is little more than a madly childlike repeated 4-noter - at first apparently for the deranged Drusilla, buy re-used for Angelus's murderous exploits away from Buffy, so easier described as a 'suspense motif'.

Note that [Ex.1] is reprised in promo track 15 for episode 2.19, and [Ex.2] is reprised in track 20 for episode 2.22

Cue notes

Counter-readings are approximate.

Morcheeba - "Never an Easy Way"
Puccini - "O soave fanciulla"


Pop: "Never an Easy Way" by Morcheeba. Angelus is spying on Buffy and her friends]


Promo track 9 'Angel waits' plays as a complete cue. Angel feeds, stalks, and spys on Buffy in her house (who goes to bed with blinds and curtains open?!).. then enters her room while she is asleep. This features a theme developed through the episode, featuring descending semi-tone couplets - an eerily nasty theme used as a stalking motif or perhaps as an Angelus theme. [Ex.1]


Nerf, what would we do with out you?]


Synth atmospherics: Buffy wakes and discovers Angelus's visit


String chords as Jenny expresses her regret for lying to Giles ('Rupert') about her role as gypsy spy on Angel, and says she loves him. This music shifts at 9'07" to a piano theme [Ex.2] which reflects either Jenny or Giles's love for her.


[Ex.1] scratched in isolated high strings as Willow discovers her dead fish


The B&A love theme quietly shadows Buffy's soul-to-soul with Willow over how her first instinct when in trouble is still to run to Angel.


Atmospheric synths, with a repeated 4-note motif [Ex.3] as Drusilla's psychic powers warn her that Jenny is plotting something.


Synth reworking of [Ex.1] as Jenny speaks of her intent to present Angel with his soul, to the magic shop keeper.


[Ex.2] Reprised: Buffy tells Jenny Giles misses her.


Synth atmospherics and return of eerie stalking [Ex.1] theme as Buffy finds a note in Willow's room taunting her that Angelus's next target is her mother. A threateningly low underscore with occasional soft thumps and hints of [Ex.1] accompany Angelus as he starts scaring Joyce. Crescendo with brass as he attempts entry but is repelled by the ritual Buffy and Willow create to 'change the locks'. A small hint of [Ex.1] and synth atmospherics helps bridge to a new scene as Giles comes across Jenny while she attempts to translate the text required to return Angelus his soul.


Fragmented return of Jenny's theme [Ex.2] as she arranges with Giles to meet up and share her project (the subject not communicated)


Jenny's theme is interrupted by low synth atmospherics and repeated motif [Ex.3] as Drusilla traces Jenny's visit to the magic shop; at 23'08" [Ex.3] is resumed seamlessly by piano as thr scene shifts to Jenny, at work (in a school classroom, evening) on the incantation. Glass harmonica atmospherics.


Angelus arrives in the classroom to a synth fizz and low string theme developed from [Ex.1]. Glass harmonica also. And to complete the picture, a slow repetition of the [Ex.3] motif. As Angelus breaks the Orb of Thessala (pruchased by Jenny at the magic shop to retore his soul) and Jenny's computer, we are treated to a number of synth and orchestral atmospherics (swelling tremolo strings; a very high chromatic string line).


Action music: Angelus springs and chases Jenny through the school. Strings, brass - much in dramatic outbursts, with plenty of snare drum percussion. The scene ends with Jenny's life: 'I never get tired of doing that.'


The surprisingly calm aftermath of Buffy and Joyce's confrontation over Buffy sleeping with Angel. [Thematic material doesn't appear to have connections with other episode material. Help from others appreciated.]


'O soave fanciulla' by Puccini. Giles finds Jenny in his house, decorously deposited by Angelus. Music fades as police take over. This is the real 'Passion' Angelus is seeking to stir and forms the bitter heart of the episode - one of BtVS's nastiest and most cruel]


Glass harmonica and dull string chords as Giles fights shock to keep thinking about police 'procedure' and informing Buffy. The music shifts back to the dull thumping accompaniment of promo track 9), but as Angelus's voice over turns us full-circle to his views on 'passion', we have [Ex.2] reprised as Angelus watches Buffy and Willow's reaction to Jenny's death over the phone. At 34'14" piano takes over the theme... Buffy needs to get to Giles before he does something stupid (the response he had earlier warned Buffy against)


Urgent strings with ticking-bom woodblocks. A string, then brass, rising scale in 6ths helps increase the tension. Giles collects his weapons.


Buffy, Willow and Xander enter Giles's house. A flute rendition of [Ex.2] with mysterious high string counter melody.


Descending string semitone (a hint of [Ex.1]?) linking us to the Angelus/Dru/Spike factory hideout


Rising unison low brass semi tone - very much a 'Jaws' moment - as Giles attacks. Action music - not promo-worthy, but the arpeggiation was adapted for use in 3.01 Anne. Low tremolo strings as Buffy, having saved Giles from his own recklessness, tearfully berates him...


But above this a lonely piano reprises Jenny's theme [Ex.2], and it continues as Angelus's voice-over on 'passion' returns, Buffy talks with Giles, Willow covers for Jenny at school, Buffy resolves to kill Angelus, Jenny's grave. This is promo track 3, 'Remembering Jenny', and features piano, wordless singer** and soft strings.


Nerf, one of these days...grr argh.]

** http://www.buffyguide.com/episodes/passion.shtml
"On the piece of music that starts as Buffy hugs Giles in front of the burning factory and carries over into the scene at Ms. Calendar's grave, the vocals are provided by Anthony Stewart Head."

Musical examples

Ex.1 [midi] Angel waits, and stalks. 0'50"
2.17 Ex.1

Ex.2 [midi] Jenny's theme. 9'07"
2.17 Ex.2

See also a transcription of the music from the promotional track; midi

Ex.3 [midi] Suspense theme
2.17 Ex.3