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, May 5, 2015

Everyone Wants Petrified Hamsters




Episode 5.19: Tough Love. Original Airdate 5.1.01



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



Daniel's Thoughts:

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

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

Zelda's Thoughts:

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

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

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

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


Favorite Lines:

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


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

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


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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Flock of Hobbits

Episode 5.18: Intervention. Original Airdate 4.24.01


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



Zelda's Thoughts:


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

And that's what it's all about.

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


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


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


Daniel's Thoughts:



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


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


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

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

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



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


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

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bitty Buffy







Episode 5.17: Forever. Original Airdate 4.17.01






"With some help from Spike, Dawn attempts to bring Joyce back from the dead."








Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Buffy skulking around coffins usually has a different feel.
  • "Fine choice, it speaks of your great feeling for the deceased." Fuck you.
  • This whole business of profiting over death is disgusting.
  • Just cremate me and let me be food for the fishes. Even cremating costs a lot. But also, instead of sprinkling me over the ocean, can you sneak me into Disney World and sprinkle me over my favorite rides? I'll ride the Haunted Mansion forever! This...just got weird. [Done. - Z]
  • So nice that Giles is helping so much.
  • It's weird that Dawn's never actually met her dad despite her memories.
  • Spike vs. Xander....I don't care?
  • "There's no card," says Willow? Who cares? His plan wasn't to just leave it. It was to give it to Buffy directly.
  • I don't remember Xander's hair being this long.
  • Buffy is fine, Tara. She's going to wait there until nightfall...so someone else can pay their respects.
  • Hi Angel. You're what she needed. For now. Angel always trumps Spike. Always. [Them's fighting words! - Z]
  • Sex is not just about two bodies schmooshing. Wise words, Anya.
  • Tara would have made a good mom. She tells Dawn how it is. Willow is trying to reason with Dawn. Tara is just saying, "No. This is bad. This is why. Don't even think about it."
  • "Mom was the strong one in real life. She knew how to make things better; just what do say." Did she? Cause I have a whole blog full of things that makes me think not. Sorry, Joyce, not to speak ill of the dead, but...
  • Ugh, Ben. He's so bad at this. 'Uh, no...forget I said that.. it's not a person!"
  • Oh, Willow. You mean well, but just stop.
  • Sometimes I think Giles is the only one who understands how to talk to Anya.
  • "She gets to fondle the money?" Oh, Anya.
  • Aww, Giles is reminiscing about Joyce with the albums they listened to during Band Candy.
  • Aww, poor Jinxy is hurting so much he can't think of compliments for Glory.
  • Hey, it's Joel Grey!
  • All these warnings, Dawn. All the movies you've seen, the books you've read about this all going wrong. And you still do it. Nothing good comes from bringing someone back from the dead. (Unless they're Buffy. Always bring back Buffy.)
  • Ghora looks like a dinosaur. Like a fake fake dinosaur.
  • Why isn't it charging at her? Ugh, this is really badly done. It's like the Dinosaur ride at Disney World but less realistic.
  • Sassy eggs!
  • Tara is so smart, really. I love her in this episode.
  • I wonder if this is really Kristine Sutherland. They never show her face. I know that's on purpose for the mood of the scenes but they could have just used another actress. She's not listed in the credits.
  • Again, with the "Mommy?" It's even better than the first one because there's such hope.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • This aired seven weeks after The Body, in case the fans had gotten through their grieving for Joyce, GUESS WHAT THERE'S MORE.
  • I was thinking last episode that Dawn was suddenly looking older. She's in braids and a t-shirt now and is younger and smaller - a reminder that Buffy's the only one who can take care of her now. (side note: fuck you, Hank Summers)
