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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcome to SlayerFest '98





Episode 3.5: Homecoming. Original Airdate 11.3.98




As Buffy and Cordelia vie for Homecoming Queen, a group of killers gathers to participate in SlayerFest '98.




Daniel's Thoughts:


  • Cordelia Episode! Cordy Episode!
  • Hey Scott Hope's last episode! (I'll miss you, Scott!)
  • "Has Scott not asked you yet?"  Oh Cordy.  Tactless as always.
  • Awkward kiss...  He's just not that into you, girl.
  • Angel is still a bit rabid but he's clothed now.  He still doesn't know how to button his shirt, it seems...so that's good.
  • Buffy admits to Angel that she hasn't told anyone.  So now I can hold Angel as accountable as Buffy for not encouraging her to tell Giles.
  • Aww, Scott has finally accepted himself and is dumping Buffy.  Poor Buffy.  But good for you, Scott.  (I'm here if you want to talk about it, Scott!)
  • Scary hot German twins!  Did we just switch the channel to porn?
  • Why are they using binoculars if they have her on a camera feed?  Seems pointless. [I thought the camera feed was coming through the binoculars? They plug a wire into them. - Z]
  • Ian Ambercrombie!  RIP!  He died just last year.
  • First time with the Mayor.  Some say he's just a retread of the Master with the goofy sense of humor, etc...but I disagree.
  • And Alan Finch!  (Openly gay actor - he does drag a whole bunch, too.)
  • And right away, we're introduced to the Mayor's germaphobia.  
  • I love the HS pictures.  
Poor Willow
And Oz's pic is just him being stoic as usual.
  • Eliza Dushku has the oddest gestures.
  • I'm glad they followed up on Principal Snyder's demands of getting a glowing recommendation. (Not from a British Librarian).
  • SHENANIGANS! "contemporary American Heroes from Amelia Earhart to Maya Angelou"...is a high school course?  A junior's high school course? For a HS junior that doesn't exactly excel in school?   I can see it being offered to students like Willow as pre-college credit but it's not a standard HS class and Buffy would never.
  • Fiesta Queen? Heh.
  • I like that this show takes the time (sometimes) to actually remember that they are in high school.
  • Shut up, Mr. Trick!
  • Slayerfest '98!  Whoo hoo!
  • Ugh.  I hate this. I hate the Willow/Xander thing that transpires in the next three episodes so much.  It just doesn't make sense to me as anything other than a plot device to cause drama.  Willow, sure - MAYBE.  She's always had a thing for Xander. But that was before she met Oz.  Wonderful Oz!  I feel like her crush on Xander was mostly because he was basically her only friend.  And I know she loves him as a friend and will always.  But she has cool Oz now.  And he has Cordelia.  So why now?  Because they're all dressed up in formal wear?  Bullshit.  The "moment" is pure contrived bullshit.  I would have bought this way back in the beginning of Season 2 with the whole ice cream on the nose thing.  The two were gelling, then.  But now?  No.  /rant  
  • I love how serious Buffy is about running for homecoming queen.  It's also interesting that she assumes her friends are going to help her instead of Cordelia.
  • "As Willow goes, so goes my nation".  Oh, Oz.
  • The campaigning montage mixed with the assassin training montage is brilliant.
  • Getting Scott's sympathy vote...nice.  I guess she's over him. (I'll always be there for you, Scott!)
  • Oh, manipulative Buffy!
  • "You crazy freak!"//"Vapid whore!"  Awesome!  I'm also siding with Cordy here.  Don't hate me. [I'm not. Don't hate me either. - Z]
  • And willow and Xander are continuing to flirt stupidly:

tea length is a strange length
  • Cordelia's dress is prettier than Buffy's.
  • Buffy looks like she's going to a dance in the 50s.
  • What...is that TV plugged into?
  • I love Devon's 90s grungy voice.
  • Oh Scott.  You dumped Buffy to take another girl to homecoming? (There's always college experimentation, Scott!)
  • Giles made a joke!  He's pretty useless in this episode, may as well make him fun.
  • I love that one of the extras is wearing a tuxedo t-shirt.
  • Good thing there was that abandoned CABIN IN THE WOODS
  • The whole spatula/telephone conversation between Buffy & Cordy is so good.  These two have really good chemistry and should have had more to do together.  
  • The abandoned cabin in the woods has a working phone? Really?
  • I looked up the German twins on IMDB.  They only have this one credit to their name.  But hey, look at this.
  • I love Ian Abercrombie's Tron-type tracking device.
Clever quote from Tron. Hilarity!
  • So the Gorches' plan was to just...wait in the library?
  • There are wooden spatulas?
  • I love Cordelia's speech to Lyle and that look is priceless.
Don't fuck with the Lords of Hell?
Don't fuck with the Cordelia!
  • So this is Lyle's second episode of Buffy and he doesn't die.  I'm surprised they never bring him back.
  • "Long story"//"Got Hunted"//"Apparently not that long"  Repeated joke but always a good one.
  • And we have a tie! Buffy and Cordelia??  No! Fake out!


