Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Living Conditions
Living Conditions is the second episode of the fourth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the fifty-eighth episode overall.
Buffy's roommate Kathy is wearing on her nerves. However, the Scoobies attribute her change in attitude toward a demon encounter. A subsequent series of strange dreams lead to the possibility that Buffy has become possessed.
Monster of the Week
The Mok'tagar are transdimensional demons without souls who, in this episode, perform a ritual to summon Taparrich, a fellow member of their species. The demons are drawn to their own kind because they can sense those without souls, which let Taparrich to Kathy (presumably his daughter). Kathy had been performing a ritual of her own, forcing Buffy to ingest animal blood in her sleep in order to steal her soul. She figured that if she took Buffy's soul, her kind would not be able to find her. Her plan fails, however, and she's forced back into her own dimension.
There were no deaths in this episode.
- "Believe" by Cher: The song that Kathy plays repeatedly is "Believe" by Cher, off the album of the same name. The song was released as a single in 1998 and was immensely popular internationally. The song is the best selling single by a female artist in the UK and the first to top the Billboard Hot 100 charts by an artist as old as Cher was (52 at the time).
- "Pain" by Four Star Mary": The song playing while Willow is moving into Buffy's dorm, incidentally while she's putting up a Dingoes Ate My Baby poster, is "Pain" by Four Star Mary. Four Star Mary is the actual band playing the Dingoes songs, although in the context of the episode it could be assumed that they cut a record and that's what Willow is listening to. The real song appears on the first soundtrack for the show and on the band's 1999 album Thrown to the Wolves.
- Buffy and Willow: After Kathy is sent back to her home dimension, Willow moves in as Buffy's new roommate.
- Band Candy: Giles, like the other adults in Sunnydale, regressed to the mental state of a teenager when he ate cursed chocolate. During this brief period, he had a fling with Joyce and the two wound up having sex—something which Buffy did not discover until "Earshot" when she read her mother's mind.
- Buffy: I'm still going ick after the last time you tried to recapture your youth.
- Although present in the original WB airing(s) and on DVD, for some reason the syndicated version of this episode omits the subtitles.
Behind the Scenes
- International: Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been dubbed into many different languages and the title translated for each different international version. Some international translations of this episode's title are:
- French: "Cohabitation difficile" ("Hard Cohabitation")
- Italian: "Fuga dall'oltretomba" ("Escape from the Hereafter")
- German: "(K)eine Menschenseele" ("(No) Human Soul")
- Spanish: "Condiciones de vida" ("Life Conditions")
Allusions and References
- As the bench Buffy kicks falls apart, you can see a wire on one of it's legs.
- When Buffy is tapping her pencil against her textbook, in the wide shots it's hitting around the lower part of the book; in the close shots, she's hitting it up at the top.
- Kathy: I just wanted to make sure... that we didn't have a thief or something.
- Buffy: Like who? Sid the Wily Dairy Gnome?
- Willow: Happy hunting.
- Buffy: Wish me monsters.
- Buffy: Um, he had a cloak on, glowy green eyes, and his skin had that, like, that super bad fake rub-on tan.
- Giles: Translate?
- Buffy: Orangey?
- Willow: (about Giles) He's our grown-up friend. Not in a creepy way.
- Buffy: So then, Kathy's like, "It's share time," and I'm like, "Oh, yeah? Share this!" (punches at the air)
- Oz: So either you hit her, or you did your wacky mime routine for her.
- Buffy: Well, I didn't do either, actually. But she deserved it, don't you think?
- Oz: Nobody deserves mime, Buffy.
- Buffy: She's the Titanic! She's a crawling black cancer! (Buffy kicks randomly, breaking a nearby bench) She's... other really bad things!
- Oz: Well, on the plus side you killed the bench, which was looking shifty.
- Willow: Giles. I just talked to Buffy and, yeah, I think she's feeling a little insane. No, not bitchy crazy, more like homicidal maniac crazy. So I told her to come see you, 'kay?
- Giles: I fear the demon that Buffy met in the woods has somehow possessed her.
- Buffy: Lite FM! Love songs! Nothing but love songs!
- Xander: You think?
- Xander: Why couldn't Giles have shackles like any self-respecting bachelor?
- Kathy: (subtitled) I'm 3000 years old! When are you going to stop treating me like I'm 900?