  • Even though so much sad, I'm glad they didn't do a hard tonal reset right after The Body in terms of Joyce's death and the season's plot. This is a grief that keeps going, something you still have to deal with.
  • Oh Spike. We forgot all about you.
  • I like that they're acknowledging Spike and Joyce did have a bit of a relationship, even outside his Buffy obsession. Everyone misses Joyce.
  • God. This shot of Buffy and Dawn, sitting alone on their beds, isolated, unable to move.
  • I've never been to a funeral that was held at the grave site. Is that a real thing or just a TV/film thing? [Me neither! -D]
  • Dawn can't watch Joyce's coffin be buried. And Buffy can't look away.
  • I love that Angel shows up. Whatever my feelings about him, this is right.
  • Interesting touch, Willow's in Sunnydale High colors. I wonder what the significance is.
  • I held off on this last episode because of the sads, so I'll do it now - shenanigans on the queen-size bed in Willow's and Tara's dorm.
  • "It's tomorrow that I'm worried about." // "What's tomorrow?" // "That's exactly what I don't know. Up until now, I've had a road map. Things to do every minute, having to do with Mom." // "Tomorrow the stuff of everyday living resumes." // "And everybody expects me to know how to do it, because .. I'm so strong."
  • "If I had just gotten there ten minutes earlier." Buffy's still obsessing over whether she could have saved her mom. She's still trying to bargain her way out of this.
  • The return of the Buffy/Angel love theme. Haven't heard this music in a while.
  • So Buffy sat vigil with her mom (and with Angel) all night.
  • Ugh fucking Ben and the minions. You guys suck.
  • Ben you moron. Now they know the Key is human. And you're so bad at trying to lie to cover up.
  • Goddammit Willow. Why are you showing Dawn a book with dangerous spells? Nothing about this plan is good.
  • Daniel's face while Anya's being funny is so fond and sweet. It's like he's watching his kid or something, all "I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING YOU DO."
  • "She gets to fondle the money?"
  • GILES IN A DRIVE-BY GLASSES CLEANING while Dawn steals from the Magic Box
  • And we've got more "well-meaning" adults letting Dawn do really fucking stupid things. This time it's Spike helping Dawn with her spell.
  • "I just don't like to see Summers women take it so hard on the chin, is all." Reinforcing that he's formed an attachment to more than just Buffy. (even if he still can't stand the other Scoobies)
  • Glory you are a terrible actor and I do not enjoy your presence.
  • Oh hi Joel Grey! Is it time for a song?
  • Such weird random casting, Joel Grey showing up on Buffy.
  • He's humming "Hall of the Mountain King" I think that counts as a song.
  • relatively weak line readings from MT this episode. AB too, for that matter. should I blame the directing when all the weaker actors are acting especially weak this episode? they were fine in the last episode
  • Ah, they found the Cave of Contrivance where the Ghora lives with its MacGuffin eggs.
  • "Hey, Ghora, heads up!" *Ghora raises its three heads* "Right, heads it is."
  • Wow that was like a close up shot of stunt Spike.
  • Also pretty sure they looped the same Spike line "Come on, bastard!" twice in the same fight. #awkward
  • The scene between the sisters at the end is everything, though. It's just brutal and heartbreaking.
  • "I have to do these things, 'cause when I stop, then she's really gone."
  • "Who's gonna take care of us?" Buffy's face.
  • Fuck and then the silhouette of Zombie Joyce outside the window.
  • And Buffy's voice, childlike and hopeful again. "Mommy?" Because for all that she was trying to stop Dawn, the thought that her mom might be at the door, no matter what form - it's the same thing that drove Dawn all episode.
  • And then they hold each other, sobbing. This fucking show.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "I can stay in town as long as you want me." // "How's forever? Does forever work for you?" - Angel/Buffy
Zelda: "I have to do these things, 'cause when I stop, then she's really gone. And I'm trying, Dawn, I am. I am really trying to take care of things, but I don't even know what I'm doing. Mom always knew." // "Nobody's asking you to be Mom." // "Well, who's gonna be if I'm not? Huh, Dawn? Have you ever thought about that? Who's gonna make things better? Who's gonna take care of us?" - Buffy/Dawn


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Doc
  • Recurring: Tara, Angel, Ben, Minions, the chicken feet that the Magic Box can't get rid of, Glory
  • Joyce is still dead.
  • Hank is still a deadbeat dad - the line he left in Spain is disconnected.
  • Shoutout to the toxicity of Xander's family.
  • Ben accidentally reveals to the minions that the Key is in human form.
  • First time Dawn steals from the Magic Box!
  • The song Giles listens to, "Tales of Brave Ulysses," is one he listened to with Joyce in Band Candy.