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • I would just like to point out that, as promised by Daniel here, we are eating empanadas as we watch. And they are delicious.
  • Buffy's hair was so pretty in season three.
  • Angel learned how to put on a shirt again. That's progress. Though he hasn't learned how to button it closed.
  • I dunno, if I were Angel, I wouldn't really want to hang out in the mansion where I was evil and also died. What happened to that museum-style apartment?
  • "It hurts ... less." Good line, good delivery (I KNOW, Zelda said something nice about DB, we're confused, too.)
  • I'm glad Angel seems to be feeling remorsey about Giles. As he should.
  • Scott, you're such a dickwad. This breakup makes very little sense, except for reasons of plot.
  • I do not like your shirt, Buffy.
  • Look at these hi-tech German boys with their fancy binoculars.
  • omfg I love Harry Groener so much.
  • Deputy Alan looks alarmingly like Sheriff Rick.
Right??? Right???
  • "Dirt gets trapped there. And germs. And mayonnaise."
  • The Mayor refers to his mother, who never caught a cold. Is that cuz ... she's a demon?
  • That's a terrible school photo, Xander. Also Willow. But Oz? Perfect.
  • Cordy's earrings are crosses.
  • Booooooo, Cordy, not telling Buffy about pictures like you said you would, booooooooo.
  • And Buffy, post training, looks supercute today too!
  • Our senior yearbook photos were done in August before the school year started, not during the day. Buffy would have missed ours, too.
  • "It involves being part of this school" - it's actually a very good point Cordelia makes, and it's a goal Buffy will eventually achieve this year in a really satisfying way.
  • Willow has one of those folding screens. I was about to type that I'm jealous, until I remembered that I have one, too; we use to to separate the kitchen from the living room. New York living, baby!
  • I think our homecoming dance was slightly less formal - we kept the tuxedos for prom, I think just regular suits for homecoming. ... Not that I ever actually went to homecoming, now I think on it.
  • Xander does look pretty good in his tux. Willow's dress is kind of dull though.
  • I know Daniel has stuff to say about the Willow/Xander kissage, so I'll just leave it at: NO. STOP. LOOK AT YOUR LIFE. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES. STOP. STAAAAAHP.
  • I lied, I have one thing to say: on a lot of teen-geared TV shows, we're expected to root for the shy girl who pines after the boy and then finally gets him (I'm looking at you, Joey Potter, and I am not pleased), and I feel like this is playing into that trope, and maybe a tiny bit of my memory from first 'shipping them was gratified, the first time around, but no - not cool. They're both in relationships now, and Oz is the best, and they should both know better.
  • Buffy's strategy board is awesome.
Can we just point out that Xander is listed under Cordy's weaknesses?
  • Oh Buffster, read your audience. They are feeling very awkward.
  • I like the montage song ("Fire Escape" by Fastball, for anyone who cares)
  • It's nice to see Buffy being good at campaigning. Because she has done this before; she's not inept.
  • Staaaaaaaaaahp Xander. Staaaaaaaaahp, Willow.
  • Cordelia looks amazing.
  • Shenanigans! Cordelia has never had a sallow tint to her skin.
  • Wow, Scott Hope, you took another girl to Homecoming? Such a douchenozzle. [He's struggling!  Leave my Scott alone! - D]
  • I dunno, Buff, I don't think I'd like wearing a corsage on my heiny.
  • "A telephone? And you didn't think that'd be helpful?" // "No this is better for ... (swats the air with spatula) oh."
  • Buffy has to be veddy careful with humans hunting her, because she's not supposed to kill humans.
  • "This is all I do. This is what my life is.You couldn't understand. I just thought ... Homecoming Queen....I could pick up a yearbook someday and say, 'I was there. I went to high school, I had friends, and ... for one moment, I got to live in the world.' And there'd be proof. Proof that I was chosen for something other than this." Again, this speech will have such a gratifying payoff in The Prom. (And, of course, in Chosen)
  • Bless, Cordy, just swatting at Yellow Spiny Demon with your spatula.
  • Oh man, YSD jumping at the window and bouncing right back on the floor had me laaaaaaaaaaaaughing.
  • Giles is unconscious! Yay! I mean, not YAY, but yay for our stats.
  • Haha Trick got arrested. ARRESTED. I freaking love the Mayor.
  • So YSD blew up, Random Human Hunter got bear-trapped but didn't die, the Germans blow each other up, Trick gets arrested, Lyle runs away after his wife gets spatula'd ... what happens to Ian Abercrombie?
  • "The children are our future. We need them. I need them." To eeeeeeeeeeeat.
  • The Mayor: someone even vampires fear.
  • I remember, my first time watching it, feeling really gratified that not only is there a tie, but that neither Cordy nor Buffy are a part of it. Really fun cliche-buster.
  • Love Oz's retro tux.
  • Over the black credits screen: "I promised myself I wasn't gonna cry."


