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, December 9, 2014

I Have Finesse Coming Out of My Bottom



Episode 5.11: Triangle. Original Airdate 1.9.01



"While Giles is in England meeting with the Watcher Council, a bickering Anya and Willow mind the magic store and inadvertently conjure up a fearsome troll."

Sophia's Thoughts:
  • This is a sad teaser. (1) Because I’m sure a lot of the audience would forget that Riley’s gone if it wasn’t mentioned. Xander, I’m not asking myself, “Where’s Riley?” and (2) Next season, when Xander leaves Anya, there will be absolutely no warning for her.
  • Xander, the jury is still out on whether she has a pattern with men. Here is my completely unsolicited and unfounded theory on the nature of patterns. The first time something happens, it is a fluke. The second time, it is a coincidence. The third time, it is a pattern. Buffy has one more piece of relationship debris for it to be a pattern.
  • There’s a convent in Sunnydale?! A convent in Sunnydale!...Actually, nevermind. That makes complete sense.
  • Things to consider when contemplating joining a devout religious community: (1) gender relations; (2) whether or not one needs to be religious—correction, super-religious; (3) the food sitch.
  • Anya and Willow are proof that just because you leave high school, doesn’t mean that high school leaves you.
  • There are several unsettling things with Spike’s convo rehearsal: (1) the mannequin! I don’t want to know what else you’ve been doing with her. But we’ll find out a little later in the season what Spike does with synthetic Buffy stand-ins. (2) Why do you think Buffy would want chocolates from you? Also, did you steal those or find them in the trash? (3) In just this one-sided conversation, we see how volatile your relationship with Buffy would be. You’ll think you’re being sweet and she’ll be reminded of what you are. You’ll fight and then reset to do it all over again.
  • Sorry, Willow, I’m Team Anya on this one. You are stealing from the store and being reckless. Your familiarity and history with the Scoobies doesn’t give you the authority to disregard Anya. Also, in the same conversation, you say Giles wouldn’t mind and that he doesn’t have to know.
  • Guys, stop trying to make fetch happen. I don’t miss Riley. Neither does Buffy—no amount of dialogue, strange emotional outbursts, or hugs are going to change my mind. [I miss Riley....-D]
  • I would totally watch a season from Spike’s point of view. He is really just living in his own world. Buffy is not holding a grudge. And there are bigger trolls to fry.
  • Finally! Anya and Willow are on the same page. The mission of this episode is complete!
  • Dawn knows she isn’t crazy! The crazy people were right! She’s not quite normal.


Daniel's Thoughts:

  • And we have Xander pining over Riley.
  • Don't become a nun, Buffy.
  • Council mention! I can't wait for their episode.
  • "I have finesse! I have finess coming out of my bottom!"


  • Willow is so goddamned condescending. It's awful.
  • Dawn: "What are you doing?" Buffy: [reading] "Playing soccer." - I've used this before.
  • "Maybe [Riley'll] come back?" Yep, he will. With a wife.
  • Stop it, Spike.
  • This spell you're talking about? Simulating sunlight? Might have been great for the end of season 7. Just sayin'. Could have saved a lot of deaths...
  • Ugh, this fight between Anya and Willow. It's so...stop.
  • That's a terrible impression of Anya, Willow.
  • And you know, I'd probably like this episode more if it actually solved all the petty fighting between Willow & Anya but it so doesn't. I will reference this in later episodes.
  • Hey! Buffy and Tara have a scene with each other!
  • They took Giles' car!
  • Anya driving is amazing.
  • "A lot of people never got Dru."//"Well she was insane."
  • "I wish Buffy was here."//"I'm here!"//"I wish...I had a million dollars."
  • Troll hammer! This will come in handy later.
  • Ew, Spike. Stop it.
  • I do like the continuity and the history being brought up, like Cordelia.
  • "Gay now!"
  • Xander just got hit with Thor's hammer...how is he not dead?


  • The land of perpetual Wednesday!
  • Oh, crying Buffy. I hate crying Buffy.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • "Maybe it won't happen to us," says Anya. ANYA NO THAT IS JINXING YOURSELF.
  • The nun's pretty funny, I gotta say.
  • Okay so while I recognize that Triangle is nowhere near as bad as The Zeppo, it suffers from some of the same problems, for me. People behaving out of character for the sake of humor, rather than humor arising naturally from already-existing characters. And goofy humor, rather tonally inappropriate to everything else happening on the show. Mostly I'm referring to Buffy's goofy crying jags. But I also don't like how mean Willow is behaving toward Anya. It's not like Anya's a new fixture in the gang. She's been around longer than Tara.
  • "Don't worry, Giles. I'll help her take care of everything." See? It's unnecessarily condescending. Anya's shown COUNTLESS times this season how good she is at retail and also magic stuff in general - she was the one to realize what spell Glory was casting.
  • Buffy and Dawn sassing Joyce. So cute. It's because they think all is well and she's getting better. WE KNOW THE TRUTH, WHEDON.
  • "Whatcha doing?" // "Playing soccer."
  • Oh Spike. Buffy Mannequin is not interested in your chocolates or your apologies.
  • Buffy Mannequin is not wearing a bra. And has nipples. wtf.
  • Okay but Willow you are stealing from the shop. This isn't borrowing cinnamon from Giles's spice rack. This is store inventory.
  • "Hey, don't float the merchandise."
  • "She endangered the money!"
  • At least Xander realizes how not in the middle of the fight between Willow and Anya he should be. Also Tara. Smart cookies.
  • Shenanigans! Willow poured supplies into her mortar and didn't even grind the supplies with the pestle before dumping then in the cauldrony thing. That's some bad spellage.
  • So Willow should pay for the damage to the shop, yes? Yes.
  • "He's not a ball of sunshine."
  • Buffy and Tara taking classes together, so cute!
  • And here's Buffy's first "comedic" sobbing freakout. Sigh.
  • And there's Willow calmly watching her spell fly away from Giles's car.
  • "Puny receptacle!" Olaf is delightful.
  • "Do you know where there are babies?" // "What do you think, the hospital?"
  • "They've got this onion thing." Spike's true love is the onion blossom and we all know it.
  • Gasp! Anya used to date Olaf. But he called her Anyanka, and as we'll see in Selfless, she went by Aud when they were together. So that's a ... ret-incon ... where the retroactive flashback makes the information inconsistent ... okay then.
  • PS Spike: your "good deeds" aren't worth much when you're doing them for show. Also not drinking blood from disaster victims is not really a good deed in the same way as not deliberately tripping people is not really a good deed. Also that.
  • Willow lecturing Anya on the rules. After she stole inventory and attempted spells in uncontrolled circumstances.
  • "I don't do magic now. You're the one with that kind of power. In fact, D'Hoffryn offered you my old job. You're closer to being a vengeance demon than I am, maybe Xander should be afraid of you." Anya, showing her psychic powers. Willow's on a long-term dark path here.
  • It's a cute reversal - when Olaf appeared, Anya hid behind Willow. When he returns to the Magic Shop, Anya pushes Willow behind her.
  • Um. Olaf smashes Xander's head with the hammer, and Xander's NOT dead? Also not skull fractured? Also not knocked out or concussed? Shenanigans!


