PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE. If your diet requires you to dine on Buffy Spoiler-free ... good luck with that.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

She Saved the World. A Lot. (Seriously, check out the stats!)

Series Stats:


Dead Humans - 146
Dead Undeads - 221
Dead Flashbacks - 9
Giles Unconscious - 14
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 19
Buffy Breaks a Door - 22
Evil Reveal - 42
Unevil Reveal - 17
Shenanigans Called - 119
Apocalypse Called - 7



Season Five Stats (including comparison to previous season):

Dead Humans - 45 (+22)
Dead Undeads - 42 (+1)
Dead Flashbacks - 2 (+2)
Giles Unconscious - 2 (+2)
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 6 (+4)
Buffy Breaks a Door - 3 (-1)
Evil Reveal - 1 (-4)
Unevil Reveal - 3 (+2)
Shenanigans Called - 25 (+5)
Apocalypse Called - 1 (=)


While the ratio of Dead Undeads vs Dead Humans still lands us overall on Yay Team Scoobies, Season Five on its own sees more dead humans than dead undeads (credit for this imbalance should probably go to Glory's massacre of the Knights Who Say Key). In the meanwhile, Giles did well, cleaning his glasses six times this season. And it's good to know our Shenanigan game is strong, with a 5 point increase on last season. Season Five did, at least, improve its game - Season Four saw no exponential growth in the stats, whereas here only Buffy's door-breaking and Evil Reveals went down.

Zelda's Thoughts:
So generally I really like Season Five. I think Buffy's arc is fantastic, and extraordinarily well-acted by SMG. I like the arc of the family of the Scoobies - over the season we see a better integration of both Tara and Anya into the group, which becomes especially important when Joyce, the matriarch, dies - it becomes a death that touches all of them, though to different degrees. On the quality of The Body alone, Season Five must be special.

That being said, it has its weaknesses. While I like the idea of Glory as a villain - a feminine Cordelia-esque snark, and distinctly nothing like the previous Big Bads of the Master, Angelus, the Mayor, lame-os Adam and Walsh, or even Faith. But in execution Glory is weakened by a mediocre performer (as is Ben - it's no heartbreak to find out he's attached to Glory, because I didn't care about him in the first place). And then there's Dawn. Another cool idea, one which threatened massive shark-jumping, but actually managed to be pretty effective. But as we know, MT annoys me a lot, so I have trouble investing in her much. Next season will be a chore where she's concerned.

But back to family. One of the things Buffy does best is - even if over the season the Scoobies may divide a bit, may be at odds - they all recognize their strength as a unit working together. This has been increasingly true with each finale, most markedly in Seasons Three and Four. Here we see the Scoobies' individual contributions being pivotal in fighting off the apocalypse - Willow (and then Tara) weaken Glory, Xander whacks her with a wrecking ball, Anya had the brilliance in the first place to use the Dagon Sphere and the Buffybot, Giles fucking smothers Ben, and Spike ... well, unfortunately, Spike fails in his part of the mission, but he was supposed to protect Dawn while all this other stuff was going on. His failure is significant in terms of his own character arc - he's been on a slow path to improvement, trying to make himself worthy of his love for Buffy, with a lot of creeptastic layovers along the way. And while his dedication to Buffy and, by extension, Dawn, is strong, he's still not fully part of the mission, or the Scoobies.

And then, of course, Joss kills Buffy. wtf, Joss? Two seasons to go! Full steam ahead, Depression Season!

Daniel's Thoughts:

I love season 5.  It's one of my favorites.  While season 4 separated everyone, season 5 brought everyone back together. Sure, sometimes that meant big tragedies like Joyce's unfortunate demise - but this season, it felt like the group of old with wonderful additions.

I never had a big problem with Glory or Dawn's actors.  I always thought Dawn acted as she was created, a bratty little sister. And I always thought Glory was a fun, crazy villain.  I also like the villainous arc of the season.  I felt Glory and in particular, the Scoobies interactions with Glory flowed well throughout the season.  There were constant things to find out and ultimately defeat.  We saw, we fought, we discovered, we protected, we ran, we had no hope, we dared to hope and then we defeated.  And I say 'we' because it felt like we were all on this journey.  And that's what this season ultimately felt like, a journey.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Here to Help. Want to Live.


Episode 5.22: The Gift. Original Airdate: 5.22.01 



"As Glory prepares Dawn for a bloodletting ritual that will open a portal to another dimension, Buffy and her friends prepare for battle."

Zelda's Thoughts:


