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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Or Taken Literally, Incredibly Gross


This picture makes us both sad
Episode 3.12: Helpless. Original Airdate 1.19.99
  

"As her birthday approaches, Buffy loses her slayer powers and must do battle with a vampire who is not only extremely powerful but also quite mad."



First off, we would like to apologize for the extended hiatus in our blogging ways. You see, Daniel had an illegitimate son who then got kidnapped by this dude with a massive grudge. The son returned, looking like a feral Peter Pan, and after some cuddles, sent Daniel to the bottom of the ocean in a steel coffin. Like one does. Meanwhile, Zelda was feeling really conflicted because her boyfriend had gone all evil, but now he was good again, but she still had to send him to a hell dimension because of reasons, and then she ran off to LA for a few months and went by her middle name, which she's not going to tell you now. But if you meet a girl who used to be a mushroom and now has a different name - that's her middle name.


Zelda's Thoughts:

  • Oooh a picnic.
  • Oh a fight.
  • Um that stake is as big as SMG's arm.
  • MAN it's been a while since we've watched the show. I forgot about all the awkward between Angel and Buffy.
  • aw DB made me laugh. For once he had amazing timing:

  • NO GILES NO STOP HYPNOTIZING BUFFY.
  • Buffy's banter is in top form today.
  • NO NO NO DON'T KILL OUR BUFFY.
  • "Ice is cool. It's water, but it's not." I suspect David Fury of suspecting Oz of being a pothead.
  • This is the episode of fatherly betrayals. Both real daddy and surrogate daddy betray our Buffy and it's NOT OKAY.
  • "Buffy?" // "Present. Oooh present!"
  • This:
Sunnydale legs sold separately.
  • Mysterious plotting British people! 
  • Aw Buffy asking Giles, her other daddy, to take her to the ice show, to pick up where her real daddy disappointed her.
  • Giles can barely look at her while he sets up the crystals. BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE'S BETRAYING HER AND IT'S NOT OKAY.
  • "Look for the flaw at its center." that's meta, yo.
  • Stop making me hate Giles, show. He's my spirit animal.
  • NO NO NO BAD.
  • Who is this doonboggle yelling at Cordy?
  • I like that Cordy is able to stick up for herself (especially when Buffy's strength is awol)
  • Giles can still barely look at her, when Buffy comes to him completely vulnerable, worried about her waning strength, and he has to brush her off. He's so ashamed. I HATE YOU, QUENTIN TRAVERS.
  • Giles is right. This is fucking archaic. This is NOT OKAY. I just ... I can't wait til Checkpoint when Buffy will give the Council its much-deserved smackdown. She's the one with the power, and they're trying to control it, like a gun they can point. Fuck that noise.
  • Kralik is freakydeaky.
  • I will bet huge stacks of money that the kryptonite argument between Xander and Oz happened in the writers room. Because nerds.
  • Angel gives Buffy poetry. Oh Angel. Buffy can't read.
  • I would like to float a theory: maybe the Council does this awful rite of passage hoping to kill off the Slayers at age 18. After she's 18, the Slayer is an adult with more agency, less controllability. A teenager is used to taking orders from adults. Holy shit, you guys. I think I just cracked the ACTUAL endgame here. Man, fuck you, Council.
  • Uh oh. Kralik's loose. You see, Quentin? This is why we can't have nice completely insane vampires.
  • Poor Buffy's running and screaming for help. It is NOT OKAY to do this to our Slayer! Fuck you, Council.
  • Yay Giles to the rescue!
  • See, the purported reason the Council wants to do this ridiculous rite of passage thing is because they want to make sure the Slayer has the wherewithal to defeat vampires even without her superstrength, and that she is supposed to feel empowered with this knowledge of herself, but what they're ACTUALLY doing is making her feel like a victim, someone to be hurt, someone weak and powerless. And, because Giles breaks the rules, someone betrayed by the person she trusted most to protect her.
  • Little Buffy's crying. NOT OKAY.
  • "Who are you? How could you do this to me?"
  • And then Cordelia saves us from utter misery. Thanks Cordy! "I have to research a paper on Bosnia for tomorrow, but if the world's ending, I'm not gonna bother."
  • "But if the world doesn't end, I'm gonna need a note."
  • Awww Buffy packs a bag of weapons bigger than her and then can barely lift it awwwww.
  • See but - I think this moment goes along with her moment of decision in Prophecy Girl. She knows this is a fight she probably won't win. And she goes anyway. Because she's a hero. And nobody puts her mother in a polaroid.
  • "Interestingly, I don't give a rat's ass about the Council's orders." Welcome back, Giles.
  • Buffy completely fails to break a door.
  • Creepy Polaroid Room is creepy.
  • Haha Buffy went down the laundry chute.
  • Giles slays the second vampire about to get Buffy. It's not much, but it's the beginning of his earning back her trust.
  • "I think you better leave town before I get my strength back."
  • And Buffy lets Giles tend to her wounds.
  • Joyce bragging about Buffy's slaying skills. Very sweet.

