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

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Have you tried not being a slayer?


Episode 2.22: Becoming: Part 2. Original Airdate 5.19.98




"Spike strikes an unlikely alliance with Buffy to keep Angel from destroying the world."





Zelda's Thoughts:


  • Hello Sunnydale police. Nice to see you.
  • "You stupid little troll, you have no idea." Them's fighting words. Also, LOL at Synder's puppy twitches when she knocks out the cop.
  • Buffy's a fugitive from da LAW. Shit just got real.
  • Okay, fine, shit got real last episode. But it's REALER now.
  • Okay, OKAY, shit got real back in Surprise/Innocence. But this is the REALIEST.
  • Willow's unconscious in bed. This is NOT okay. See? Shit. Real.
  • Buffy and Xander both think the attack was because she was trying to curse Angel. In this context, I can sort of understand Xander's Big Lie later. But ... well, I"ll get to it.
  • I would love to see Buffy wearing a ribcage hat.
  • "What are you, just some immortal demon, sent down to even the score between good and evil?" // "Wow. Good guess."
  • Yay Spike! "Hello cutie."
  • God, JM was so young. His skin is so smooth.
  • "I want to save the world." ironic smile
  • I love that he's feeling for smokes the whole speech.
  • Does Spike want to stop Angelus because he likes the world with all its happy meals with legs, or because he's mad that Angelus has been shtupping Drusilla? JM's quotes this speech a lot, so I think he thinks its the first reason, and maybe it partly is, but I'm inclined to believe it's mostly all about the jealousy.
  • "Let me take this opportunity to not care." I've used that. Or wished I could, to be more accurate.
  • "I'm all you've got." But Whistler told us that ain't so!
  • Xander's in Trig? Does that mean he'll take Calculus next year? HAHAHAHAHAHA
  • Oz's bowling shirt says Larry. Just thought you'd like to know.
  • OzandWillowtheirloveissotrue.
  • Ugh. Poor Giles. Thank you for being a teen show so we don't have to see much of the torture.
  • Angelus is cleaning Giles's glasses. This doesn't count as a stat, but it is a cool detail.
  • yay we're about to begin my favorite section. Buffy and Spike in a band. "She plays the triangle." "Well, I sing."
  • Buffy came out to her mom! Yay!
  • Spike and Joyce in the living room. Loves.
  • "Dru bagged a slayer?! She didn't tell me. Hey, good for her! Though not from your perspective, I guess."
  • I get that Buffy has kind of a lot on her plate, but I wish she weren't so dismissive of Joyce trying to understand. Joyce is trying to understand, and she doesn't. There's too much being thrown at her, too many changes to what she thought was reality.
  • The showdown between Buffy and Joyce. I have such feels. The look she gives her mom before she leaves. waaaaaaaaah
  • "Okay, I missed out on some stuff, didn't I? Cuz this is all making the kind of sense that's ... not." - Oz
  • Okay, see - Xander has one mission: All Willow wants him to do is tell Buffy she's gonna try the spell again. And he doesn't. He takes away Buffy's choice, and the reasoning, at least in the strict canon of the show, never made sense to me. I've read a bunch of different interpretations and analyses on other blogs and forums, that he didn't trust Buffy to make the hard choice if she thought the spell might work, and maybe that's it. Maybe it's that he didn't want Angel to have a chance of coming back, because his hatred really ran that deep. Maybe he didn't think the spell would work because Willow was so weak. I don't know. This is all speculation. Here's the facts of the matter though: Xander lied to Buffy, one of his best friends, whom he loves/worships in one form of another for the entire series, about one of the most important people in her life. He lied to her, not about whether he stole her candy bar, but about something major. He lied to his friend and he didn't blink. Fuck you, Xander. I don't understand your choices and maybe I don't want to understand. Lying is one of the worst betrayals in my book. And he's never really held accountable for it (though I cheered SO FUCKING LOUDLY when Buffy brought it up again in Selfless in S7).
  • "You must perform the ritual in a tutu ... pillock." Giles is my favorite. I'm aware I have like 12 favorites. Shush.
  • "The police of Sunnydale are deeply stupid." Word.
  • "You're expelled." // BUFFY PULLS OUT BIGASS SWORD. Your argument is invalid. 