  • The lame thing about the DVDs for Buffy is they don't include the Previouslies. But streaming Netflix Buffy does! The Previouslies for this ep are tied for my favorite (the other being the one where all the Previouslies consist of is Travers saying "You're fired." to Giles). The Previouslies for this ep include a frame for every episode in the series - all 99 of them. They cut faster and faster and then break to the running shot down the alley that opens the episode. Because if we're going to have a finale that, if not the end of the show, is the end of its WB run, we should end the old fashioned way - killing an ordinary vamp with her typical snark.
  • "Been a long while since I met one who didn't know me."
  • "But you're just a girl." // "That's what I keep saying." BUFFFFFFFY
  • "Blood is life, lackbrain. Why do you think we eat it? It's what keeps you going. Makes you warm. Makes you hard. Makes you other than dead. Course it's her blood." Awesome line, awesome delivery.
  • Giles yelled at Buffy. Make them stop fighting. "Tell me to kill my sister." // "She's not your sister."
  • The dialogue in this scene is killing me. "Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her." // "You'll fail. You'll die. We all will."
  • I like the moment of Dawn demanding Glory over Ben. Because while Glory owns who she is, Ben still thinks he's a good guy and not a weak little hypocrite.
  • "I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means saying and doing ... what other people can't. What they shouldn't have to." foreshadowing to when he kills Ben, something Buffy can't do.
  • "I don't know how to live in this world if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away, I don't see the point. I just wish ... I just wish my mom was here."
  • "If Dawn dies, I'm done with it. I'm quitting." No matter which way this shakes out, this is Buffy's final fight. She either dies attempting to save Dawn, or Dawn dies and Buffy quits the fighting for good. This is her final battle (except it's not, oops).
  • It's interesting to think about this, about how Buffy approaches the final battle though. She doesn't expect to live. She doesn't really expect Dawn to survive. But she'll be damned if she lets Dawn go without a fight. Dawn is the last thing she has left in this world, Dawn is a piece of her, and she's the last piece she'll fight to protect. Buffy doesn't care whether she survives this fight or not - it's gone beyond that - her one focus is saving Dawn. Which is why she comes to the conclusion she does so peacefully.
  • Oh god. The fact that Dawn has folded her clothes neatly, is lining up her sneakers under the chair. Taking such care, knowing she's about to die. It hurts. She's just a kid.
  • "It's an omen. It's a higher power trying to tell me through bunnies that we're all gonna die, oh god." I love her delivery.
  • Man, the slap from Tara to Willow is so hard and harsh.
  • Aaaaaaaaah my Spuffy shipping heart loves this scene so much. Spike's face when she invites him back in, and his immediate covering of what it means to him. Focusing on the work.

thanks Lucas for the gifwork!

  • "I'm counting on you to protect her." // "Til the end of the world, even if that happens to be tonight." Because his love for her has expanded to protecting the people she loves. He cares for Dawn too, at this point (even if he's still indifferent to some of the Scooby gang)
  • "I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man, and that's ...." FEEEEEELINGS
  • "We few, we happy few." "We band of buggered." I love that exchange so very very much.
  • WE'RE BEING HOODWINKED RIGHT NOW. THAT'S BUFFYBOT IN THE GROUP SHOT.

We know the difference.
  • That's why Buffy's only speaking off-camera.
  • I do enjoy me some Buffysnark. Even if it's Buffybotsnark.
  • Yeah Scoobies! You fight the baddies!
  • Yay Tara's brain is back! No more badly acted crazy scenes.
  • But their power dynamic never truly shifts back to equals. Willow is the acknowledged superior witch in power, and she remains the dominant partner in the relationship. When Tara asserts her own dominance, it comes in the form of a break up. Anyway, enough with the jumping ahead, Buffy just hit Glory in the head with a giant troll hammer and it was wonderful. "You're not the brightest god in the heavens, are you?"
  • Epic scary tower battle, punctuated by Buffy repeatedly trying to get up to Dawn in time.
  • They must have had so much fun building the various levels of the tower set, and choreographing the fight across them.
  • Ugh. Doc. Here to ruin lives. "Hey, kid, wanna see a trick?" With that wink. So creepy.
  • I love the moment of Willow and Tara joining hands to repel the minions and brain sucks - a very nice callback to Hush.
  • Spike's face right before Doc throws him down. The horror. "No." He failed. He failed in his promise to Buffy. If Xander knew about this, he'd blame Spike as much as Spike does for Buffy's death.
  • Scary Giles time! Kill that Ben! rah rah shh km bah! "She's a hero, you see. She's not like us." Glasses on, suffocating on.
  • Just like with Angel and his soul and Acathla, we're just a little too late to avert the apocalypse without sacrifice.
  • And, bless her, Dawn goes running toward the edge to jump and close the portal. She can be a hero too. But the truth is, Buffy can't live with Dawn gone, too. This is the only way for Buffy to have a happy ending - if she gets to save Dawn. Save everyone. For the people she couldn't save. And then her fight can be done, and she can rest.
  • Music's started, busy crying.
  • "Buffy, no." // "Dawnie, I have to."
  • The fact that Buffy looks peaceful in a way she hasn't since Joyce died.
  • And she runs smoothly, easily, and dives down.
  • "This is the work that I have to do."
  • Willow's face. Giles's face. Spike's face.

Um...got a little sun in my eyes
  • You can see Giles wants to look away. He wants nothing more than to not see what he's seeing. And he can't look away.
  • Damn. What a way to end a show that may or may not be getting picked up by another network. "...and then our title character DIED."

