PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS A SPOILER-RICH ZONE

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

REVIEW ARCHIVES

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?



Episode 2.19: I Only Have Eyes For You. Original Airdate 4.21.98



"Sunnydale High School is haunted by the ghosts of of a former student and teacher who reenact their tragic romance through the bodies of the school's current inhabitants."







Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Aww, Xander and Cordelia dancing is sweet
  • "I'm Ben.  We had Algebra II together last year".  And...now I'm a senior in college?  Nice casting...
  • Also, not to be confused with hottie doctor Ben! [Yes, "Doctor" Ben, who can't pronounce the word muscle. - Z]
  • Oooh, It's a spooky possession story!
  • Snyder: "I'm no stranger to conspiracy.  I saw JFK".  Hee
  • Buffy! Don't just put the moving-by-itself book back!  It's a clue!
  • Oh, poor, sad Giles :(
  • Hey! It's Chris Gorham!
  • "Did you see what he wrote?" -Stupid extra in regards to the GIANT WRITING ON THE BLACKBOARD.  
  • Scary arm through the locker!  I LOVE GHOST STORIES!
  • The direction in this episode is really well done.  There are four sets of couples and each have a very similar intonation with their deliveries.  I wonder if everyone had to watch "James" and "Ms. Newman's" performances to mimic them well.  And the choreography is key and well done, too.
  • Again, poor, sweet Giles.  He wants to believe so badly.
  • Aren't prison rape jokes funny and not at all cliche?  ....
  • Eww, snakes!
  • This is the first time Snyder admits he knows about the hellmouth.  
  • When do they have time for homework?  
  • Really spooky effects - especially for the 90s - Cordy's face, Willow getting pulled into a hole - very good.
  • I love the role reversal - Buffy being possessed by him and Angel being possessed by her.  It works so perfectly.  As Buffy says, he possessed her because he identifies with her.
  • And it's a great acting exercise for David and Sarah.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • My dad taught me the proper grammatical use of the word "only," This song gets it wrong.
  • "Like a steel trap." I use that a lot.
  • Ben seems nice. Go with Ben, Buffy! He's human and stuff.
  • 666 Park Ave just ripped off the premise of this. Stupid 666.
  • Oooh they use the word bitch on TV. A lot. Daring!
  • This episode is so well-crafted. The mystery unfolds slowly without telegraphing how it will go.
  • "You stink of lies." He thinks he's in a noir movie, doesn't he.
  • So is Willow missing all her classes while she teaches Jenny's classes? Also, where's the actual adult substitute? Should I stop?
  • Poor sad Giles.
  • Also I like that Willow is learning more of her witchy ways from going through Jenny's stuff. Carrying the banner of both tech-hacking and magic!
My hair will never be this short again.

