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


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You'll Have to Answer to MOO

Episode 3.11: Gingerbread. Original Airdate 1.12.99

"After discovering the corpses of two young children bearing a symbol linked to the occult, Joyce spearheads a campaign to rid Sunnydale of witches."

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • So I kinda love that Joyce is showing an interest
  • Awww, she recognizes the vamp, though!
  • "Death is least funny when it happens to children" ~South Park
  • Ok, this is the problem I have with this episode.  Is it a spell?  It must be, because Joyce wouldn't attack her child on her own.  She's not my favorite of moms, but I refuse to believe she has it in her to do that.  But then, what are the rules to this spell? Yes, I like rules.  Who does it affect?  The kids seem all right(!) So does it affect grown-ups only?  Well, Giles doesn't seem to be affected. Is it just the simple-minded (those who are easily manipulated?) Well...Xander isn't affected, so there goes that theory.  It just seems to have an effect on random people: maybe it's just parents...
  • Amy!
  • Ugh, shut up, Xander. No one cares whether you were with Willow today or not.  Stop making things unnecessarily awkward.
  • A vigil? Oh, Joyce.  Were you in that alternate universe where they had monthly memorials?
  • I like that they keep referencing Giles & Joyce having sex.
  • I love when the bullies are scared off by one look from Buffy.  Girl's got a rep!
  • "You are guilty" - Buffy to Xander.  Good for you!
  • The whole mob mentality is incredibly frightening.
  • Xander makes a facetious comparison to Nazi Germany, but I don't think he's that far off.
  • "Did that sentence make some sort of sense that I'm not in on?" I love this quote - and I've used it...although I think I've messed it up.  It's great word play
  • Oh Willow, it must suck to have a shrink as a parent.
  • It's sad that this is the first and last conversation we see with Willow and one of her parents.
  • Willow, "I'm a rebel!" Hee.
  • MOO - nice acronym, mom.  Seriously.
  • "Is Sunnydale getting any better?" - Seriously, Joyce - watch The Wish, you'll see how Sunnydale is better with Buffy.
  • Creepy children! ACK!  And yep, one of those kids is Bree's son, Andrew in Desperate Housewives. [Cannot. Handle. - Z]

  • Giles cursing out the computer is awesome.  
  • "Wake up in a coma?" HA!
  • "What's with the Grim(m)?"  GROAN
  • Oz and Xander to the rescue!  And Cordelia!
  • "Did I get it? Did I get it?" Buffy is so cute.

  • I love that Amy the rat becomes a thing.

Zelda's Thoughts:

  • After all the tears of the last two episodes, I'm ... kinda whatever going into this one.
  • I cannot handle the truthbomb from Daniel about Shawn Pyfrom. (see above)
  • Oh Joyce, the 5000 ways in which joining your daughter on a patrol was a bad horrible idea.
  • EW why are you picking up a wet rusty toy truck, Joyce, WHY. Put it down! Bad! Dirty!
  • Oh hai fake-dead children-demon things.
  • "It's just, you can't ... you can't make it right." Which is the hard thing about Buffy's job - it's mostly a defensive position, not an offensive one, against evil.
  • "Could you also find a loophole in that Slayers-don't-kill-people rule?" Even Buffy is subject to some of the demon-induced mass mania, until it's turned against her and her own.
  • "Hey Amy! I like your new hair." Nice, writers.
  • Dude, Joyce, get out of the school. Go away.
  • Two not-so-subtle mentions in one conversation about how uninvolved Willow's mom is in her child's life.
  • Willow's mom is tallllllllll.
  • "Yeah, it's just a sudden whim I had ... in August."
  • Willow's mom is ... really not a very good actress.
  • Unlike Harry Groener, who is perfection.
  • I wonder if the Mayor is infected with the mania like the rest of them, or if he's immune because of his demon-ness, and just playing along?
  • Neck rupture. Heh. "My neck! It's ruptured! Yaaaaah!"
  • "It belongs to the monsters and the witches and the slayers." ffffffffffffuck you, Joyce. Notice no one was like "ummmm what's a slayer? The band?"
  • Ha ha, bully backs down once Buffy's in frame. Maybe he's on the swim team.
  • "That was a pointed comment about me hanging with you guys." Thanks, Cordy.
  • Man, the locker inspections. This got bad real real fast. "This is a glorious day for principals everywhere."
  • A protection spell for Buffy's birthday is a really sweet gift, actually.
  • Also if they're taking all the books, how come they're not finding/seizing all the weapons? I'm fairly certain that would land Giles behind bars stronger than those in his book cage.
  • "I love the smell of desperate librarian in the morning." Foreshadowing Snyder's Apocalypse Now reenactment in Restless?
  • Okay, but where's Ira Rosenberg?
  • "Mom, I'm not an age group. I'm me ... Willow Group."
  • "You will not speak to Bunny Summers again." Done and done.
  • "You patrol, you slay, evil pops up, you undo it, and that's great ...But is Sunnydale getting any better? Have they run out of vampires?" Well, Joyce, according to our stats, Buffy has slain 95 dead undeads as of this episode, versus 66 dead humans in that time. So ... hush.
  • And this is the actual important question of the episode (outside of the sad-making betrayal by Joyce), is Buffy's fear of futility in the fight against evil. How much can she accomplish? How much is she worth? Well, she saves the world a lot, so that's a thing.
  • "React to some vampires." I giggled.
  • "No fruit for Buffy."
  • "I do know it's important to keep fighting. I learned that from you." // "But we never.. " // "We never win." // "Not completely." // "We never will. That's not why we fight. We do it 'cuz there's things worth fighting for. Those kids. Their parents."
  • Also I love that this is what tips her off to the magic at play - their parents.
  • "Who said you could interrupt, you stupid useless fad? No, I said fad. And I'll say it again." I love Giles so hard.
  • "Well, we don't need a phone." HELLO MAGIC INTERNETS
  • Man, Willow's mom sucks. Like she clearly sucked before, but she's even worse under the spell. I would like to take this moment to say I have the best mommy ever.
  • "Yeah, it's all falling into place. Of course, that place is nowhere near this place."
My childhood is so confused right now.