Daniel's Thoughts:
  • This episode feels so much like a series finale.  Because it almost was.
  • I love that this episode starts with a typical vampire kill.
  • And what vamp still hasn’t heard of the Slayer? Duh.
  • This kid looks like he could be 50 or 17.
  • Insta-stake!  Just throw someone into wood.
  • “But you’re just a girl.” Eww.  Sexist victim.  Cue Gwen Stefani. (Song came out in '95, before Buffy began.)
  • I like Spike’s description of blood being a life force.
  • “She’s not your sister.”  Ew.  I just…don’t buy Giles saying that.
  • Shut up Spike and Giles. 
SPIKE: Why don't *you* go think outside the bleeding box.
GILES: Yes, Anya, apart from your incredibly uninfectious enthusiasm, have you anything else to contribu-
ANYA: The Dagon sphere!
GILES: Sorry?
ANYA: When Buffy first met Glory, she found that magical ...  glowy sphere that was meant to repel Glory. We've got it in the basement. It might drive her away or hurt her. Ooh!
  • The dagonsphere.  SEE.  ANYA IS AWESOME.  And Olaf’s HAMMER.     She’s so smart.
  • “Here to help, wanna live.”  SUCH A GREAT LINE.  ANYA IS A FIGHTER.  And GILES, YOU ARE ON MY LAST NERVE.
  • Seriously, they are just so mean to her.
  • Glory Glory Glory!  And Glory appears!  It’s such a horror trope– like Candyman…..or Beetlejuice.
  • Everyone’s so hard on Ben for not killing himself to save the world from the apocalypse but Dawn could do the same thing.  Is she really more innocent than he is?
  • Awww, the music.  It’s starting so early in the ep.  But we know what this music eventually means.
  • “I had the pleasure moment.”  Hehe.
  • Buffybot!
  • “It’s a higher power trying to tell me through bunnies that we’re all gonna die!”
  • Aww.  Engagement!   This will last.
  • The dagonsphere is so shiny!
  • I’m glad they remembered that Spike was barred from the Summers’ house.  Good continuity there.
  • Oooh.  I forgot about Tara pointing at Giles, “You’re a killer!”  Ramblings of a crazy person or psychic foreshadowing?
  • BUFFYBOT!  It’s cool – in the shots they were walking, we only saw Buffybot.
  • You know….kinda dumb that they never thought of the dagonsphere until now.  But… it’s still nice that they brought it back all the way from the season premiere.
  • Anya with a bat!  So awesome!
  • Awww.  Tara’s back! “I will always find you.”
  • “Did everybody else know that the slayer’s a robot?”  Heh.
  • Heh. Buffy didn’t so much throw that minion off the stairs so much…as he threw himself off.
  • This is a pretty neat set.  I like the fight choreography on that thing.
  • Oh, Joel Grey.  You’re ruining everything. [He's like communism. - Z]
  • Fake bouncy bricks!
  • And Tara’s prophesy comes true: Giles becomes a killer.  The thing is..at this point,  he didn’t need to kill Ben.  Since the moment had passed.  I imagine,  he still considers Glory a threat.
  • Oh no! The one street in Sunnydale is getting destroyed!
  • Oooh, some of the demons coming out of this apocalypse are really creepy.
  • Oh that music.
  • I still don’t 100 per cent get how Buffy’s death closes the portal.  They have the same Summers’ blood, sure – but Buffy doesn’t have key energy and it’s that blood that opens/closes the portal.
  • Why is Spike the only one sobbing? Is it the sun?  Is the sun affecting his tear ducts and nothing else?
  • She saved the world a lot.
  • Aww, what a nice series season finale.


Crossfire!
Spike: But you' treat me like a man and that's -
Daniel: *snorts**rolls eyes*
Zelda: Shut up I love it.
Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "We few, we happy few." // "We band of buggered." - Giles/Spike
Daniel:"
You're proposing to me 'cause we're gonna die! And you think it's romantic and sexy and, and you know you're not gonna have to go through with it 'cause the world's gonna end!"/" I'm proposing to you, Anya, because it's not." - Anya/Xander
Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Tara, the Dagon Sphere, Olaf's Hammer, Ben, Scabby Minions, Glory, Buffybot, Anya's bunnyphobia, Doc.
  • Giles claims "six at least" apocalypses but that it feels like 100. Our count is seven apocali, but the 100 is a shoutout to this being the 100th episode.
  • Shoutout to killing Angel.
  • Xander proposes to Anya, but she tells him to give her the ring when the world doesn't end.
  • Buffy re-invites Spike to the Summers house.


Stats:


Anya's Hair - wavy, honey colored, past the shoulders
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 4
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Xander Breaks a Wall - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Is Everyone Here Very Stoned?



Episode 5.21: The Weight of the World. Original Airdate 5.15.01



"When Buffy lapses into a catatonic state, Willow uses her magic to find out why; a tug-of-war erupts between Glory and Ben over Dawn's ultimate fate."





Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Eh, I don’t know why Glory is pondering why she’s not killing her minions.  She never has before.  She wuvs them.  Doesn’t mean she’s getting more human.
  • Aww.  Anya holding Giles.  This should have been a thing.  If there’s any non-relationship I ever shipped on this show, it would be this one.
  • Credits:  It’s interesting that they never put Tara (really) in the credits.  They’re better with putting the boys in.  The boyfriends, Oz, Angel, Spike & Riley…they got put in pretty much right away. It took a long time to put Anya in.   And…we know what happened with Tara.
  • Wow.  Just make Buffy comatose and Willow becomes in-charge-woman.
  • Is everyone here very stoned? HEH.  I love this whole thing about Ben and Glory where no one remembers that they’re the same person.  It becomes such an amazing recurring joke.  Comedy gold.  (Also big in the Buffy fan community.) “Ben is Glory?” [Are you saying there's a connection between them? - Z]
  • Yeah.  Sorry.  I have to call SHENANIGANS on this.  That Dawn’s blood is the key.  Because like.  The monks could have turned the key into anything.  A toaster.  A tin can.  Where’s the blood there?
  • Again.  See? Willow & Anya can get along. 
  • BABY BUFFY!  So cute.
  • How does Spike smoke, anyway,  without breath.
  • Awww, Joyce!
  • Heh. Spike just stole a blood pack.
  • “All this time he’s been subletting from her?” oy.
  • Freaky…Joyce’s grave in her bedroom.