  • Hey, everyone who's a fan of Covert Affairs, Harper's Island, or Ugly Betty! Lookit the tiny Chris Gorham!
  • The five-second reaction shot of Buffy and Xander not quite knowing how to react to the arm in his locker: beautiful, beautiful.
  • "...some kind of locker monster." // "Loch Ness Monster?"
  • "Despite the Xander-speak." It's called Joss-speak, Giles. You silly.
  • I gotta say, all around very good acting from these one-offs re-enacting James and Grace's breakup.
  • No wonder Giles thinks it's Jenny. He hears, separate from the re-enactment of the murder, a female voice saying, "I need you." James's pain is spazzing in all directions.
  • Mansion! Fancy new set!
  • "It'll be perfect when we want the sunlight to kill us."
  • Spike quietly tolerating all of Angelus's assery. BECAUSE REVENGE WILL BE HIS.
  • "I've read the book, seen the movie, and I'm still fuzzy about what's going on."
  • I like that the scoobies, seeing Giles is irrational, don't persist in arguing with him, but go off to investigate on their own.
  • "Dog spit is cleaner than human's."
  • "The quality of mercy is not Buffy."
  • They each respond to different parts of James's story - Buffy doesn't want to forgive him for killing his love (her baggage), Willow wants some allowance to be made because he was clearly a smart, good student (like her), and Xander recognizes the patterns of bad judgment in sabotaging a relationship.
  • I've had it with these monkey fighting snakes in this Monday-Friday school!
  • "I saw that movie! Even the priest died!" Way to spoil it, Cordy. I only just saw the movie this year.
  • This episode is so awesome. Even outside of the amazing scene with Buffy and Angelus, this episode is so awesome.
  • All the slamming doors. So cool.
  • "Our man Angel here likes to talk, but he's not much for action. All hat and no cattle." Spike, calling it like it is.
  • Poor Giles. Still looking for Jenny. DAMN YOU, JOSS.
  • I like that when Buffy is watching James and Grace dance, there's a bit longing/jealousy in her. Even as she knows they both died, she still sees the love and misses her own.
  • "Giles, Jenny could never be this mean." :(
  • Spell didn't work. Giant swarm of wasps. RUN RUN RUN.
  • "It is just something he is gonna have to live with." // "He can't live with it, Buff. He's dead."
  • So would the ghost peter away after Sadie Hawkins? Could they have just let this one lie until next year?
  • I like when Angelus slips out of Angelus into Grace. Joss said it was DB's performance in this episode that made him realize he could carry his own series. He's okay, the vulnerability is pretty good, but SMG is so much better. So are the flashbackers.
  • Love the cutting between Grace/James and Buffy/Angel.
  • Oh man, SMG is so freaking good.
  • And it's such a brilliant brilliant twist - not just that Buffy's identifying with James makes her play his role instead of Grace's, but that that allows Angelus/Grace's spirit to survive the shooting to stop Buffy/James from killing her/himself.
  • And like a (really creepy) fairy tale, the spell is broken with a kiss.
  • Buffy's tiny voice after the kiss: "Angel." ::wibble::
  • Aaaaand gratuitous shirtless DB.
  • SPIKE CAN STAND. SPIKE CAN STAND. OH HAPPY DAY.

Crossfire!

Giles: Yes. Well. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. In fact, I encourage you to always challenge me when you feel it's appropriate. You must never be cowed by authority. Except, of course, in this instance when I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong.
Daniel: Omigosh, it's Zelda!
Zelda: (small voice) Except that I am right!


Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it."  - Giles. I remember feeling really touched by that sentiment the first time I heard it and continue to be so upon numerous rewatches.  
Zelda:  Um ... see the crossfire for mine.

90s Factoid:

"You just went OJ on your girlfriend!"

Just in case you forgot who he was


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Buffy's flashback is during her US History class.
  • Snyder is conspiring with the police on covering up Sunnydale High goings-on. This is the first time he admits he knows it's a Hellmouth. This is also the first time The Mayor is dropped as a threatening high source. Lookit that foreshadowing!

Stats:

Dead Humans - 1
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Flashbacks - 1
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

We're also retroactively adding a Flashback Death stat for Buffy's cousin Celia.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Power Girl to the Rescue!


Episode 2.18: Killed by Death. Original Airdate 3.3.98





"While hospitalized with a severe case of the flu, Buffy battles a demon that sucks the life out of sick children."


Zelda's Thoughts:


