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.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

And Starring Amy Adams as Cousin Beth

Family

Episode 5.6: Family. Original Airdate 11.7.10




When relatives arrive in Sunnydale, to celebrate her birthday, Tara uses a magic spell on her friends to keep them from learning her "secret." Meanwhile, Glory unleashes a hoard of demons to hunt down Buffy.





Happy 100th Post!  Zelda and I would like to thank all our readers for following us, reading us, and sharing in our Buffy love.  To celebrate, here are a bunch of dancing gifs.








Zelda's Thoughts:


  • "This is a very upsetting story." I use that a lot.
  • "Yes, many dolphins at the pound."
  • Willow and Tara cuteness.
  • Aw Tara still doesn't feel like she belongs in the Scoobies.
  • "You are. You're essential."
  • I'm glad Buffy's grown up enough to at least tell Giles about Dawn, even if the rest of the Scoobies and Joyce (and Dawn) aren't clued in yet.
  • "When [Hank] bailed on us, I remember Dawn cried for a week. Except she didn't. She wasn't there ..."
  • Bless Buffy. She recognizes she has to take care of Dawn. She wants to take care of her. The monks did it right. Buffy is not only obligated to protect an innocent human, she's emotionally bound to this helpless teenager and will give up (as we'll see) everything to keep her.
  • Giles: "Lots of pointing and scowling." *proceeds to point and scowl at Xander and Riley.*
  • Awkward Tara is awkward.
  • Ugh. Ben. Fuck off, Ben.
  • Ah hey sneaky scene where Ben turns into Glory but we don't know it unless we know it!
  • "I have a place in the world now. I'm part of the system. I'm a working gal!" Anya is wonderful. Also note thematic relevance to today's plot.
  • Buffy, re: Tara's birthday party. "It's not the most thrilling event of the season." Buffy, come on, she's the only character on the show whose name isn't Buffy who gets to celebrate her birthday.
  • "Your definition of narrow is impressively wide."
  • They're kind of overpainting how much the Scoobies don't really understanding Tara, but it's mostly for the point that they will stand up for her against her awful family, because she's Willow's girlfriend and she is therefore family.
  • "Tara, I just know she likes Willow, and she already has one of those."
  • "Do something to work off the tension." Transition to Buffy and Spike fighting. Except it's actually Spike's fantasy while having sex with Harmony ewwwwwww.
  • Also can we talk about Spike's fantasy is Buffy kicking the crap out of him?
  • "I'm coming right - " // "Now!" I'm impressed they got away with that line.
  • "I saw a really cute sweater at Bloomie's but I think I want me to have it." I have this problem at Christmas but with books.
  • "I think you're both profoundly stupid."
  • Ew I hate you Tara's brother. You're awful. Also why are you vaguely southern and Tara isn't? Just curious.
  • Tara looks so scared. Either that or she's out of breath.
  • Her stutter's back. Fuck you, Donny.
  • No!!! Fuck you, Tara's dad too.
  • Tara's family is awful. They haven't shown their full colors yet, I'm just preemptively hating them.
  • BUT IT'S COUSIN BETH. IT'S AMY ADAMS.

  • So I am curious why Cousin Beth is here. Like if this whole thing is about subjugating the women of the family with this lie, is Beth already of age or not yet? Also how exactly is said subjugation achieved? Like what exactly did they do to Tara's mom? I assumed it eventually ended with her dying, but like what actually did they do? Did they make her take "pills" that repressed her "demonness" or something and it eventually poisoned her to death? Did she die when she turned 20? (edit: no, because Tara was 17 when her mother died, per The Body) There's so much they don't ultimately tell us. I don't think she killed herself.
  • "A lot of young people these days are experimenting with shortness." In this cast, I'd say Riley is the only one who's not.
  • Sigh. The end of Buffy/Riley. I can see it. We all can.
  • "I suppose you wanted me to see all these ... toys. You don't even try to hide it anymore." It's a metaphorrrrrrrrrrrr for gaaaaaaaaaaay.
  • Poor Tara. Your father is the worst.
  • "It doesn't feel evil ... sir."
  • He's the worst.
  • "If I had friends and they heard about this ..."
  • Noooooooooooo Tara don't curse your friends!
  • Why are we in Willy's place if he's not here? Sadface.
  • Harmony wants to give a gift basket to demons who kill the Slayer. That's ... sweet?
  • HI AMY ADAMS.

  • SMG is all flexy flexy. I am not this flexy flexy. I guess we're not the same person after all. Even though we've both experimented with shortness.
  • GASP! Willow opens a door to a bunch of demons and can't see them! This won't end well for our Scoobies!
  • Buffy's Slayerhearing tells her danger is afoot!
  • Seriously Buffy is the best, fighting invisible demons.
  • Spike comes in for the fun, but then rolls his eyes and helps protect Buffy. His priorities are so beyond confused. I'd feel bad for him but meh.
  • BEST SCENE IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.
  • "You want her, Mr. Maclay, you can go ahead and take her. You just gotta go through me."
  • And Tara's face as she sees them all rise to her defense. It's beautiful.

  • "Cept me."// "Cept Spike." // "I don't care what happens."
  • "We are her blood kin. Who the hell are you?" // "We're family." I'm not crying you are.
  • God how abusive was Tara's family? She's shaking when Donny steps closer to her
  • And then Spike figures it out.
  • And it matters here that Tara is not a demon, because demons are mostly evil in Sunnydale (less so in Los Angeles)
  • DAWN GOT TARA A BROOM. And she looks so proud of her gift.
  • Their outfits are so clashy I can't handle it. It's lucky they're being supercute right now.



Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Tara-centered episode. Weird, since she’s recurring. Anya had a couple, sort of, while she was a guest star but never as a contract player until season 7.
  • Miss Kitty!
  • “Yes, many dolphins at the pound.” Hehehe.
  • It’s interesting that they can show Tara and Willow in bed but can’t show them kiss yet.
  • I’m so PROUD of Buffy for telling Giles right away about Dawn. And it is the same night because Buffy is in the same shirt as last episode.
  • Established: Dad will never be an option.
  • Hey, it's five time Oscar nominee, Amy Adams!!
  • Anya’s entrance. Omg. She’s amazing. “Just a few days after we moved you in!” 
  • Aww, Tara is so awkward.
  • “That’s funny…if you’re a complete dork.”//”Then how come Xander didn’t laugh?” OMG, I want to see a Xander/Riley roadtrip.
  • Ben has some amazing abs. And that’s all he’s good for.
  • Ok, so I know Ben is Glory and the audience doesn’t know yet but I'm wondering if the writers or the director knew. The writer might have known because they’re in the same room together. But ten seconds after we see Ben, we see Glory. And the writer might know that but what bothers me is that Glory appears ten seconds later in a long black dress. Did she really get dressed that fast, run around the lockers. She can run fast…I just…It was such a quick scene, it may have made more sense if she had Ben’s scrubs on. But then he did take his shirt off. And she even had time to put on a necklace!  I'm not shenaniganing it, but I think it could have been done better.
  • Anya, “Please come again for more purchases!” Heh.
  • Anya is so excited about her job! She’s so sweet and funny.
  • Cordelia mention!
  • This is…it’s kinda mean girlish. The way Xander and Buffy are talking about Tara. I mean, I guess they’re trying – but they need to get to know their friend’s girlfriend. And what does Buffy know about Anya, for that matter? Get to know your friend’s mates, Buffy!
  • Ugh,this obsession with Buffy, Spike. It’s just…gross.
  • Tara’s brother is awful.
  • Cousin Beth! Amy Adams!
  • Story Idea: Anya’s great(x20) grandson comes to Sunnydale.  She's gotta have a relative somewhere. Maybe a granddad that got turned into a vampire?  
  • NO! Don’t contact Graham, Riley! He will bring his boringness.
  • Riley looks like he has the start of a mullet going…. 
  • Our dorm doors locked automatically.
  • Usually things happen to you [magically] when you turn 18 or 21, since they're numbers we know in America and other parts of the world as 'coming of age' ages...even though there's really not much of a justification for them beside the fact that This Is the Law.  20 seems like such a better round number.  Two even decades.
  • “It doesn't feel evil.”// “Evil never does.” It’s such a religious conversation metaphor.
  • That demon looks like a clown.
  • “A vampire slayer? How unbelievably common.” Really? I mean there’s only one at a time. Usually. It feels like a cliché God or superior being trope line from sci-fi films like, “You’re all like insects to me” which I always thought was a stupid line/mentality.  I mean...we don't talk to insects.
  • This bit where everyone gets the spell is very well directed; everyone's heads moving back at the same time.
  • And we see the beginning of Riley’s destruction. Self-destruction? The writer’s destruction of Riley?
  • “I don’t go out with Vampires. They’re never interested in my intellect.”  See? He's funny!
  • It’s so well done. This fight scene with the demons they can’t see. It’s so well directed.
  • That demon got American History X’d! [I hate you for reminding me of that scene. - Z]
  • “The women in our family have demon in them.” It just…it makes no sense and I’m glad the scoobies see through it so quickly.
  • “You just gotta go through me.” Fuck yeah, Buffy. Not…tearing…up.
  • “We’re Family!” Buffy gets a point for saying the title of the episode.
  • “Excuse me, what kind? What kind of demon is she?” Heh. Anya.  She's always helping.  She helps Buffy move in, she solves yet another dilemma. I should keep stats.
  • Aww, Spike did something kinda selfless. This part, though. This part seems soooo believable in this world – telling the women that they’re demons to keep them in line…such a great metaphor for the women in ultra-religious families in our own world being told they’re dirty.
  • I love this dance with Tara and Willow and the floating...
  • ...although they both look like they’re wearing different kinds of wallpaper from the 70s. 

It's like grandma's bathroom.




Crossfire!
Tara: A half camel.
Daniel: That's a stupid line
Zelda: I didn't used to get it
Daniel: it's like the front half a costume.
Zelda: No, it's like an ice skating thing, isn't it?
Daniel: Is it?
Google: It's a yoga pose.
Daniel & Zelda: We get it, but it's still not funny.


Dawn: Only losers drink alcohol.
Everyone: *awkwardly puts down solo cups*
Daniel: Are they even 21?
Zelda: No! Well, maybe Riley and Giles. But Tara just turned 20, so ...
Daniel & Zelda: Shenanigans!


Favorite Lines: 
Zelda: 

It's all about the proud smile they share.

Daniel: “But it’s still not funny.” – Anya, following Tara's explanation of her 'joke'.


Arc/Continuity Stuff:


  • Recurring: Miss Kitty (last appearance), Tara, Glory (not yet named), Ben, Harmony, Willy's Place (sans Willy)
  • Mention of Buffy's father - he's in Spain with his secretary, "living the cliche." Shithead.
  • Buffy compares Glory to Cordelia.
  • Riley mentions Graham.
  • The "reveal" about Tara fearing she's part demon explains when she sabotaged that spell in Goodbye, Iowa (and which Willow mentions here).
  • Sandy, the vampire who hits on Riley in Willy's Place, was last seen as a human in Doppelgangland, where (presumably) Vamp!Willow turned her (even though we didn't see her suck anyone else's blood).
  • Harmony shopped at April Fools, where Cordelia used to work.
  • Spike's chip is what helps them figure out the lie in the Maclay family.


