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I've been faithfully cleaning up and running the text of the transcripts for each episode, but haven't really found anything worth posting. It's all pretty much what you'd expect: The Witch had a lot of Buffy, Cordelia, Amy, and Catherine (the Great), cheerleading, and not a lot of vampire action. Teacher's Pet brought in praying mantises, virgins, and a certain substitute teacher, while Never Kill A Boy On the First Date was Owen, more Owen, and the return of the vampires.

Actually, I take back what I said: NKABotFD is actually kind of interesting to look at. here's the diagram:




Things I notice: Owen is linked to both night and day (more strongly to the former), but interestingly, not to date; a bad omen from the start, that. Buffy and Owen first came together over books, in the library, even though Buffy had to pretend an interest in poetry for the cause.

Like Xander, Owen's also connected to both good and guy. Cordelia has managed to insert herself between Owen and Buffy to form a sort of triangle. She'd be pleased. If we want to continue the Owen-Xander comparison (and you know Xander is all for that, at least up until the dumpage), we might observe that Willow forms a similar triangle with Xander and Buffy. If I were up to date on the social network data (which is more labor-intensive, so harder for me to keep up with), I'd run a structural equivalence test to see just how closely Cordelia and Willow mirror one another. Something to look at in the future.

As I mentioned above, vampires are back in style after a couple of MotWs of different flavors, and we also see that prophecy and Aurelius figure prominently. This is where all the talk begins of the Anointed One, but only the delusional (Andrew) Borba makes the influence cut. I'm sure the AO will make a good showing as the season continues, until he meets his unceremonious fate in 2.03 School Hard.

Anyway, I originally came here to post the following diagram, which is the aggregate of the first five episodes. Sure, it would be more logical to wait until after the next episode, The Pack, which is technically the midpoint of this short season. But why stand on such formality? This is all for fun, after all.



The strongest tie--and remember, we're still talking about the text here, not observed social behaviors--is between Buffy and Giles, who have that special Watcher-Slayer connection working for them. Next come, in order, Buffy-Xander and Buffy-Willow: the Scoobies are becoming fast friends, and Xander has been front and center with his ultimately doomed romantic interest for the Slayer. (By the way, you can't tell the specific intensity of a tie from the diagram, only the relative strength in general terms. I'm looking at the numbers, here. I'm happy to share them if anyone cares, but I'm assuming most people would rather not bother.)

Once we get outside the Scoobies, the next two pairs are kind of amusing: Buffy-guy and Buffy-vampire. It's early days yet, but those two are more closely related than one might think, no? Looking not at pairs but at the betweenness centrality (or relative influence) of specific terms, we have the core Scoobies, followed in order by Cordelia, vampire, and guy. We're getting a pretty good sense of the priorities of this show: the relationships among the central characters, followed by the whole vampire thing, and then Buffy's love life (or dating in general). Sounds pretty accurate to me, especially for the early seasons.

Angel is still relatively on the fringes, limiting himself to the occasional appearance to offer words of doom (and, on one occasion, partially disrobe). No one knows yet that he's a vampire, but he's linked to the word good. Joyce, too, is pretty marginal, and although school is the setting for much of what we see on screen, it's not exactly the focus of conversation.

So, that's where we stand. If you spot any intriguing connections that you want to discuss, or have any questions, feel free to chime in!