When Zack, along with the viewer, is initiated into the mysteries of Murphy in the pilot episode, we’re lead to believe that we’re seeing a pretty typical trip to school for Milo. But “The Doctor Zone Files” reveals that Murphy’s Law may vary: as Milo himself puts it, “It’s unpredictable!” Like a lot of claims made about Murphy’s Law (obviously, not everything that could go wrong does), this one’s pretty broad; multiple episodes have shown that Milo’s friend Melissa has developed a faculty for predicting when Murphy’s Law will strike, which indicates that it has a logic of its own. And on most days, at least, it seems that Milo can ride the bus with his fellow students in relative safety–we see him do so in “Worked Day.”
So what made the first day of school different? Well:
A new kid came in from out of town. He didn’t know about Milo’s condition. He talked to him in a friendly way and even accepted his handshake. Which–look at how the kids at the stop react.
They’re worried about this poor sap who’s here indicating a clear willingness to befriend Milo Murphy. They’re not only worried about him, they’re potentially worried about how it’s going to affect them (notice how Bradley is clutching his backpack).
I propose that Murphy’s Law overacted because, quite simply, Milo was on the verge of making a new friend, and the worst thing that could happen to him would be for that friend to be scared off.
And, see, this is nothing new. This happens every time Milo is put in a situation wherein a friendship could potentially form. In “Rooting for the Enemy” we find out that a girl named Joni, who sat next to Milo recently, only just got her cast off and is unwilling to try a second time. In the same episode, Mort has a friendly conversation with Milo and is promptly thrown headfirst over a ledge and into a pond:
By the way, Joni does end up in Milo’s blast radius again when she sits directly behind him on the bus in “Worked Day”.
She looks a little nervous to me. Can’t blame the girl. She’s even closer to him than Melissa is!
…but she’s probably fairly safe, because, while she’s close to him, she’s not sittingnext to him. The real danger lies in talking to him or associating with him in the way a friend would.
Melissa and Zack are hanging out with him, but they’re probably all right too–at this point, they’ve both been established as friends of Milo. Both of them have firmly and repeatedly refused to be put off, so while they’re still getting swept up in Murphy’s Law and still risking life and limb by being in its vicinity, it’s no longer headhunting either of them specifically.
Here’s what really sells this one for me:
We’ve seen that Melissa is normally unafraid to be close to Milo, though she’s not above establishing an “adequate buffer zone.” In the pilot, she initially walks gladly up to her friend, apparently prepared to stand next to him as she might on a normal morning…but then she hesitates.
We see her take a moment to test her surroundings before announcing her decision to put some distance between herself and Milo. Milo’s response is a thumbs-up and a cheerful “Good call!”
My guess is that this is a situation that both of them are familiar with through long experience. Milo standing here chatting with the new guy is a clear danger signal for Melissa, just as it is for the others at the stop. Milo, though equally aware that he’s in for a more-than-usually deadly morning, is undeterred. With his characteristic optimism, he’s embracing this possible friendship despite the risk it’s going to involve, but that doesn’t mean he expects Melissa to do it.
Zack rides out the storm and stays with Milo; at some point before the series started, Melissa had to make a decision to do the same thing. They’re the exceptions. The vast majority of people who came close to befriending Milo were unable to take the heat.
there was someone on TvTropes who suggested that Cordelia may have been
a Potential Slayer, and it actually makes a lot of sense when you think
about it. From the beginning, she was always kind of a magnet for weird
things—even more so than the average Sunnydale resident, I mean. She
made a connection with Buffy right away, and even after Buffy started
hanging out with the “losers” and Cordelia wrote her off as a freak, she
still kept finding herself inexplicably drawn to the Scoobies, to the
point where she eventually gave up her popularity in favor of fighting
the good fight, without ever fully understanding why she was compelled
to do so. And since Cordy was in a coma when Willow cast the spell to
turn all the Potentials into Slayers, it had no effect on her.
My theory builds off of that, and of course it has to do with Wesley. I
have this notion that Watchers are mystically drawn to the Slayers
they’re meant to guide (one could easily make a case for that just by
looking at Buffy and Giles’ relationship). So when Cordelia walked into
the library in “Consequences,” she and Wesley immediately felt this
energy drawing them to each other. Since nobody knew Cordy was a
Potential, she and Wesley both just assumed that the chemistry they felt
was romantic. One extremely awkward kiss later, they realized they were
better as friends and parted ways amiably. But less than a year later,
they were drawn back together in a completely different city, and this
was when their relationship began to develop into what it was meant to
be. They were always very in sync with and attuned to each other,
especially in the second and early third seasons. The only time they
weren’t was when Cordelia was possessed by Jasmine in season 4.
Finally, right near the end of “You’re Welcome,” as Wesley is getting on
the elevator, Cordelia calls out to him and says “You still work the
best mojo in town.” She obviously couldn’t say goodbye to everyone without raising their suspicions, and she needed to spend her last few corporeal moments with Angel, so I love that out of everyone else, she
singled out Wesley to say one last thing to. Because while Angel may have been Cordelia’s champion, Wesley was her best friend. But I digress, slightly. Anyway, last time I watched it, I
focused on Wesley’s response—he doesn’t say anything, but pay attention
to the look on his face…he knows. Somehow he knows that this is the
last time he’ll ever see her. I think it’s because he’s still very
attuned to her, even after everything. If Cordelia hadn’t ended up in a
coma—if she’d been alive, awake, and fully herself when Willow did the
spell—her Slayer powers would have been activated, and Wesley would
have (unofficially since those sods on the Council don’t like him
anymore) become her Watcher.
I just had a thought. Oliver mentions that Prometheus calculated his every move; that Prometheus knew Oliver was there to kill him. Earlier that night, Adrian Chase was adamant about getting Oliver’s permission to issue a “kill on sight” order. But why? Because he needed to convince Oliver that Prometheus needed to die…so he would know that Oliver would shoot to kill when he met Prometheus…so Oliver would kill Billy. Prometheus knew Oliver would shoot Billy because Adrian Chase is either working with Prometheus or is Prometheus himself.