Stats:
Anya's Hair - shoulder length, curly, honey blonde
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 3
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 1 Tara's not a demon after all!
Shithead Reveal - The Maclay family is awful
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Magic Incense and Spooky Sand



Episode 5.5: No Place Like Home. Original Airdate 10.24.00

"Buffy learns more about Dawn after she discovers a mysterious orb linked to a group of monks being pursued by an incredibly powerful force."





Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Monks!  With their monk haircuts! 
  • Buffy rarely gets the subtitle timestamp. (2 months ago.)
  • Buffy's fighting a wrestler! 
  • “It was my turn to bring the bundt cake.” heh. 
  • The Dagon Sphere reminds me of the Orb of Thesula…but looks so cool.   
  • Pumpkin belly?  Where'd that come from? 
  • Aww, Buffy is so jealous of her little sis. 
  • Giles in the wizard outfit.  It’s just so.  He’s so gleeful.  And Buffy's face.  And Giles falling face.  And it’s all just so wonderful. 
  • Both Zelda and I mimicked Buffy’s ‘hand over fist’.  We are nerds. 
  • It appears to be paranormal in origin//how can you tell?
  • Hey, it’s Kendoll. Will he ever be interesting? At least he has more expressions than Graham. 
  • I like that Buffy thinks what’s happening to her mom is supernatural.  Because it’s easier.  She can fight monsters.  She can’t fight an illness. 
  • Glory!   
  • Wow, it’s been like 20 minutes and no Xander and Anya.  No Tara, either. 
  • Here’s Anya! 
  • I love Buffy’s shirt. I so want that shirt. But you know, for men.
  • Glory does 'crazy' well.  I love her mannerisms. 
  • The Magic Box is so crowded!  Yay for Giles! 
  • Anya, “Please, go.” Heh! 
  • “Hey you!  Have a nice day!”  Love her. So much.
  • Willow is terrible at wrapping. 
  • Anya is helpful in so many ways.  She can come up with a spell to help Buffy and wrap a statue all at once.  So underappreciated, that one. 
  • Aww, Buffy’s trying to make Riley feel helpful. 
  • “Maybe instead of trying to take care of me, let’s agree to take care of each other. Deal?”  You go, Riley. 
  • “What are you doing?”//” My boyfriend.”  Great dialogue in this ep. 
  • This meditation sequence is so trippy, I love it. The visual effects are simple but so affected and well directed. 
  • The reveal with the picture is so good.
  • it must take such incredible magic to insert a human being into a life and change everyone’s memories, pictures, etc.  
  • It’s convenient that they had that extra room in the house…for storage. 
  • This tricky stuff making Dawn look evil is so effective and everything that happens can still be so easily explained. 
  • Hey, look.  It’s Spike, post erotic dream. 
  • I love the five words or less. “Out for a walk.  ….  Bitch.” 
  • “I never really liked you anyway, and you have stupid hair.”  This is…just stop. 
  • “Where’s Buffy?” “You don’t have to worry about her.”  Eh, that’s the only one that’s not too explainable.  It’s a weird response to the question. Maybe it's the delivery.
  • Whoa!  Glory is strong. 
  • Anya has a job!  She’s so cute accepting the job, too, "OK....boss."
  • She is huuuumaaaaaan.  No joke, whenever I hear that word, I hear this monk saying it. 
  • Sarah and Michelle have excellent chemistry as sisters.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Oh right. The monks. They're a thing.
  • This vamp is huge. But our Buffy is the best.
  • Even if her coat is weird.
  • Joyce :( this is not okay
  • YAY BEST SILENT EXCHANGE EVER.
  • Giles is just. So fucking cute. I cannot with the cuteness of him.
  • Buffy trying to visualize the phrase "hand over fist" is adorable. I love when they let Buffy be adorable.
  • I love that Willow comes in asking Giles about his hat and cloak. Did he tell her about his costume? Or did she just assume? Either scenario is adorable. I picture Giles excitedly phoning Willow to tell her, and she demands pictures and he can't figure out the timer on his camera so it's blurry pictures of like his hand.
  • Dawn, you're awful. Stop it.
  • "Why can't I ever be li'l punkinbelly?" // "Well, I don't feel qualified to address the last part..."
  • "You just have no idea how much I wish I were an only child these days." And the audience groans at yet another trolling line. At least we get answers this ep.
  • DAMMIT JOYCE STOP HAVING A BRAIN TUMOR.
  • WHY THE FUCK DOESN'T INTERN BEN KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE THE WORD MUSCLES WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK. He says muskles. With a k. What even why. Why didn't anyone catch that.
  • I forgot that brain-sucked security guard is what sets Buffy to convincing herself that Joyce's illness is magical in origin. Poor Buffy. Poor Joyce. Also poor brain-sucked security guard, I guess.
  • Ugh Glory. I wish I wish she were better at delivering her lines because I really can't stand her "acting."
  • Aw Giles got a customer! He's so excited and cute. "They gave me money and then they left!"
  • Anya, what is your dress.
  • "I could crap a better existence than this." See, even reading the line you can hear how it's supposed to sound. And that's not how she says it. She says the line completely wrong. Bad bad bad acting. Hate Glory.
  • It is an interesting feature of Glory as a villain, though, her tendency to go mad unless she's brain-sucked someone recently. Also the yet-to-be-revealed thing about having to share a body with Ben.
  • "That's not candy." Um. Who goes into a store and starts eating things without paying for them? Fuck you, Sunnydale patrons.
  • "Please go." Anya is awesome. "Hey you! Have a nice day."
  • This episode is all about Anya being awesome! She's the one to think of the sorcerer and spell Buffy can cast to see if something is attacking Joyce. And then later she rescues Giles by being awesome at retail.
  • I dunno, I wouldn't pour sand on a carpeted floor. Why can't Buffy use the only bathroom in the house?
  • Spooky Trance Time!
  • I actually really love the way this is handled - the disappearing Dawn in the photos, etc. It shows that she's not real, which is enough to set Buffy off, without actually marking her as malicious or benign.
  • "Nothing. There's nothing." Poor Buffy. She wants so desperately for there to be a magical explanation for Joyce's headaches, because that's what she's trained to fight. She can't fight real illness. (And if Intern Ben and his linguistic skills are all we having fighting on the side of medicine, we are fucked).
  • Dawn's bedroom fading into a storage room - such a cool effect.
  • "You're not my sister."
  • Aaaaaaaaaah they're playing up Dawn as creepy evil so well. Because if you know the truth it's just a hurt pouty teenager, but if you don't know yet, it all sounds evil. "Do you really think I care you're the Slayer? ... Mom's coming back."
  • I TOTALLY FORGOT THIS MOMENT WAS HERE.