Crossfire!

Spike: *demolishes Buffy Mannequin*
Daniel: So romantic.


Favorite Lines:

Sophia: "I have finesse! I have finesse coming out of my bottom!" - Anya
Daniel: "If you ever decide to go, I want a warning. You know? Big flashing red lights, and-and-and one of those clocks that counts down like a bomb in a movie? And there's a whole bunch of, of colored wires, and I'm not sure which is the right one to cut, but I guess the green one, and then at the last second, "No! The red one!" and then click, it stops with three-tenths of a second left, but then you don't leave. Like that, okay?" -Anya
Zelda: "That's insane troll logic." - Xander


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Olaf and his Hammer, Spike's love for onion blossoms
  • Recurring: Tara, Joyce
  • Sunnydale has a convent.
  • Shoutout to Amy the Rat
  • Willow killed her fish when she was six and wasn't allowed to have fish for five years. And then Angelus killed her replacement fish.
  • More of Willow doing spells wrong, making things worse.
  • Anya became a vengeance demon after changing Olaf into a troll.
  • Shoutout to the World Without Shrimp.


Stats:

Anya's Hair - shoulder length, honey blonde, curly
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Olaf Breaks the Magic Shop - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Go Monkey. Choose Monkey.

Episode 5.10: Into the Woods. Original Airdate 12.19.00



"After Buffy catches Riley in the clutches of a vampire-junkie, Riley makes an important decision regarding their relationship."




Zelda's Thoughts:


  • Who's up for a round of Sondheim* songs? Into the woods, it's always when you think at last you're through and then into the woods you go again, to take another journey.
  • I'm gonna get through this with lyrics. You're gonna have to deal with that.
  • Seriously, Joyce has no friends? The only people waiting for the end of her surgery are Buffy's people.



  • Joyce's tumor is all gone! Everyone's relieved. Everyone who has never seen a Whedon show before. WE KNOW THE TRUTH.
  • It's so sweet to see them all hugging.
  • "That's disturbing. You're emotionally scarred and will end up badly."
  • Anya, as usual, is amazing.
  • Riley, don't be butthurt she didn't cry on your shoulder. Seriously. Be cool dude.
  • Awkward sex scene. Quick! Distraction needed.

Much better.

  • And creepy Spike being creepy and slowly killing the tree in their front yard with cigarette butts.
  • Again, they don't try to sell the brain surgery much, but it's at least a bit more believable than Spike's chipectomy.
  • Her bandage is FLOATING ON AIR. I take it back.
  • "Just as long as the two of you are spending some quality time ... with the Lord" As religious as this show ever gets.
  • Creepy Spike is creepy. "Are you naked under there?"
  • Spike takes Buffy to the blood brothel. Buffy knows things now, many valuable things, that she hadn't known before. Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood. They will not protect you the way that they should.


  • So while Spike's intentions are anything but honorable - his goal being to separate Buffy from Riley - it is actually important that she know what Riley's doing when she goes to sleep.
  • AGONY. FAR MORE PAINFUL THAN YOURS. When you know she would go with you, if there only were doors.