Stats:

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Body

Episode 5.16: The Body. Original Airdate 2.27.01


"Buffy, Dawn, and their friends deal with the aftermath of Joyce's death."


Note:  We apologize for the delay.  We decided to watch this episode separately because of all the emotion involved with it.  And then....we kept putting it off.   


Zelda's Thoughts:
  • no more putting this off, we've got to do this. I don't know what this post will be, or how we can talk about this episode.
  • I'm so sad already.
  • It's that short pause between "Mom?" and "Mom?" and the longer one before "Mommy?" Already crying.
  • Per the commentary, this Christmas scene was done so there wouldn't be credits running over any of the devastation.
  • And it's a nice reminder of how good things could be. And that Joyce had people who loved her, that she was mother to, even if not genetically, hosting the dinner for all the Scoobies.
  • This unbroken take, some of SMG's best acting work ever.
  • her voice gets so small and young "No I don't remember."
  • "I know this. I can do this." So many things Buffy can solve. And not this one.
  • God, Joyce's lifeless face during the CPR.
  • That pause before "The body's cold?"
  • "Should I make her warm?" That small denial she's still clinging to. Buffy's seen death. She knows what it looks like. She knows what it feels like. But it's still not real because it's her mom.
  • "She had an operation and she's fine now. She's been fine."
  • the framing in this is so good. Buffy's so small and young, no one else quite real or in focus
  • that need to be polite. "Thank you." "Good luck." trappings of how to be human, the gestures of habit, as if anything is real right now
  • how not even the violence of throwing up has any effect on her daze. it's just another unreal thing.
  • and the light outside is too harsh.
  • okay and the moment of horror when Buffy finally calls Joyce "the body." the horror of naming the thing. I don't have long periods of denial in my own grief, but they consist of not being ready to name the thing. once you've said it - the body, dead, she's gone - it's real, it's incontrovertible, you can't take it back. once you've said it, you can't shield yourself from it any longer.
  • the scene with Dawn and her friend and petty high school drama, a reminder that the rest of life keeps happening, oblivious that the world has ended
  • "the spaces around, the space in between." everything around the real thing, the thing we're not naming. the negative space around the body itself but not the body itself
  • why are there random students loitering in the hallway? they'd all have detention in my school
  • "Mom had an accident, or something went wrong from the tumor." talking around it, the negative space around the object
  • "Is she okay? Is she ... but she's okay?  But ... it's serious, but ..."
  • and we don't hear Buffy say the words. we watch from the outside as Dawn's world collapses
  • Anya, on the edge of the frame. not understanding this human experience
  • Willow, the perfectionist, the girl who must have control, if she can find the perfect thing to wear, that's something she could fix, something she could control. but nothing she wears will actually fix anything, nothing would work even if she found the shirt she wanted
  • "What will we do? What will we be expected to do?" Anya, saying the things we all wonder but don't voice - trying to figure out what the steps are, how you do this thing.
  • they're all standing, alone, holding themselves, all arms crossed protectively.
  • I almost don't have the strength to point out Willow's got another fluffy pink sweater. But for the record, she does. #14 for those keeping track at home.
  • "Things don't happen. I mean, they don't just happen." This too. Where it doesn't fit in with reality as we know it. Death doesn't make sense. A sudden lack of existence. It can't just be an arbitrary thing that happened.
  • "Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot? Is that the helpful thing to do?"
  • "Nobody will tell me. ... But I don't understand."
  • Fuck, Anya's speech. "No one will explain to me why!"
  • "We don't know ... how it works ... why."
  • So many things happening off screen or out of frame in this ep. So we see the moment around the thing without seeing the thing itself. We don't see Xander punch the wall, we hear it, we see Willow and Anya react, we see the hand stuck in the wall. The negative space around Xander's anger.
  • "We'll go, we'll deal, we'll help. That's what we do. We help Buffy." When you run out of things to do, you do more things. You keep busy. You fill the negative space around the object.
  • "Can we see her?" Dawn's seen only the negative space around the thing. She needs to see Joyce for it to be finally real. Buffy had to say it for it to be real; Dawn has to see it.
  • One last quick flash of the what if - if Buffy had been there to catch it, to save her, to fix it, to go back and fix it, last minute, just in time
  • And even if we haven't all been Buffy and Dawn, we've all been Tara. A bit on the outside of the grief, a sympathy grief. And a memory of your own, perhaps.
  • "Obviously, I've never done this before." // "I have."
  • Just letting her know that what she's feeling, whatever it is, is valid.
  • "I know it's different for you, because it's always different."
  • "Was it sudden?" // "No. And yes. It's always sudden."
  • Dawn looks at the sheet over Joyce. Another negative space around the thing. Still not quite a reality.
  • And because life doesn't pause just because your world ended, a vampire. A naked, grotesque vampire. And so Buffy's work must continue. Keeping busy is a way to survive when the world ends.
  • "Is she cold?" // "It's not her. It's not her. She's gone." // "Where'd she go?"
  • And the episode ends before Dawn can actually touch her. Before she can bridge that final bit of negative space. Before it's finally real.