  • Oh right, because last episode Spike discovered he might have a crush on Buffy. And he's handling it like a teenager, insulting Buffy.
  • "Your house happens to be directly between ... parts and other ... parts of this town."
  • She called him William. That's ... kind of weird? She's never done that before?
  • "And I never really liked you anyway and you have stupid hair."
Buffy's inner monologue: dafuq what that?
  • I forgot how much happens in this episode.
  • Look! Dawn has tea! Potentially Evil Tea!
  • "I'll see your numbness and I'll raise you a lower back pain."
  • "Anya, would you like a job?" // "..Okay." ANYA IS SO CUTE. I LOVE IT SO MUCH."Okay ... boss."
  • See, so like, this could be awesome, two tiny blondes fighting and being really strong. But Glory sucks.
  • Yay Buffy punch the Glory!
  • Buffy's hair looks amazing considering how many floors, walls, and columns she's been thrown against.
  • "I didn't ask for this. I don't even know - what is she?" // "Human. And helpless. Please, she's an innocent in this. She needs you." // "She's not my sister." // "She doesn't know that." It hurts, you guys.
  • Oh god, I even want to hug Dawn now. Buffy gets home, Dawn gets up from Joyce's side, muttering "I wasn't bothering her."
  • "Buffy, what's wrong with mom?" // "I don't know."


Crossfire!

Ben: [mispronounces muscle]
Zelda: [looks triumphant at Daniel]
Daniel: It's not a mispronunciation. I've heard people say that. It's like a jokey thing.
Zelda: No, it's not!
Daniel: Yes it is! I've heard people do that.
Zelda: I've never heard anyone do that! You're lying.
Daniel: I'm not lying! I swear. No one would actually mispronounce muscles unless it's on purpose. It's not a medical term, it's a word! It's an everyday word!
Zelda: [glares]


Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "What are you doing?" // "My boyfriend." - Dawn/Buffy
Zelda: "Out. For. A. Walk. Bitch." - Spike



Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Dagon Sphere, as-yet-unnamed Glory (aka The Beast, The Abomination)
  • Recurring: Joyce, Joyce's headaches, Ben
  • First mention of the Key. "It's energy, it's ... portal. It opens a door." Also it's Dawn.
  • Riley's still benched after his itty bitty heart surgery.


Stats:

Anya's Hair - shoulder-length, curly, honey-blonde
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Buffy Breaks a Padlocked Gate - 1
Buffy Breaks a Wall With Her Body - 2
Glory Breaks a Building With Her Foot - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 1 (Dawn)
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Sodding Breadbox

Episode 5.4: Out of My Mind. Original Airdate 10.17.00




"While Riley's Health begins to deteriorate, Spike and Harmony force a surgeon to remove the behavior modification chip embedded in Spike's brain."



Zelda's Thoughts:
  • Parking lot! Do a shot. I'd have alcohol poisoning if I actually did shots every time they use the parking lot as a set.
  • I feel like a long tied neck scarf wouldn't be the best for slaying? too easy to get strangled?
  • "Buffy, what are you doing here?" // "My job?!?"
  • And then Spike joins the fray because of reasons.
  • Tasting your own nose blood is pretty gross, Spike.
  • What's that? Spike's delivering an ominous threatening speech? Time to undercut it by having him fall into an open grave!
 *dusts hands*

  • Oh hey reminder that college is a thing. I love me some French Revolution debate.
  • This is actually making me really retrospectively sad, that Buffy is applying herself so hard at her studies, both academic and Slayic, knowing that it won't last long because Buffy is not allowed to have good things.
  • It's nice that Xander is good at something, all carpentery and such.
  • "What do you see?" // "Willow hand."
  • Aw they built Buffy a training room and it's huuuuuuuuuuuge. Let's celebrate by having Riley be a hyperactive puppy.
  • Dawn pouring all the cereal out to get to the prize - another sign the writers intended the character to be younger than they cast. By the time I was 14 I knew how to get prizes out without sacrificing delicious sugary cereal.
  • NO NO NO NO NO JOYCE COLLAPSED.
  • I like that Dawn's stethoscope playing is what leads to the realization that Riley is sick.
  • Dawn's a great catalyst this ep - she gives Buffy the idea of tipping off The Initiative to Riley's illness by speaking into Riley's tapped phone.
  • Did Riley just spike the basketball? I don't think that's how you sport.
  • Shenanigans! Graham said The Initiative has been at Riley "for weeks" about his illness. Bull freaking shit.
  • "Harmony, is it a sodding breadbox?"
  • Buffy, you ripped up that perfectly nice money! Bad Buffy, bad!
  • Ugh. Riley. Don't let this kill you because you want to be strong enough to arm wrestle your Slayer girlfriend. It's not quite the same but it's reminding me of Angel deciding he couldn't afford to stay human with Buffy.
  • "Loving you is the scariest thing I've ever done, Buffy." // "I don't know why." I really love that exchange. I've been trying to articulate what it is I love about it and I'm having trouble. It's what Buffy says, and the way she says it. That it shouldn't be scary, that it should be easy, natural, that it's not a competition but a partnership and there needs to be trust.
  • So um. They don't shave Spike's hair before cutting into his skull? They also didn't even bother to cut a hole in the blue sheet and you can see him moving against the sheet. One big shenanigan on this surgery.