Freaky

  • You can tell when they’re about to do a morph because the background doesn’t sync up.
  • Yeah, your job, Ben. That’s the most important thing about this.
  • Joel Grey!
  • “I don’t know which is worse, waking up in a dress not knowing where I’ve been…” – how many times have I read that on my Facebook Feed?
  • This Ben/Glory arguing scene is going on too long.
  • One (of the many) great things about this show is how fucking human, Buffy is.  How she can get depressed and anxious and feel worthless like she’s not going to win.  And then how she overcomes it.
  • Willow gets the prize for saying the title of the episode.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Glory's showing how similar she is to her brother by delivering a badly acted monologue.
  • It really is a cool way to go into a season's penultimate episode - with the hero in a comatose state, unable to do anything but sit and stare and grieve.
  • Willow has stepped into the leadership role here, wielding her power but also her resolve face and voice. Foreshadowing for when she takes charge of patrolling once Buffy dies (and also takes charge of bringing her back) (and also turns evil)
  • The Ben is Glory sequence is one of the best sequences ever. The entire cast is cracking me up. [Ben's with Glory? - D]
  • "Excellent. Now. Do we suspect there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?"
  • I will say, Glory's hair is looking great this episode. That's the nicest thing I have to say about her performance.
  • Anya and Willow getting along, helping each other. Because family trumps their stupid animosity.
  • Ooh Willow mojoed herself into Buffy's brain.
  • BABY BUFFY.
  • So at first I wanted to call a shenanigan on Spike breaking into Glory's apartment because Ben, a human lives there, until I remembered that whole Spike Got Tortured thing so he's clearly been invited previously so I'm stupid and we can just ignore me.
  • The flashback of Buffy meeting baby Dawn is so heartbreakingly sweet because it's not real but she still remembers it - she remembers loving Dawn and wanting to take care of her, even as a child.
  • In case Daniel didn't cry WTF BAD PARENTING, Joyce and Hank came home together with Dawn. Who the hell was looking after tiny child Buffy, alone in the house?
  • "How you doing?" // "It only hurts when I answer pointless questions."
  • Spike, ever the hero, lighting his cigarette in front of a no smoking sign.

  • "Wait, wait wait. Ben - at Glory's? You're saying all this time he's been subletting from her?" // "This is gonna be worth it."
Last time, from the top.

  • Willow, standing with Buffy at Joyce's grave - "I'm sorry." // "Don't be. Death is my gift." And then she suffocates Dawn. It's horrific to watch.
  • Way too much bad Ben and Glory acting in this episode. Can we go back to comatose Buffy?
  • "How could she do this? ... I have a job. I have a life." Ben, you are a dick. 
  • But then this is the closest he gets to redemption, in trying to get Dawn away from the tower.
  • GOOD JOB NOT CATCHING FIRE AND DYING WHEN YOU DOVE INTO THE FIREPLACE, SPIKE.
  • Doc gets impaled. Doc's eyes open. Cue: "Not Dead Yet" from Spamalot.
  • Oh it's the street. The only street in Sunnydale. Look, there's the only movie theater! And the only alleyway!
  • Yay, Dawn, you hit Ben with chains. Oops Dawn you woke up Glory.
  • Bad Acting Bad Acting Bad Acting
  • So much Bad Acting
  • How come Glory's shimmery eyeshadow doesn't shift to Ben but her clothes do? Things I think about rather than listening to either of them Act Badly.
  • "This was when I quit, Will." // "You did?" // "Just for a second."
  • This is such a heartbreaking thing. It was one small moment of defeatism. Of this sure knowledge that she couldn't win. Of the desire for the fight to end. And that moment is the one crushing her. Not Glory escaping with Dawn. Not running away in the RV. That one small moment of wanting Glory to win, wanting the fight to end, wanting to relax enough to allow Glory to kill Dawn. Such a cool scene.
  • But also I love Willow's reaction. "SNAP OUT OF IT." And both Buffys are surprised by it.
  • Buffy twitches back to consciousness. And starts sobbing. My feelings.

  • nooooooooooooooooooooo the only way to close the gates once Glory opens them is to kill Dawn ... OR IS IT. Next time on OW MY FEELS

Crossfire!
Glory: Get out Get Out GET OUT
Daniel and Zelda: *lose it*
Favorite Lines:
Daniel & Zelda:

Spike: Ben! Glory! He's a doctor, she's the beast. Two entirely separate entities sharing one body. Like a bloody sitcom. Surely you remember.
Xander: So you're saying ... Ben and Glory ...
Anya: Have a connection.
Giles: Yes, obviously, but what kind?
Spike: Oh, I get it. That's very crafty. Glory's worked the kind of mojo where anyone who sees her little presto-change-o instantly forgets it. And yours truly, being somewhat over than human, stands immune.
Willow: So ... Ben and Glory are the same person?
Xander: Glory can turn into Ben, and Ben turns back into Glory.
Anya: And anyone who sees it instantly forgets.
Spike: Kewpie doll for the lady.


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Scabby Minions, Glory, Tara, brain suck victims, Joyce and Hank, Ben, the First Slayer (the Primeval), Doc
  • Everyone now knows Ben is Glory.

Except when they forget.