Daniel's thoughts:


  • And it starts.  That red shirt that Z was talking about in the last episode.  That shirt we know and associate with this episode.
  • And then you just see her in the background.
  • And then you see her up close.  And you know.
  • And that "Mommy".
  • And I like that we start with a flashback. It's a breather instead of getting straight into it.  And we have out usual funny scoobies that are doing their usual scooby things.
  • Yay, Willow mentions that she's Jewish.  We should have had a stat for that.
  • Anya, re: Santa: "It's a myth that it's a myth.  He doesn't traditionally bring presents so much as, you know, disembowel children but otherwise..."
  • And then the sudden cut back to Joyce's face.
  • Oh god, the break.  The rib.
  • The lack of music, the sudden realizations.  It's just filmed so well.  Buffy turning to see her mom all over again.
  • And that part gets me everytime.  I know it's fake.  I know the waking up and the ambulance ride and the hospital scene is all fake - but that one cut back to reality just gets me.  Every. Fucking. Time.
  • Buffy's got like 4 earrings on.  Weird thing to notice.
  • "We're not supposed to move the body."  - Another powerful realization.
  • And I knew Dawn wasn't crying about this.  From the first time I saw this episode.
  • I love Dawn's friend.  Who really couldn't give a crap about her teenage problems.
  • And I don't think it's a coincidence how much Dawn's art teacher looks like Joyce.
  • Dawn wants the pretty emo kid so bad.  They're so cliche, it's gross but accurate.
  • And Dawn's reaction - Michelle T is doing an awesome job.
  • And the focus on her mom's teacher's face.
  • Xander, "Let em give me a ticket."  They, will, Xander.
  • And shut up about your shirt, Willow.
  • Willow has a powerpuff girls t-shirt!  Cause of course she does.
  • "Why do all of my shirts have stupid things on them?"  - Best self-realization of Willow ever.
  • Xander and Willow hug.  Anya & Tara nod at each other.  The writers/directors of this show know their characters well.
  • This is not the time, Willow.  Stop being so fucking condescending towards Anya.
  • I like Xander's anger.  Someone had to react that way and it would be him. [I like too that this episode plays to its actors' strengths - Aly is the best crier so she gets the tears, etc. - Z]
  • "Am I supposed to be changing my clothes a lot?"
  • Anya's whole speech.  I mean, man.  This is the thing with Anya.  The whole thing with Anya.  She doesn't act the way she does to be an asshole. Not most of the time, anyway.  She just simply doesn't know.  And no one, Xander included, thinks to fill her in.
  • Hey, Xander mentioned the Avengers!
  • Anya hugging Giles is the best.
  • "I have to lie to make you feel better."  I love the dubbed in line, there.
  • "I wish that Joyce didn't die.  Because she was nice and now we all hurt."  - "Anya, ever the wordsmith."  Stop  making excuses for your girlfriend. She's not doing anything wrong. Buffy gets it.  Buffy says 'thank you' because that's what you say when you can see someone is trying.
  • It's nice that Buffy and Tara get a moment since Tara's the only other one who's gone through this.
  • I never understood why Dawn wanted to go into the morgue until this time I noticed Buffy telling everyone that she doesn't think Dawn quite believed her.  She had to see it for herself.
  • And of course, a vamp...because this is the show.
  • Le sigh.


Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "Is she cold?" // "It's not her. It's not her. She's gone." // "Where'd she go?" - Dawn/Buffy
Daniel: "I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I mean, I knew her, and then she's- There's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead anymore. It's stupid. It's mortal and stupid. And-and Xander's crying and not talking, and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why." - Anya

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Joyce, Tara, Dr. Kriegel
  • Shout-out to Band Candy


Stats:
Anya's Hair - golden, loopy curls, shoulder length
Dead Humans - 0 (we got Joyce last ep)
Dead Undeads - 1
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Left My Bra in His Car





Episode 5.15: I Was Made to Love You. Original Airdate 2.20.01



"Buffy and her friends encounter an incredibly strong female robot with only one thing on its mind - love."





Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Aww.  The anticipation of the ending of this episode…
  • Aww, Puffy Xander.
  • “Or maybe you can just be Buffy; he’ll see your amazing heart and he’ll fall in love with you.”  That’s the Xander I like.  He’s rare.
  • April the robot is adorable.
  • I like Joyce’s dress from the boobs up.  The Africa pattern is a bit weird.
  • The spinning thing is very cute, though.
  • “I’ve had two boyfriends.  And they both left.  I mean really left.  Like left town, left.” 
  • TARA & ANYA talking and having a scene!  There should be more of these!
  • "Yes. I'm thinking of buying something really expensive. Maybe an antelope!"
  • I want to see the website Anya designed!
  • I love how all of Sunnydale U’s parties are themed.
  • Oh man, Buffy is using the Cordelia laugh with Ben!
  • And Willow has an ugly turtleneck on.  Quel surprise.
It was 95% off at Ugly Sweaters R Us
  • How long does it take Ben to dump his drink?
  • I like James Marsters way more than I like Spike.
  • Wow, that extra girl has been playing limbo for like 10 minutes.
Limbo is not a marathon sport.
  • Yeah, we get it: “Coffee” is Buffy.  Oh, Ben, how did you pass your medical exams?
  • Oh cool.  Willow’s going computer nerd!
  • “I left my bra in his car”. It’s nice that Joyce can tease Buffy just as much Buffy teased her earlier.
  • Aww, Oz shout out.
  • Creepy Ted mention.
  • Jeez, Spike is really good at traveling through sunlight.  In the video game, there’s an entrance in the cellar.  Also, there’s a cellar.
  • I love Giles getting all badass with Spike.  “We are not your friends.”
  • Buffy is being really transfer-y right now.