BIGASS SWORD


  • Dru pretending to be Jenny to trick the answer out of Giles. DAMMIT STOP MAKING OUR GILES SAD. [Hey, I'll steal this idea, too - 666 Park Avenue writers]
  •  Of course, this did start the tradition of if you get killed, you get like 3 more episodes on the show.
  • "Did I mention I didn't take Latin?" It's okay, neither did Angelus.
  • Spike whacking Angelus down: Awesome. Spike continuing to wail on Angelus over and over: hilarious. And then Dru sidetackles Spike and that's hilarious too.
  • Oh look, Xander does have a purpose: he rescued Giles. He's still a lying liar who lies.
  • Angelus pulls the sword out: oh fuck moment. Now, regardless of Willow's spell, there's no turning back for Buffy.
  • This sword fight. So good. Even if I am audibly announcing every time I see a stunt performer.
  • Willow scary spell possession. Eep.
  • "God, he's gonna kill her." eyebrow shrug. It's a good moment because it really clarifies Spike's morality, especially in regards to my question earlier: he's not staying to stop the world from ending - he got Dru back, and that's all he wanted. Even if he did suffocate her with MAGIC.
  • "Take all that away, and what's left?" // "Me." Our Buffy is the best Buffy.
  • Oh God it's so sad. Buffy's face. The music. The yawning void of Acathla hell. It's so sad. "Close your eyes." Joss you bastard.
  • Is it better or worse for her grief that she got to say goodbye before he died?
  • Oh god and then her face crumples.
  • And the closet is empty. And Joyce's face crumples.
  • And they're all at the school, and quietly cheeful, quietly optimistic.
  • "Maybe it wasn't in time. Maybe she had to kill him before ..." do I detect a tone of hope that you won't get caught in your lie? Fucker.
  • I know this song got overused, especially on the WB, but this was the first I heard it and it broke my little heart. "Pulled down by the undertow, never thought I could feel so low."
  • Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I need a hug.


Daniel's Thoughts:


  • Buffy, to Snyder: "You stupid little troll!" - GO BUFFY!
  • I work for this group, you probably
    never heard of them ... the Powers That Be ...
  • So Willow's knocked out in a hospital bed but she hardly has any wires attached.  Shouldn't she have a feeding tube?  I guess it's too soon for that?
  • Whistler: The first hipster.  I knew a demon started that trend.  ----------------->
  • Yay! Spike and Buffy join forces!
  • I love Spike's speech about how he likes this world. It adds dimension and direction to the Buffy Universe.
  • They realllly have nice hospital rooms in Sunnydale!  I guess people spend a lot of time there...
  • It's about time Joyce found out although - 
  • Worst. Line Reading. Ever. "Buffy, what is going on?" - I make fun of this line all the time.  Joyce just saw a supernatural happening. She saw a guy turn to dust and yet she asks this question like her daughter has just joined a rock band or something and she's just finding out.
  • I don't know if I believe Buffy would just invite Spike inside her home. Can't he wait outside?
  • Joyce's confusion is both hilarious and awful. The lame comparisons (read: obvious metaphor) to sexuality is the hilarious part.  "Have you tried not being the slayer?"  I...seriously?
  • Oh Oz, he doesn't quite get it but he's still in it for Willow.
  • Especially with Willow's resolve face!

This face means business.
  • Mayor! Foreshadowing! Season 3!
  • Aww, Jenny!
  • Angel is the key? NO! Dawn is the SPOILER!
  • Buffy! Littering!  What's with all the littering this season??
  • "Kick his ass" - Fuck you, Xander. (Stated more eloquently by Zelda above.)
  • Shenanigans!  Spike suffocates Dru which knocks her out...except Dru doesn't breathe so how would that work exactly?
  • Sword fight!  Kick ass sword fight!
  • Willow!  Magic!  It begins!
  • So horrible and sweet but awesome TV: Buffy knows she has to do and it's heartbreaking for her and for us.
  • I love when TV characters are shown leaving on long trips with one duffel bag.  

Crossfire!


Zelda & Daniel will never admit the tears. NEVER.