  • "I dislike that Anya! She's newly human and strangely literal!" // "I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way."
  • At least they're laying some groundwork this episode of Anya and Willow bickering for next episode full-scale fight.
  • Gasp! Riley staked Spike! But it's plastic.
  • Spike's reaction is amazing. "OW BLOODY HELL! GOD! ... hey."
  • "You actually think you've got a shot with her?" // "No, I don't. Fella's gotta try though."
  • Seriously, Spike can't invest in some curtains for his giant windows?[He wears sunblock, apparently - D]
  • "Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me, and sometimes I think I got the better deal."
  • "I wanted to know what you felt. I wanted to know why Dracula and Angel have so much power over you." // "You so don't get it." And he doesn't. Angel has power because he was Buffy's first love. [Is that all?-D] Drac's power was no more pronounced over Buffy than over Xander - he was fixated on Buffy, not really the other way around, except in a thrall-sense. If Riley wants him some thrall, he should contact Drusilla. [Drusilla would love Riley as a toy - D]
  • "Tell me what on earth they were giving you that I can't." // "They needed me." That's kind of unhealthy, yo.
  • "You aren't a passion to them, you are a snack. A willing, idiotic snack."
  • Hey, you know what's not cool? To not only be secretly going off to a vampire crack den, but to also be sitting on the fact that you're back in touch with the military and you might be leaving tonight. And to give Buffy a deadline of get over it now or lose him forever. He can't make these decisions for their relationship like that. And then asking her to hit him. Why? Because in his twisted rationale, that's the only way for him to confirm that she cares, that he actually managed to hurt her. Because yes, that conversation was about hurting her the way he was hurt when she didn't cry on his shoulder. Fuck that. This is not a healthy way to end a relationship, and he does not get off the hook for any of this. Bad communication.
  • Okay, Xander, don't act like Buffy killing a gang of vampires that attacked her was her overworking out some aggression.
  • I like some of what Xander has to say, but I don't know that he's being entirely fair. All Xander can see is his reflection in Riley, the good guy who loves Buffy but who isn't loved the same amount in return. That's all he sees. And anyone trying to take Buffy to task for her behavior over the past few weeks needs to stfu because her MOM HAD A BRAIN TUMOR. 
  • What is true is that Buffy shouldn't let Riley go without at least some kind of real conversation that's not a threat-laden argument. But I don't think Riley ever was the long haul for Buffy, so even though she does run after him, I don't know that they would have actually lasted if she had caught up with him.
  • You think, what do you want? You think, make a decision.
  • Hey Riley - Running away, let's do it. Free from the ties that bind. The trouble is, son, the farther you run, the more you feel undefined.
  • It's a classic Whedon move, Riley looking up and you think he sees her - and no, she's just not there yet.
  • And he flies away. To fight the giants in the sky, probably. Big tall terrible giants in the sky.
  • I remember being much more affected by this the first time I saw it, much more persuaded by Xander's arguments. But on this rewatch, I just ... I really can't see Riley as the one who got away. He's not. He's not even the one who ran away. Angel did that first. He's just one of the ones who ran, who made a decision about his relationship with Buffy without consulting her first. Gosh, that sounds familiar.
  • At least Xander actually told Anya how much she means to him.
  • Bye Riley! Remember: The way is dark, the light is dim, but now there's you, me, her, and him. The chances look small, the choices look grim, but everything you learn there will help when you return there.


*We thought it important to say that the words in blue are Sondheim lyrics from Into the Woods.  Not that you didn't know...but just in case you thought it was ours.

Daniel's Thoughts:


  •  Into the Woods – Zelda will get through this episode by singing Sondheim.
  • Waiting for people to come out of surgery is the worst. I wish I didn’t have experience with that.
  • Really? Giles and Xander, you can hug. It doesn’t make you gay. 90s TV guys. Amirite?
  • Dawn: “When I was a kid…” – Never was!
  • Xander’s awesome apartment is back
  • "The ice is all slippery and monkeys are all irrational…!"
  • Stop it Riley. Just stop it…
  • Isn’t it difficult to have sex with a sheet in between you? Oh, American TV.
  • And stop it, Spike! Why are all men in the Buffyverse stupid? Why can’t they all be like Giles?
  • “Oh, I’m sure he’ll pop over a little later for…bible study.” It's not like the Summers' girls are all that religious.  Why the lame excuse?
  • That gross alley is the perfect place for “Be a Mentor” poster…
  • Oh this is all so sad. And only slightly convoluted.
  • “I dislike that Anya. She’s newly human and strangely literal.”
  • “She bathes you?”
  • “I haven’t seen it since my Ripper days.” – I’M STILL WAITING FOR THAT PREQUEL!
  • Riley staked Spike! Oh...plastic

For one brief moment...

  • This whole conversation between Riley and Spike is fantastic. They’re both so brutally honest. If only Riley could have been that brutally honest with Buffy earlier.
  • See, I think Riley has a point. I think he has a right to feel this way. But he dealt with it all wrong. He could have opened up to Buffy way before it got to this point.
  • Riley has flaws. That’s what makes him human.
  • I hate ultimatums.
  • “You’ve been treating Riley like the rebound guy when he’s the type of guy that comes along once in a lifetime.” Yep. Also, maybe Xander can date him?
  • “Run”. Run where? Buffy has absolutely no idea where Riley is leaving from. He never told her. So where is she running to? SHENANIGANS. [From Sunnydale's world-famous helicopter pad? - Z]
  • Bye Graham. See you in a few NEVER.
  • Aww, bye Riley. Can’t wait to see you next year all happy and stuff.
  • I know I make excuses for Riley but I mean them.  I think he makes huge mistakes here and has huge flaws but so does everyone else in the Buffyverse, yet Riley seems to get dumped on more then anyone else.  In the end of this episode, I'm happy for both Buffy & Riley.  Even though they're both sad, this is the best thing for both of them. He wasn't right for her but he's right for someone and he'll find that someone and then bring her back and show her off to Buffy and Buffy will eventually be happy for him.  And I wish I could say the same about Buffy - that she'd find her one true love.  It sucks that it never happens. But sometimes we just never do.
  • Anya’s apartment is awesome. I like her Victorian furniture. It seems to fit.
  • And I love Xander’s speech to Anya. Too bad it’s all bullshit.