  • “She growls?  You made her so she growls?”
  • The ballad of April is so sad.  It’s nice that Buffy is waiting with her while she…lets go.
  • The actress, Shonda Farr, is really good.  Especially here as she powers down.  According to her IMDB page, she hasn't done a lot since.
  • Xander should start his own business!  It should be called "Very Good Construction." 
  • Buffybot a-comin!
  • And then…yeah.  Interesting that they did a little preview for next episode instead of waiting. I heard they were originally going to end the episode with Spike ordering a Buffybot.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I love this episode but also I DON'T WANT TO BECAUSE JOYCE DIES AT THE END.
  • I'm not ready.
  • "I'm alive. I can tell 'cause of the pain." Oops Buffy beat up Puffy Xander.
  • I love the actress who plays April. She's delightful. Poor April, though, her boyfriend sucks.
  • "He's a nice, normal guy, okay?" // "I think I've heard of those."
  • Joyce is all nervous and cute STAY ALIVE JOYCE.
  • "I'm thinking about buying something very expensive. Maybe an antelope."
  • I love that Anya's so smart about her money. Also computers. Daniel might have been right about Anya being the best.
  • Oh Buffy, Ben is not a good option. He's a doof. And he can't act until he grows his beard and becomes a fake lawyer. Also he's Glory.
  • Is this a commercial for chex mix? There's a closeup of Anya's snack.
  • April's hair is so shiny and pin-straight. I want to pet it.
  • Spike, again with the dumb strategy.
I just keep laughing the more I stare at it.
  • "Bloody hell! You threw me through a window. What's that about?"
  • "I've had it with super-strong little women who aren't me."
  • Poor April. This is just awful.
  • This episode is so weird. Like, a lot of funny lines, but there's just something slightly odd about everyone.
  • I just got really sad because I recognized the shirt Buffy's wearing. Motherfucker.
You know the shirt I mean.
  • Reminder that Ben is Glory, Glory is Ben.
  • Oh look, Warren is a bad boyfriend to robots and humans alike.
  • Giles is breaking out his scary Ripperness.
  • Also Spike has a reflection. 
  • I'm amazed April isn't in stilettos. Those are some comfy looking sandals.

  • Uh oh, Warren, you've ignited Buffy's rage on behalf of the abandoned women.
  • Poor Katrina. First April almost kills her, then next season Warren actually kills her.
  • "But I can be whatever you want. I love you. I'll do whatever you want."
  • Yay Katrina, you dump Warren's ass. You deserve so much better. So does April.
  • Everyone deserves better than Warren Mears.
  • "Crying is blackmail. Good girlfriends don't cry." Fuck you, Warren.
  • It's weird we get April's death scene. And we don't get Joyce's. "It's getting dark," she says, and it's so sad.
  • Do we think it's significant that April powered off before she said the word "dawn?" Asking for a friend.
  • Oh look Xander's doing his job. That's rather sweet. And he's good at it.
  • LET'S JUST PRESS PAUSE RIGHT NOW AND CALL IT THE END OF THE EPISODE.
  • I'm actually welling up knowing what's coming. This is not okay.
  • Oh I forgot Spike showed up at the end of the episode. Kind of a fun twist, you think he put everything in the box in a rage with the intent of throwing it out, but it was actually for a bot request.
  • "Mommy?" FUCK.


Favorite Lines:
Daniel: "She speaks with a strange evenness and selects her words a shade too precisely." - Anya
Zelda: "Um, well, we listened to aggressively cheerful music sung by people chosen for their ability to dance, then we ate cookie dough and talked about boys." - Giles the Babysitter


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • First appearance: Warren Assface Mears, Katrina
  • Recurring: Joyce, Tara, Ben, Glory
  • Buffy's still upset about Spike's crush.
  • Shoutout to Oz. ==>
  • Warren was at Sunnydale with Buffy and crew, and knows who she is.
  • Shoutout to Ted, the other bad robot boyfriend (and none for Moloch Weiners)
Stats:

Anya's Hair - blonde, curly, shoulder-length
Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Spike Breaks a Window with His Body - 1
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Like Lollipops at the Circus

Episode 5.14: Crush.Original Airdate 2.13.01



"Buffy learns that Spike has a crush on her - a situation made all the more dangerous by Drusilla's return to Sunnydale."