Daniel's Thoughts:

  • Staked with a Baguette!
  • "Satisfied?" "I'm not sure that's the word."  RESPECT AT WORK!
  • It's also fun with Angel acts like a jealous teenage boy.  And remember: you're older than her father! (ew)
  • Buffy, stop fondling that penis shaped crystal
Someone is still thinking about....baguettes
  • I like Buffy in pigtails but I think it's designed to make her look younger and more vulnerable than she is.
  • I remember being really scared for Buffy at this moment (being overpowered by the vamp).
  • And you can tell at this point that Giles knows something. He's being way too glib about what just happened.
  • "Ice is water but it's not."  - See, this sounds more like Stoner Oz than the usual Smart Oz we're used to.  I prefer Smart Oz. 
  • Sad Buffy makes for a sad Daniel :(
  • QUENTIN TRAVERS - it's always a bad sign when you see him.
  • I hate thinking that Giles is doing something nefarious :(
  • Aww.  Buffy can't even take care of the stupid bully!  But Cordy can!
  • What's heartbreaking is that you can see how much Buffy relies and looks up to Giles; how much she looks at him like a father figure and he's betraying her.
  • It's a little better, though, when we see him talking about it to Travers and that he has doubts.
  • But this is just one more reason why I hate the council and their idiotic, archaic ways of doing things
  • Quentin seems to truly believe this will make her stronger, but how many times has this actually worked?
  • The actor playing the big bad Vamp, Jeff Kobor, reminds me a lot of Brian Thompson who has played two other parts before.
  • OK, Oz is actually kind of annoying me in this episode.  I'm not one to defend Xander but I hate when people call you out on silly things like bad metaphors.  It's like holding all your eggs in a handbag.
  • Buffy mentioned Mr. Pointy!  I love the imagery of the Old Slayer's Home
  • I know Angel talking about loving Buffy the first time he saw her is supposed to be sweet but FIFTEEN.
  • Shenanigans! As per Buffy in episode one: "To make you a vampire, they have to suck your blood.  And then you have to suck their blood. It's like a whole big sucking thing." Being stuck in that crate, there was no way he could have made the guy suck his blood.
  • Run, Giles, Run! Nope...nope, he's gonna investigate.
  • That little red hooded jacket on Buffy is so purposeful - Little Red Riding Hood imagery.
Fairy Tale Imagery much?
  • Also, part of what's making Buffy so vulnerable here is that she literally is shit-scared and is acting vulnerable. The self-confidence is gone which makes her look more like a victim. And by victim, I mean anyone who walks through a dark neighborhood at night. It can be terrifying and it's interesting to show Buffy in this light.
  • OMG, Buffy's face when she realizes that Giles betrayed her - so heartbreaking
  • And I like when Buffy needs help, it's Cordelia to the rescue. Go writers for not automatically resorting to Willow or Xander.
  • "He's Giles. GI-LES." - Ha.
  • I think throwing away the flowers symbolizes the betrayal of both Buffy's fathers.
  • "Stray from the path" - More Little Red Imagery.
  • Buffy is so smart using the holy water.
  • However barbaric this test is, it proved that Buffy, full slayer power or not, is extraordinary
  • "You have a father's love for the child" - Yes.  I love that it was Quentin who pointed this out so Giles wouldn't have to defend himself.
  • Aww, and Joyce is actually being a good mom, all proud of her daughter.


Crossfire!

(debating what exactly is wrong with Kralik and why he needs his pills)
Z: I think he's just crazy.
D: It's definitely something painful.
Z: Maybe it's a tumor.
Arnold:




Favorite Lines:

Zelda:  "You're waging a war, she's fighting it; there's a difference." - Giles
Daniel: "Did someone take her memory?  He's Giles. GI-LES.  He hangs out here a lot." - Cordelia


Arc/Continuity Stuff:


  • Faith's on an unannounced walkabout.
  • Willow is taking care of Amy the Rat but unable to change her back.
  • Whenever the Slayer turns 18, the Watcher's Council becomes even douchier and tries to kill a powerless teenage girl with a psychotic vampire.
  • Trivia: Kralik is played by Jeff Kober, who will return in S6 as Rack.
  • Many references made to Buffy's last birthday, including her Arm in a Box gift.
  • Angel reveals he saw Buffy before she became the Slayer, which we saw in Becoming.
  • Buffy wears her overalls of misery and illness.
  • The Council fires Giles as Buffy's Watcher.

Stats:
Oz's Hair - red
Dead Humans - 2
Dead Undeads - 3
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 (Sorry Cordelia)