  • Lesson from Cordelia: if someone is knocked out, slap them over and over and over.
  • "How many times have you been knocked out anyway?" As of this episode, 12 times.
  • "One of these times you're gonna wake up in a coma."
  • Um I LOVE the dynamic duo of Giles and Cordelia. I would watch a spin-off of these two.
  • "We wanna be part of the hate." // "Just so we're clear, you guys know you're nuts, right?"
  • "I wanted a happy, normal daughter. Instead I got a Slayer." And that's the painful truth that I think Buffy will remember, even when the rest of the fallout fades away.
  • "And some of you will be fish! Yeah! You in the back ... will be fish."
  • Man, an indoor burning at the stake? Of three people? They really did not think this through at all. The whole building's gonna go down, they'll all pass out from smoke inhalation, it's a really bad stupid bad plan.
  • So will everyone have amnesia after this one, too?
  • BIG EVIL VOICE: "Protect us! Kill the bad girls!"
  • Amy's still a rat.


Joyce: Who could do something like this?
Daniel: Do you think it was a bear?
Zelda: A bear? Bears are sweet! (pic from Into the Woods) 
Whoever understood that reference gets a prize
from the carnival in Giles's dream

Favorite Lines:

Daniel: "Just so we're clear, you know you're nuts, right?" - Oz
Zelda: "Do you see any goats around? No, because I sacrificed them!" - Willow

Arc/Continuity Stuff:

  • Recurring: Joyce, Amy, The Mayor, Snyder.
  • Buffy's birthday's next week! We're sure nothing COMPLETELY HORRIBLE will happen!
  • Willow's mom thinks Buffy's name is Bunny.
  • Willow can make pencils float.
  • Amy's a rat. We'll miss you, Elizabeth Anne Allen.


Oz's Hair - strawberry blond
Dead Humans - 0
Dead Undeads - 2
Dead Flashbacks - 0
Giles Unconscious - 1
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 0
Buffy Breaks a Door - 0
Evil Reveal - 2 (Hansel & Gretel)
Unevil Reveal - 3 (Amy, Willow, and Michael aren't doing evil magicks)
Shenanigans Called - 0
Apocalypse Called - 0


  1. I really like this episode but the spell kind of didn't make any sense.

    It was still damn entertaining though and I wish they'd really touched upon the comments that Joyce made to Buffy in later episodes. I think we're supposed to believe that Joyce was under a spell so she wasn't in control of what she was saying but, she'd shown signs of having this thought in her head regardless of the spell.

    I really wish Buffy had talked with her more about it, I'm really interested to know more about how Joyce dealt with her daughter being a slayer.

    1. That's a great point, Blinvy: What made Joyce's comments so harsh was that they definitely could be in her thought process. And I agree, it would have been nice if it was brought back in future episodes.

  2. I absolutely love this episode. It's hard to say why, exactly. It's got some great humour in it, to be sure, and the exploration of the mob mentality comes across as genuinely unnerving, even beyond the basic supernatural elements of the show (cuz, really, crazy crap like this pretty much happened/continues to happen to real people - the mob mentality part, not the Hansel and Gretal are actually mind controlling troll demon things part). It's just very entertaining, I guess. Giles and Cordelia (lol toad stone) Xander and Oz (...we're here to save you...?) Moo (Nice acronym, Mom) Willow rambling about's all just fabulous.

    Although, one Xander moment always peeves me off (I like Xander, generally) but when the lockers are being searched and he tries to drag the attention back to him and his playboys...your best friend is in real trouble (the history nerd in me really likes the mentioned parallel between Nazi Germany, and with Willow being Jewish and all...) and you're being douchey and self-centered. I know it was probably written for a laugh, but I find some of the lines that they give Xander just come across as poorly timed or insensitive rather than funny.

    Anyway, back to loving this episode - I always manage to come back to this one whenever I'm in the mood for a random, fun Buffy episode. Willow's mom is an absentee jerk, but I think she acts her part well (her Mr. Rogers tangent made me giggle). Personal preference, I suppose.

    Anywho - I've rambled on enough. Another great review. :)

  3. Oh crap, I forgot to mention - Andrew! OMG! I've seen this episode like, six times and never once recognized him. Mind = blown.

    That is all.