Sophia's Thoughts:


  • Oh look, Riley is wearing a turtleneck. I wonder why. I bet it’s to hides hickeys. It’s to hide hickeys, right?
  • The Scoobies really are a family. I love that they came together to support Buffy and Dawn. Yay! Buffy’s mom is okay!
  • “There’s a chimp playing hockey?!...That’s hilarious! Ice is so slippery! And monkeys are all irrational.”… I think this is exactly how the pitch meeting went for MVP: Most Valuable Primate…and it was basically the same pitch for Ed.
  • Look, Riley, I get it. Buffy is a guarded lady. You keep getting hurt feelings about the fact she’s not sharing and opening up to you. You know what could help with that? Creating an open dialogue where you two talk about your relationship problems. Or we can make sad faces and go to a vamp den to get fed on. Because that always solves things.
  • I’m calling shenanigans on Buffy not noticing Riley’s bite mark. Riley’s naked Buffy. You aren’t curious about his new questionable bandage?
  • I don’t like creepy, lingering Spike. You’re supposed to be a bad ass Spike. Is there a way for you to pine in a bad ass way?
  • Ah, mother-daughter thinly veiled teen sex jokes. We’re going to look back on this as television quaintness if we don’t already.
  • Buffy, I know Spike can’t physically harm anyone, but isn’t he a threat to your privacy? He is constantly breaking into your house! Is he just the creepy uncle now? Also, Buffy sleeps in the buff. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)
  • Spike still doesn’t get it. Yeah, you just drove a wedge between Buffy and Riley, but you hurt Buffy in the process.
  • It’s okay Anya; I’m strangely literal too… when I’m not being sarcastic.
  • Buffy burnt down a house you guys. I think she’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.
  • People really go out of their way NOT to kill Spike. What was Riley’s thought process? Ugh, I’m so mad at Spike! I’m so pissed! Let me go find my “plastic wood grain stake” (*rolls eyes*), storm into his crypt, and threaten to kill him for the 999,999th time. That will show him!
  • I think this is the first time that Spike has told someone that he likes Buffy.
  • Oh look, Buffy is punching things again with a bent wrist. I guess her slayer powers are continuously helping her wrists to heal.
  • Finally! The talk that needed to happen ages ago! Imagine how different things would be if Buffy and Riley talked before he “cheated”. Yeah, I got your heavy-handed metaphor, Whedon.
  • Often the comedic relief, Xander also functions as a reality check. He is a true friend. Please always tell me what you see in front of your Xander face. [Oh sure, it's all fun and games until Xander loses an eye. - Z]
  • Farewell, Riley Finn. I would say I will miss you, but…


Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "I dislike that Anya! She's newly human and strangely literal!" // "I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way." - Anya/Willow
Daniel: "We have to see the chimp playing hockey! That's hilarious! The ice is so slippery, and, and monkeys are all irrational. We have to see this." ~Anya
Sophia: “If what he needs from you just isn’t there – for God’s sake, let him go. But if it is? If you can go deeper, let him get to know that raw, unguarded heart you tried to put away. Maybe you’d better risk something too.” – Xander

Arc/Continuity Stuff:


  • Recurring: Joyce, Dr. Kriebel, Major Ellis, Graham, Anya's apartment
  • Shoutout to how Anya likes playing Life. And having money.


Stats:
Anya's Hair - honey blonde, flippy (not curly)
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 7
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Buffy Burns a House Down - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Killer Snot Monster From Outer Space




Episode 5.9: Listening to Fear. Original Airdate 11.28.00

"Buffy and her friends investigate when a meteorite transports a deadly creature to Earth."



Sophia's still here! Hi Sophia!

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Sure, Buffy gets all the skinny vamp boys.  The scoobies get female wrestlers.
  • Come on, how thin is the skin and muscle on these vamps that Willow’s weak little stab in their backs dusts them? SHENANIGANS!
  • Riley is off trying to ‘feel.’  Snap out of it, Riley!
  • Tiny Jewish Santa!
  • Joyce’s crazytalk is a bit unnerving.  But also, some of the best work Sutherland's done on this show.
  • I love Tara’s goofiness.  And this whole scene with her and Willow looking at the stars is cute.
  • Really? No one sees the snotmonster from outerspace crawling in the ceiling?  Maybe in the corner of their eyes?  Really? Shenanigans!
  • “I’m not great at research” – Riley.  Yeah…you’re only a TA and a grad student.
  • Graham smiled! He had an expression! Stats:  Graham smile: 1
  • Hey! Joyce said the name of the episode twice!  Meaning two different things!  Go, Joyce.
  • They’re so loud.  Why isn’t anyone shushing them up in the University library?
  • Hey payphones!  I guess Willow has no need for a cell yet.
  • Sophia, Zelda and I are entertained by the wordless Latin music coming in over the radio.
  • I love that some of Joyce’s ramblings have to do with a country club because that was her old life.  At least that’s what it seemed like Buffy’s parents’ lives were like in the preceding movie…which may or may not be canon.
  • Oh, go away, Spike!
  • Ok, that Queller monster is kind of terrifying.
  • I’m glad Joyce finds out about Dawn in this way.  Because it’s not just about her finding out…it makes sense because of other factors and rules of the season.
  • I love that all the Scoobies are there to see Joyce off.  But also, does she have any friends?