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "It doesn't stop! Do you think I chose to be like this? Do you know how lonely it is? How dangerous? I would love to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or - GOD - even studying! But I have to save the world. Again." - Buffy
Daniel: "This is all making a kind of sense that's not." - Oz


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Detective Stein, who also appeared in Ted, is back for more detecting.
  • Xander's in Trig.
  • Snyder expels Buffy and she's still officially a fugitive from the law.
  • Apparently it's good news for the Mayor if Buffy gets expelled.
  • Dru uses her hypnosis to make Giles think she's Jenny.
  • Willow channels the dark magics.
  • Oh right, Angel's soul was restored, Buffy sent him to hell anyway, and then ran away from home.

Stats:

Oz's Hair - red 
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 4
Dead Flashbacks - 0
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 (we called it last episode)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Someone Wasn't Worthy




Episode 2.21: Becoming: Part 1. Original Airdate 5.12.98



"Angel plots to revive an ancient demon bent on sweeping everything on earth into hell itself."






Daniel's Thoughts:


  • I wish they hadn't made Angel Irish.  I feel he could have done another accent better.  Spanish maybe?  Or make him American like Darla. [I would pay good money for a Russian Accent. That would be hilarious. - Z]
  • Darla!  She's back!  In....a flashback!

"I didn't hear a about a chair shortage...oh"

  • We haven't had a good ol' fashioned vamp slaying opening in a while.  Love it.
  • Fish stick theatre!  Xander is doing something funny!
  • I love the whole chair shortage conversation.  Willow/Alyson has hilarious timing.
  • Snyder: This isn't an orgy people, it's a classroom//Buffy: Yeah, where they teach lunch.  HEE!
  • London - 1890 - here's some stock footage.
  • Interesting seeing Dru as a human and how they made her crazy.
  • I like Willow in teacher mode.
  • I still stay it's a ridiculous curse and I'll keep saying it until it stops. It punishes the man, not the demon!
  • And Xander has the same idea as the gypsies: Punish the man, not the demon.
  • Kendra is dressed like she's in the army!
  • How the heck did Kendra get that sword through customs?
  • Giles uses the Orb of Thesula as a paperweight!  Just like the shopkeeper said in Passions.  Yay for continuity!
  • I'm not completely unimpressed with the Manhattan set. It's totally fake but well done.
  • Flashback: Ewww, Angel's in love with a 15 year old girl.
  • Mr. Pointy!
  • I feel like they only brought Kendra back to kill her off...

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Hiya Darla! I'm glad you're not attempting an accent.
  • I don't think we ever find out, even on his show, when Angel lost the Irish. It's there in some flashbacks, and then it's not.
  • "It'll all be over soon." // "Yes, my love. It will." SHUT UP. At least when Ethan tries that sort of thing, Giles catches him at it and undercuts it.
  • For our stats: 1 dead fishstick.
  • "I think you'd sweat cute blood."
  • THEY'RE ALL SO CUTE. Xander and Cordy and his fish hands, Willow and Oz and their Willow- and Oz-ness
  • Aw human Dru. Still creepy looking.
  • "I don't want to be an evil thing." This episode is not just about Liam becoming Angelus who became Angel who became Angelus, or about Angelus becoming the worthy vessel for the Tomb of Alfalfa, or even about Buffy becoming a slayer or an adult and whatnot. We've also got Dru becoming a crazyass vampire, or at least the lead up to it.
  • Love the transition of "God is watching you" to full on crazy present Dru striding along.
  • Spike reads the newspaper! He keeps up with current events! Our modern-day vampire.
  • I love love love their realization that they're looking at the soul restoration spell. I love it so hard. This show, you guys.
  • Hi Romania! You look kinda like the parking lot.
  • So when they restored his soul the first time, he was drawn to where the spell was being cast, so the Romanians could give him the speech of "you suck." This didn't happen when Willow does it later - he doesn't even feel the spell coming until it hits.
  • While Xander's right that Angelus is a killer, and is not ready to forgive that, Angelus and Angel are two separate creatures in terms of culpability. Angel will feel the remorse of his actions as Angelus, but they're not actions he would commit. If we can tolerate the Angel of S1 and S2 pre-Surprise, with all the murders he committed, Xander's point holds less power. The problem is the deaths are more personal now.
  • This argument is so good you guys.
  • Hi Kendra!
  • "And we're sure this was the Tomb of Alfalfa." Oh Buffy. Sometimes you shouldn't say words.
  • I think we shoulda let Angel keep eating the rats of Manhattan. Think of how much less of a vermin problem we could have in the city!
  • Hi Whistler! Who the fuck are you and why do you never ever exist again? I like the idea, but why is he never used again (yes, I know, the original plan was to have him show up on AngeltheShow, but they had Doyle instead).
  • "You can become someone. A person."
  • Pre-slayage Buffy! So cute, so sweet, so shallow! I wants to keep her safe. Also, it's a pretty good wig, in that it doesn't scream wig. Maybe it's just extensions.
"Yeah? Hi! What?"