Zelda's Thoughts:


  • Oh right this is the ep that opens with All the Dancing. Including Anya being amazing. 
  • I wonder from whom Spike stole that shirt. Way too light-colored to be one of his.
  • It's sad that Spike's "diabolical fiend"-dom comes in the form of stealing Xander's change.
  • "Let's just call her - " "Ben!" WE SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE, SHOW.
  • Really? Sunnydale is the last stop on the train?
  • Oh. Harmony's here. Did we know Harmony was here?
  • "Oh, I'm gonna stake you!" Someone wasn't president of the drama club at Sunnydale High.
  • "I feel safe with you." //  "Take that back!"
  • This is just. Dawn has a crush on Spike, and the only way she knows how to demonstrate is to flatter his vanity because she knows he has a crush on her sister. It's all weird.
  • It's funny, though, when Spike's telling his horror stories to Dawn, you see major echoes of what he was like when he first showed up three seasons ago.
  • "I rip it open, very violent, haul her out of there ... and then I give her to a good family in a nice home where they're never ever mean to her, and didn't lock her in a coal bin."
  • Hey Buffy, though, you can't yell at Dawn for hanging out with Spike one minute when you keep bringing Dawn and Joyce to him for protection the next. No wonder Dawn's got mixed signals.

  • Xander's laugh about Spike's crush is amazing ----->
  • So how did Sunnydale's Finest miss the Drusilla doll on the train? Oh wait, they're deeply stupid.
  • More stolen lighter-shaded shirts for Spike. We see you, Spike. We know what you're about.
  • The vamps are making popcorn. That's so cute and domestic.
  • "Slayer." *runs away*
  • Holding the door open is actually really cute. Like he tried to trick her into a (really lame) date and he's been deflecting around, but the door was instinctual and dorky.
  • But also, with his understanding of blood, sex, and violence, it makes sense that he thought this was a good idea for a date. Insane Troll Logic sense, but you follow me, right?
  • Dear Spike, please learn to read your audience though. She's not into you.
  • "You're like a serial killer in prison!" // "Women marry them all the time!"
  • He says he's changed, but as we'll see, he hasn't yet, not really, or not enough. Anything not evil he does is done either because he likes beating up demons, or for the sake of Buffy. Drusilla's appearance cements that point clearly - he's ready to kill again when she's around.
  • "Pre'y Spoike." So. How's that accent working out for you?
  • Drusilla's trying so hard not to laugh in Harmony's face. This is kind of amazing. 

  • Spike and Dru did always have fantastic physical chemistry. The way they move with each other, sometimes barely touching, but gliding together. It's cool to watch, and a reminder of how they were both cast in the first place.
  • Oh Spike's vamp grill. Haven't seen that in a while.
  • Pretty sure Spike's crypt's lower level is bigger than Buffy's house.
  • "You can't love without a soul." // "Oh we can, you know. We can love quite well. If not wisely." Dru went all Shakespeare.
  • Further evidence of Spike's current lack of understanding - offering to kill Drusilla? Also not the way to Buffy's heart.
  • "Don't mock this." // "Go mock yourself."
  • Oh also, Spike, threatening to have Dru kill Buffy if she doesn't admit she feels something? That's like, Bad Wooing 101.
  • "The only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious." Spike's lack of understanding at first is kind of hilarious.
  • JM is great in this ep, but man is Spike fucking up left and right.
  • Yes, Spike, blame Dru, that's also a good move.
  • "This, with you, is wrong. I know it. Not a complete idiot."
  • Okay but it's kind of hilarious that while he's yelling at his two paramours, Harmony comes back and shoots him with an arrow. I really do love Harmony, even if a little goes a long way with her (she's kind of like Andrew that way)
  • So question mark. That arrow would have killed any vampire who wasn't a regular on this show, yes? Spike, owner of the tiniest heart known to vampirekind.
  • Question mark the second: Why does Buffy not go after Dru or Harmony? They're both evil vampires and not neutered like Spike is. She should stake all three of them.
  • I mean, that being said, I'm glad she didn't. But it's probably also good the Council and Giles weren't here to witness it.
  • JM is so good at the realization that he's been uninvited.
I aced my mime final.
  • Suggestion: If we stop watching with this episode, then Joyce never dies, right? Right? That's how it works, right?