  • Wow. Is he just like. Putting a bandaid on Spike's hair?
Yes, he is
  • Also the gauze is nowhere near where he was operating.
  • Parking lottttttttttttttttt.
  • Meanwhile Riley's heart surgery also has the tiniest bandage known to man. 


  • Listen, I know about laproscopic surgery but this was done in 2000, and I'm pretty sure that's not what was happening here.
  • Also they didn't bandage or even clean Riley's bloody knuckles. This is the worst doctor ever.
  • Oh right this is when Spike's crush starts officially with the kissing dream. "Oh God, no. Please, no."


Daniel's Thoughts:


  • I always feel like that one crypt they have is blow-up. Like there’s someone with an air pump blowing it up before each scene.
  • I was going to say how cool it is that Buffy staked a vamp before he even made it out of the ground, but…there’s no way she could have. It looks like she staked his head. SHENANIGANS.
  • Ugh, shut up Spike. “I will know your blood, slayer…I will make your neck my chalice and…” Seriously, shut up. Your poetry sucks!
  • Willow’s so cute that she’s proud that she and Buffy are having an intellectual debate.
  • All this witty banter. Back and forth and back and forth! I want to write it all down!
  • How does the Magic Shop have so much space? It’s huge.
  • Oh, Harmony. She’s so sweet for a vampire.
  • Yes, I know it’s a recurring theme: Smoking=Evil. And vampires are evil so they smoke…but how can they if they don’t even breathe? I’m not going to shenanigan it. I mean it’s kind of a series long shenanigan.
  • Oh man, Joyce, “Who are you?” Again, with the good foreshadowing. Also, it's laying out the rules of Dawn.
  • Ugh, Ben. He looks like Ken-Doll. Meaning his hair looks plastic.
His hair seriously looks fake

  • Very subtle click on the phone, initiative guys. Nope…no one is listening.
  • Oh, fantastic. It’s Graham. The most boring character to ever boring.
  • It’s like he’s being forced to be on this show.
  • And why is everyone in southern California wearing a damn sweater?
  • Jesus, would it kill you to have an expression, Graham?
  • I love how Anya thinks Xander’s metaphor is about them. She’s so adorable. Xander never knows what he’s got.
  • Wow, Buffy has a loud knock.
  • “How about knocking?” She…did? Didn’t you hear it? It was really loud.
  • Riley’s so scared to lose Buffy that he’s willing to risk his life. What an idiot. A romantic, lovely, sweet idiot.
  • “Peroxide-head” heh.
  • Sorry Spike, still got yer chip.
  • Did Riley just have heart surgery without anesthesia? Shenanigans?
  • And after all this, Buffy can’t at least walk him home?
  • This dream is so stupid and narcissistic and so Spike and I so wish it wasn't prophetic.


Crossfire!
Buffy: "If that's what I wanted, I'd be dating Spike."
Zelda: smiles a Cheshire cat smile at Daniel
Daniel: glares at Zelda

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: "In my montage, I have glasses." - Buffy
Daniel: "Oh! Who put the monkey heads near the Styx water? Do we *want* to pick exploded monkey out of our hair?" - Anya


Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Recurring: Tara, Harmony, Graham, dilapidated Sunnydale High, Adam's caves
  • First appearance: Ben the Intern
  • Spike watches Dawson's Creek


Stats:
Anya's Hair - dirty blonde, curly
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 3
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 4
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kill Us Both, Spock!



Episode 5.3: The Replacement. Original Airdate 10.10.00



"When a demon creates a Xander double, the real Xander must convince his friends of his true identity."






Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Aww, Double date night!
  • It’s interesting that I like the Xander-centric episodes like this and The Zeppo. But I mean, its an episode that points out all of Xander’s flaws and weaknesses…so what’s not to like?
  • Aww, Anya’s in a cast – continuity from last episode.
  • Riley’s got huge hands!
  • “Who uses a cauldron anymore?” Cut to cauldron and freaky looking demon. I love how this show does that.
  • I like Riley’s red leather jacket. It matches Buffy’s pants.
  • Anya is so wonderful. That’s all. She just is.
  • It is an awesome set. Err…Apartment. I look forward to musicals being set here.
  • Xander says that Anya has her own place. But does she? We’ve never seen it...yet.
  • I love the demon in this episode. He’s so unique looking.
  • I love that Buffy assumes Toth is a British expression meaning moron since there are so many words that do.
  • Aww, Hero Riley is so cute.
  • Riley: “People say they’re recycling. They’re so not recycling.” It’s like he gets me.
  • He’s scavenging, yes. Spike is scavenging for Buffy mannequin parts.
  • Oooh, two Xanders! I wish Toth had hit Riley instead…
  • Is it weird that I find Nick Brendan’s identical twin more attractive than him?
  • Also, is it possible that I just identify with Dawn…being the bratty kid sibling?
  • Joyce’s first headache….  Seemingly innocent right now… This show is so good at subtly foreshadowing.
  • Everyone calls each other by last name at the construction site because that’s what manly men do.
  • So red herring about the coin – yet – isn’t it still kind of annoying that he’s shining it in his boss’s eye?
  • Hey! It’s Anya’s apartment! HOW DOES SHE AFFORD AN APARTMENT WITHOUT A JOB? Shenanigans on Anya’s whole way of living and lack of explanation. Shame, writers, shame.
  • I love that Willow plays along even though she has no idea what’s going on with Xander’s freak out.
  • I love Xander’s snoopy-dance.