Stats:

Anya's Hair - honey-colored, loose curls, past the shoulders
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Spike Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cold Draft of Paralyzing Fear

"Truck"
Episode 5.20: Spiral. Original Airdate 5.8.01



"Buffy and her friends flee Sunnydale when Glory closes in on Dawn."








Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Oh right. Glory.
  • Run, Buffy, run!
  • Aw stunt Buffy carrying stunt Dawn. It's really sweet since SMG is already tinier than MT.
That wig, tho.
  • Glory getting hit by a truck. Never not funny. Frankly, I laugh whenever a character gets hit by a truck. It made the S1 finale of Skins kind of awkward. (spoilers?)
  • "A truck hit her." // "Oh." // "You threw it at her?" Bless Anya, still trying to cheer Buffy's success.
  • This is bad, guys. I'm having preemptive feels, seeing everyone in their finale outfits. THAT'S WHAT GILES WEARS WHEN BUFFY IS DEAD. THAT'S WHAT ANYA WEARS WHEN BUFFY IS DEAD. This isn't going to go away.
  • Poor Buffy. She's so scared. She has to protect Dawn. She's being strong and leadery about it, but she's scared.
  • Oh look a female scabby minion.
  • Ben, stop "acting." Your monologue of pain? Dull
  • Hah Spike and his bug-eyed goggles.
"I also have SPF 10,000"
  • Oh right. The Knights. I keep forgetting about them.
  • Sure is convenient, the brain-suck victims suddenly a lot more specific about Dawn being a key (first Tara, now Orlando the Knight). Now everyone's in on the fun!
  • I like they acknowledge how easy it is to burn Spike in this ramshackle RV, when Tara pulls at the blinds
  • Also bless Spike for not being a dick about it.
  • "It just keeps coming ... Glory ... Riley ... Tara ... Mom." STOP MAKING ME FEEL FEELINGS.
  • Meanwhile, in the Inconsistent Characterization of Dawn, she's very mature and supportive sister mode this week.
  • "Arrows! They're throwing arrows!"
  • "Weapons?" // "Hello? You're driving one."
  • One of the things I love about this episode is, arguing aside, the group is really working together as a team - run as a team, fight as a team. Really reinforcing the motif of family they've been exploring this season, which will be very important when Buffy spoilers and Dawn has no biological family left (because her father is a toolbag)
  • Also goddamn Spike grabbing the sword. OW OW OW but also cool.
  • Badass Buffy roof fighting! You go, Buffy! 
  • Oh no Giles! Oh no RV!
  • Spike staggering away from the SUNLIGHT EVERYWHERE
  • "We got company. And they brought a crusade."
  • Oops Spike can't fight the Knights.
  • Scary Black-eyed Magic Willow
  • "What kind of god would demand her life for something that she has no control over?"
  • "I'm so proud of you. You've come so far. You're everything a Watcher - everything I could have hoped for." STOP WITH THE ALMOST DYING SPEECHES, GILES. NOT COOL.
  • NO BUFFY DON'T CALL BEN. HE'S A GLORY.
  • Also fuck you Ben. Just in general. But also because if you're not here to kill Dawn to keep her from Glory (which you don't do), then what you are doing is putting Dawn and Co. right in the line of Glory's fire. You dipshit.
  • Aw see. Even Xander and Spike, who hate each other, and mention said hatred frequently, are still helping each other (the Xander lighting Spike's cigarette moment). Because right now they're family.
CAN YOU FEEL THE FAMILY.
  • But the ties are loosely knotted. It's Buffy's determination to get all of them out of this alive that's holding them together.
  • "Kill the man and the god dies." YAY LET'S GO KILL BEN. BEN KILLING PARTY, ALL ARE INVITED.
  • This episode does a lot of work at setting up the finale - explaining Glory's full backstory, as well as Dawn's - but it's still so much just about the Scoobies and their bond.
  • Look at Ben, trying to act again. Give it up, Ben. [Grow a beard, Ben - D]
  • Ooops it's a Glory.
  • "Hey, it's Gregor. *kills Gregor* Now it's not." Okay that was well delivered.
  • Oh god, Buffy's face, as she's repelled by the barrier that Glory broke through.
  • And then when she breaks through, and all the Knights are dead, and Dawn is gone. Just gone.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Where are they?  A dorm room? Since when is their dorm on the first floor? Is it Tara's? [Decor makes it seem pretty Tara-like. - Z]
  • Did we know Glory had super speed?
  • Love Buffy’s stunt double carrying Dawn.  So obvious that it’s a stunt  double with the really bad wig.
  • Interesting that a big calamity like getting hit by a truck – body trauma – seems to be a trigger for Glory turning back into Ben.
  • And Ben, of course, isn’t as strong as Glory…
  • That must have been an awkward walk home for Ben...
"I'm...in a Frat..."  Say no more.
  • “Drop a piano on her!”  - YAY ANYA.
  • I love how Glory’s minions are such assholes to Ben.
  • “You exist only because of her divine greatness.”  It’s the first clue we have about how this Glory/Ben thing happened.
  • If Ben were a better actor, I’d feel sorry for him. 
  • RV time!
  • Wow.  Those knights are good at undercover.  /s
  • Those knights.  It’s just…they feel like they’re out of a completely different show.
  • “He doesn’t travel well.  He’s like fine shrimp.”  Hehe.
  • Anya made snacks!  Well..she brought SPAM.
  • Wow, sunlight actually hurt Spike? WHAT?
  • It’s interesting.  Buffy’s usually so closed off.  But it’s nice she’s opening up to her lil sis.
  • “At least things can’t get any crazier.” Dude….  Dawn, I’m going to start calling you Little Xander. [Comics version of Buffy is feeling the squick with that remark - Z]
  • This feels like the biggest budget they’ve had.  Being on location, nice horse/RV chase…
  • How did the knights even find them?
  • Anya using a frying pan to fight the knights.
Successful
  • Seriously, Buff.  How do you fight so well in leather pants?  I mean the chafing alone.
  • Yeah.  Spike.  You’re in real danger walking through the desert.  Sure.  Good thing you have that tiny blanket…
  • Giles omg. 
  • Spike can’t fight the knights because they’re human.
  • Ugh, Religious freaks.  Willow can outspell your god any day.
  • Oh hey, remember that time that Xander had soldier memories?  The show does.  All. The . Time.
  • Why would Ben come, knowing what he knows?
  • I love Spike rolling his eyes at Ben’s lame attempt at flirting.
  • Now I see where all the Xander/Spike slash comes from with the cigarette lighting etc.
  • Ok, so Glory has been part of Ben since he was born.  That’d be an interesting story.  Seeing baby Glory grow up.
  • Aww, See Anya and Willow can get along.  It’s nice that Anya wants to help Tara.
  • Pretty good transition between Ben/Glory.  The effects are getting better.
  • And…just like that.  No more knights.