Discussion Question

At this point in the series, did we already know the Mayor is evil before he hires Mr. Trick? Is that an evil reveal? We can't remember anymore when we didn't know, because we're old and stuff. Snyder has invoked his name in evilish ways ("Tell the Mayor I have good news"), but so has Joyce in non-evilish ways. Zelda thinks it might count as an Evil Reveal when he wants to hire Trick rather than eliminate him, but her doubts are enough that it's not currently in our stats.


Favorite Lines: 

Daniel: "The point is, I haven't even broken a sweat. See, in the end Buffy's just the runner-up. I'm the Queen.  You get me mad?  What do you think I'm going to do to you?" - Cordelia
Zelda: "We have to find Buffy. Something terrible's happened. Just kidding. Thought I'd give you a scare. Are those finger sandwiches?" Giles, you are so my spirit animal.



90s Factoids:
Dial-up Modem
Box TV and VCR
Buffy's rocking the body glitter.

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • As mentioned by Snyder in Faith, Hope & Trick, Buffy needs a glowing letter of recommendation from someone who's not a librarian.
  • Recurring characters in attendance: Scott Hope, Mr. Trick, Faith, Lyle Gorch, Jonathan, Devon.
  • First appearance by the Mayor and Deputy Alan!!
  • Buffy took Contemporary American Heroes last year. (Yeah, we think it's ridiculous, too)
  • Cordelia admits she loves Xander (to Buffy).
  • This is a Very Important Year for the Mayor. eeeeeeeeeeee

Stats:

Oz's Hair - strawberry blond
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 2
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 0
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Two Scoobies Answer: Who Are You?



Zelda is Giles
One of the first things I knew about Daniel was that Anya was his favorite character, and the one he most identified with - he also said as much here. And though I said Buffy was my favorite (she still is), I wouldn't say she was the character I'm most like - I was never going to be a Gryffindor. At first I thought maybe Willow was my character twin, what with being a wiz in school and kind of shy and awkward, but there are huge chunks of her personality which don't coincide with mine. Then last week, Daniel showed me this amazing gif (above) of Anya and Giles fighting in Tabula Rasa. And I realized: ...Oh. That's who I am. I'm the know-it-all who actually does know a lot of random useless stuff. I'm Ravenclaw. I've got a dry sense of humor, I'm too classy to drink beer (actually, I just don't like the taste), and I'm fiercely loyal to those whom I love. I would slice that Mayor's face anytime he threatened my homies. Oh, and I can be super freaking scary when I want to be.

I also take hilarious pratfalls.
But most importantly, perhaps, to this whole discussion is this:

"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."

I don't really have to explain any more at this point.

Daniel is Anya

When Zelda first proposed this as a blog topic, I was excited, if not a little bit nervous.  I've always been loud and proud about my fondness and appreciation for Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins and how much I identify with her. But when forced to put my thoughts to paper computer about how exactly I'm like her, at first I came up with a big flat blank.I was worried at first that I wasn't like Anya at all; that I just aspired to be like her.