Sophia's Thoughts:

  • Aww, family time with the Summers women. Too bad it’s in a hospital.
  • Where do these did these vamps workout? Is there a gym in Sunnydale? Is there a Sunnydale wrestling team?
  • Ugh! Riley is still misguidedly letting vamps feed on him. I would be worried or feel sorry for him if I didn’t find it so pathetic and this plot point a little forced.
  • Buffy wanted to be normal. Sometimes normal isn’t so pretty—sometimes it means spending days in a hospital and delaying school.
  • What is this monster?! I don’t understand. Is it a beetle? Is it a roach? It doesn’t look like it is from space. Why does it kill with snot of all things? Why can’t it tell the difference between people who are supernaturally crazy and those that are crazy for natural reasons?
  • Buffy’s mom is becoming more dependent on her. Look at how she tells Buffy to be her voice with the doc. I think this is the official shift of Buffy being the head of the family. She is not only offering emotional support and watching over Dawn; she is also giving medication and taking vitals.
  • I didn’t know Xander wanted to have kids. Look how quickly he jumps out of the way when he hears there is a chance the meteor might make him sterile.
  • Why hasn’t anyone else noticed the meteor and reported it? Good thing Willow and Tara happen to be looking at the sky the exact moment it fell to Earth.
  • You’re looking in “history”, Willow? What were you looking at before when you were referencing the 12th century? Also, is there a website that contains all historic info? Even the obscure stuff? Can you give me the URL?
  • When I get sad, I like to listen to loud tonally inappropriate music too, Buffy.
  • Go, Dawn! You’re not a complete spaz. I’m glad that being around a slayer has rubbed off on you.
  • Buffy, I would advise making a note to self: “Find out why Spike was rummaging through my basement and stealing pictures of me.”
  • “A body might ask what exactly it is you think you’re doing.” A viewer might ask too. What was the point of all this? I’m calling shenanigans on the Queller demon. Why does it come from space when it doesn’t look or do other worldly things? (Maybe as an excuse to bring the military guys back so that Riley can exit the show?) And the Scoobies identified it by “looking in history” and a YA book entitled Meteors and You, really?! If Ben summoned the Queller demon to clean up Glory’s mess, why doesn’t it kill just the supernatural victim crazies?  Also, did Ben think that a string of dead bodies all over town would distract from the crazies all over town? Lastly, I’m a little wary of a demon that I could defeat with Mucinex.
  • The More You Know Message: Sometimes you need to listen to the fears of crazy people because sometimes their fears are snot monsters from outer space. Also, crazy people know when things aren’t real. Well, actually that’s not true. Correction: crazy people can tell when supernatural energy has been transmogrified into human flesh. And sometimes that’s useful.




Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Dawn and Buffy flanking Joyce in the hospital bed and bantering is the cutest thing.
  • "You're the one who insisted on teaching her to talk."
  • Parking lot! Do a shot.
  • Willow's sheepskin jacket is pink but not fluffy. It gets no stat.
  • Joyce has no friends? Oh right, her one boyfriend was a robot and her one friend turned into a zombie.
  • Willow's care package for everyone is so sweet.
  • "Homework? Ugh. I don't believe in Tiny Jewish Santa anymore." Yeah, last time Willow brought Buffy homework in the hospital, it was all completed. She's slipping.
  • Joyce yelling inappropriate things makes me sad.
  • Hey guess what, Ben's as bad at line delivery as Glory.
  • He's a better actor with a beard though. (hyperlink)
  • Tara making up her own constellations because the real ones don't make sense is adorable, but isn't Short Man Looking Uncomfortable as much of a stretch as some of the "real" ones?
  • Ugh. Fuck the Queller, man. I hate this demon. I hate this plot. And I hate hearing Joyce ramble crazily, it hurts, okay?
  • Gross ew gah ew ew ew ew ew ew Riley pulling goop out of dead guy's mouth.
  • "What do we do now?" // "We can't call Buffy. I wanna call Buffy."
  • I would like to point out from everyone's posture that today must be the one cold day in Sunnydale.
  • "You look just like your father when he cries." It hurrrrrrts.
  • Oh noes the Queller has spotted them blah blah blah stupid alien demon thing.
  • Sunnydale has a lake. In addition to its beach.
  • The one time Buffy lets herself break down is when there are no witnesses. Just the most repetitive Spanish music ever.

  • Go Dawn! You fight off that Queller!
  • And creepy stalker Spike is hiding in Buffy's basement. That felt pretty unnecessary shoehorning in just because he's a regular and had nothing to do this week.
  • Gasp! The Scabby Demons know Ben!
  • Also hey Ben summoned the Queller! That means he's responsible for six deaths (possibly more). In case there were doubts about whether he's a good guy. So much for his Hippocratic Oath.
  • "Dawn, she's not mine, is she?" It's so sad. I'm glad Buffy was honest with Joyce about this though. "She does belong to us, though. And she's important, to the world, precious. ... Then we have to take care of her."
  • It's Buffy's promise to her mother, when Joyce thought she might not survive the surgery - to protect Dawn, to keep her safe. It's one of the many reasons Buffy does what she does in The Gift.
  • Shut up, you're the one who's crying.

  • Sorry I didn't have much else to say about this episode. I find it largely unpleasant - it's alternating really upsetting and just really annoying.



Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "You got her a book on spells.  The girl who can break things by looking at them now has a book to teach her to....break things by looking at them?" - Buffy
Sophia & Zelda:"I still don't get why we came here to get info about a killer snot monster." // "Because it's a killer snot monster from outer space ... I did not say that." - Xander/Giles


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Joyce, Dr. Kriegel, Brain-sucked Night Watchman, Ben, Tara, Graham, Scabby Minion
  • Riley's little suckfest with Sandy has led him down the dark path of vampire blood brothels.
  • Annual reminder that Willow is Jewish.
  • Riley calls The Initiative on his flippy phone.
  • Reveal that Ben knows Glory and has been cleaning up her messes his "whole damn life."
  • Joyce knows that Dawn isn't her real daughter.

Stats:

Anya's Hair - shoulder-length, honey blonde, curly
Dead Humans - 6
Dead Undeads - 3
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 1 (Ben is IN SOME WAY cahoots with Glory. Also he summoned the Queller)
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 3
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One-Stop Spot to Shop

Episode 5.8: Shadow.Original Airdate 11.21.00 

"Glory transforms a snake into a terrifying monster in her quest to find the Key; Joyce is hospitalized after being diagnosed with an illness."  