Crossfire!
Buffy: *throws an axe into a Knight's chest*
Zelda: Is he dead?
Daniel: Yes. Oh! We haven't been counting.
Zelda: But Buffy's not allowed to kill a human.
Daniel: He got an ax in his chest. I think he's dead.
Zelda: ... people recover from that all the time.
[Editor's note: per IMDB, he is dead]
Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "Aim for the horsies." - Buffy
Daniel: "Drop a piano on her!" - Anya

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Glory, Tara, Ben, Minions, The Knights Who Say Key, Anya's obsession with shrimp (she compares a motion-sick Xander to fine shrimp), brain suck victims
  • General Forehead Guy gives us the backstory on Glory's tale of banishment and being trapped in a mortal man's body.
  • He also tells us the Key's purpose - open the gates that separate dimensions. Glory's plan is to use Dawn to open the gate and go home. But also all the gates will open and the world will go kablooey.

Stats:
Anya's Hair - honey-colored, loose curls, past her shoulders
Dead Humans - 12 + All the Knights (we're going to say an additional 20) = 22
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 1

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Everyone Wants Petrified Hamsters




Episode 5.19: Tough Love. Original Airdate 5.1.01



"When Tara falls victim to Glory's incredible power, Willow embraces dark magic and launches a counterattack."



Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Interior. University. Remember when we were supposed to have the college years?
  • Buffy was taking poetry? Lame.
  • I love haikus!
  • It's sweet that they show how much Buffy really does want to stay in school but she just can't right now.
  • Condescending doctor is condescending.
  • Principal Stevens is of a way different ilk than Sunnydale's other principals. Of course, this isn't High School yet.
  • And condescending Xander is condescending.
  • Giles is really the only one that understands Anya...or even seems to make an effort to.
  • "That's right, foreigner." Heh, Anya.
  • Buffy getting a talk from Giles is great and all, but she's kinda missing the point. She's trying to overcompensate, now.
  • All the furry coats in southern California.
What? It's Chilly.

  • This fight between Willow and Tara is so manufactured...it's just to get Tara away from Willow.
  • It's a pretty schmaltzy episode. But it's the beginning of the end of season 5. The homestretch.
  • Giles! I love that he just knew a demon was out there and he grabbed him so nonchalantly. BAD ASS GILES.
  • "You like this sort of thing don't you?" Glory holding Tara's hand. Lame. Lame lame line. 
  • This is all so sad. They've spent way too much time in the hospital this season.
  • All this talk this episode about Willow "not knowing how they feel." Now, she does. I guess that was the point.
  • Seriously, why didn't the monks just turn the key into a tin can and drop it to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean?
  • "That came out a lot more Lesbian than it sounded in m yhead."
  • Neat tricks, Willow. Why don't you teleport her again? [Nosebleed? - Z]
  • This is so sad but sweet the way Willow is taking care of Tara.
  • "Pure green energy..." ...shit.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • We're beginning our final stretch of the season! Every episode from here on out runs back to back
  • Paralleling Buffy dropping out of school with Ben's firing for being AWOL for two weeks. Time go grow a beard and go work for Viola Davis!
  • baaaaaaaaaaad actinggggggggg Ben
  • "Begging your pardon, and begging in general." That was kind of awesome.
  • baaaaaaaaaaad actinggggggggg Glory. I guess they're well-cast as siblings?
  • "I've recently come to realize there's more to me than just being human. I'm also an American." // "Yes, I suppose you are, in a manner of speaking. You were born here - your mortal self." // "Well, that's right, foreigner."
  • "Oh, and you know what else is un-American? French people."
  • And in the continuing adventures of Inconsistent Characterization of Dawn, this week we have petulant truant Dawn.
  • Aw poor Tara sitting alone on the bench.
  • Sorry I'm not writing much this ep ... I just have less to say? Idk
  • Gasp! Glory's with Tara.
  • Giles opening a door knowing there's a Minion at the door and knocking. I fucking love it. A little nod that Ripper's still inside the fuddy duddiness of Libriarian Giles
  • Also the offscreen torturing. Hello Ripper.
  • Tara's look of resolve when Glory tries to torture the identity of the Key out of her. Her acting this scene has been whatever, but I love that look.