  • Poor Buffy's all fluey.
  • Alpert Mausoleum! This should be a drinking game.
  • Angelus really should have been able to kill her now, when she's all weak and dizzy. He's just useless this episode. They should fire him from being a vampire. I do enjoy how Spike repeatedly calls him out on the not killing of Buffy, at least.
  • We're singing along to the theme song again. D is drumming too. WE'RE SO COOL.
  • "Possible fractures?" What the - why? What? Why would he think that? No. Stupid doctor. He's fired too.
  • I like how seriously they're all taking this, and it's an unnerving shift on the show we're used to - nothing mystical about what's taken Buffy down, or the way we're dealing with it.
  • Poor delirious Buffy. She's so small and vulnerable. SMG is really good at that.
  • "Shhh. Hospital zone. No singing." And Xander grins. BECAUSE HE WILL INVOKE THE SINGING SPELL IN FOUR YEARS.
  • "You know that thing on her face? You know that thing. ... Am I the only one that's noticed that thing?" Never change, Cordy. No seriously. I hate your "growth" on AtS. Stay like this.
  • I feel like they would have taken off her jewelry.
  • Ew ew ew ew don't rip out your IV. I actually yelled at the screen. At least it was a dream?
  • This is the creepiest hospital that's not in a zombie movie/tv show. Creepy children everywhere.
  • It is nice of Xander to stand guard, even if he's not that effective a bodyguard, really. But he uses his brains to get Angelus to back down!
  • Angelus accuses Xander of still loving Buffy. Do we think this is true? While his hatred of Angel certainly stemmed from that, and has only grown, but I think it's its own independent animal of hatred now. I don't think I think Xander is still in love with Buffy, personally.
  • "Flowers for milady!" // "I think they call those balloons."
  • "Nobody told me I was supposed to bring a gift." // "It's traditional among ... people." I love Cordy. and Giles. So much.
  • Giles's theory the kids might be seeing the "true selves" of the adults, which manifest as evil deathy things, is awesome. It's wrong, but it's awesome.
  • Krispy Kreme!!!! I wants.
  • Der Kinderstod thinks it can battle Buffy by being all blinvisible. But she's battled the blinvisible before!
  • "This is your work?" Giles asks as he tries to find a constructive comment on the artistry.

Pot, kettle, sir?

  • This episode is funnnnnnnny. It's kind of a stupid title though.
  • "Let's go, tact guy."
  • Aw Giles is so annoyed at Cordy. "It asks endless questions of those with whom it's supposed to be working so that nothing is getting done."
  • Man this demon wins at the creepy. Good makeup and good physical acting by James Jude Courtney.
  • My friend Lucy's favorite line in the whole entire series: "No more frogs."
  • NOOOOOOOOOOES DON'T KILL THE CHILDREN.
  • Buffy, to Kinderstod: "You make me sick." PUNNNNNNNNNN!
  • Seeeeeeeee, Daniel? Joyce is being support-o-mom to Sick Buffy. And to moocherfriends Willow and Xander. [Yeah, but she's bogarting the cheesy chips - Xander]

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Parking lot cemetery!
  • Cordelia: “We’re all concerned about how gross you look.”
  • Giles is cleaning his glasses a lot more lately!
  • There’s no thing on Buffy’s face, Cordy – but you have a weirdly shaped mole on your cheek you might wanna get checked out.



  • Creepy kid alert!
  • Hey, it’s German Freddy Krueger!
  • Power Girl!  The first incarnation of the Slayer!
  • I love how Giles ignores that Willow did all of Buffy’s assignments
  • Sunnydale General looks like Sunnydale HS. 
  • Willie Garson!  He’s so good.
  • “Fine, watch my back.”  And...stupid Xander looks and doesn't even smirk or appreciate Cordy's fine buttocks. MAKE A BETTER CHOICE, BRENDAN.
  • Aww, Cordy brought Xander Krispy Kreme even though he’s a dick.  That’s love.
  • Hehe, Willow was playing ‘doctor’ wrong
  • Also, thank god she was because it saved Buffy from a potential lethal dose of the flu virus
  • Why is basement access right off the children’s ward? Seems kinda dangerous.
  • Der Kinderstod – a pre-cursor to the Gentlemen?

Crossfire!

Should we include Celia (young Buffy's cousin) in our death stats? She's only in flashbacks. You decide!

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: My bed is better than any bed that's not my bed. - Buffy
Daniel: Tact is just not saying true stuff. - Cordelia

Arc Stuff:


  • When Buffy was 8 her cousin Celia died in a hospital, so Buffy is scared of hospitals now.
  • Also when Buffy was 8 she had brown hair. 

Stats:
Voiceover - none
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 1
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 1
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 1 (Dr. Backer)
Shenanigans Called -0
Apocalypse Called - 0

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Shoddy Gypsy Craftsmanship



Episode 2.17: Passion. Original Airdate 2.24.98


"Angel steps up his torment of Buffy and her friends as Jenny searches for a way to restore his soul."