Daniel's Thoughts:



  • Bronze: Anya dances like a spazz.  
She dances like me!
  • Aww, all the couples are dancing and Buffy is sitting alone.
  • I like his new brown leather jacket.
  • While I like Buffy’s meangirl attitude against Spike, she’s such a hypocrite.  She’s always asking him for favors; she even told the council that he’s one of her friends….sort of.  I don’t really know how they went over to interview him.
  • Of course the train’s last stop is Sunnydale.
  • Why is Giles babysitting?
  • Ugh, Harmony dressing up as Buffy for sexroleplay is creepy but also funny.
  • Zelda is excited that the newspaper confirmed her body count.
  • Why is Spike dressed like he’s in post-apocalyptic military garb?
Either that or he's an extra on Star Trek
  • Ew, why does Dawn all of a sudden have a crush on Spike. “You talk to me like I understand things…”.  Oh, that’s why.  Understandable-ish.
  • I do like that Spike is telling Dawn super scary stories that are also true.  Because we all should remember that Spike is a psychopathic killer.
  • And yes Buffy still comes to him for help.
  • He does not have cool hair, Dawn.
  • Dawn’s the only one that notices Spike’s ‘crush’.
  • It’s creepy that Buffy just sat in taped outline of one of the bodies.
  • Miss Edith!  Did the police not find that when they were clearing the train car?
  • Vampires love Jiffy Pop.
Coincidentally, Zelda just made some popcorn
  • Drusilla!
  • Thanks for the recap of Angel, Spike.
  • Drusilla is so amused by Harmony.  I love it.
  • What the heeeeeellll is Willow wearing? 
Is she that cold?  Does she dress in the dark?  What the ever loving hell?
  • And what the hell are the waitresses at the Bronze wearing?
Did they rename The Bronze to The Silver?
Get it? Get it? Silver? Get it?
  • Hey Spike’s a pretty good artist.  Like Angel.
  • “You’ve taken my chair and the music hasn’t stopped.”  I love Dru.
  • I feel like Spike was the first guy who shouted, “Why don’t bitches like me? I’m a nice guy.”
  • SMG looks like she can just pull her hands through those cuffs.  They’re so big
She's just playing with him.  She can get out at any time.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar’s headshot is amongst the pictures Spike has. 

Crossfire!

Dawn: [Spike]'s got cool hair.
Daniel: He does not have cool hair.
Zelda: Yes he does.
Dawn: (continuing) Right, that's why you were never with Angel for three years.
Daniel: Angel has cool hair.
Zelda: ANGEL'S LAME. HIS HAIR GROWS STRAIGHT UP AND HE'S BLOODY STUPID.



Favorite Lines:


Zelda: "Don't mock this." // "Go mock yourself." - Spike/Buffy
Daniel: "Oh we can, you know.  We can love quite well. If not wisely." ~Drusilla



Arc/Continuity Stuff:
  • Recurring: Tara, Spike's love for the Onion Blossom, Ben, Harmony, Joyce, Drusilla
  • Continuity: The Bronze's remodel after Olaf's visit (also includes the excision of the flowering onion)
  • Willow's still nursing migraines from the teleportation spell
  • Sunnydale has a train station. In addition to its bus depot, airport, and docks.
  • Drusilla's been hanging out with the resurrected Darla in LA, trying to turn Angel. He set them on fire, so that went well.
  • Buffy discovers Spike's creepy shrine.
  • After bragging to Riley not that long ago that he remained invited to the Summers's home, Spike has finally been uninvited.

Stats:

Anya's Hair - blonde, curly, shoulder length
Dead Humans - 8
Dead Undeads - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal -  0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0