  • Aw Tara got brainsucked. Commence bad brainsucked acting.
  • "Man, words cannot express how much I hate this place." // "It's dreadful." // "It's like communism."
  • Testament to the severity of the torture from Glory, I guess, that Spike is still raccoon-eyed this episode.
  • Ugh MT baaaad monologuing. Give me five minutes with her, I could coach this into a better performance, I swear.
  • "I'm a vampire. I know something about evil. You're not evil." // "Maybe I'm not evil, but I don't think I can be good." // "Well, I'm not good, and I'm okay."
  • Uh oh. Willow's ransacking the lofted Scary Magic Books.
Very dark. Much magick. Wow.

  • "I owe you pain!" Scary Willow is scary.
  • I do like this moment - a rare moment of liking CK's performance - when Buffy says they used to bow down to gods and Glory just laughs with glee, like now the fun's started.
  • The costumes we see are the costumes we've got for the rest of the season! Or just about.

  • Interesting but uncomfortable thought: Willow said earlier she felt like the junior partner in her relationship with Tara, in magic, in gayness, in having a dead mom, etc etc. And now she's calling Tara her girl, calling her baby, spoonfeeding her. She is inarguably the dominant partner right now, and will remain so for the rest of the relationship. Again, interesting but uncomfortable reading of it.
  • Aw and this is so sad, too - because as we saw, Tara wouldn't consciously betray Dawn, even to save her own life. But in her brainsucked state, she reveals Dawn's identity to Glory - and the chase truly begins.


Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "You know what else is Un-American? French people." - Anya
Zelda: "Man, words cannot express how much I hate this place." // "It's dreadful." // "It's like communism." - Xander/Giles/Anya


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Ben, Glory, Minions, Tara
  • Buffy's dropping out of school to look after Dawn
  • Anya officially comes out as a capitalist (even though we've all known for a while)
  • Shoutout to Professor Walsh and Adam
  • Glory brainsucked Tara
  • Willow's first time going black-eyed with magic.
  • Glory now knows Dawn is the Key. Ruh roh.
Stats:


Anya's Hair - honey colored, loose curls, just past shoulder-length
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Glory Breaks a Dorm - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flock of Hobbits

Episode 5.18: Intervention. Original Airdate 4.24.01


"A weary Buffy seeks to regain her focus by embarking on a quest with the Primitive; Spike cavorts with his very own 'Buffybot'; and Glory instructs her minions to spy on Buffy's friends in the hopes of ascertaining the Key's true identity."



Zelda's Thoughts:


  • IT'S BUFFYBOT TIME, YOU GUYS. SMG COMEDY AT ITS FINEST.
  • "Some minutes are harder than others." Buffysads :(
  • "I mean, I can beat up demons until the cows come home. And then I can beat up the cows." I love that line. If I didn't know the amazing Buffybotness to come, that might be my favorite line, because I use it a lot.
  • "Riley left because I was shut down." No, Riley left because he got his panties in a twist that Buffy didn't need him the way he wanted to be needed in order to feel like a valid man, and didn't have the language skills to communicate that without an ultimatum. ["Crossfire" - D]
  • And in the land of Inconsistent Characterization of Dawn: Dawn, who was mad at Buffy for emotionally abandoning her last episode, and who sometimes acts like she's 10 and sometimes like the age she actually is, is now stable and healthy and telling Buffy to go off on her vision quest with no pouting. So, you know, WHATEVER, writers.
  • Okay, so I love the Buffybot because SMG is hilarious, but we're all still acknowledging the grossness of Spike having her made in the first place.
  • It's also just kind of weird because ... part of what he loves about Buffy is her fight, and the fight in the bot is all facade-y and acknowledged as such. *shrug*
  • So I'm vaguely curious. Before Glory and co knew the Key was a human ... how were they going to open the portal in the first place? Since it's Dawn's blood that does the trick. If the Key had been a suede jacket, would they have had to tear out the seams? The things I think about as Giles and Buffy hike through a dessert in turtlenecks, sweaters, and warm winter jackets. Happy California April! (yes, I know it gets cold at night. this is not night)
  • "I jump out of the circle and then jump back in it, and then, um ... I shake my gourd." // "I know this ritual! The ancient shamans were next called upon to do the hokey pokey and turn themselves around." // "Go quest." I love love love this scene.

And that's what it's all about.

  • Buffybot is like...if Spike wrote slashfic for himself.
  • WE KNOW THIS DESERT. IT'S FROM RESTLESS. WE SEE YOU, SHOW.
  • "Darn your sinister attraction!" Buffybot is like the TBS version of smuttytalk.
  • "No programs, don't use that word. Just be Buffy." *Buffybot smiles an entirely un-Buffylike smile*
  • Seriously, though, SMG has the prettiest smile here and I'm glad Buffybot gets to use it, since Buffy doesn't much this season.
  • "Time to slay. Vampires of the world, beware!" I fucking love that he programmed this into her. Because it backfires spectacularly but also like yes of course that's part of Buffy.
  • Parking lot graveyard! I've missed you!
  • "I don't understand that question, but thank you for asking. You're my friend, and a carpenter."
  • "Spike! It's Spike and he's wearing the coat." Buffybot is the best. SMG is clearly having so much fun as she bounces around Spike.