To describe her superficially, you can say she's loud and tactless: two things, I pride myself in not being.  But if you examine her a little deeper, I think Anya is more self-conscious and needy than most of the Scooby gang.  She puts on a brave front with her sarcastic quips but the things she wants most is extremely human.  She wants to be loved and she wants to be part of the group.  She's often self-conscious about Xander and whether he really truly loves her.  And while the latter (wanting to be part of the group) can certainly be argued, I saw no other reason for her to stay with the group after her and Xander's break-up.

And that's why I was a little apprehensive about doing this blog post:  Because Anya and I often share the same insecurities about life, love & friendship.  Our tactics in hiding it may be slightly different, but what lies underneath certainly isn't.  

Also, I provide much needed sarcasm.



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cold-blooded Jelly Doughnut

Episode 34: Beauty & the Beasts. Original Airidate 10.20.98 
The Beasts

"Oz becomes the prime suspect when a series of animal-like attacks occurs in Sunnydale."





Zelda's Thoughts:


  • So when I was first getting into this show, my mom got me a Buffy guide book of some sort. It kept referring to the episode All Men Are Beasts, and I was really confused, as ... that episode didn't exist. I'm not sure if that was an earlier title for the episode, or just the book getting it wrong (Faith does say "All men are beasts" in the teaser). Cool story bro.
  • We don't really like this episode. The metaphor is sorely lacking in subtlety.
  • Wolfy Oz likes rabbits. To eat, not to pet, so Anya would approve, I think.
  • The wolf makeup has improved (I guess) from S2.
  • Geez, Xander, at least PRETEND to try to stay awake a bit while on Oz-watch. He immediately lies down to sleep.
  • Parking lot graveyard.
  • Gasp. Who killed random human (Jeff) in the teaser? Was it newly-returned Angel? Wolfy Oz? Spoiler: no and no.
  • I've never been in a flower relationship. I WILL DIE ALONE.
  • Aw Buffy makes kissyface with Scott.
  • "Just a thought: Poker? Not your game."
  • omg srsly SHENANIGANS on the school shrink smoking on school grounds. So many shenanigans on that. Of course, it does match the motif of if you're smoking in Sunnydale, you're either evil or destined to die.
  • It's good Buffy is continuing to open up about Angel. I like this shrink guy. Pity he's doomed.
  • When did Feral Angel have time to find pants but no shirt or shoes? Shenanigans.
  • I was about to type that I like how Willow kept her cool while Xander and Cordy spazzed, because Willow had to focus on the job at hand, but then she fainted.
  • Glad to see the school library has returned to its typical uninhabited state.
  • Oh Buffy, just tell Giles Angel is back. Just tell him. I understand you're afraid, but ... okay, I admit I have baggage about people lying/obfuscating the truth. I don't approve of "protecting" someone from the truth because what you're actually saying is you don't respect/trust them enough to handle it. Okay, clearly in this case she wants to understand more before she decides what to do. But she's not the slayer of later years. She's still growing into her leadership, she still has her parental figures to guide her, and she should ask for help. It's not quite the same as Xander's big Lie, but it's still not respectful or wise.
  • Aw Scott is funny. "I hope you realize I don't actually know these people..."
  • I'd accuse Buffy of cutting class to go see Angel, but we learned last episode that seniors can leave school grounds on lunch. Continuity!
  • Hey Pete, you win, you're the most unpleasant boy in high school. Please go away.
  • See, the metaphor's not even a metaphor. "You do this to me," "I'm all you've got," "You know you shouldn't make me mad." It's just straight up what it is, and it's unpleasant. Then again, Glee handled this shit even worse, so I guess we should be grateful.
"Yeah, I think you should be grateful."
  • "You know what works? Don't get hit."
  • Oh Pete, don't come after Oz on a full moon night. That's just unwise.
  • I love that Pete doesn't even acknowledge/notice that Oz is in a cage.
  • Oh look. Yet again, this cage has proven incapable of staying shut against the strength of supernatural creatures. I guess we've learned never to ever use it again, right? Right? Sigh.
Dream on, Zelda.
  • I forgot Pete kills Debbie. :(
  • This is exciting. We're chasing Pete, we're chasing WolfOz, Angel shows up. Action-packed fun!
  • Willow pulled Oz's tail. Not a euphemism, but still hilarious.
  • Though the metaphor is clumsily done, I do approve of our full condemnation of a woman-hater.
  • Awwww he says "Buffy" and then falls to her feet, weeping. All the feels!
  • "Great, now I'm gonna be stuck with serious thoughts all day."


Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Werewolf Oz!
  • Ugh, I’m not calling a shenanigan but “rabbits” does not sound like “rabbis”,  Xander.
  • Also, stop being all worried that you said something that makes you sound gay.  Idiot High School Boy.
  • I’m not entirely convinced the library cage can hold Oz-wolf.
  • Faith trying to bond with Buffy is hilarious.  But the comparison of Scott Hope to a blueberry muffin is…well also hilarious. (marry me, Scott! It’s legal now!)
  • Faith: “All Men are beasts”.  Yeah…pretty much.
Amy             Maybe/kinda?          Debbie
  • Oz is being Oz. And it makes me laugh.
  • Debbie looks like Amy. =====>
  • And Pete is creepy from the get-go.
  • I think Giles is unfairly blaming Xander for the open window and going to sleep.  True, Xander did go to sleep too quickly but Giles doesn’t know that part.  It’s kind of unfair to make a student stay up all night to watch the wolf anyway.  I think Giles should have made it his responsibility.  Or at least make shifts throughout the night where one sleeps in the back. I know staying up all night for three nights is a little unreasonable for Giles to do alone, too. Still, too quick with the yelling.
  • Could a guidance counselor really smoke in his office in front of a student? Even in the 90s? Zelda called this shenanigan, so good.
  • “You know that thing where you bail in the middle of an upsetting conversation?  It’s dramatic, I know, but sometimes it's a necessary guy thing."  Yep.
  • I think this is the first time Oz has gotten intensely emotional.   I guess thinking you may have killed someone will do that to you.
  • Buffy’s reaction to seeing Angel alive is awesome. SMG is so good.
  • Scooby lunch box!  I love that Willow’s medical tools are in a Scooby lunchbox. 
Scooby Lunchbox!  Filled with medical tools.
  • Miss Edith is back!
  • Nice shot of Faith dancing.
  • And then punching Buffy as a reaction to being startled.  Awesome.
  • I’m surprised Giles isn’t suspicious at all regarding Buffy’s questions about her “dreams”.
  • This is the second time they use “the hills are alive” as a metaphor.  It doesn’t really make as much sense here.  Last time it was a metaphor for happiness.  This time it seems like it’s supposed to be a metaphor for how vivid a dream is – which...what?
  • While I’m sure Giles’ assessment of what Angel would be like if he were alive today is troubling, I still think Buffy should have told him.
  • Scott’s pretty funny, I guess. (Have my children, Scott!)
  • I like the growth of Angel in these episodes.  They could have just brought him back making him all hunky-dory and that would have been easy – but they chose to go the longer route that makes more sense.
  • I don’t buy that Buffy would confide in this guidance counselor more than she would in Giles.  And if I do decide to buy it, I don’t forgive it.
  • Does the liquid formula make Pete a demon or just a dick?
Did someone say Dick Demon?
  • Debbie is really such a sad character.
  • Ugh this whole Jekyll/Hyde wife beating metaphor is so heavy handed.  And some of the writing is just ridiculous.
  • This is the second time Giles gets accidentally hit in the butt with a sharp object.  The first time was by Jenny with a crossbow.  This time? A Tranquilizer dart from Buffy.  And his fall is hilarious.
  • Willow pulled Oz’s tail!
  • Angel saved Buffy!!!
  • And this is the point where Buffy should have gone to Giles.
  • Cordelia: “Where have I been?”  Seriously.  Can we get more Cordy?
  • Poor Scott Hope.  Two friends dead and still struggling with his sexuality. (let’s grow old together, Scott!)



Favorite Lines:

Zelda: Giles, after getting tranqed: "Oh right, bloody priceless." floppy fall. That was beautiful I want a gif.
Thanks Lucas for the gif!
Daniel: "I'm serious.  Something's gonna happen that you probably won't believe." [Pete transforms into a monster] "Or you might..." -Oz



Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Sunnydale has a marching jazz band.
  • Miss Edith and the rest of Dru's dolls are still at the mansion.
  • Also, Willow's third pink fuzzy sweater has appeared (well, okay, second, since we haven't gotten to Doppelgangland yet):


Stats

Voiceover - Buffy, fading into Willow
Oz's Hair - red. or wolfy. why isn't he a redheaded wolf? Daniel says because his natural hair color is probably brown.
Dead Humans - 4
Dead Undeads - 0
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 1 (Pete)
Unevil Reveal - 0
Shenanigans Called - 2
Apocalypse Called - 0