Please welcome Sophia!  She is our friend, fellow Wolfram & Hart employee and guest blogger for the next four episodes!


Sophia's Thoughts:

  • Buff, this is a fight you can’t win because it is not your fight; it’s your mom’s fight.
  • Is it just me or has Dawn become more precious to Buffy, now that she is a slayer mission?
  • You see kids…that’s why we got rid of phone books. Besides being completely useless in the cellphone age, they attract the wrong type of people—evil gods who are willing to pay for goods and services.
  • Spike, stalker much?…Perv much?…Eww!
  • Spike is forever a poet. He loves poetic diction, alliteration, and metaphor. “the lover-wiccas…a bit of prod ‘n probe. Bite-sized one went too.”
  • Did the doc just say nearly one out of three do just fine? What is nearly one? 0.8? These are terrible odds.
  • Out of the mouths of babes: “She doesn’t get all worked up like that over you.”
  • Poor little lost lamb Riley. Does he think letting vamps feed on him will make him darker?
  • Oh, look Giles’ new car is not just pretty; it drives really fast too! Also, why aren’t there more high speed car chases in Sunnydale? Would it be like Pleasantville where the end of the street is just the beginning again? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • This episode is just one of many this season that will test Buffy’s strength in new ways and help her come to understand herself better. Being a teenage girl and a slayer are not mutually exclusive. Both identities inform who Buffy is. Although, they require different resources—Buffy, you can’t use magic to heal your mom, but your support as she goes through this is helpful—the unique mixture of the two is what is going to help Buffy get through this season.
  • Shadow/ Darkness/Evil: So far, we’ve learned that shadows aren’t always evil; sometimes they are just part of nature. Darkness means different things to different people—I’m looking at you Riley, Spike, and Buffy. And evil (read: vampires) are not always evil…they can be downright “harmless?”.

Zelda's Thoughts:


  • Nooooooooooo Joyce noooooooo.
  • Dammit show.
  • I feel for Dawn here. Asking random nonsense questions because it's too awful to be alone with your own thoughts, waiting in a hospital.
  • Tara looks so gorgeous.
  • "Am I right, Giles?" // "I'm almost certain you're not, but to be fair, I wasn't listening."
  • Oh god. The Glory minions are here.
  • blah she is saying her lines wrong again.
  • See, Giles, this is what happens when you put an ad in the phone book. Psychotic exiled Gods come to your store and buy things! Any cook could tell you that!





  • Oh right. Spike's doing that creepy clothes-sniffing thing. Stop being creepy, Spike.
  • Buffy has a fluffy pink sweater? I bet you it's Willow's!
  • Aaaaand he stole her underwear. Stop being creepy!
  • While Spike's not wrong that Riley's not Buffy's long-term love, his delusion about his own appropriateness for Buffy at this juncture is ... impressive.
  • Joyce and Buffy, both trying to be strong, trying not to cry, not to show each other their fear. Dammit, show.
  • Tara is definitely much more confident speaking up in Scooby gatherings since Family. I dig it.
  • Ugh. Giles is totally cleaning his glasses out of frame. But we don't have a confirmed visual so it doesn't count.
  • Brain tumor. Totally not cool, having real world stuff intrude on our metaphor magic!
  • And Buffy's bewildered quiet panic at the doctor's questions, regarding insurance and other things - she didn't expect to have to grow up so suddenly. She can save the world, but she doesn't know how to do this.
  • "Anya, your heys are startling the customers."
  • I like that Anya can see from the receipt what spell is being planned.
  • Sunnydale has a carousel? Sure, okay.
  • More bad Dawn line readings.
  • Riley's selective hearing: he hears that Buffy doesn't get worked up over him, but not that he's been good for her. Also I don't want to see him getting all butthurt about Buffy's behavior when she's dealing with a problem she doesn't know how to solve, the possibility of her mother's mortality.
  • Emma Caulfield's comic timing this episode is perfect.
  • There's so much build up to the snake demon Glory's gonna create, and then it's just the worst CGI ever.
  • At least this snake demon isn't as penis-y as some of our others.

Not...as penis-y

  • This episode is so weak. Like yes, first time we hear Glory's name, first time we find out why Joyce hasn't been well, moving along Riley's inferiority complex, and Anya and Giles are delightful, but otherwise this episode is so meh. And that CGI ...
  • Sad montage of sads. Buffy, limping and waiting in the hospital, Riley drinking at Willy's, Dawn doing homework and knowing something's wrong, Joyce finding out.
  • Snake demon! Glory told you to go to the holy places! Why are you at the carousel?
  • Giles-mobile to the rescue!
  • Glory claims to be on a schedule. She is? Since when? She kind of takes her time.
  • CGI Buffy! Look at her flowy CGI hair!
  • Buffy punches the snake until it is dead. And then keeps punching it.
  • Witness Riley's butthurt because Buffy didn't want to break down in the middle of a hospital corridor with her family three feet away, expecting her to be strong for them.
  • If I deflect enough anger at Riley I can ignore how sad Joyce's story makes me.




Daniel's thoughts:



  • Joyce going through the cat scan is just...oh man
  • Why is it called a cat scan? Shush, Dawn. But also, aww.
  • Here Dawn, have a cola brand cola. 


I love Cola Brand Cola!