  • “It’s a robot!” Not yet, Xander. Not yet.
  • “I get in trouble and Buffy saves me.”//“That’s not true, sometimes we all save you.”
  • “I need [Anya]!” “Really?” Shut up, Willow. She’s so judgey. Anya is not Cordelia, Willow. Stop it.
  • I do love that they remember that Willow had an evil twin (as well.)
  • Hey, Xander’s new apartment has a balcony!
  • And I really like Xander getting into Anya’s psychology. It’s pretty amazing and something that should have been explored more and not just in Xander-centric episodes.
  • Anya’s foreshadowing her ‘David Brinkley’ line in Once More with Feeling.
  • Giles said, 'Oh Dear Lord.' That’s important!
  • “Which one is the real one?” Weren’t you listening, Riley? They both are!
  • “Being a Slayer is part of what you are. You keep thinking I don’t get that. There’s no part of you I’m not in love with.” See? This is why I love Riley.
  • Aww, Buffy’s trying to spare Xander’s feelings.
  • I love how Anya’s just not subtle at all about sleeping with both Xanders. Also, if they do…is that gay or just masturbation?
  • Marc Blucas is so wonderful in this moment talking about how lucky he is to have Buffy and when he confides in Xander and says, “But she doesn’t love me,” it just breaks my heart every time.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Yay this episode is fun!
  • I'm impressed that they waited five seasons to take advantage of the fact that Nicky Brendon has an identical twin. Well, besides stunt doubling.
  • I love that Buffy is critiquing the kung fu for bad strategizing.
  • Toth's makeup is gorgeous.

  • Riley's humor is very supportive this ep, first with the humoring of "dryer food," and then his willingness to hypothetically say "la la, I'm on my way to Xander's."
  • I love that Anya is planning out where the Scooby meetings will be in the new apartment. It's absolutely something I do when I go apartment hunting. Except less with the Giles and more with the bookcases.
  • YEAH GO GILES YOU HIT THAT TOTH WITH OOFDAR.
  • "Well, I'm not dead or unconscious so I say bravo for me." YEAH GILES YOU GO
  • On that note, this has been circulating the tumblrsphere lately, and it seemed appropriate given our stat counting:

  • "He called you a Toth. It's a British expression. It means, like, moron." I love this so much
  • "He mentioned Buffy? Where do we find him and how hard can I kill him?" Riley, your alpha is showing.
  • "Oh, there's a nice lady vampire who set up a charming tea room over the next pile of crap." I just love his delivery here.
  • Spike still very firmly not on the Scoobies's side, even though we saw last episode that he still likes to kill demons to work out his issues.
  • GASP TWO XANDERS.
  • Two very unfortunately costumed Xanders.
  • Speaking of odd outfits, Buffy, what is you wearing.

  • Oh it's Dawn. I almost forgot about her.
  • NO JOYCE THAT ISN'T YOUR TWO TEENAGED DAUGHTERS HEADACHE NO STOP HURTING US WHEDON.
  • So much rampant sunlight in Spike's crypt.
  • So that bit with the mannequin is clearly a nod-before-anyone-knows-it to his impending crush.
  • The job's winding down? Really? But that building isn't close to being done. 
Do I just super not understand how constructing buildings works?