Daniel's Thoughts:

  • It’s cheesy but I kinda like when Angel narrates the episodes.
  • No peripheral vision, really?  They walked right by Angel killing someone.
  • Angel is an excellent artist!  Not…what I’m supposed to get from the picture.
  • I love how Cordelia continues to be paranoid about her car throughout the entire episode and no one ever corrects her.
  • Funny, tongue-in-cheek, reference to the fact that no kids are ever in the library.
  • Again, I think they’re being way too hard on Jenny.
  • Ok, points to Joyce for noticing something is wrong but she had to spoil it with, “I read all the parenting books.”  What are all these parenting books that she’s always spouting on about?
  • Aww, Willow’s fish!
  • Don’t eat the puppy, Spike! Ruff. Good Dog.
  • The Orb of Thesula is pretty.
preeeeeeeeeeeeetty.

  • In other vamp films, it’s stated that pretty much any religious symbol would work.  I wish they incorporated it here and used a Jewish star instead of a cross for Willow’s threshold.  But I’m glad, at least, Willow at least mentions that it would bother her dad if he saw it.
  • "Sorry Angel, I changed the locks." Fuck yeah moment!
  • Oh good, Dru still hasn’t killed the puppy!
  • Would a computer really make that much fire?
  • The Angelus/Jenny chase is great.  Really well choreographed.  And great use of the set. 
  • Also, Jenny :( 
  • “Sure! Like what would you say?”  Oh, Willow.  So good with the subtly letting Giles know that his business there is done.
  • Ok, I concede. Joyce is being good mom.
  • Oh Giles, poor sweet Giles :( 
  • Angelus is so evil that that he has to not only kill Jenny but see the reaction of those most affected by it.  And the smile he gives is so creepy.
  • And does Xander have to wear such a ridiculous outfit in this type of episode?
  • I think the puppy is growing on Dru!
  • Giles is so badass!
  • Such a nice scene between Buffy and Giles. 
  • Weird to end this episode on Willow taking over the teaching.  This is something that angers a friend of mine a lot.  He says they’d never allow a student to teach a HS class.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I don't want to - this will make me sad - let's just skip it nooooooooooooooooo.
  • OMG they're so innocent and sweet, Willow even has a lolipop, WHY DOES THIS SHOW HATE US.
  • I can't even tell if the narration in Passion is good. I never listen to it, honestly. DB's delivery is just so uninflected and dull.
  • Also shenanigans Buffy didn't notice the vamp feeding RIGHT NEXT TO HER, even if that was a cool stalking shot.
  • Angelus is such a creepy fucktard. But a good artist.
  • Look! Giles is stamping books! He's actually pretending to be a librarian. And then he even tells Jonathan where to find books on Stalin.
  • Guys, can we take a moment to acknowledge that Danny Strong is now an EMMY WINNER and will be writing the final Hunger Games screenplay? Can we just ... bask in that for a moment?
  • "By sneaking in her room and leaving stuff at night? Why doesn't he just slit her throat or strangle her while she's sleeping or cut her heart out? What? I'm trying to help." Good point, Cordy. Calling her own shenanigan there.
  • "The more people know the secret, the more it cheapens it for the rest of us!"
  • "because otherwise chaos could ensue." I love you Willow.
  • "Yes, well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal." :(
  • GILESANDJENNYTHEIRLOVEISSOTRUE. I hate Angelus.
  • Props to Joyce for reading our Continuity notes and remembering that Angel is "the college boy who's tutoring [Buffy] in history."
  • Gawd. He killed her pretty colorful fish. He truly IS diabolical.
  • "She's an orphan. Her owner died ... without a fight." PUPPY.
  • "We were worried." // "No we weren't." JM always wins at delivery.
  • I love that when she finally puts the puppy in his lap, he does start petting it. 
No one can resist a cuddly puppy.

