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


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Guys, Take a Moment to Deal with This. We Survived.

Series Stats:

Dead Humans - 78
Dead Undeads - 136
Dead Flashbacks - 7
Giles Unconscious - 12
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 11
Buffy Breaks a Door - 15
Evil Reveal - 36
Unevil Reveal - 13
Shenanigans Called - 74
Apocalypse Called - 5

Season Three Stats (including comparison to previous season):

Dead Humans - 29 (+2)
Dead Undeads - 70 (+25)
Dead Flashbacks - 2 (-3)
Giles Unconscious - 4 (=)
Giles Cleans His Glasses - 5 (=)
Buffy Breaks a Door - 4 (-1)
Evil Reveal - 10 (-7)
Unevil Reveal - 5 (=)
Shenanigans Called - 23 (-3)
Apocalypse Called - 1 (-1)

As you see, our dead human, dead flashback, door-breaking, shenanigans, and apocalypse counts stayed mostly level with Season Two, while unevils and Giles's various unconscious and glasses activities matched exactly. The only really big jump we saw was in the number of dead undeads, which was up 25 from last season. Go team Scoobies!

Daniel's Thoughts:
From the very first episode, Anne, I knew season three would be one of my favorites.  It's incredibly imaginative and forward thinking.  Everyone goes through major changes in their last year just like anyone would in their senior year.  Buffy must grow and get past the incidents of what she had to do to Angel;  Willow deals with growing up, dating and realizing she has special gifts;  Cordelia must decide if she's a Scoobie or a the rich girl with minions (I think she chooses both); Angel must deal with being back and if it's even right for him to stay, while ultimately making the decision to be a grown up and end things once and for all with Buffy; and even Xander grapples with his identity within the group, his very first (disappointing) sexual encounter and using his Halloween knowledge to be the "key."  No, not that key.

Season three also introduced some great characters. While Oz was introduced in season two, he became a season regular this year, joined and became an integral part of the Scoobies.  He was even helpful with plan ideas such as "We attack the mayor with Hummus".  Speaking of the Mayor, we got the great Harry Groener as the awesome and evil Mayor Wilkins.  Eliza Dushku came on as the feisty and badass slayer Faith.  Her story took a turn that I never imagined but I loved every minute of it.  And finally, we got introduced to Anya (no lameass made up last name yet), the vengeance demon turned human played by Emma Cauflield, who was so wonderful, they brought her back for season 4.

The season wrapped up nicely with no cliffhanger and I liked it that way.  High school was over.  A chapter in their lives are closed.  Onto bigger and better. (We hope.)

Zelda's Thoughts:
Season Three is really satisfying in part because a bunch of seeds for it were planted in Season Two, so we get to feel clever for catching them - like Snyder name-dropping the Mayor, Xander admitting he loves Willow and those feelings coming to a really stupid head, Kendra's death leading to the next Slayer's being called, and of course Buffy dealing with the repercussions of killing Angel and the consequences of leaving town. We also have arguably the best Big Bad in the history of ever, if only because of Harry Groener being the King of All Things Awesome. AND we have Buffy's shadow-self, the Slayer she might have been, if not for her friends - and we have it twice: Buffy's alternaself in The Wish - cynical, cold, and business-like; and Faith, a powerful girl who doesn't understand why she doesn't have what Buffy has - and who turns to the dark as a place that might welcome her more easily than Buffy's wholesome world.

Season Three also drew really satisfying conclusions to the stories we've been following so far - I would have been fine if Angel never came back, but whatever. They brought him back, but acknowledged pretty readily that the relationship with Buffy couldn't sustain, one way or another. Spike was right, they'll never be just friends (as evidenced by every time they interact after S3 as well), but Joyce and the Mayor were right, too - there's an end-date to their romantic relationship as well, and not just because they can't have sex. Buffy will age, Buffy will change, and Angel will not. Meanwhile, we also had our Scoobies graduate high school, demolish said high school, and look toward the future and adulthood. And unlike a lot of tv shows, the characters really have changed and grown over the past three years. Willow has become more confident, and has fully embraced the mission of saving the world, while also exploring magics, Xander still has a ways to go, but he has matured, and he is a loyal lieutenant, and our beautiful Buffy has embraced her role as savior more fully, acknowledging the good and the bad - with the ends of Seasons One and Two, we saw her taking on that mantle, that duty, but we saw it in the sacrifices she was willing to make. Season Three saw the entire senior class acknowledging her, and her then taking that acknowledgment to empower everyone to save themselves.

Sure, there were some weak episodes (Beauty and the Beasts, The Zeppo), but there were so many strong episodes in an already strong season, and just ... damn, it's a good show. From Band Candy to The Wish, from Amends to Doppelgangland, from Faith's entire arc to the finale, this was a nearly uniformly solid season. Season Four's gonna get messier, in part because of some backstage hijinks, but I know there are still some fantastic episodes in our future, and I look forward to them.

Happy Graduation!


  1. I've debated in the past with myself as to whether I prefer season 2 or season 3. On the one hand, season 3 as you point out Zelda is uniformly solid. Even the one off episodes are better than most of season 1 and 2's fillers. I enjoy watching every Buffy episode, but season 3 is the only season where all the episode's are really enjoyable for me.

    All I do on rewatches is not watch the argument scenes in Dead Man's Party because it brings on rage, but the rest of that episode is fine.

    I'm also in a minority it seems who actually really likes Beauty and the Beasts. But for me, season 2 wins a bit ahead of season 3 for favourite season just because I prefer the story arc. As awesome as the Mayor is, it doesn't quite beat season 2's story arc for me.

    1. I think I agree with you. S3 might be more technically proficient, and a lot of people do rank it as their favorite, but I think I ultimately like seasons two and five best.

  2. This marks the end of the "Highschool years" which I think were handled very well on this show, and I also think that this season was mostly solid, with your expected mix of great, good, and not so good episodes.


    - I'm gonna miss the library
    - Snyder is gone, only to be replaced by the Myth-taken Maggie Walsh
    - The Mayor was all kinds of AWESOME
    - Angel leaves, which makes me sad (yes that's right, I happen to like Angel)
    - Cordelia leaves, which is good
    - I hated Faith and wanted her to DIE!
    - When I first watched Buffy I hated Wesley, but now I think he's freaking hilarious!
    - Dead man's party! What a great episode that was.