  • Glory saw Giles’ ad! At least he knows it’s working?
  • So Spike is giving the finger in the credits so it’s basically in every single episode. But it’s the English way. So…it’s not obscene?
  • Ew, Spike, Ew. Stop. Just stop sniffing Buffy’s clothes.
  • Don’t worry, Spike – no matter how long you’re out in the sun – it won’t do a thing to you.
  • So oblivious. I love it. "[Glory] could be anywhere!" She…could have just bought dangerous magical items from you...
  • This is so well directed the way Buffy is getting the news…the doctor starts talking but she doesn’t really hear much beyond ‘brain tumor’.
  • 1 out of 3 is not great odds, doctor no-bedside-manner.
  • Eww. It’s Ken doll. Zelda just told me that Ken Doll is on How to Get Away with Murder which just blew my mind because his acting has improved there.  Zelda thinks it's the beard.
  • “Are you stupid or something?” Heh. Oh, Anya. Thank god for Anya. She just knows things.

Always listen to Anya.

  • I love when Dawn describes a memory and you know it’s a fake inserted memory and there's such detail in it.  That's some powerful magic right there.
  • Oh, Dawn. She thinks she’s helping. “She doesn’t get that worked up over you.” I wish Riley had more confidence in himself.
  • Anya is so ON this episode.
  • “Just once I’d like to come across bunny-worshipers”//“Thank you very much for those nightmares.”
  • Sunnydale Zoo! We haven’t been there since Xander became a Hyena.
  • Wow. The snake Glory grabs is so fake. It falls like rubber.
  • Aww, Xander is worried about Riley.
  • A snake monster. Maybe we can chase it around with Ebola. Or a box that just says Ebola. [Or attack it with hummus – Oz]
  • Riley, stop it. Just go find Buffy.
  • How is Riley going to cover up that bite mark? How about the scarf Buffy used to cover up Dracula's bite?

Looks natural.


  • Awful awful CGI snake monster. It’s on the one street of Sunnydale!
  • CGI snake monster is bad but puppet/guy in costume snake monster isn’t terrible.
  • Oh. Riley in a turtleneck. In Sunnydale. But also, covering up his neck wound….
  • Listen to what she needs, Riley.  Just listen...she's telling you what she needs.



Favorite Lines:
Sophia & Daniel: "I for one didn’t want to start my day with a slaughter…which has shown how much I’ve grown!" - Anya
Zelda: "Are you stupid or something?" // "Allow me to answer that question with a firing." - Anya/Giles

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Glory's scabby minions, Dr. Kriegel.
  • Recurring: Joyce, Tara, Glory, Ben, Sunnydale Zoo, Sandy the Vampire
  • We finally learn Glory's name.
  • The cause of Joyce's headaches is revealed - a brain tumor.
  • Shoutout to Anya's bunny fear ("Just once, I would like to run into a cult of bunny worshippers.")
  • Shoutout to the Mayor being a snake thing
  • The Magic Shop's address is listed as 5124 Maple Court


Stats:
Anya's Hair - shoulder-length, honey blonde, extra curly
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 2
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Buffy Breaks a Glass Display With Her Body - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Like a Cheeto



Episode 5.7: Fool For Love. Original Airdate 11.14.00



"After being bested in a fight by an ordinary vampire, Buffy asks Spike to explain how he killed two Slayers many years earlier."



Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Yeah, so I don't love this ep as much as most people do.
  • 80s vamp!
  • Buffy got stabbed! Oh no!
  • Lucky Riley was there.
  • The hospital wouldn’t have to call Buffy's mom. She’s not under 18. I don’t understand why she won't go there.  I won't shenanigan it.  I'll just contrivance fairy it.
  • Buffy:“Not until you are never.” Heh.
  • How have Xander & Willow not been killed by now?  Seriously, they're awful at this.
  • It's such a philosophical season but not in a mopey way like season 6. Buffy is realizing and not for the first time that she will die. And not necessarily by a big bad but by something that could be so insignificant.
  • William the bloody...awful poet. I love it.
  • Effulgent.
  • Kali Rocha as Cecily! Soon to be….someone else.
  • Hey! Angel and Darla! And a set of what London might have looked like one time. …
  • Dru is a poet, too!
  • They use the word glory a lot…I wonder if that's on purpose.
  • Hey! A set of what China might have looked like one time.
  • I like Spike’s Boxer Rebellion hair.  It's so much better than his Billy Idol hair.
  • One slayer dead. Somewhere another Slayer is rising.
  • Dru looks so creepy in that white dress. She looks creepy all time…
  • Really? Guy punches a girl in the gut in a bar and no one’s going to intervene?
  • That is not how a NYC subway looked in the 70s…and there should be way more graffiti. Especially on the outside.

There should be way more graffiti, the ad placement is all wrong and
the most obvious thing that's missing is the metal (straps) that you hold. This is clearly a 90s/00s subway.

  • Spike: “Death is your art.” No….Death is her gift.
  • Stop crying, Spike. Wuss.
  • The Chaos demon is awesome.
I love the dripping antlers.

  • I just don’t get making Spike sympathetic after all the people he’s killed including 2 slayers.  That's why I don't like this episode.  It's the beginning of the end...