  • Yeah, I'm calling a shenanigan.
  • It really is well done - I was taken in completely the first time I watched this - because SuaveXander is just so smooth. And little nods like "Harris. Me. Yes." which if Xander were completely Xander would have a bit more twitch to it, even though it's still his type of syntax.
  • Plus  the MacGuffin of the flattened nickel SuaveXander is fiddling with.
  • Okay, I'm calling a shenanigan again. You don't get the apartment the day you fill out the application, much less the day you sign the lease, unless it's the first day of the month. Also why is there already a working phone and like I'm happy for Xander and his magical beautiful apartment, but I'm pretty sure that's not how it works.
  • Willow's humoring of SpazXander even though she doesn't know about the two Xanders yet.
  • It's so cute that Xander thought Willow set a fire for him. Cute and a little arson-y?
  • YAY THE SNOOPY DANCE.
  • Buffy: "Toth." SuaveXander: glares at Buffy ENIGMATICALLY. I see what you do, show.
  • "It's a robot. It's an evil robot designed from evil parts that look like me designed to do evil." // "Uh huh. Or it's Toth." // "OR IT'S TOTH." I love this sequence.
  • I love this episode, you guys. The humor is top form, the segues between scenes are awesome, and it's a great development for Xander.
  • "But I never help. I get in trouble and Buffy saves me."
  • I like that Anya and his love for her is what spurs despairing SpazXander back into action.
  • "Hey wait til you have an evil twin. See how you handle it." // "I handled it fine." BEST THING EVER.
  • Shenanigans! SpazXander hit the play button on the voicemail and it was only the pertinent part of the message, not the whole message SuaveXander left earlier.
  • Aw little Anya, wanting to learn how to be an adult. But also because her injury freaked her out and she's feeling her mortality for the first time since she lost her demonhood.
  • "Being suddenly human? I think I can get what that would be like." You're trolling us, show.
  • Poor SpazXander. He loves Anya and he came to fight for her, but he doesn't have the words to plead with her.
  • "This time I know I had that locked." Poor Giles's lack of privacy.
  • "I said 'Oh, dear lord.'" // "You always say that." // "Well, it's always important!"
  • I'm gonna read all this talk about a robot Xander as foreshadowing for Buffybot, and you can't take that away from me.
  • And see this is also still part of the exploration of the essence of Buffy's slayerness - the idea of splitting Buffy into simple human Buffy and SlayerBuffy, The question, which we'll explore later, of whether distilling Buffy into her slayerness would make her more powerful, but also is she losing her humanity by delving into slayerness too far. It's interesting, because Buffy spent so much of her teenhood fighting that which would not let her be normal, and she's embracing it much more now, the full integration of all that is Buffy, but the dichotomy is still a thing to continue exploring.
  • XANDER NO WHERE DID YOU GET THE GUN.
  • Oh it was Anya's gun. Okay, that makes sense.
  • I like that SuaveXander protects both Anya and SpazXander from Toth.
  • "Check, candles and pretense."
  • You know, Tara's absence from this episode isn't helping with her already-feeling-left-out-ness.
  • "But she doesn't love me" oops
  • Also just like
  • I'm sorry
  • If he believes that - and I will go along and say he probably loves her more than she loves him - he should use his words. He should talk to her, not let it stew. Not let it fester and poison, not drive it to the point of vampire whorehouses and ultimatums.

Crossfire!

Anya: I may have as few as 50 years left!
Daniel: Or three.
Daniel & Zelda: Fuck you, Joss.


Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "When do we get a car? And a boat. No, wait. I don't mean a boat. I mean a puppy. Or a child. I have a list somewhere." - Anya
Zelda: "He called you a Toth. It's a British expression. It means, like, moron." - Buffy



Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Joyce
  • Anya's still injured from the events of Real Me.
  • Xander's parents are pretty awful.
  • Xander's been in construction for at least two episodes but his job there is ending ... or is it?
  • Shout out to the old factory.
  • Joyce has a headache.
  • Shout out to Willow's evil twin

Stats:

Anya's Hair - dirty blonde, curly
Xander's Job - construction, FOREVAH
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 1 (Suave Xander is NOT a Toth) 
Shenanigans Called - 4
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rudely Attacked by Nothing


Episode 5.2: Real Me. Original Airdate 10.3.00

"As Harmony and her vampire gang plot Buffy's demise, Dawn adjusts to life with a S
layer."







Zelda's Thoughts:


  • Ugh. Dawn.
  • Okay so this is actually my first time rewatching Dawn stuff since I really started reading other analyses, especially ones in defense of Dawn, so I'm not sure how that will re-color what I'm watching.
  • I will say that a huge part of my distaste for her stems from MT's acting. I just don't think she's good. She's not listening, she knows the end of what she's going to say before she starts, there's just no discovery, so it all feels performed rather than lived. Blah.
  • We haven't actually started watching yet, I just wanted to get this out before we do.
  • The Adventures of Pete and Pete was an amazing show, for the record.
  • "There is nothing but you," intones Giles. EXCEPT ALSO THERE'S A DAWN.
  • Yeah you go, stunt Buffy! Do that one-armed hand stand!
  • Oh hey where are they anyway? Where are Giles and Buffy doing their crystal meditation yoga-ness?
  • Like actually, where are they? We don't have the Magic Box .. yet.

Seriously, where is this?

  • "Nobody knows who I am." And all the first-time watchers yell YES WHO WHO ARE YOU GO AWAY.
  • "I bet they've had sex." So I read that they originally wanted Dawn to be younger than she is, and then aged her up when they cast MT. And lines like this really demonstrate that they didn't adjust the writing to fit the age change.
  • Aw see at least in this ep Riley isn't at all resentful of Buffy having Slayer priorities.
  • "Giles, are you breaking up with your car?" // "Well, it did seduce me, all red and sporty!" // "Little two-door tramp!"


  • Dawn is apparently not currently aware that Tara and Willow gay together but SHENANIGANS Joyce is and is vaguely homophobic about Dawn's apparent interest in it.
  • Dawn's shirt looks vaguely like a Star Trek uniform. 
Beam me up....Spike?
  • Why does Tara consider herself a non-Scoobie? Or is she perhaps saying that because her actual goal was to look after Dawn, and this is a way of allying them?
  • Yes, Giles, the profit margins may be high at the magic shop, but so is the mortality rate.
  • It's really quite sweet how taken he is with it all.
  • I'm actually kind of impressed Harmony has minions at all. She's always been more a follower than a leader. 