  • "I don't like computers. They give me the willies." Said the guy in the magic shop.
  • "Five hours of lesson planning yesterday down the drain." Five HOURS???? On one day's teaching?
  • Yay Buffy for looking past her pain and resentment to try and help Jenny and Giles mend, as much as she can. "I don't want him to be lonely. I don't want anyone to."
  • Angelus is so creepy. Actually pretty interesting that he seems to be playing into the story Buffy told Joyce, saying he needs to be with her. I wonder what his actual intention was with all this though. I ... am actually not sure. Unless his intention was never to kill Joyce, but just more psychological torture of Buffy, trusting she'd get there in time to save Joyce (since he left the note at Willow's place)? Yes. I'm going with that.
  • As soon as Jenny tells Giles she spoke to Buffy, he visibly lightens - maybe there's hope for them yet! Except NOT because Joss hates us.
  • So Spike didn't eat Sunshine the Puppy yet. New mascot?
  • We're both annoyed by the banter about Angelus being invited to the school. It's not a residence; he'd be fine regardless.
  • He is legitimately creepy. And it is legitimately upsetting when he smashes the Orb of Thesula.
  • Poor Jenny. I think she knows now she's going to die, even if she'll try her hardest to escape. And I believed she would get away. They always get away on TV. Not in all the horror movies, but on TV. I didn't believe they'd actually kill her, and I continued to not quite believe it, the first time, til Giles found her.
  • And he kills her so cruelly, too. Laughing in her face. Doesn't even feed.
  • The Talk with Joyce and Buffy ... actually well-handled. And sad. Poor Buffy. Poor sad Buffy. 
  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I DON'T WANT TO WATCH THIS SCENE. I want to protect Giles from the sad.
  • The music, the lighting, the smash of the glasses, ASH's face as he realizes. It's all so well done and so horrible. So well orchestrated. Angelus is a bastard and I hate him. Can we kill him now?
  • And then he goes to watch Buffy find out. Not Giles, but Buffy. Because it's all about her. He's so awful. That little smile.
  • Everyone's so good in this episode.
  • Beautiful tracking shot through Giles's apartment as he arms himself for his suicide mission.
  • I'm just spitballing here, but it looks like Angelus has - AGAIN - killed the beloved daughter of the whatsit tribe. THEY SHOULD CURSE HIM AGAIN.
  • "I'm sorry, but let's not forget that I hated Angel long before the rest of you jumped on the bandwagon." Except your hatred was born of jealousy and you're petty. This is the first time the rest of us really hate Angelus I think. Well, for me anyway. Not so much for killing Jenny, but for hurting Giles. NO HURTING GILES.
  • Giles wailing on Angelus with fiery torch? Yesthankyoumoreplease.
  • Buffy shows up, and Dru calmly wheels Spike out of the way.
  • Battle at the factory is pretty badass awesome. All the Buffy/Angel fights are, really.
  • Angelus running away from a fight again. He's got a coward's pattern here.
  • Buffy's face after she punches Giles. Giles's face. I can't, you guys. It's too sad.
  • Oh God and Willow walking into the classroom to take over. She's so sad.
  • AND THERE GOES THE DISC.



Crossfire!

D: How does [Jenny] have a tombstone so quickly?
Z: Maybe they make 'em really fast in Sunnydale.



Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "You can't leave me. I can't do this alone." - Buffy
Zelda: "Hey, how come Buffy doesn't get a snotty 'once again you boil it down to its simplest form' thing? Watcher's pet." - Xander


90s Factoid:
Jenny uses a dot matrix printer



Arc Stuff:

  • Jonathan!
  • Angelus has permission to enter Buffy's house, Willow's house, Gile's house and Cordy's car. Not anymore though.
  • Our first time in a magic shop! Though, as this one is below street level, clearly not OUR magic shop.
  • An Orb of Thesula will restore Angel's soul.
  • Willow's father's name is Ira. And he's big on the Jewishness.
  • Xander does the Snoopy Dance every year at Christmas for Willow.
  • Angelus told Joyce he and Buffy slept together.
  • First major character death (if you don't count Jesse, which why should you, since NO ONE REMEMBERS HIM) with Jenny.
  • The disc with the re-ensoulment spell is hidden in the crack by the desk.



Stats:

Voiceover - none (unless you count Angelus's episode-long thing)
Dead Humans - 3
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Fish - 3
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0