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Parking lot! Do a shot!
  • Oh noes Buffy got impaled on her own stake!
  • Riley to the rescue! Thanks Riley!
  • Um ... the next time we see them is Riley bandaging her at home in like broad daylight? So they waited eight hours to treat her? That's ... why isn't Buffy dead from infection?
  • Poor Buffy, so embarrassed to be taken down by a regular vamp. And Riley, exercising terrific tact by not drawing attention to it, but asking her questions calmly.
  • Buffy should really stop making jabs about people being short. Dawn's gonna outgrow her soon.
  • "When do I get to patrol?" // "Not until you are never."
  • Parking lot again.
  • Is Willow's sweater pink and fluffy? I can't tell with the lighting. It might be maroon. I'll give her a pass. Because I'm feeling lazy.
  • Um, I think Willow and Xander are being pretty out of character with their terrible patrolling technique. I kind of want to call a shenanigan. In fact, I will. This is way too out of character for the sake of a joke.
  • "Blah blah oops she's dead."
  • Continuing the arc of Buffy wanting to better examine her legacy, this time trying to understand why she almost lost the fight, and why past Slayers have lost their final fights.
  • "I suppose if they're anything like me, they just found the whole subject too - " // "Unseemly? Damn. Love ya, but you Watchers are such prigs sometimes." // "Painful, I was going to say." BRB ALLERGIES. [Such an amazing exchange. -D]
  • "Slayers. You killed two of them." His hesitant "I did." Where is this going, wonders Spike.
  • Okay so here's what I like about Spike's backstory (hint: it's not his wig) - we see that he has not always been bad, as he claims, but that it's a carefully crafted persona - first the lower-class accent, the new name, then the scar, the hair, the coat - it's all an assembled character he's put on to compensate for his weaknesses as a human. I talk about this more in that essay I'm working on about Spike vs. Angel, which you'll get to see ... at some point. But this narrative appeals very strongly to my affection for identity stories, about building yourself, becoming yourself, about choosing who and what you are, right down to changing your name if you feel like it (did I mention Zelda's not my given name?)
  • "It's a perfectly perfect word as many words go, but the bother is nothing rhymes, you see." His posh accent is adorable.
  • Aw William, step away. He really should just take the hint. Cecily is super not interested. I don't actually think she's cruel to him - she's blunt because she has to be. Because he's not getting her attempts at polite deflection.
  • "I know I'm a bad poet, but I'm a good man." Is he though?
  • "I do see you. That's the problem."
  • Saying he's beneath her - maaaybe a bit cruel. But he wasn't hearing her. She had to make him stop.
  • Oh hai Angelus, Darla, and Dru's backs. Love that subtle shot (mirrored in the Angel episode Darla, where we see him crash into them from the other angle)
  • Dru's the first person who (he thinks) recognizes his soul (so to speak) (womp womp)
  • And then he dies in the most undignified way ever. "Ow. Ow OW OW OW." 
  • Oh god. DB's horrific Irish accent.
  • It's so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.
  • "What's a Slayer?" Love at first ... threat?
  • "If you're looking for fun, there's death, there's glory, and sod all else, right?" I've always really loved the cadence of this line.
  • While I like that both Slayers were shown in the flashbacks are women of color, we should also point out that they die pretty quickly.
  • Chinese Slayer's fighting style is awesome.
  • And she's dead.
  • This is probably the first time Spike's shown any kind of real dominance in his relationship with Dru. He's seemed, in past and future scenes with her, to be largely submissive, at least when she's at full power. This is further emphasized in flashbacks on Angel the show.
  • I like that Angel's ambiguously unthrilled reaction to finding out Spike killed a Slayer, is revealed to be because he's already got his soul but is fighting against it, in the Darla episode. The craft behind the crossover flashbacks of these two episodes is really impressive.
Spike hops in the air. He hops. Nothing says badass like hopping, amirite?

  • Um. Riley's got a bit of the crazy eye as he goes back to kill the den of vampires.
  • "The question isn't how'd I win, the question is why'd they lose?"
  • I love this thing Spike does with spinning the pole/cue. It just looks cool.


  • And the cutting between the subway fight and his speech to Buffy, when he - in the subway, while strangling Nikki - speaks to a Buffy he can't see. It's just cool. Macabre but cool.
  • "Every Slayer has a death wish." Okay but I don't actually think that's true. And I don't think it's true for Buffy. She doesn't go seeking death - and she never has. When she finally chooses to die, yes there's a relief but it's not so much from the fighting as it's from everything else, especially her mom - but it's mostly about Dawn - about not being willing to give that up, too. Anyway, I don't think she has a death wish. So while this episode was a really cool exploration of Spike, it didn't actually offer much insight into Buffy's character - just perhaps a foreshadowing to the end of the season.
  • And he tries to kiss her and awwwwwwwwkward. He's always associated violence with sex. She hasn't really. Faith, yes. Buffy? Sometimes she craves a nonfat yogurt afterwards.
  • "Say it's true. Say I do want to. It wouldn't be you, Spike. It would never be you. You're beneath me."
  • Ugh JM is such a good actor though, you guys. When he's covered in the crumpled bills, and starts weeping before swallowing that. I just ... and this is one of my favorite things about The Good Wife, by the way, a show you guys should all watch - I love when you can see characters thinking. When you see can see them go through several thoughts/emotions, before they decide which one to act on. Alan Cumming is amazing at this skill. So is James Marsters.
  • Dru looks so pretty in this flashback. It's cool to see how they actually broke up, that it was about Buffy even then.
  • NO NO NO NO NO JOYCE NO.
  • Buffy's trying so hard not to cry, not to show her fear, in front of Joyce.
  • And there's his crush taking over again. He's all set to kill her and he sees her crying, and not fighting him. And he's terrible at it, but he tries to comfort her. Spike's awkward attempts at growing and changing.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: Xander: What's with the hand move? Does that like mean something? // Anya: It means to follow him. That, or wait here for him.
Zelda: "The King of Cups expects a picnic ... but this is not his birthday." - Dru


Arc/Continuity Stuff:


  • Recurring: Joyce, Harmony, Drusilla, Angel(us), Darla
  • Crossoverness: This ep shares some flashbackiness with its partner episode on Angel, "Darla."
  • Spike's killing of two Slayers is further explored, as is his turning by Dru, the history of his nickname "William the Bloody," and the history of his coat and scar.
  • Look, it's the chaos demon Dru cheated on Spike with! All slime and antlers!
  • Joyce continues down her headache of nope path.

Stats:

Anya's Hair - shoulder-length, curly, honey-blonde
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 5
Dead Flashbacks - 2
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

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