  • Xander's actually really good at Dawn-sitting. He doesn't talk down to Dawn and doesn't seem to resent having to watch out for her. Glad you found a job you're good at, Xander!
  • Oh I forgot they actually address my earlier question, of Tara's feeling outside the Scoobies. Good for you, show.
  • Good subtle foreshadowing - Willow calls Tara one of the good guys, and Tara looks uncomfortable and breaks the embrace - because she still thinks she's part demon and evil and god her family sucks. Fuck Tara's family.
  • Parking lot! Do a shot.
  • "I know it's always been this way. She's the baby. But for some reason lately, it's just really getting to me. She's always around." We are being trolled.
  • "She doesn't get the sacrifices. She's a kid."
  • Anya barely even knows Harmony and her eyeroll is still hilarious.
  • "Afraid you and your buddies will have to come back and be killed by Buffy later."
  • Stop Dawn no. Dawn, you did a dumb.
  • "You'd think a Slayer's house would have more weapons lying around." Fact. Maybe Dawn's presence means they're more gated up?
  • Buffy laughing about Harmony's minions is one of the most delightful things. This may be the last time we see her this lighthearted on the series. Okay, now I'm sad.
Cheer up, Zelda
  • Second parking lot set of the episode.
  • Oh hey Dawn got kidnapped.
  • Bless poor concussed Anya, making sure they know Dawn was taken, even when she can barely keep her eyes open.
  • I do love that the minions are calling Harmony out on her shitty plan that we've seen a million times - there really is no need to keep Dawn alive except for main character reasons.
  • Tom Lenkpire is the first to die!
  • "We've met, Harmony, you halfwit."
  • I love that Harmony's obsession with unicorns gave Buffy one of her slaying weapons.
  • If nothing else, the sister bickering is believably written and acted.
  • "Boy, is she in for a surprise." So yeah the first time I saw this I thought maybe this was hinting that Dawn was some kind of evil premise (and they clearly wanted fans speculating in that vein). But nope, just Dawn being a 14 year old girl writing in her diary.




Daniel's Thoughts:


  • Yay! Buffy’s training again! And it’s all spiritually now which it never really was before.
  • Hey! It’s Dawn! Little sisters ruin everything! Always. Because she’s always been there. And she’s in the credits. But was she always in the credits? Oooh.
  • Yay! Mercedes McNabb!
  • I really love Dawn’s diary entry. It’s the epitome of a little sister who feels left out even if it makes her a little bratty.
  • Aww, Riley. He’s trying not to be jealous. He really is.
  • Nice new car, Giles.
  • Aww, Giles is also searching for his thing.
  • The friendship between Willow & Dawn – their first “real” introduction seems forced. It’s like, look, we’ve been friends and chess partners all along, let me say something to prove it to you and the audience right now.
  • But also, the whole Joyce thing not being cool with Willow & Tara. I mean Joyce grew up as a free spirit in the 60s. I don’t buy it at all.
  • Hey! New set! The magic shop is way bigger than it used to be!
  • Crazy guy talking to Dawn. First clue that something isn’t quite right.
  • “Do you wanna thumb wrestle?” “Ok. “ Heh. I can totally see Tara as a mom.

  • The Magic Shop owners do seem to die a lot. You’d think a magic shop would have some protection spells or something…
  • “What kind of unholy creature favors cheap tasteless statuary. “ Cut to Harmony. YAY!
  • Hey! It’s Andrew before he’s Andrew:
Andrew                         Vamp Andrew

  • There’s one of Harmony’s minions – I don’t know if they’re male or female. Peaches? Could be either.
  • Shush, Joyce. You knew Buffy was going to the magic shop.
  • Aww, Dawn wuvvs Xander.
  • Xander’s clothes are getting worse. Does he get his shirts from Uncle Rory?
  • Anya! “Ooh the game of life!”
  • Aww, Tara speaks from experience - getting to be a scooby is hard.
  • Ooh, some foreshadowing for Tara’s secret.
  • “It’s always been that way.” I love all these lines that make the audience crazy.
  • Enough with your leather pants, Buffy! Maybe you should start wearing something more comfortable to fight in.
  • Anya playing Life is wonderful. “Can I trade in the children for more cash?” She's starting to learn the value of money. Seriously, how has she been living up until now?
  • I love when Xander and Harmony fight even if it’s just verbal.
  • Oh, Dawn. “Come inside and say that.” Really? YOU’VE BEEN HERE ALL ALONG.
  • Anya, “A slayers house and no weapons lying around??” HA!
  • Buffy, “Harmony has minions?” I love laugh-y Buffy
  • Harmony is hilarious. I love her interaction with Spike.
  • Harmony gets a point for saying the episode’s title.
  • “It’s not like Dawn hasn’t grown up in this house.” SHE’S BEEN HERE ALL ALONG.
  • I like all the continuity form last week’s ep including the new bite from Dracula.
  • Oh no, Anya!
  • Slayed by a unicorn!
  • I like that Buffy can pop culture reference This is Spinal Tap!
  • “She thinks I’m just her dumb little sister. Boy, is she in for a surprise.” We all are! But Dawn doesn’t know! We only think she knows! Love this!




Crossfire!
Joyce:

Zelda; Joyce, what are you wearing?
Daniel: Is that a giant safety pin?
Zelda: And what is that shirt?
[later]
Riley: Morning, Mrs. Summers. You look great.
Buffy: Suck up.
Riley: What? It's a nice outfit.

Favorite Lines:
Zelda: "I watched Passions with Spike. Let us never speak of it." - Giles
Daniel: 


Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Dawn's in the credits.
  • Recurring: Joyce, Tara, Harmony
  • Willow's still taking drama, but Buffy's dropping it.
  • First appearance of the Magic Box set as we will come to know and love (and destroy) it.
It's a lot bigger than it used to be...
  • Also first appearance of one of Glory's mindsuck victims.
  • His "curds and whey" line a reference to Faith's Little Miss Muffet from the dreams.
  • Trivia: Tom Lenk is one of Harmony's villains, but clearly not (unless he sanshued) the same character as Andrew Wells.
  • Anya's love affair with capitalism continues as she learns how to play The Game of Life.
  • Giles is now a small business owner.

Stats:

Anya's Hair - dirty blonde, curly
Xander's Job - construction/babysitting
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 4
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0