  • Poor little Buffy! She's so scared and small.
  • Wait - so when Angel smiles, after his day of stalking, it's when he's watching her cry in the mirror. wtf, dude. Though "I want to help her. I want to become someone." is pretty cool.
  • "I want to learn from you. But I don't want to dress like you." And thus was born his penchant for dark button downs and black pants.
  • "Someone wasn't worthy." And then he just sits there and tries not to laugh as Angelus blusters and Dru twitches. Love me some petty Spike.
  • wtf, self-immolating vampire messenger. wtaf. How would he convince her to do that?
  • I love Buffy's blue-green coat so much.
  • Alpert!
  • Al Franken.
  • I'm aware the last two things barely count as bullet points. Shush you.
  • Daniel and I both cracked up at DB's physicality as he jumps after "All right, we'll fight."
  • Jesus. This fight is so brutal. I gasped when the bookcase fell on Willow. And poor Xander's hand.
  • Oh God and Buffy's running as fast as she can once she realizes it was a trap. She's running as fast as she can and it's already too late.
  • What an awful way for Kendra to die.
  • Slow motion run. God. And the Buffy/Angel theme of sadness is playing, but with a muffled drum beat below it. Goddammit I love this show. It's just so freaking good.
  • And we think we're at our last moment as she runs to Kendra's dead body, but then - for like the first time, there's police.

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "It's a big rock.  I can't wait to tell all my friends.  They don't have a rock this big".  - Spike 
Zelda: "The big moments are gonna come, can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are." - Whistler. I mean, yes, all of Spike's lines, but also this.


Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Oz has animal crackers on his tray.
  • The disc that fell beside the desk in Passion is rediscovered!
  • Buffy finds the claddagh ring Angel gave her for her birthday.
  • Giles specifies that the soul-restoration spell would use black arts, not just rainbow happy magic.
  • Giles keeps an Orb of Thesula as a paperweight, as the shopkeeper in Passion said people do.
  • Angel saw Buffy get called to her Slayerness. Also, kind of a stalker.
  • "And you fall for it every single time!" - He's referring to when she fell for a similar trap in When She Was Bad.
  • Dru has hypnotic powers, which she uses to thrall Kendra into submission before killing her. Most vampires don't seem to have this power.
  • Kendra, the next in the slayer line, is dead.

Stats:

Voiceover - Whistler's thing (not the official Buffy shpiel)
Oz's Hair - red
Dead Humans - 3
Dead Undeads - 4
Dead Flashbacks - 3
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 1

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dude, What is that Foulness?



Episode 2.19: Go Fish Original Airdate 5.5.98 


"When several members of the Sunnydale High swim team are mysteriously skinned alive, Buffy and the gang take it upon themselves to protect the remaining members, which results in Xander revealing a side of himself rarely seen."


Zelda's thoughts:


  • Goddammit. This episode is so stupid.
  • What music is that extra dancing to?
  • It's significant that both I Only Have Eyes For You and this episode have a guy hitting on Buffy in the teaser. In IOHEFY she shuts him down very quickly. Here, she allows it. Because of ARC and CHARACTER and what happened in IOHEFY.
  • Aw bitty Jonathan. Rejecting Buffy's help. She's like the one kid who's nice to you.
  • Shenanigans - While I totally believe he'd be playing solitaire in class (our school computers had games), how would he have the option of naked ladies on the cards? That's not a default skin (pun unintentional).
  • "We've been having trouble finding a competent teacher this late in the term." My school did it, when a teacher unexpectedly retired midterm. Granted, it was history, not computers, but feh.
  • Buffy's face while swimman blathers on. Soooooooo bored. :)
  • "Are you wearing a bra?" What to the fuck, dude?
  • So Snyder pulls her in to punish her for breaking Cam's nose ... did they go out driving during school? Whaaaaaaat.
  • Even the funny isn't quite funny enough for me to like this episode. Nice try with the oreo cookie analogy, Willow.
  • "You're gonna think about that later, mister, and you're gonna laugh." I"ll laugh at that, but not about what you're talking about. GO AWAY, EPISODE.
  • Maybe I'll start using "go fish" as an alternative for "go fuck yourself."
  • "You're lucky I'm hungry." // "The cafeteria's closed." // "Not to me." THERE'S NO FOOD THERE YOU NITWIT.  I hate this episode.
  • Though the steam rising out of the skin shed by the fishmen is a nice touch.
  • "I think I've lost all will to cheerlead."
  • Buffy sucks at espionage. We learned this in I Robot, You Jane.
  • Hi Angelus! Time for some more pretense at being evil without any follow-through? Oh right you do try to bite Gage.
  • Actually a pretty cool way to reveal Gage has fishy blood.
  • Buffy and Willow are eating a bucket of popcorn while they watch ... swim practice?
  • Gage waving at Buffy from the pool. Cutie.
  • Xander twitchily hiding behind the boogieboard. Love it.

What are you hiding there?

  • Our school didn't have a steam room. But we also didn't have a pool, so who am I to talk.
  • "Tag, you're it." okay that bit was cute. I still hate this episode.
  • "After the fall of the Soviet Union ..." No. What. No. Just STFU. STFU. Stop. Just stop. Look at your life. Look at your choices. This is terrible writing.
  • He had the gun just sitting out on the countertop. Um ... no? They didn't even try for logic in this episode. There's so little effort.
  • Thank God that's over.

Daniel's Thoughts:


  • Xander is a Yankees fan. Figures.
  • Hey! Willow and Cordelia are getting along! I like this!
  • Cameron Walker is a sleeze with bad pick-up lines. Come on Buffy!
  • Ok, she's catching on now...good for you!
  • Xander: I love when you guys mess with her. Me: Me too!
  • Cordy can draw! [What? I can't have layers? - Cordelia]
  • Buffy is terrible at undercover.  She'll admit it later.
  • Wentworth Miller (Gage) does a stereotypical Californian accent until he doesn't. When he gets scared or has to deliver an emphatic line, his British accent comes out in full force: "Was that the thing that killed Cameron!" You know, my mate! My chum! Stiff upper lip, Buffy!
  • Hellloooooooo boys in speedos: 
Buffy and pre-lesbian Willow agree

  • OK, I'll admit, Xander actually looks pretty good, too
  • Willow: The trick is not to leave any marks. Me: Uh...wow.
  • Jonathan peed in the pool! HA! and EWW.
  • Coach has an odd idea of what fish people need: People as food? Sex? They don't even have penises!
  • Aww, Cordy's speech is so sweet! She wuvs Xander! She does!
  • Did they really call animal control for fish people?

Crossfire!

Z: Angel's a pretty flaccid villain. Except for when he killed Jenny. If this were a Showtime show, he'd be killing someone every episode.
D: Yeah, but if it were a Showtime show there'd be a lot more characters to kill off.
Z: I'm not gonna call them out on it too much though, because it's not Showtime, and it's a teen show.
D: Plus, there's 22 episodes as opposed to 13.

Favorite Lines:

Zelda: "I don't know two finer boys than Cameron and ... that other one." - Snyder
Daniel: "Oh I'm not worried about me".  - Buffy in response to Cameron's "Relax. I'm not going to hurt you."

90s Factoid:


  • "Good pie charts everyone!"
  • Also, Gage is playing a Gameboy.


Remember these?

Arc/Continuity Stuff:


  • Willow interrogates Jonathan, not for the last time.
  • Buffy's still taking French, but her teacher doesn't remember her name.
  • The library cage being used yet again to secure potential monsters.


Stats:

Voiceover - Giles
Dead Humans - 6
Dead Undeads -0
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 0
Giles Cleans His Glasses -0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 2 (Coach Carl Marin and Nurse Greenliegh are behind the steroid fish steam)
Unevil Reveal - 1 (the fishmen aren't killing the swimmers; they are the swimmers)
Shenanigans Called - 1
Apocalypse Called - 0
We're counting the humans transmogrifying into Fishthings as human deaths because their human self is dying - going by the same standard as counting someone turning into a vamp as a human death.