  • Wow and from Spike's knowing look, he clearly programmed her to be extra-horny post-slaying. It's gross again.
  • Oops. Spike got abducted.
  • At least they let the First Slayer speak for herself this time. She has a gorgeous voice, too.
  • "Love. Give. Forgive. Risk the pain."
  • Gay 1999-Present. Nice of him to track that, I guess?
  • BEST LINE EVER. (see favorite lines below)
  • Buffybot's run out of helpful Willow facts, recycling "You're my best friend." and non-segueing into "You're recently gay."
  • Shenanigans! They were at Xander's apartment at night, and left to go get weapons at Buffy's home. When they arrive at Buffy's house, it is broad freaking daylight. Same with when they get Spike to Glory's place - again broad daylight, when he was taken in the middle of the night. Do they want us to think it suddenly takes hours to get across town?
  • "Death is not a gift. My mother just died. I know this."
  • Mention of Glory. Buffybot accesses her files. "She's a god. She wants the Key." Good job, Buffybot!
  • "The who whatting how with HUH?"
  • "It's understandable. Spike is strong and mysterious and sort of compact but well-muscled-" // "I am not having sex with Spike! But I'm starting to think you might be." slashfic!
  • "Say, look at you. You look just like me. We're very pretty."
  • Buffy's righteous outrage they couldn't tell her apart from a robot is completely legit.
  • "But I really think we should be listening to the other Buffy, Guy-les."
  • "You're right, he's evil. But you should see him naked. I mean really."
  • Why don't they do a locator spell for Spike? Isn't that a thing they know how to do?
  • The Minions watch The Price is Right. Of course they do. "We will bring you the limp and beaten body of Bob Barker." A hilarious line except that they were like DON'T BREAK THE KEY when they abducted Spike. But Bob Barker they can beat up?
  • I really hate the fight choreography here. I don't believe the Minions would know how to fight like this at all. It all feels contrivey and isn't even interesting visually.
  • "She seemed to be everywhere at once!" oh hey now because TWO BUFFIES
  • JM very good at acting like every movement hurts.
  • "Willow fixed me. She's gay!" Question. Do we think Spike was dumb enough to program knowledge of the Key into the bot?
  • I really love this final scene. It's a clever move on Buffy's part, to get the info out of Spike, and to say thank you for what he did, while making it clear that the OTHER thing he did is gross.
  • And I love Spike's realization mid-kiss that this is not his bot. 


  • "That thing, it wasn't even real. What you did, for me and Dawn, that was real. I won't forget it."


Daniel's Thoughts:



  • This conversation is weird. Buffy feeling like she’s turning cold and that’s being the slayer’s fault.
  • “Weird love’s better than no love.” Is it?
  • Gross, it’s Warren.
  • Buffybot!!
  • Sarah is wobbling like a human having to stand for too long, not like a robot who doesn't care about standing for too long.  My only gripe about her performance as Buffybot.
  • Hot LA desert. So much that there are wavy lines. Buffy & Giles? Wearing coats.


  • Giles looks so embarrassed to be doing the hokey pokey ritual. I love it.
  • Ugh, Gross Spike.
  • Oooh, Dawn’s starting to steal.
  • “Darn, your sinister attraction.”
  • I love the whole terminator view that Buffy has when she views her friends.
  • “Anya, how is your money?” “Fine! Thank you for asking.” It’s so nice how happy that makes Anya. But it's also sad that people don't regularly ask Anya about her interests.
  • “You’re my friend and a carpenter!”
  • Anya killed a vamp!
  • Man, Xander has such a huge apartment.
  • “Sometimes in the movies when they go crazy, they slap ‘em”
  • (Gay, 1999-present). Love it.
  • They really can’t tell that this is a robot?
  • SHENANIGANS! All the sun that hits Spike.
  • Also, convenient that you can’t brain suck a vampire.
  • “Maybe change your clothes, something more fight-y” She’s fought in worse. I remember a pair of leather pants…
  • This whole conversation is amazing.
  • “We’re very pretty.”
  • You can tell how far the visual effects have come.  Buffy & Buffybot in the same room is much better done than Willow & EvilWillow in Season 3.
We're very pretty.


  • “You guys couldn't tell me apart from a robot?” HA. Exactly what I was thinking.
  • I love that Buffybot can’t pronounce Giles.
  • “We will bring you the limp and broken body of Bob Barker.”
  • Xander’s really learned how to fight this year.
  • This whole last scene is one big SHENANIGAN. Buffy is pretending to be Buffybot to find out if Spike told Glory about the key. But why would Buffybot even know about the key? Warren wouldn't have programmed it into her because he didn't know. And if Spike told her, he’d be betraying Buffy and Dawn right there. So why would Buffybot say, “I’ll tell her” and Spike say, “No.” That should be a dead giveaway that Buffybot wasn't Buffybot.

Crossfire!
Dawn: Hey, I was like five then?
Daniel: No, you weren't.
Zelda: You didn't exist.

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: "Angel's lame. His hair goes straight up and he's bloody stupid." - Buffybot, delivering the BEST LINE IN THE ENTIRE SERIES
Daniel: 
She's just so cute here.



Arc/Continuity Stuff:
First appearance: Buffybot
Recurring: Warren, Glory, Minions, the Primitive, Tara
Not counting her spell-stealing last episode, this is the first time Dawn starts stealing 


Stats:
Anya's Hair - honey-colored, loose waves, just past the shoulders
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 3
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 3
Apocalypse Called - 0