It’s a Yam Sham!: Thanksgiving with the Scooby Gang

Spike gets an invite...sort of.

Initially, when I started compiling my list of Thanksgiving episodes, “Pangs” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer eluded me. It is definitely not one of my favorites, but it isn’t terrible. It is just most memorable (for me) in that Xander gets syphilis from a vindictive Native American.  I think that with all of the other supernatural beasties in Sunnydale, the Chumash tribe never really held a candle to the likes of Angelus, the Judge, or the Mayor. This episode, at its most memorable, is the callback lyric “his penis got diseases from a Chumash tribe” from “Once More with Feeling.”

Update: Just did a rewatch and discovered another issue for me with this episode. “Pangs” is meant to set up a Buffy/Angel crossover event. Angel eludes Buffy throughout the episode and is only on the fringes of the episode’s action. However, after learning at the end of the episode that Angel had visited, Buffy travels to L.A. to confront him in “I Will Remember You.” And that is one of the most depressing episodes of Angel, and one I tend to avoid. Therefore, I think I blocked “Pangs” as it is a precursor to that. However, Buffy’s zeal for the perfect Thanksgiving, the question of ethics involved in vanquishing the Chumash tribesman, and mini-monologues about the origins of Thanksgiving (Willow’s anti-Thanksgiving stance v. Spike’s ‘to the victor go the spoils’ stance) all make this an out of the ordinary holiday episode.

An archaeological dig unearths the Chumash


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About Staciellyn Chapman

Grad student at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. This blog is an attempt to condense the craziness that is my TV viewing habits (with the occasional aside into film, music, and general life).

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